Fall has finally shown its face in the Roaring Fork Valley. With the colder weather comes the last of this year’s harvests as they make their way into the last farmer’s markets of the season. Hay rides and corn mazes dot the countryside where just weeks ago were green fields as far as the eye could see. These signs of the season speak to the heart and soul of those who love to plan and prepare Thanksgiving. Many of whom have already started planning this year’s Thanksgiving feast.
Of course restaurants around Aspen and Snowmass Village will offer delicious Thanksgiving fare, both traditional and more contemporary. However for the home-cook who values the comfort and tradition of home, he or she is pouring over menus and recipes, trying new dishes on friends and family to ensure that nothing will go wrong at the Thanksgiving Feast. He or she has already invited their guests, thought about the wine offerings, seating arrangements, centerpieces and has studied up on the hottest cooking trends of the year.
This year the trend within the food movement is sustainability. It will come as no surprise then that the hottest cooking trends are what are growing in your own backyard, neighborhood or local community garden. Rather than the traditional ‘essential Thanksgiving dishes,’ chefs and home-cooks alike are looking for local, organic fare with less of a carbon or environmental footprint.
Free-Range turkeys, local game, farm fresh chickens and hams will dot tables in the Roaring Fork Valley, accompanied by organic vegetables gathered from the Rock Bottom Ranch’s fall festival or purchased from Clark’s, a longtime, family-run grocery store in Aspen focusing on fine organic produce and quality international products.
Locally produced, hand-turned cheeses from nearby Avalanche Cheese Company will make the cheese plate this year, in lieu of European cheeses. Wine grown and bottled in the nearby valleys of Paonia will fill the glasses on the table.
This sustainability movement has been gaining in popularity within the Roaring Fork River Valley even before Thanksgiving guest lists had been drawn up. The locavore movement, or Farm to Table movement, has been growing in popularity as support for the movement has become more mainstream and less inhibitively expensive.
Earlier this fall Slow Food Roaring Fork-Aspen held the ‘September 26th Foodie Summit’ in which, for the third time, foodies, environmentalists, chefs, and growers came together to enjoy potluck fare and a discussion of food interests. Topics from supply and demand, to canning, farming, sustainable living and sustainable food sources were covered, educating each group about the many facets for food growth, consumption and distribution. Organizers of this event hope that through a better understanding of food from start to finish, chefs, cooks and home-cooks can make smart and sustainable choices in their own kitchens.
In the coming weeks, as Thanksgiving fever takes over, take another look at your own back yard to see how your community is represented at your table. Aspen and Snowmass Village offer many educational resources for those wanting their own gardens in the spring. For those lacking a green thumb, sustainable options are available in local grocery stores and famer’s markets.
After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, complete with farm fresh products, click here to see homes, residents and properties in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area, where sustainable living is more than just a trend – it’s a lifestyle.
Tags: Aspen Farmers Market