Pacific Northwest products that will help make it a holiday to be thankful for.
Making a Thanksgiving meal can be a stressful endeavor, what with the days of defrosting, getting all the timing to line up and delays due to forgotten ingredients.
Take some pressure off yourself with special store-bought sides and accompaniments from local makers that will add to the meal — and perhaps even steal the show.
Welcome guests with a seasonal cocktail made from cold-pressed Starvation Alley 100% Pure Cranberry Juice ($12 at Marx Foods, lower Queen Anne), out of Long Beach, Wash. The unsweetened, undiluted juice can also be added to sauces or desserts.
For those who prefer beer to a glass of wine, offer Ecliptic Brewing’s Orbiter IPA ($5.29 for a 23-ounce bottle at BevMo). The hot Portland brewery’s beer is bright and citrusy so you won’t be weighed down before the big meal begins.
For cocktails and mocktails, pick up Rachel’s Ginger Beer ($13–$29 at Rachel’s Ginger Beer locations). The locally made brew’s natural, simple ingredients make for a delicious Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormy — or opt for the seasonal Spiced Honeycrisp flavor to mix with vodka or a little cranberry juice.
Anchor your appetizer platter with Lesley Stowe’s Cranberry and Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps ($7 at Fred Meyer), from across the border in Richmond, B.C. They pair well with a range of cheeses, or even with leftover turkey the next day.
Add a memorable cheese, such as Tieton Farm & Creamery’s Black Pearl ($40 a pound, or about $9 a package at PCC), a sheep- and goat-milk cheese with an ash-coated, bloomy rind for rich flavor. The Washington farm is 100 percent solar powered and has grass-fed animals.
Have some fun with your smoked meat by hitting up Owen’s Meats’ vending machine inside the Filson flagship store in Sodo. The Cle Elum firm’s pepperoni, sausages and more range from $5.50–$16.
Finish off your platter with Albina City Nuts Candied Pecans ($11 at Marx Foods), which are lightly coated in honey and salt, and are utterly addictive. The Portland-made snack can also be chopped into your stuffing to add nutty flavor and crunch.
At the table
Take your turkey to the next level by brining it in local superstar-chef Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Turkey Rub ($6.50 at store.tomdouglas.com). Add the mix of brown sugar, salt, coriander, orange peel granules, chipotle chili pepper and more to salted water; soak your turkey overnight and have a juicier, more flavorful bird for your feast.
Need more greens on the table? Toss a salad with Mustard and Co.’s Honey Curry Salad Dressing ($4 for 4 ounces at DeLaurenti, downtown). The Seattle company’s mini bottle is perfect for one big salad and includes Pacific Northwest honey and sea salt.
Create a Brussels sprouts dish that will win over the biggest skeptics by tossing them in Bee Local Willamette Valley Honey ($15 at DeLaurenti) and some balsamic vinegar. Maybe bacon, too?
Balance the meal’s rich food with a light, refreshing table wine, such as Powers Winery’s Chardonnay “Farmland Trust” ($14 at PCC), out of Kennewick. Sales from the bright, fruity vintage benefit the PCC Farmland Trust, which works to protect local farmland.
It’s nice to serve some sweet alternatives alongside that giant Costco pumpkin pie. Local firm Cupcake Royale’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes ($43 for 12), made from Stahlbush Island Farm pumpkin with a graham cracker crust, will satisfy those more into cake than pie.
Those cupcakes will also successfully soak up Salt & Straw’s Tom Douglas’ Triple Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream ($10.50 per pint at Home Remedy, downtown), which can be elusive, but is well worth pursuing. The Portland ice-cream company paired with Douglas to create the flavor based on his beloved pie. It’s restocked regularly at Douglas’ Home Remedy market, but it can sell out between shipments.
For those who overindulge at dinner but still want a little sweet treat, set out Jonboy Absinthe & Black Salt Caramels ($10.50 at PCC). The Seattle-made candies include Pacifique Absinthe from the Pacific Distillery in Woodinville, plus anise, fennel, hyssop and black salt.
And for a final treat, break out the board games — or just sit back and watch the game — and relax with a glass of the new Woodinville Whiskey Co. Flagship Rye ($55, tax included, at the Woodinville Whiskey Co. Distillery). The local company ages its whiskey 5.5–6 years in charred American oak barrels, creating a traditional rye spiciness with a fruity finish. It’s something to truly be thankful for.