This Thanksgiving was a special one for us. As discussed earlier, we decided to try for a 100% local and organic Thanksgiving meal. In the end, we were able to realistically accomplish a 100% local or organic meal. We learned a lot about what is available locally, how much things costs, and now....we also know how the food quality compares.
Now to the how the harvest was used.
We made this eggplant paramesan with eggplants grown in our garden (plus some bought at the store). The tomato sauce used was made from tomatos grown in our garden and canned by us a few weeks ago. The tomato sauce was made using Ball's recipe and it was quite good!
From the garden, we also made zucchini cakes, squash casserole, and spinach brownies.
For meats, we had a locally grown grass-fed chicken which we prepared on the rostisserie, a locally grown grass fed roast which was prepared into a delicious mushroom gravy roast, and a farm raised turkey which hubby smoked to perfection....I'm talking fall off the bone perfection....and we did it on a regular grill!
I used organic flour, sugar, butter, and eggs to make the pound cake. In addition, organic goods were used to make the apple pie and sweet potato pie (pie shells homemade). Sweet Potato Pie is not shown.
The cornbread for the dressing was also homemade with organic ingredients; as was the homemade cranberry sauce (which turned out very good as well --- first time making this!).
So, all of the bread is homemade (hotwater cornbread, rolls, and cheddar bay biscuits), but none of it is organic.
Now about the food quality first. First thing is that no one could tell that the food was organic. This may sound silly, but if you remember the first versions of low-fat or low-sugar and how horrible they were; then you understand how some (who are unfamiliar with organic) may wonder about the taste difference. Secondly, the grass fed meat was obviously leaner. Almost no fat to remove. We rotisseried the chicken and it gave about 1-2 cups of stock. We usually get at least twice that. This shows us just how much perservatives (salt walter,etc) are being pumped into the store bought chickens. No noticeable difference in the vegetables or fruit. The organic flour is nonbleached which means more gluten which means DO NOT overbeat (best to stir in the flour by hand in this case) when using it for baking or you'll end up with rubbery bread instead of cake. The organic sugar seems fine as a 1 for 1 substitute with no differences that I noticed. Same with butter and eggs.
I will say - though - that having to pay more for the organic sugar has caused me to use it more sparingly. I have used it for about 2-months now and my tea is getting less and less sweet. So perhaps its a good thing; because I would still be pouring the cheap sugar by the cup full; now I only use spoonfuls worth. Same thing with the organic butter. Organic butter costs twice as much and it has made me think twice about adding butter to my food and searching for alternatives....like I used cooking spray to saute my asparagus instead of butter and it was the same! So perhaps having to pay more for food is a good thing. I read in several places that Americans spend less of their income (percentage wise) than most other countries on our food. I can definitely say from this experience that if my food costs this much, I would definitely use less and waste less (through spoilage). So perhaps that is reason enough to totally commit to the switch....only time will tell, we've got about a month to figure it out....will let you know when we do.