Like everything else this year, Thanksgiving will likely look much different than years prior. While you celebrate at home with just your immediate family, you can still argue over football, gossip about Uncle Jamie and dance around politics with other loved ones over Zoom.
Consider taking this year’s constraints as an opportunity for making new traditions. Many Oregon-based businesses are offering easy and convenient solutions for your feast. Through online sales, you can have fresh, local ingredients for a delicious and uniquely Oregon holiday meal delivered right to your door. You can also take the easy route and order your entire meal from Portland Spirit, which also offers a two-hour Thanksgiving cruise with COVID safety protocols in place.
Once it’s all over, kick off your Black Friday holiday shopping without leaving the couch with a holiday gift box from the South Willamette Valley Food Trail. Filled with local artisan products, a percentage of the box sales will be donated to McKenzie wildfire-relief efforts. Here’s how to source your own holiday Oregon feast.
Drinks for All
You’re going to need a good beverage in hand for when you’re cooking up your turkey, setting your table and enjoying your meal. Portland-based Straightaway Cocktails is a great place for pre-bottled cocktails delivered to you — just add ice. You can also swing by a number of McMenamins locations across the state to pick up some of their handcrafted liquor and bitters. Wine is the classic pairing for turkey dinner, so make sure you’ve got a special vintage to mark the occasion. Many of your favorite wineries across the state offer online orders, including Watermill Winery in Milton-Freewater and DANCIN Vineyards in Medford. Southeast Wine Collective in Portland also provides free local delivery of its extensive menu, plus an option for a discounted mix pack of six bottles. For beer lovers, some breweries offer regional deliveries, including Baerlic Brewing Co. in Portland, while others have reopened for can or growler sales, including Boneyard Beer in Bend and Rusty Truck Brewing in Lincoln City. For nonalcoholic choices, you can find Portland-based Crater Lake Soda in stores around the state or get a mocktail in a can from Portland’s The Bitter Housewife.
Just because you’re planning for a more intimate family feast doesn’t mean you should skimp on the courses. Kick off the celebration by ordering a starter of crackers and an assortment of award-winning cheeses from Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, and fruit condiments or honey from Oregon Growers in Hood River. Or better yet, include it all on a charcuterie board, with cured meats and pates from Olympia Provisions in Portland (throw in some of their new pork pet treats for your furry family members) and pickled vegetables from Oregon Brineworks in Hood River. You’ll be thankful that everyone has something to nosh on while everything is cooking.
The Main Attraction
To secure an Oregon pasture-raised turkey, place your order in early November with Champoeg Farm in St. Paul for pickup at its farm or in the Portland area. Oregon Valley Farm in Jefferson and Nicky USA in Portland are also good options for ordering a turkey or other types of high-quality meats, which can ship directly to your door. Next, have fun with your seasoning. Jacobsen Salt Co.’s signature flake finishing salt is harvested in Netarts Bay; be sure to check out their infused salts, using ingredients like pinot noir, Stumptown coffee and even ghost chili. Shop online for your perfect mix of organic spices from Eugene-based Mountain Rose Herbs or peruse the fresh herb offerings from Grants Pass staple Pacific Botanicals. For the plant-based eaters in your life, look no further than Hood River’s Tofurky, which can be found at a number of stores.
Dressed Up With Sides
Thanksgiving is all about the sides, so stock up on quality local ingredients for your grandma’s mashed-potato recipe and get everything for a fresh, crunchy salad at any one of Oregon’s CSAs (community-supported agriculture). Showcase your veggies with a vegetarian ratatouille gratin by Portland food and wine author Andrea Slonecker and Portland sommelier Dana Frank (recipe included below). Don’t forget your fresh-baked bread from any of the state’s top bakeries — and throw in a few doughnuts and scones for a stress-free morning-after meal that will have the whole family smiling.
Ending on a Sweet Note
Thanksgiving isn’t quite complete without pie. It’s been a stressful year, so let Salem’s Willamette Valley Pie Company do the baking. Their pies showcase Northwest flavors and ship all across the state. Pick your favorite flavors of ice cream from Oregon’s top dairy producers, Umpqua Dairy or Tillamook Creamery, on your grocery store run. Chocolate lovers will want to order some gourmet ganache truffles from artisan chocolate maker Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point. For warm drinks to carry on your evening conversation, shop online for ethically sourced coffee from Noble Coffee Roasting, based in Ashland, and premium tea from Portland’s famous Steven Smith Teamaker.
Vegetarian Ratatouille Gratin
by Andrea Slonecker and Dana Frank
Reprinted from Wine Food, copyright © 2018 by Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker. Published by Lorena Jones Books.
- 12 ounces eggplant, cut into 1×2-inch wedges
- 12 ounces yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 1×2-inch wedges
- 12 ounces sweet peppers, cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 12 leaves fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Espelette pepper or fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 cups fine-grated Parmigiano
Position rack in upper third of the oven and heat to 400˚F.
In a large bowl, combine eggplant, squash, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil and thyme. Drizzle with oil, and add salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Mound in a 2-quart baking dish, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet, and bake until vegetables give up some juices, about 30 minutes.
Uncover and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and heat broiler. Salt to taste. Sprinkle cheese on top in a thick layer. Broil until the cheese is deep golden brown and crusty, 5–7 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.
Celebrate the holidays safely
Staying home is the safest way to avoid exposing yourself and others to COVID-19. If you do travel during the holidays, keep these Oregon Health Authority tips in mind:
- Travel by car and only with people from your household
- Limit your exposure to people you don’t live with for 14 days before visiting older adults or family members who are at higher risk of infection
- Get your flu shot at least two weeks prior to travel
- Wear a face covering in crowded areas and around people you don’t live with
- Stay in a separate room from others when you arrive at your destination
- After returning home, quarantine for 14 days and limit your exposure to people you don’t live with
- Get a COVID-19 test before going, knowing that some COVID-19 tests produce a high percentage of false negatives. Even if you test negative, follow stringent safety protocols if you travel