Laurie David has some good insights into Thanksgiving and local foods, and it got me to thinking about our own holiday habits and how they reflect our own attitudes towards localism and place. To begin with, we switched over from turkey to salmon for Thanksgiving while we were living in the Pacific Northwest. It seemed a more relevant option, given our location, and became a tradition for us as a family. Now that we’re nearly 400 miles from the coast, the choice isn’t nearly as clear-cut. We’re also having some people over on Thursday, and trying to maximize our food-budget efficiency this year, so we went with the turkey.
I’m sorry to say that we didn’t get out to a local farm to meet the bird first, or even get a fresh bird from The Co-Op. Since the van’s been in the shop and the wagon can’t get up hills, I’ve been grocery shopping by bike. Also, a snowstorm moved into the area on Monday, so I had to go out Sunday afternoon to get what we needed for the week. So, I bought a big, frozen, grocery-store turkey at 30 cents per pound, and biked it home with everything else. Such are the trade-offs we have to make; maybe we can do better next year.
Potatoes are no problem, since we live near the heart of the nation’s potato belt, and cranberries are grown on the Washington coast as well. I’m going to use lots of apples, both in the stuffing and in a dessert, as well as some of the leftover Halloween pumpkin. Again, our locavorism is as much circumstantial as deliberate. Yet there is one big way in which we’re keeping Thanksgiving local this year: we’re staying in town. No rental cars (warning-language!), long road trips, or TSA pat-downs for us this year; as mentioned, we’re having some friends over for dinner and movies, and wishing our families well from afar. I wonder what would happen if everybody did that.