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4 Thanksgiving Ingredients to Source Locally This Year

With Thanksgiving just weeks away, many families are beginning to plan their big meals. Instead of heading to the grocery store to wait in line in the days before November 28th, support small businesses by purchasing your feast ingredients locally. Here are four ingredients to source nearby and where to get the freshest, most flavorful finds.

Turkey

Many families consider turkey to be a quintessential part of their Thanksgiving feast. You can purchase a locally raised bird from Mint Creek Farm in Stelle, Illinois. The farm raises 9 to 25-pound free-range turkeys like White birds that offer the larger breast meat that many people prefer. For a smaller bird with darker meat, opt for their Bronze or Black Spanish Aztec heritage breeds. Reserve your turkey ahead of time and pick it up at a local farmers market with a predesignated drop-off area.


Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo
Those looking to try making the turkey a little different this year, should make adobo turkey with red-chile gravy. This Epicurious recipe uses toasted ancho and guajillo chiles plus apple cider vinegar, garlic, clove and other rich spices that are sure to make the house smell amazing this holiday season!


Photo by Genesis Growers

Veggies

Whether you need parsnips or beets, potatoes or peppers, you can get all the vegetables you need from the Dill Pickle Co-op at 2746 N Milwaukee Avenue. The community-owned grocer has provided fresh produce - much of which is organic and grown in the Midwest - since 2009. Here, you’ll find fruit for pies, greens for salads and root vegetables for baking.

Dress up simple roasted veggies for an easy-but-complex dish by using coconut oil or sesame oil instead of the usual extra virgin olive oil. Consider adding finely grated cheese to the top of the batch with a minute left in the oven for a melty fusion that will delight your taste buds. If your crew is fighting off colds, make this The Kitchn recipe for Roasted Carrots with Orange and they’re sure to feel upbeat after a few bites of the roasted, caramelized goodness.

Photo by Adams & Sons

Herbs

When it comes time to flavor the stuffing, skip the dry herbs that have been lingering in your pantry for years. Instead, head straight to the windowsill! It’s easy to grow herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, mint and parsley at home.

Pick up a kit including containers, fertilized soil and seeds at a Chicagoland shop like Sprout Home, Adams & Sons Gardens or even a grocery store. Get started a few months before the big day, so your herbs are ready for harvesting! If you didn’t plan this far ahead for Thanksgiving 2019, set a calendar alert for the spring to start herbs for the next turkey day. Stop by any neighborhood farmers market to grab herbs from a local farm to tide you over.


Photo by Bottles Up Chicago

Wine and Beer

Many people want to celebrate Thanksgiving with a glass of wine to go with their feast. Selecting perfect pairings can elevate your meal by highlighting unique flavors and adding tastes of their own. Head to Bottles Up Chicago at 3164 N. Broadway to talk with owner and expert Melissa Zeman about finding the perfect bottles for the occasion. Stop by on a Wednesday or Friday to enjoy free tastings to try out potential wines for your Turkey Day extravaganza. Bottles Up also offers craft beer and spirits, so you’re sure to find something for everyone at this Lakeview hotspot.

Your Happy Place Liquors at 2501 N Milwaukee is one part art gallery and part wine and liquor store. The colorful space features pop art hung above black leather seating where wine tastings and sip-and-paint classes take place. The liquor store features some local beers, liquor and wine, and partners with nearby BYOB restaurants. Your Happy Place will deliver beverages to these specific spots, so you can enjoy a meal and taste test a drink in the middle of holiday prep.

For those looking for specialty wines, visit Diversey Wine at 3023 W. Diversey Avenue. This unique store features natural wines. Unlike mass-produced varieties, this wine is grown in small batches and ferment naturally without additives or processing aids. These brews are unfiltered and come in a wide range of flavors from Poder Il to sparkling Rosato. Talk with the shop owner and staff to pair sweet or savory wines with your Turkey Day celebration.

If you want to spend Thanksgiving in Chicago next year, contact the KlopasStratton team to start searching for your next home. From West Town one-bedroom condos to three-story Lakeview homes, their experienced team can help you find luxury living in the Windy City.


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4 Thanksgiving Ingredients to Source Locally This Year