Thanksgiving: Give Thanks for Top-Notch Take-Out
"Freedom from Want" by Norman Rockwell
Anybody planning on serving raw celery next Thursday? Didn’t think so. The ante has gone up since the simple times portrayed at left. Today’s Thanksgiving dinner is a much more ambitious enterprise, which is why it begs for at least partial takeout. Cooking a turkey is taxing enough (okay, maybe for some of us, even that’s too taxing). Then add all those must-have sides (What? No mashed white potatoes, in addition to the sweets and the dressing?!), plus all that baking!? Here’s what some of the splendid professional cooks in our region are offering to take off our over-challenged hands and into their own far-more-capable ones:
The Berry Farm
2309 Route 203, Chatham; 518.392.4609
The Berry Farm will be offering mostly baked items—pumpkin bread, zucchini and banana breads, cookies, scones, pies. They also have homemake soups, such as potato leek, heirloom tomato, and squash.
The Bottle Tree Grocery
1415 County Route 7, Ancram; 518.329.0444
At the Bottle Tree Grocery in Ancram, chef Tim Cocheo, formerly chef de cuisine at Wheatleigh in Lenox and at Waltze in NYC, is offering butternut squash soup with rosemary and orange, a molasses-brined organic turkey, a chestnut-shitake stuffing (either vegetarian or with sausage); a sweet potato gratin with cranberry, celery, and onions; roasted root vegetables with thyme
carrot, parsnips, potato, yellow squash, zucchini, and shallots; and blue cheese creamed spinach.
Cricket Creek Farm
1255 Oblong Road, Williamstown; 413.458.5888
Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown has three-berry crisp, cranberry walnut rolls by the dozen, Indian Pudding, and while you’re at it, why not pick up some of their home-made butter and oatmeal, too.
Farm House Bakers
5 Phillips Road, South Egremont; 413.528.0324
Farm House Bakers will be at Dewey Memorial Hall on Route 7 in Sheffield on Saturday, November 22nd from 9:30 - 1, with pies, cakes, and cookies. If you want their amazing sweet potato biscuits, you’ll have to special order them in advance. (Incidentally, Dewey Hall will continue its Saturday Market through December 20th.)
227 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook; 845.758.1999
Gigi’s has a huge take-out menu with many special items for Thanksgiving including turkeys of all sizes, which they sell as is, brined and oven ready, or fully cooked (these should be reserved in advance—everything else is expected to be available up to more-or-less the last minute). Hot hors d’oeuvres include pumpkin-and-brie risotto puffs and acorn squash fritters with a maple glaze; cold hors e’oeuvres, baby beet tapenade with croustade, and bacon-&-cheddar deviled eggs. Among the many sides are maple-pumpkin polenta, butternut squash crema, herbed stuffing with dried cranberries and walnuts. And desserts: all sorts of seasonal fruit pies, cobblers and rustic tarts. Sides and pies can be picked up prior to Thanksgiving either at Pitcher Lane or by arrangement, in Rhinebeck. On Thanksgiving Day, pick up until noon at Gigi Market only, where the picturesque farm space is available as of this writing for parties of 25 or more. (Interested parties should call 845.758.8702.)
Berger’s Specialty Foods at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
1020 South Street, Pittsfield; 413.442.9912
Berger’s, the deli at Guido’s in Pittsfield, prefers that you pre-order so you’ll be certain they haven’t run out of what you want; on the other hand, if you don’t mind gambling, neither do they. You can waltz in as late as the day before Thanksgiving and you’ll probably find most of their sides and desserts in the deli-case. (Don’t count on finding a last-minute turkey, however, and certainly not one that’s pre-cooked.) They recommend starting with a mini baked Brie stuffed with just fruit or nuts too, followed by butternut bisque with apples, then either turkey or ham (oven-ready or pre-roasted by them) with such sides as butternut squash cooked with fresh sage, garlic, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, vegetable stock, and Reggiano Parmesan; Yukon gold potatoes with milk or cream, fresh herbs, Manchego cheese, and LOTS of garlic; “rainbow” carrots cooked with shallots, olive oil, fresh herbs, and chopped garlic; wilted radicchio, green beans, onions, & Reggiano Parmesan; sweet potato puree with butter, toasted pecans, fresh thyme, and maple syrup; and two types of stuffing—wild mushroom or Bartlett pears, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and organic apple juice; plus all the usual desserts and Peach Praline, too.
The Marketplace at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
760 South Main Street, Great Barrington; 413.528.9255
The Marketplace at Guido’s in Great Barrington wants you to order your turkey (precooked or oven-ready) by Thursday, November 20th; for all other prepared dishes (and there are scores of possibilities), you’ve got until 5 p.m. on Sunday, the 23rd. Among the twists on traditional delights: corn chowder; spinach-and-roasted red pepper casserole; caramelized carrots with orange; basmati-and-wild-rice salad with dried cranberries; rosemary whipped-cream biscuits; and a chocolate bark assortment. But this brief excerpt does not begin to do justice; check out their website for the full menu.
Haven Cafe & Bakery
8 Franklin Street, Lenox; 413.637.8948
Haven is specializing in sides and desserts and needs all orders by November 20th for turkey gravy, sausage stuffing flavored with Grande Marnier, maple-ginger roasted root vegetables, Yukon gold/butternut squash gratin with pecan crust, orange-spice cranberry relish, mashed potatoes with celeriac, apple-and-sage stuffing, pumpkin-bourbon cheesecake, and cranberry-almond caramel tart, as well as all the more usual desserts.
108 Hunns Lake Road, Bengall; 845.868.3175
The all-organic Red Devon in Bengall has got the whole meal covered. Call now and they’ll fax or e-mail you an order form for everything from an artisan cheese platter with grapes and crostini to start, to home-made pumpkin ice cream for dessert, and every conceivable traditional thing in between, including oyster-mushroom soup, roast turkey (or, if you prefer, oven-ready), giblet gravy, cranberry-orange compote, sausage-sage cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, kale with warm bacon vinaigrette, parker house rolls, etc. Only troubling detail: you need to place your order by noon on November 20th.
The Old Inn at the Southfield Store
162 Norfolk Road, Southfield; 413/229.505
You have until Saturday, November 22, to place your order,and you can reserve a 12 pound free-range Hudson Valley turkey either fully roasted or uncooked. There are, of course, pies—such as apple crumb and southern pecan—as well as an autumn salad with frisee, endive, radicchio, beets, bacon, walnuts, apples, blue cheese and red-wine vinaigrette. The tantalizing sides include fricassee of autumn vegetables, mousse of spiced sweet potatoes, cranberry citrus relish, and pear, chestnut and sage stuffing. All orders must be pre-paid and picked up between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, or Thursday, November 27.
Beté Avon Kosher Catering
48 Russell Street, Great Barrington; 413.528.5225
If you want to serve a pure glatt Kosher dinner for 8 to 10 people, this caterer will do the whole megillah for $330: “beyond belief” challah rolls, sweet-potato-leek soup, honey-glazed turkey, giblet gravy, rustic bread stuffing wtih sundried cranberries and sausage, rosemary roasted carrots and potatoes, haricots verts, cranberry-orange compote, pumpkin pie, and triple chocolate fudge brownies. You can also order à la carte but there is a $180 minimum and all orders must be made by 5 p.m. on November 20. Pick up in Great Barrington before 12:30 p.m. on November 27. Delivery can be arranged for an extra charge. For a menu, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
McEnroe Organic Farm
Route 22/44, between Amenia and Millerton; 518.789.4191
It’s hard to believe but McEnroe’s says that you can order the day before if you are really that unsure about your holiday plans. You can get organic turkeys, Heritage Bronze turkeys and even deep-fried organic turkeys. You can start the feast with organic chopped liver, mini crab cakes or butternut squash soup. The sides range from southwestern jalapeño cornbread dressing to whiskey glazed organic jewel yams. Besides pies for dessert, there are blueberry or raspberry crumbles and pumpkin cheesecake. Open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Academy Street, Salisburyl 860.435.9420
This popular cafe famous for it soups will sell you almost everything but the turkey if you order by 5 PM on Sunday, November 23. The holiday soups are corn chowder, butternut bisque and wild mushroom, and the sides range from creamed pearl onions to roasted garlic mashed potatoes. There are traditional pies as well as a super-rich flour-less chocolate cake and a pumpkin cheesecake. You must pick-up everything between 3 and 6 PM on Wednesday, November 26.