With Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, it would be understandable if you were starting to panic. No need to fear a Vinyl Cafe-style grade B turkey experience. Even though there is less than a week left, you can still find local solutions for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner – and come looking like you spent three months sourcing it all.
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
Trevor Griffin at Whole Foods on Cambie Street in Vancouver explained the busiest moment comes on Friday. “That’s when you get people in here rushing around,” he laughed. “But even up to Sunday, if someone comes in here asking for us to roll a piece of meat or put together sides, we can do that.”
The turkeys at Whole Foods come from two local farms: JD Farms and Rossdown Farms, both in Langley. Both farms raise free-run birds, with both chickens and turkeys raised in large barns. Both farms give their turkeys a diet free from animal by-products and medication. Rossdown takes the extra step of providing 100% organic feed. Sizes range from about 10 pounds, which would feed up to four people, all the way up to a very large 25 pounds, which could see 10-12 people feeling full and satisfied and dozing on the sofa after Thanksgiving dinner.
For smaller families, Griffin suggested turkey roasts, pre-rolled and stuffed, made with either breast or thigh meat. Chickens, from local farms Thomas Reid and Maple Hills, are available, as well as the miniature Cornish game hen, perfect for an intimate meal for two.
It’s not all About the Turkey
If turkey is a little too traditional for your Thanksgiving dinner, there is the frugal ham roast. A great choice for the nervous cook, a ham joint is fully cooked, so all that’s required is a glaze and heating in the oven. If budget isn’t a constraint, there are beautifully stuffed racks of lamb and stuffed beef with bacon and chard.
Such a meat-centric celebration tends to leave vegetarians to the potatoes and green beans, but times have moved on from dry-as-dust nut roasts. Griffin raved about the Yam and Pear Vegan Field Roast, made by a Seattle company, which combines grains and vegetables to provide a great centrepiece for a vegetarian meal. If you have a couple of vegetarians or vegans to provide for at a larger family meal, frozen Gardein Turky rolls are made with soy protein, rolled around a rice and fruit stuffing, and even come with their own gravy.
No need to freak out, even if you’re reading this on Saturday morning. Griffin assured me there would be another turkey delivery on Friday, so you’re good to go.
Order your Thanksgiving dinner online up to 48 hours ahead at wholefoodsmarket.com.
Erin McGann is the former Managing Editor for Vancouver Mom and Toronto Mom Now. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large.