Dining

Give (Local) Thanks

Our guide to cooking a Colorado Thanksgiving.

November 2010

Although Colorado is not known for its abundant year-round produce, with a little effort, it’s possible to create a Thanksgiving dinner made from all local (and in many cases, organic) ingredients.

Turkey Enough of tasteless factory-farmed turkey. Try a heritage bird from Eastern Plains Natural Foods (easternplains.com) in Bennett. The free-range turkeys are raised on natural prairie grass and—because they are never given growth stimulants or hormones—have a pure, succulent flavor. Another option: Wisdom’s Natural Poultry (wisdomsnaturalpoultry.com) in Haxtun.

Potatoes Finding local potatoes is easy—Colorado’s San Luis Valley is known as the country’s second-largest shipper (after Idaho) of fresh potatoes. For light, fluffy mashed potatoes, choose russets or Yukon golds. If you want to go organic, try a bag from White Mountain Farm (whitemountainfarm.com) in the San Luis Valley.

Stuffing We know. Every family has a favorite stuffing recipe that can’t be messed with. For basic ingredients, try bread from Grateful Bread (gratefulbreaddenver.com) or Udi’s Foods (udisfood.com), sausage from Boulder Sausage (bouldersausage.com), and apples and onions from Grant Family Farms (grantfarms.com) in Larimer County.

Relish Because there’s no way to produce a local cranberry relish, make a Colorado apple chutney instead. Or, if you’re looking for something sweet to slather on your dinner rolls, choose one of the many organic fruit confitures made by High Desert Foods (highdesertfoods.com) in Dolores.

Veggie Side Dishes Believe it or not, many fresh vegetables are available in Colorado into early winter. For a fresh, local side, try something made with carrots, beets, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, winter squash, or mushrooms. Local producers include Berry Patch Farms (berrypatchfarms.com), Grant Family Farms (grantfarms.com), and Hazel Dell Mushrooms (hazeldellmushrooms.com).

Dinner Rolls Fill your bread basket with an assortment of yeasty goodies from Denver Bread Company (thedenverbreadcompany.com), City Bakery (citybakerydenver.com) or Udi’s (udisfood.com).

Wine For white wine lovers, Creekside Cellars Viognier (creeksidecellars.net) is great with turkey; for those for whom only red will do, pour Alfred Eames Cellars 2008 Estate bottled Pinot Noir (alfredeamescellars.com).

Pumpkin Pie Find fresh local pumpkins at Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch (rockymtnpumpkinranch.com) in Longmont.

Miscellaneous Stock up on spices at Savory Spice Shop (savoryspiceshop.com), organic herbs at Osage Gardens (osagegardens.com), and cheese from Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy (haystackgoatcheese.com) or MouCo Cheese Company (mouco.com).

Find these ingredients at Marczyk Fine Foods (marczykfinefoods.com), In Season Local Market (inseasonlocalmarket.com), and Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market (denverurbanhomesteading.com).