November 14, 2019

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Whether you're preparing for a traditional turkey dinner, or a not-so-traditional, modern meal, we've got you covered.

It takes hard work—and maybe lack of sleep!—to pull off an "effortless" Thanksgiving meal. So this year we've decided to help you save time, and pull together the ultimate Thanksgiving meal with this easy guide.

Truly, this guide will break down everything from the planning, to classic Thanksgiving recipes, to the table décor. We’ve laid out each step to help you tackle your holiday meal. Even better, we will provide you with links to the recipes and suggested product essentials so you can add what you need to your delivered farm box.

Now, let’s get started and make this Thanksgiving dinner a meal to remember!


**If you’re a Farm Fresh To You customer, click here to jump to the shopping list**

Before we dive into the shopping list, let’s make sure you’re set up to have organic produce and grocery essentials from Farm Fresh To You delivered right to your door.

Our second-generation farm has been growing certified-organic produce and delivering it to homes for over 25 years. We care about how food comes to be on our tables, and our mission is to create a more transparent food system. To offer our members even more access to organic, local, and responsibly-sourced foods, we partner with other like-minded organic farms and artisans. You can easily customize your weekly farm box to include the produce you love, farm products and groceries. Delivery is always included!

You can get started with a farm box delivery by signing up here. Enter your zip code to see if we deliver to your neighborhood, then select the produce box that works best for you or your family. Once you’ve signed up for a produce box, you'll receive an email letting you know when your box is ready to customize with your favorite seasonal produce, and easily add groceries and farm products to your delivery.


(Click to jump to different sections)
I. Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping List
II. Prep Schedule
III. Easy Thanksgiving Farm Recipes - from Apps & Drinks to Tasty Sides
VI. How to Truss & Cook a Turkey
VII. Leftover Storage Guide
VIII. Table & Home Décor

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Shopping List

Shopping for a big, holiday meal can be challenging, especially with so much to remember. Use this handy list as a cheat sheet as you Customize Your Box before the big day!

Pantry & Kitchen Tools
All-purpose flour or Gluten-free flour
Yellow cornmeal
• Spelt flour
• Granulated sugar
• Light brown sugar
Pure vanilla extract
• Baking soda
• Baking powder
Dry Yeast
Extra-virgin olive oil
Spices (Nutmeg, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Salt & Pepper, Pumpkin Pie Spice)
Turkey Brine
Nuts (Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts)
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Breadcrumbs or loaf of bread like sourdough
Pickles & Olives
Pie Dough or Handmade Pie Crust
Pumpkin Pie Mix
Jam or preserves
Natural Cooking Twine
Parchment Roasting Bags

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives
Large pasture-raised eggs
Unsalted butter or Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
Heavy cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream
Half & Half or Non-Dairy Creamer
Milk or Dairy-Free Alternative like Almond Milk or Cashew Milk
Sour cream or Almond Milk Yogurt
• Variety of cheeses or non-dairy cheeses

Fresh Organic Produce
• Winter squash
• Green beans
• Mushrooms
• Fresh herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Parsley)
• Potatoes
• Sweet potatoes
• Celery
• Shallots
• Onions
• Brussels sprouts
• Fresh cranberries
• Lemons
• Oranges
• Apples
• Pomegranates
• Grapes

Meat & Meat Alternatives
Turkey or Vegan Roast
Tip: one pound of turkey per person; but if you want leftovers, add an extra half-pound per person. A 12-lb turkey will feed about 10 people.
Vegan Grain Sausage
Rustic Ham
Charcuterie: Sliced Prosciutto, Uncured Italian Dry Salame

Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Sparkling water or soda
Juice for the kiddos
Apple cider for rolls
Coffee & Tea

Cocktails & Wine
Shrubs & Mixers
• Suggested wines to pair with your meal: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc or Prosecco
Some of our favorite wineries: Capay Valley Vineyards, Seka Hills, Sundstrom Hill Winery, Matchbook and Berryessa Gap

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Prep Schedule

2-3 weeks out
• Purchase your non-perishable items from Farm Fresh To You
• Stock up on any missing tools or equipment or borrow from a friend or family member.

1 week out
• Place your main order of fresh items with Farm Fresh To You on Thursday, November 21st.
• Wash your dishes, iron those napkins, and start setting the table.
• Create a cooking schedule to reduce the stress and risk of error.
• Clean out the refrigerator to make room for items.

2-4 days before
• Remove turkey from the freezer to thaw in the fridge. It takes about 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey to fully defrost.

Day before
• Make the dessert: Get our recipe for a Rustic Pumpkin Pie, or add a handmade Pumpkin Pie or Vegan Pumpkin Pie to your delivery
• Finish setting the table and decorating.

Night before
Brine your turkey overnight.


Easy Thanksgiving Farm Recipes

Appetizers & Hors D’oeuvres

1. Farm Fresh Preserves, Cheese & Nut Plate – Get Recipe
Tip: Not sure where to start when it comes to pairing wine and cheese? Check out our 5 tips for a perfect pairing.
2. Caramelized Leek & Onion Tartlets – Get Recipe
3. Spiced Nuts with Sage – Get Recipe

Wine & Cocktails

1. Winter Squash Cocktail – Get Recipe
2. Grapefruit Cocktail – Get Recipe 
3. Winter Sangria – Get Recipe 

Side Dishes

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Best Traditional, Homemade Stuffing Recipe

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter plus more for baking dish
1 pound of bread cubed or torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
2 large pasture-raised eggs

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and set aside. Scatter bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until dried out, about 1 hour. Let cool; transfer to a very large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, melt 3/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and celery. Stir often until just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread; stir in herbs, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in 1 1/4 cups broth and toss gently. Let cool.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk 1 1/4 cups broth and eggs in a small bowl. Add to bread mixture; fold gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to prepared dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160°, about 40 minutes. If you want to stuff your turkey with stuffing, insert stuffing inside the turkey and following turkey baking instructions.

• Stuffing can be made 1 day ahead. Uncover; let cool. Cover; chill.
• Bake dressing, uncovered, until set and top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer (if chilled, add 10-15 minutes).

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Mix
3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Pecan Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (no need to salt). Add the sweet potatoes and cook until soft. Drain and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the topping: Melt the butter in a medium bowl in microwave or in a pan on the stove. Add the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon and mix until well combined. It should look a little clumpy. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, mash the cooked and drained sweet potatoes with a potato masher or large fork until very smooth. Add the melted butter, salt, sugar, and nutmeg and mix well. Mix in the eggs. It's okay if there are some lumps. Set aside.

5. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a 2-quart baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture and bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned. Let cool slightly before serving.

Freezer-Friendly Instructions: You can freeze the unbaked sweet potato portion of the recipe, tightly covered, for up to 3 months. Before baking, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then proceed with the recipe instructions.

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Mashed Potatoes

1 3/4 lbs peeled and cut into chunks baking potatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk or non-dairy yogurt
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes; drain well and transfer to a bowl.

2. While the potatoes are still hot, using a potato masher, mash in the buttermilk or non-dairy yogurt, butter or butter alternative, salt and pepper. Mash until the potatoes are the consistency you like. Serve hot.

Homemade Gravy

2 cups turkey, chicken or vegetable broth (plus pan drippings from Turkey - optional)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

2. Whisk in flour until well combined and there are no clumps.

3. Slowly pour in broth, and turkey drippings if using, and whisk.

4. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

Additional Farm-Fresh Side Dish Recipes

1. Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce – Get Recipe
2. Not Your Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole – Get Recipe
3. Fluffy Spelt Dinner Rolls – Get Recipe

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving

How to Truss & Cook A Turkey

Ingredients & Equipment
1 turkey, 12-14 lbs (thawed, if bought frozen)
1 onion
1 stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic + 4 to 5 cloves
2 sprigs rosemary and sage each
2 tablespoons butter
Salt & pepper
Cooking twine
Roasting pan with rack

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Prep the turkey by unwrapping, rinsing, and patting dry. Make sure the neck and bag of giblets are out of the inner cavity.

6. Place turkey on the rack in the roasting pan.

7. Cut the onion in half, and cut the top off the head of garlic. Shove in the cavity. (If you are stuffing the turkey, do this instead.)

8. Go in between the skin and the meat and add butter, garlic, herbs.

9. Rub the skin with salt, pepper, some sage (or poultry seasoning if you have none).

10. Wrap the legs back up with the skin.

11. To truss or tie the turkey, take the center of your piece of twine and wrap it around the neck
bone, in between the two breasts.

12. Tuck the wings under the bird. Pull the twine tightly underneath the breastplate
and tie a tight knot to secure everything. Cross the legs and tie them together.

13. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the skin is getting beautifully brown and crispy.

14. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and cover it with the pan's lid or foil and roast for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or until 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast (180 in the thigh) and juices run clear.

15. When you take it out of the oven, let it stand (covered) for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Ultimate Guide to a Farm-To-Table Thanksgiving
Image from Bee's Wrap

Storage Guide for Leftovers

One of the great benefits of Thanksgiving is being able to enjoy the leftovers. Most leftovers will stay fresh a few days after, but you can freeze some of your items for a month or more. For more tips on how to safely cool and store leftovers, visit the FDA website

Here’s a handy guide for Thanksgiving leftover storage time:
• Turkey: 3-4 days in fridge, or 2-3 months in the freezer
• Gravy: 1-2 days in fridge, or 1 month in freezer
• Cranberry Sauce: 1-2 weeks in fridge, or 1-2 months in the freezer
• Stuffing: 3 days in fridge, or 1 month in freezer
• Pie: 3-4 days in fridge, 1-2 months in the freezer
• Green Bean Casserole or Mashed Potatoes: 3-4 days in fridge (freezing not recommended)

**Food recommendations are made to ensure the best quality. Freezer should be kept at 0 degrees F, and the refrigerator should be kept at 35 degrees F for safe storage.

Recommended Storage Containers for Leftovers
1. Sustainable Food Bee’s Wraps
2. Steel tiffin
3. Reusable zip-top bags

Creekside Farms Wreath

Table & Home Décor

If you’re looking for something special to welcome your guests right from the front door, give these handmade wreaths from our friends at Creekside Farms a whirl.

Your Thanksgiving table is a great place to set a space for entertaining and make your guests feel right at home. Dress up your table with a beautiful, seasonal bouquet from Thomas Family Farm.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

We hope this guide helps you pull together the ultimate Thanksgiving meal for your friends and family.

How To Add Farm Stand Products to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 6 pm, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood. You can even get your whole office in on the fun with our office Snack Packs. Find more information about our office deliveries here