Contributed by Central Rivers Farmshed
The holidays are a time for family and food. Celebrate the harvest season and abundance of local foods this Thanksgiving with these recipes from Central Rivers Farmshed.
Thought your chance to get local foods ended with the frost? There is still an abundance of delicious local offerings available. Shop the Stevens Point Area Winter Farmers’ Market Saturdays from 8 AM to noon at Redeemer Lutheran Church (behind Fleet Farm) for vegetables, cider, baked goods, coffee, meats, eggs and more.
Most of the dishes below can be made ahead of time so you can relax and focus on the turkey and mashed potatoes on the big day.
The first two recipes are lightning fast to prepare, if you have a food processor. Place dry ingredients and cold butter into processor bowl and pulse a few times until the butter is in small pieces. If you don’t have a food processor, cut the butter into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or knife until the mixture is crumbly and no large chunks of butter remain.
Who needs to buy dinner rolls or deal with canned biscuits when these scones can be whipped up in a hurry or made ahead? Flaky, delicious and bursting with flavor.
Makes 8 large scones
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
5 Tablespoons cold butter, lard or other solid fat
½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey jack, Gouda, etc.)
3 green onions, chopped
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped (optional)
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, garlic and pepper in a large bowl. Cut in butter until no large chunks remain. Stir in cheese, onions, and bacon (if using).
In a separate bowl whisk together milk and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until no dry flour is sitting in the bowl.
Lightly flour a flat work surface. Place dough on floured surface and pat into a circle or square about 1” thick. Cut into 8 wedges or squares.
Place scones on baking sheet. Bake about 18 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Want a rich, dark dessert that’s sweet but not too sweet? Look no further than this take on old-fashioned shoofly pie.
This cake is moist & flavorful with a crisp crumb topping. Serve plain, with whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream. Or enjoy as a decadent breakfast treat with a cup of coffee.
The flavor is even better after the cake sits, so feel free to make this a day or two in advance.
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or shortening
1 cup molasses or sorghum
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9” springform pan.
Combine flour and sugar, then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Reserve ½ cup of crumbs for topping the cake, leave the rest in mixing bowl.
Stir warm water and molasses together. (The easiest way to measure molasses is with a measuring cup that is at least 2 cups; put 1 cup hot water into cup, then pour in molasses until it reaches 2 cup line. If you don’t have a measuring cup this size, grease your cup before measuring the molasses to make it easier to scrape out the cup.)
Stir baking soda into liquid (foaming is normal). Add liquid to flour mixture and stir until no streaks of white remain.
Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until center of cake is not wobbly. Let cool completely before serving.
Cranberry Pear Conserve
Tart cranberries, sweet pears, and just a hint of spice and citrus. This recipe is a great alternative to traditional cranberry sauce and is equally fantastic as a jam, pancake topping, side with roasted meat, and mixed into vinaigrette dressing.
Makes approximately 2 cups
2 large ripe pears (1 lb) peeled, cored and chopped
6 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (2 cups)
1 1/3 cups sugar
½ cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground allspice
Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick like jam (approximately 15 – 20 minutes).
The finished conserve can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks, or canned for long term storage in your pantry (pour hot conserve into 2 sterilized half pint jars, leaving ½” headspace, and process in a boiling water bath canner 10 minutes).
Fermented Carrot Sticks
Liven up your veggie tray with the savory-sweet bite of crunchy fermented vegetables. Simply combine the ingredients, let them sit and ferment for a week or two, and then enjoy.
Makes 1 quart jar
1 lb carrots
2 cups water
1 ½ teaspoon sugar (optional, leave out for less sour flavor)
1 Tablespoon salt
Wash carrots (peeling optional) and cut into sticks. Place in clean 1 quart jar.
Combine water, sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve, then pour over carrots.
Carrots should be entirely submerged in brine. If they are floating to the top, hold them down by placing a sealed Ziploc bag with some water or leftover brine on top. If carrots are firmly wedged in jar and not floating, simply place lid loosely on jar.
Place jar on a dish or tray (to catch any overflowing brine) and leave in a place out of direct sunlight. As it ferments the carrots will become less vibrant and the brine will become cloudy. Bubbling and foam are normal during fermenting. If mold forms on top of brine, scoop it off.
Taste a carrot after 1 week. The pickled flavor gets stronger the longer they ferment. When taste is to your liking, screw lid on jar and store in refrigerator (will keep up to 1 year, but you’ll probably eat them all long before then).
Variations: Use a mix of carrots & radishes. Add garlic, sliced lemon, ginger, and/or a sprig of rosemary to jar while fermenting.
Potato Mash Ups
Mashed potatoes are a classic comfort food. Boil potatoes in salted water, drain, then mash with butter and milk.
So simple. So good.
So how can you improve that? Combine other vegetables (or fruit) with those potatoes. Peel, chop, and boil your selected add-in(s) with the potatoes, then mash together. Proportions are up to you. Try one or more of the suggestions below to add a new flavor or color twist to your next pot of mash.
Roasting is an easy & delicious way to prepare vegetables. The natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize, making them richer and sweeter tasting. They are delicious hot out of the oven but can also be made ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and enjoy chilled, at room temperature or reheated (and versatile too – eat as is, added to salads, pureed into soups, or as toppings for pizza & pasta).
Most vegetables roast best at 425°, but if you already have something else in the oven a temperature range from 375° to 450° is fine.
Prepare one or more vegetables
All vegetables should be washed, peeling is optional unless noted
Cut in fairly uniform sized pieces to ensure even cooking
If roasting a mix of vegetables, keep vegetables with similar cook times together (fast cooking on one side of the pan, long cooking on the other side or in separate pans). This makes it easier to remove each kind from the oven as they are done. Finished vegetables can be mixed together after they are done.
Toss vegetables with oil of your choice, salt & pepper, and any optional seasonings.
- Use enough oil to lightly coat vegetables (approximately 1 to 2 Tablespoons per pound of vegetables)
- Use different oils to enhance the flavor of your vegetables. Olive oil, melted butter or sunflower oil are classics.
- Specialty and flavored oils will impart a different character to your dish (think peanut, sesame, walnut, pumpkin seed, melted coconut oil, etc.).
- Don’t be afraid to mix & match seasonings. Warm with sweet, bright with herbal, etc.
- Spread oiled vegetables out on pan and place in hot oven
- Use a roasting pan or baking sheet with edges to catch any oil drips or liquid that cooks out
- Don’t crowd the pan – a pile of vegetables will cook unevenly and steam rather than roast
- Check vegetables about half way through cook time, shake the pan and/or stir so they brown evenly
- Cook times in chart are approximate and will vary based on oven temperature, vegetables used, and size of pieces
- Higher temperatures and/or sweet seasonings will brown vegetables faster, check these more often to make sure they aren’t burning
Remove each vegetable from oven when they are tender and starting to brown. Add any optional garnishes and serve.
There are countless ways to cook a turkey and every family has their favorite. If you are roasting a locally raised turkey, you’ll find traditional and heritage birds raised with access to pasture are more flavorful – so that means you have to do less work to put a tasty bird on your table; you can skip the brining, basting and complicated herb rubs.
The high heat method is a simple, delicious and fast way to roast your turkey.
Preheat your oven to a high heat (425° to 500°).
Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Place these in saucepan, cover with water and simmer 15 minutes (or more).
Use this broth and chopped cooked giblets in your gravy and/or stuffing.
Place bird on a rack in your roasting pan. Rub with oil or butter. Do not truss or stuff bird (cook any desired stuffing separately in a casserole dish).
Pour a few inches of water or broth in the bottom of roasting pan (this helps prevent smoking at the high temperature used for roasting and ensures you will have pan drippings for gravy).
Tent roasting pan with foil (you can use oiled parchment paper instead of foil, but parchment will cause smoke during cooking). Do not fully seal edges of foil around pan or turkey will steam instead of roast.
Place in oven and roast. Do not baste. Depending on oven temperature and size of turkey, roasting can take approximately 5 to 8 per pound. Check turkey temperature after 45 minutes. Turkey is done when the meatiest part of thigh reaches 165°.
Allow turkey to rest 30 minutes before carving.