I’m thankful for the bulk section at Common Crow where I can buy large or small amounts of dried chickpeas, short-grain brown rice, and couscous.
I’m thankful for inexpensive persimmons at Market Basket, and for the regular friendliness of its check-out people.
I’m thankful for Ann, the woman who stocks the cheese counter at Stop & Shop. She maintains burrata levels, and has recently introduced “Satori;” a semi-hard Wisconsin cheese that isn’t quite feta and isn’t quite cheddar, but has more character than it’s modest packaging would have you believe. With an apple or chutney it’s an instantly delicious appetizer, or even a lunch.
I’m thankful that Shaw’s, still small enough get to the milk aisle in less than fifteen minutes, seems a little cleaner and brighter these days. I’m thankful for helpful check-out people here, too.
I’m thankful for the vigor and heart of our farmers. Noah Kellerman, Mike Raymond, Andy Varela, Farmer Dave’s, The Food Project people at Moraine Farm. Their long days and sun-bleached toil have inserted a new economy into our community, not to mention hundreds of pounds of beautiful local produce. We take home their carrots and kale – grown carefully, to scale, in local soil; my crumpled check gets stacked on Noah’s desk, not processed in Indiana by a faceless Goliath.inc. A small circle of an economy is created, a little exit off the high-speed expressway upon which trucks transporting boxed food speed in from anonymous warehouses, and our dollars are driven out of town just as quickly. Defensively, I realize the Market Basket persimmons and Sartori cheese arrive this way, but food shopping on Cape Ann is stitching together buying locally to walking store aisles, sometimes paying a little more to looking for a bargain.
I’m thankful for the Appleton Farm cows.
I’m thankful for The Cape Ann Farmers’ Market, a weekly celebration of local foods, equal parts smiles and kale.
I’m thankful for the Rockport Farmers’ Market, where on Saturday summer mornings you can purchase locally grown and raised dinner ingredients, or just go for some kale and some friends.
I’m thankful for Paolo’s pesto.
I’m thankful for Alexandra’s cobbles.
I’m thankful for Cape Ann Fresh Catch.
I’m thankful for lobster, scallops, dogfish, skate, hake, redfish, and any other fish left in our seas.
I’m thankful for Turtle Alley Chocolates and Harbor Sweets.
I’m thankful we live in a community that has family food traditions extending back generations, that often connects with each other over those old shared recipes. I’m thankful we live in a community that demands Mike Ciamitaro never stop making Trupiano’s sausage, available at The Cave.
From a place of thanks I offer a cozy, bake-y, traditional recipe to make for breakfast Thanksgiving Day. It is amazing made with homemade cranberry sauce and fresh squash, but almost as familiar-pumpkin-ey, cranberry delicious made with canned.
Orange Glazed Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
from Favorite Recipes from Johnny Cake Hill
3 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 (16 ounce can) solid pack pumpkin, or 2 cups cooked fresh squash or pumpkin
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder, In another bowl, stir together remaining ingredients until well mixed. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are well moistened. Pour batter into 2 (91/4 x 5 1/4 inch) greased loaf pans. Bake at 350F for 65 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, then drizzle glaze over top and sides.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Mix all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled breads. Makes 1/2 cup glaze.