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Giving thanks, Wisconsin style

By MAGGIE STROEBEL

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 (naturalmeats.org) 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 (healthygrown.com), 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 (bunzels.com) in Milwaukee, bread from Wild Flour Bakery (wildflour.net, three Milwaukee area locations), and any vegetables from Witte’s Vegetable Farm (wittesvegfarm.com) 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. (freshcranberries.com), 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 (growingpower.org), 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 (breadsmith.com) 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 (newglarusprimrosewinery.com) Winery’s New Glarus White, or enjoy the taste of fall with Cedarburg Spice from Cedar Creek Winery (cedarcreekwinery.com) in Cedarburg.

Pie: Craving a pumpkin pie? Pick yourself a pumpkin at Barthel Fruit Farm (barthelfruitfarms.com) 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 (thespicehouse.com) 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 (wisconsincheesemart.com), either online, or at the store in downtown Milwaukee.

 


This story ran in the November2012 issue of: