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The Best Thanksgiving Sides

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Unpopular opinion. Turkey isn’t the most important dish of Thanksgiving. In fact, I would say this is the only holiday where the sides make or break your meal. But not to worry, I have roughly 15 years of experience with my mother and sisters preparing Thanksgiving for 30 people. Short on time? No worries, I have some cheats listed for each.

Sausage, Apple, Cranberry Stuffing

This recipe was a dream of mine, the bright fresh cranberries with the succulent sausage make for a rich yet balanced stuffing. One time cheat, make the sauté a day or two ahead of schedule and store in the fridge.

1 shallot, minced

4 celery ribs, chopped small

2 apples, cored peeled and chopped small

1 cup of fresh cranberries cut in half (1/2 cup of dried cranberries if you want a sweeter stuffing)

1 TBSP of fresh rosemary chopped

½ stick of butter

Saute the above for a good 30 minutes on low. Season as you go.

1 lb. Fairmont Market Sausage. I used breakfast, but sweet Italian or hot Italian would be great too!

Brown and cook though on a separate pan.

1 large loaf of crusty bread, torn or cut into pieces and toasted at 350 degrees while cooking the above ingredients.

Mix the bread with the apple saute, sausage, 1 beaten egg, and roughly 2 cups of chicken stock. Season with ground poultry seasoning to your desired taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover with foil, bake at 350 for 90 minutes.

The Best Mashed Potatoes

For so many years, I boiled potatoes and used a stand mixer to mix them. It ended up tasting great, but not a lot of natural flavor of the potatoes. And the mixer made them gummy over time. Technically, boiling potatoes makes them a little waterlogged and the starches don’t soak up the yummy butter as well. And the shearing motion in the mixer lends them to not be fluffy, but gummy. This recipe steams the potatoes in the instant pot and saves time and kitchen space!

2-3 medium gold potatoes per person, peeled, and cut in half. Soak them in cold salted water first for a half hour. Helps if you have a great mini chef.

Place the steamer basket in the instant pot with an inch or two of water at the bottom.

Place potatoes on basket without them being submerged.

Cover and press steam for 10 minutes. Allow for to rest for 5 minutes, then release pressure.

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, and using a fork, cup, or pastry mixer, crush the potatoes. Mix in the fancy new ultra creamy Cabot butter (don’t be shy) and as much or as little sour cream as you like. Add whole milk to get to the texture you like, plus salt and pepper. Then the real trick, cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for a half hour, or 250 for as long as you need until its time to serve dinner. That way, they fluff up a bit from the sour cream and whole milk.

Parker House Rolls

These were featured in one of Farm to Table Bags before, they are so yummy. Kids will hoard these rolls. Always top with the new Cabot Premium butter, there is a higher fat percentage in it than normal butter for a truly special treat. And flakey salt, always. Short on time, they freeze perfectly!

After your yummy thanksgiving this year, we would love to see you at the farm and Market for some samples and Small Business Saturday. We will be open from 10 AM-1 PM at 141 Lyle Haven Road, East Montpelier. There you can get 15% off orders over $75 and try recipes from both our November and December Farm to Table bags! There we will have a fund to help a local family in need during the holiday season. You can donate electronically here! See you there!

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