As the holiday season approaches, we start to envision all of the things that make this time of year so special. Cooler temperatures. Falling leaves. Shopping for our loved ones. Choosing and cutting down the family Christmas tree. Hanging stockings above our mantles. What, though, tends to be a focus of our holiday season? FOOD!
Many meals these days are thrown together at the last minute by frazzled parents, with no thought or planning, completed in about 15 minutes’ time. Holiday meals, however, are still an exception. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tend to be a massive undertaking as mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, children, and friends pour all of their love into a meal for the masses.
When my sisters and I were young, my mother would spend days on end preparing a huge meal for our family. There were pies and cookies to bake, birds to roast, homemade noodles to roll out, cut, and dry, pounds of celery and onions to cut and sauté, and so on and so forth.
When it is time to gather the ingredients for your own family’s meal this year, why not try something a little different? We live in the agricultural heart of West Virginia, the Greenbrier Valley. Within a short distance from each and every one of our homes, you can find a large variety of fresh, locally grown foods to add to your holiday dishes.
Need some fresh potatoes to mash? I have the farmer for you! Looking for fresh herbs to add to those potatoes? I have the farmer for you! Want some sweet potatoes to transform into a melt-in-your-mouth casserole? I have the farmer for you! How about a couple of locally raised chickens to roast for Thanksgiving this year? I have the farmer for you! You certainly can’t forget dessert! Fresh apples or pumpkins for pies? Delectable pears for tortes? I have the farmers for you!
Spoil your family and make dinner extra special this year by hosting a farm-to-table meal using locally sourced foods from right here within the Greenbrier Valley. If you would like some help finding all of your dinner needs, please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Holidays!
– By Heather Hanna, Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation. HashtagWV #83, November 2016.