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Giving thanks, Wisconsin style


November 2012

Mark the national holiday and celebrate our Wisconsin bounty by cooking a Thanksgiving dinner made almost entirely from local ingredients.

Turkey: Forget the grocery store-purchased poultry of years past. There’s no comparison between factory-farmed turkeys and the purely delectable taste of local, farm-raised turkeys, guaranteed fresh. Order the Heritage bird (arguably the healthiest), or a classic broad-breasted American bronze turkey, from Ruegsegger Farms ( in Green County, which delivers to all of Wisconsin.

Potatoes: No matter how they’re prepared, hearty potatoes are a must in Wisconsin. Order yours from Healthy Grown (, nationally award-winning Wisconsin potato farmers, lauded for their environmental efforts.

Stuffing: This staple side dish is the broadest-ranging dish around, but whatever your special recipe calls for, use only the best ingredients. Purchase your sausage from Bunzel’s ( in Milwaukee, bread from Wild Flour Bakery (, three Milwaukee area locations), and any vegetables from Witte’s Vegetable Farm ( in Cedarburg.

Relish: No Thanksgiving table is complete without a tart cranberry relish, as Wisconsin is the fruit’s largest producer in the United States. Place an order for fresh cranberries from the Wetherby Cranberry Co. (, a Monroe County family-run bog.

Veggies: The change of seasons doesn’t stop the growth of winter squash, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, beets and many more vegetables in Wisconsin. Head to The Milwaukee County Winters Farmers’ Market — or to Growing Power (, an urban farm in Milwaukee — for fresh, seasonal produce.

Bread: The classic dinner roll may seem like a simple detail to a painstaking meal, but don’t skimp on it. Visit the Old-World Breadsmith Artisan Bakery ( in one of its Milwaukee-area locations to select the perfect medley of the handmade and hearth baked loaves.

Wine: The best complement to your locally grown meal, wine produced on a Wisconsin vineyard adds the necessary final touch. Savor your turkey with The New Glarus Primrose ( Winery’s New Glarus White, or enjoy the taste of fall with Cedarburg Spice from Cedar Creek Winery ( in Cedarburg.

Pie: Craving a pumpkin pie? Pick yourself a pumpkin at Barthel Fruit Farm ( in Mequon. This year’s summer drought conditions hurt the fall apple yield, so that fresh-picked apple pie may have to wait until next year.

Miscellaneous: Find any variety of spice you need at The Spice House ( in the Milwaukee Public Market. Cheese isn’t hard to come by in America’s Dairyland, but take a look at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart (, either online, or at the store in downtown Milwaukee.


This story ran in the November2012 issue of: