Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the bounty of the land. It's when we stop and appreciate the gifts that we have been given. It's not just a time to enjoy a monstrous feast but to appreciate the fact that you have enough food that you can have a feast. It's also a time to stop and count your blessings. For me it is a gift to live where I live. I am surrounded by farms. At this time of the year I can go to any number of farmers markets, or roadside farm stand and share their bounty. My family get to eat good whole foods that are so fresh that you can taste the freshness.
About 45 minutes from us is some of the most fertile land. It is Prince Edward County, now known for it's fledgling wineries. Whenever I go to Prince Edward County in the good weather I always stop at Hagerman Farms in Bloomfield. http://www.harvestin.ca/MAP%20AND%20DIRECTORY%20PAGE/RoadsideStands.php
For me this roadside stand i.e. paradise is nirvana. I want to skip through the rustic aisles humming a happy tune, a huge basket over my arm. They have such an amazing selection of unusual vegetables.
Their vegetables are super sized, like they are on steroids. Their greens are greener, their orange colours oranger. It's my happy place. I fill my arms with copious amounts of fresh, beautiful vegetables making mental notes as to how I will prepare them. Not only is their produce amazing, it's extremely inexpensive. I almost feel like I am doing them on the prices.
This year they have added a store to tempt me. The first thing that you notice when you open the doors is the heavenly baked goods aroma that wrap themselves around you, like a warm hug from Grandma. The next thing I noticed was how spotless it was.
There was a huge variety of preserves. Preserves that it would never occur to me to make. They also have a spot at the cash where you can sample the preserves. We tried watermelon jelly, and watermelon rind pickles. Needless to say we left, after having paid of course with a jar of the watermelon jelly. I plan to make a snack of it on a crisp cracker with a small scrap of cream cheese.
This year I will be serving many of the beautiful vegetables that I purchased at Hagerman Farms for our Thanksgiving meal. It means a lot to me to be able to not only have a generous feast for my family, but to serve them locally grown food. It seems like the true spirit of this harvest feast.