Everything you need to know about buying local
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. Where will you source your holiday dinner this year? With so many incredible local options, there’s no reason not to keep your business right here on the North Fork of Long Island. Here’s your ultimate guide to shopping for Thanksgiving, in your very own backyard.
Turkey is the name of the game for this holiday, and Miloski’s Poultry Farm, in Calverton, has been raising these birds since 1946. With 30 acres dedicated to free-roaming fowl, this farm produces 4,000 turkeys each year, all of which are antibiotic- and hormone-free. The birds run $4.95/pound, but you will definitely need to call and special order them, since they are known throughout Long Island as superlative birds. If turkey isn’t your thing — and it isn’t for everyone — there are other options, too, including duck (Crescent Duck Farm), quail (Feisty Acres), and pastured chicken (Browder’s Birds and Deep Roots Farm). For the record, Miloski’s Poultry Farm also raises chickens and ducks.
If you’re a dedicated stuffing devotee (I consider it my guiltiest of Thanksgiving pleasures), you may already have a preferred holiday bread. Still, it’s worth noting that the Blue Duck Bakery, which has outposts in Greenport, Riverhead, and Southold, makes incredible breads, many of which are great for using in stuffing. For a comprehensive list of what they carry, you can call the stores, or stop in for a look.
There’s no reason you can’t source the majority of your Thanksgiving produce from local farms. Items like potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions, herbs, yams, and squash are all in season well into late November, and many of the local farm stands do not close until right before the Thanksgiving holiday, giving you just enough time to shop, as long as you time it right. Sang Lee Farms, a Certified Organic farm in Peconic, is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to source the majority of your vegetables from the North Fork. They also have a ton of prepared goods, so you can easily supplement your dinner (think soups, salad dressings, sauces, and other foods that will help making dinner for a crowd that much easier).
Here’s where it gets easy. Where to get the best dessert on the North Fork is a matter of debate. Some may say Briermere, and I will confess that their cream pies (call to order these in advance!) are definitely dreamy — particularly the cherry and chocolate cream pies. The regular fruit pies, however, are a little heavy-handed for my taste; I prefer the more delicate work of Blue Duck. You can pick up a pie when you’re there for the bread. If you’re looking to go in a different direction entirely, however, consider Junda’s Crust & Crumbs Pastry, the Jamesport bakery known for its apple strudel. This German-style of dessert is essentially a stretchy pastry wrapped taut around sliced apples and baked into a magnificent work of art.