The 100 Mile Thanksgiving, Part II

November 25th, 2008

Following is the continuation of Jennifer Kaplan’s post about celebrating a “100 Mile” Thanksgiving. You can read the first part here.

First, we spent Sunday morning at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market. We found all sorts of fabulous greens, yams, “Dr. Seuss” cauliflower, herbs and chicken for stock. Of course, once the kids warmed up with hot cocoa and croissants it was a terrific morning all around.

About the rest of the guests, at first I heard nothing back from my email describing the 100-mile Thanksgiving. Then a few requests to resend the email. Finally….

– My sister-in-law from Brooklyn is bringing an apple-pear chutney to replace cranberry sauce. She also asked if chocolate from Jacques Torres in Brooklyn qualified. We decided, since one cannot pass up Jacques Torres Chocolate and we’re making a similar exception for coffee, that products with raw materials that cannot be found within a 100 miles (cocoa nibs, coffee beans) can be brought if they are processed locally. So, Jacques Torres is in as is Gimme Coffee! roasted in Ithaca, NY.

– My mother-in-law from Tampa wants to bring key-limes for pie. But, she then emailed asking if I could buy Carnation condensed milk “locally”! I asked my husband to call her and explain that condensed milk was not in the spirit of the 100 mile meal, but he refused. Emails flew back and forth. Homemade condensed milk wouldn’t do the trick. Our friend Steve, who so embraced the 100 mile meal that he’s making his own potato starch, emailed an incredible Alice Waters recipe for a tangerine tart that he has made with key limes before and that does not call for condensed milk. Finally Steve wrote my husband an email to try and keep the peace:

But maybe Jennifer should consider a sort of cap and trade program. I make 1/4 cup of my own potato starch and sell your mom a credit with which your mom can buy an offset to cover 8 ounces of condensed milk. I find local flour — BINGO — and mom can buy enough offsets to fly a mail order key lime pie in from Kansas City.

Good idea…we should all be so diplomatic!

A 100 Mile Thanksgiving

November 12th, 2008

The other night I attended the “Farmland Feast” benefit on behalf of Freshfarm Markets, a DC organization dedicated to strengthening the local food movement in the Chesapeake Bay Region. While that was a small, local celebration of the harvest behind us, soon all Americans will be celebrating the harvest at Thanksgiving time. What better way to take the concept of “local first” than to apply it to the planning of our Thanksgiving menus?

How about a 100 Mile Meal for Thanksgiving?  Today I’m pleased to share a guest post from Jennifer Kaplan, author of the forthcoming book “The Green Opportunity.” Jennifer is a partner in the Greenhance business consulting firm, blogs about green business at her blog, Green Your Business and at Ecopreneurist, and she recently launched the first EcoTuesday event on the East Coast. But hey, she’s got a personal life too! So when it was time to share her special 100 mile Menu for Thanksgiving, she turned to OrganicMania, thinking it a better fit for this post than her usual business blogs. Welcome Jennifer!

My family is coming for Thanksgiving this year and I’m going to try to make it a 100-mile meal. We have 22 family and friends coming from up and down the Easy coast from Brooklyn to Tampa, and while the family is generally sympathetic to green-living, its likely to require some friendly advice to pull this off. So, I’m starting with the following e-mail:

Hi everyone. We are all looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving this year! In the spirit of the season, we wanted to try and do something a little different, a 100-mile Thanksgiving. The 100-mile movement is a local eating experiment whereby you buy food that is locally raised and produced from within a 100-mile radius of where you live. To make this easy and fun for everyone, here is a link to our local farm, Southmountain Creamery, that will delivery to our house on Monday November, 24th. Please note that the order must be placed by Midnight, Thursday, November 20th in order to be delivered on the 24th, so please try and plan ahead. Please look through their offerings because they sell all sorts of local food including meat, artisan cheeses, bread, honey, etc. and let me know if you want me to order anything for you:

Here are some Q&A to help in the process:

1. Why the ‘100-Mile’ Diet? In the word’s on the movement website: It’s an easy way to start thinking local. A 100-mile radius is large enough to reach beyond a big city and small enough to feel truly local. And it rolls off the tongue more easily than the ‘160-Kilometre Diet.’

2. What about coffee, olive oil, ect…? We know that certain foods are impossible to source from within 100-miles of Washington, DC. We’d like everyone to do their best, but will happily make exceptions for coffee, tea, wheat, oils and other essential ingredients which are impossible to find from within the 100-mile radius from your house or ours. The 100-mile diet site has lots of tips for finding local food sources, including the website Local Harvest, where you can find markets, local-food-friendly restaurants, farms, and food delivery programs for every region and tips for finding your local farmer’s market at 13 Lucky Farmers’ Market Tips. If you want to see if milk delivery (which, like Soutmountain Creamery, often delivers other local goods) is available near you, Winder Frams has a national directory by state.

3. We’ll take care of the Turkey and stuffing. Just let us know what you want to bring or what you want ingredients you want us to get for you and we’ll take care of the rest.

4. As mentioned, I would like to offer to order any ingredients you might need for foods that will be assembled, prepared and or cooked here. If you are bringing food from home, it would be great if your food could be sourced from within 100 miles of your home. For example, I’m pretty sure Brooklyn Beer falls well within the 100-mile range for some of you (hint, hint).

Looking forward to a happy Thanksgiving! See you all soon!

What did you think about the tips in Jennifer’s post? It sure works for me! Leave a comment and share!

— Lynn