The first Thanksgiving began as a celebration of the harvest and seasonal bounty that is available during the autumnal season. From root vegetables, preserved summer berries, hearty greens and meats – so much can be harvested in your own backyard.
Though, of course, times have changed since the first Thanksgiving celebrations, there are still many ways to enjoy locally grown foods during the fall, from roast turkey and stuffing, to cranberry sauce, root vegetables, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
For those in the West End of Hamilton, you may want to sample the spoils of downtown Dundas to pick up all the ingredients for your local Thanksgiving meal.
The well-known Dundas favourite, Cumbrae’s, does butchery the old-fashioned way. They provide an alternative to modern-day factory farming and begin everything from their very own farm. Cumbrae’s is the ideal place to pick up your Thanksgiving turkey for the season.
With over 100 years in Dundas, Picone Fine Foods provides local and organic produce to the Dundas community. From your sides, such as carrots, potatoes, radishes, to anything else you may require, Picone Fine Foods is just the place for locally grown vegetables and produce.
If you like stuffing from scratch, your Thanksgiving meal needs bread from the updated Detour Café / Dear Grain Bread in downtown Dundas. Dear Grain follows classic baking methods, mingled with modern techniques: using local ingredients like different grain varietals from seasonal and regional wheat.
For those in the Downtown area of Hamilton, you have some great options for finding your local Thanksgiving meal. In the International Village, just down King Street, is the Hamilton favourite Denninger’s. For turkey or ham, if that’s your thing, Denninger’s will have an option that is worthy of Oma. Find some delicious sides at their downtown grocery store as well!
Another option for Thanksgiving meats is Jepson’s Fresh Meats in the market. Their friendly customer service team is happy to assist you. Plus, the market has 70 other vendors carrying items from produce to sides, breads and baked goods.
You can pre-order your turkey at The Mustard Seed Co-op on York Street. When you pick up the local poultry, you can also shop for your local and seasonal sides. Plus, their new café means you can grab a warm coffee or bite to eat while you shop.
For those in the East End of Hamilton, Ottawa Street is a great place to shop for your Thanksgiving meal.
Murray’s Farm has recently opened up a new butcher market on the corner of Ottawa and Cannon Streets. Not only can you chat with the farmer, Murray himself, you can purchase heritage turkeys from a local farmer who raises happy, healthy, pastured birds.
Quality Bakery on Ottawa Street specializes in Rye Bread, Challah, and Jewish favourites – though they don’t stop there! They bake many different bread options in house, perfect for your rolls and stuffing.
Just down the street from Quality Bakery, you will find Dora’s Delicatessen and Catering, who carry a variety of preserves and jams (which are a great substitute for cranberry sauces). Who knows, you may even find a tasty side from their hot food counter – giving you one less thing to make yourself.
Of course, there is always the popular Ottawa Street Farmers’ Market, located just behind the Ottawa Street shops. Each season offers new local vendors and farmers, where you can find an array of produce and goods – from root vegetables to hearty greens for salads.
There are many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving just as it began, with a cornucopia of options right in our backyard. Happy eating!
by Heather Peter
Picone Fine Foods
Detour Café / Dear Grain Bread
Jepson’s Fresh Meats
The Mustard Seed Co-op
Dora’s Delicatessen and Catering
Ottawa Street Farmers Market