thanksgiving 2014

IMG_0025For the first time in as long as I can remember, I traveled during Thanksgiving week.  It was my first time in the south, and a very, very happy reunion in Atlanta hosted by my friends Ryan and Ashley Stotz, whom you may remember just as fondly from Marché Provisions or (in Ryan’s case) our dearly departed radio show, Food for Thought.  They’re doing very well in the South!

They showed me the city, market by market and restaurant by restaurant and grocery store by grocery store. We visited some of the best little local joints for breakfasts of fried everything and sliders, the massive international grocery store called the Buford Highway Farmers Market (where we spent four — FOUR — hours), and some pretty wonderful bars and restaurants.  We drank icy orange frosty beverages at the Varsity drive-in and ate foie gras duck soup dumplings at The Porter.

And dinner, of course, was fabulous. We cooked and drank and ate and laughed and stayed up all night playing Cards Against Humanity.  Then we watched this, which is seriously messed up and will worm into your brain — warning, so we suffered the song in about a thousand different jokes.

I hope your celebrations were as warm and lovely and filled with good company as mine were.

IMG_7006 IMG_0057 IMG_0019 IMG_0039 IMG_0017From top to bottom:  pumpkin pie infused with bay, fried chicken on a biscuit with cream gravy at Homegrown, some cheap swill with dinner, breakfast of vermouth-scented scrambled eggs with chicken livers, radicchio salad prep, collard overflow at the Piggly Wiggly (dba IGA).


eugene restaurants open on thanksgiving 2014

IMG_6828It’s that time again!  If you forgot the turkey, or these magnificent fellows from Boondockers Farm managed to intimidate you, you might be interested in Eugene restaurants open on Thanksgiving, a range for every taste:

  • Marché (brunch)
  • Oregon Electric Station (dinner)
  • Keystone Café (breakfast/lunch)
  • King Estate (family style dinner)
  • Govinda’s (vegan buffet dinner)
  • Excelsior (buffet dinner)
  • All Shari’s locations
  • Hacienda Amigo Mio (Gateway)
  • Amici (Holiday Inn-Eugene/Springfield)
  • Kung Fu Bistro (lunch and dinner, 11-3:00 and 5-9:30)

This link has more details on the offerings at some of these restaurants.  It would be highly advised to call and reserve a table, as I’ve noticed some places are quickly filling up.

Did I miss your favorite Thanksgiving spot?  Let me know (with as many details as possible, including contact information) what else is on offer for Thanksgiving in Lane County.

happy thanksgiving from my family to yours

My sister, who lives in Helena, Montana, is as different from me as this turkey is from this hat.  But she recently judged a chili cook-off competition, and made these treats out of cookies and candy with her twin boys.  Could we be expecting a Culinaria Helena spin-off blog soon?

Hope you all find the day sweet, filled with creative glories, and full of family and laughter.


thanksgiving in eugene 2012

In addition to the Fill-Your-Pantry event with local beans, grains, and produce available for bulk sale in Eugene (deadline to order ahead is today, event on Nov. 18), and the Holiday Farmers Market at the Fairgrounds beginning this weekend, you might be wondering what else is available for a local Thanksgiving supper in Lane County.  Well, wonder no more, and make your plans soon!

Poultry and Other Meats

  • Biancalana Pork Growers have their own turkeys and chickens this year, although I can’t find anything on their Facebook page.  Great sausage (try the apple-rosemary) for stuffing, too.  Email
  • Boondockers Farm has succulent ducks and chickens.  More information on their website.  They might be able to make one more delivery run to Eugene?
  • Long Tom Grazing Company has pastured turkeys at $6.25 a pound. Every turkey comes with a bonus — free vegetables!  5 lbs. potatoes and onion and decorative gourds! All organically grown. Email

Need help with your turkey preparation?  Call the annual Oregon Statewide Holiday Food Safety Hotline at 1-800-354-7319.  November 13 – 16; Tuesday thru Friday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; November 19 – 21; Monday thru Wednesday: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Staffed by Master Food Preserver volunteers from Douglas and Lane Counties.


Visit these local bakeries/shops for more information about varieties. Plus, you’ll be able to sample some of the goods.

  • Mom’s Pies (traditional pies from a venerable Eugene baker)
  • Noisette Pastry Kitchen (traditional pies from our newest, wonderful bakery)
  • PartyCart (traditional pies to order, all local ingredients)
  • Red Wagon Creamery (ice cream pies and a layered ice cream cake, local ingredients)
  • Vanilla Jill’s (ice cream, frozen yogurt, and traditional pumpkin pies with sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free options)

Prepared Dishes for Takeout/Order Ahead

  • Ivy’s Cookin’ (vegetarian meals? I don’t see their menu on their website yet)
  • Heidi Tunnell Catering (from her post on the Food for Thought on KLCC Facebook page: “We’ve got a list of Thanksgiving items that folks can purchase from us. Items are all available a la carte from appetizers to the whole turkey (brined or roasted), sides, bread and desserts. Menus are available by a link on our website. Or they can come pick one up at our kitchen in Creswell we can also email menus as well. Orders are due on Sunday, November 18th; pick up happens the day before Thanksgiving and items come complete with cooking instructions.”
  • Marché Provisions (Beaujolais Nouveau tasting and lots of other goodies)

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving:

  • King Estate (full Thanksgiving spread)
  • Govinda’s (vegetarian)
  • Marché for breakfast
  • EDIT: Excelsior (see comments)
  • EDIT: The Barn Light after 7 p.m. (sandwiches, full bar, coffee downtown: see comments)

Did I miss your favorite place?  Let me know (with as many details as possible, including contact information) what else is on offer for Thanksgiving in Lane County!

turkey leftovers part two: united nations style

And since I’m on a roll with turkey leftovers…I’ve got a few more tricks in the bag.  Turkey is the traditional fowl in several brilliant and homey international dishes.

Check out this gorgeous version of fesejan, a Persian pomegranate-walnut sauce for turkey.  It features a homemade pomegranate reduction in lieu of the more modern pomegranate syrup.

Taiwanese Turkey Rice, which looks like rice stir-fried with turkey drippings and sometimes ground pork, is served with shredded turkey and a slice or two of bright yellow takuwan radish pickle on top.

And let’s not forget Sichuan cold chicken salad, a dish of shredded chicken with a bold dressing made from Sichuan peppercorns, scallions, and ginger.  I will often toss leftover chicken in the dressing, but it is terrific with turkey breast.  Here is a recipe adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop:

Hot-and-Numbing Sauce for Leftover Turkey 

6 scallions

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoons of preserved red chiles* or chopped red peppers

2  tablespoons white sugar

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

4 tablespoons chili oil

4 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

Shred your leftover turkey.  Slice the scallions on the diagonal thinly and chop ginger and jalapeño.

Thinly slice the green onions diagonally.

Mix together the ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and oils.

Toss shredded turkey with dressing immediately prior to serving, then add scallions on top.  Grate Sichuan pepper and add to taste with salt.

*Available in jars in Chinese markets with other condiments.  Mine are from Sichuan province but any will do, really.  Just be careful with the Thai ones, as they are much hotter.

skip the turkey dinner and head straight for the leftovers: mole verde

Thoroughly exhausting week, but many accomplishments.  Had a great time interviewing Hank Shaw on Sunday and Monday, then spent the week trying to catch up on some of the many things piled up awaiting my attention while life threw new dodgeballs at me for fun. So:

this is just to say

there’s no turkey in the icebox

and nothing I’m saving for breakfast

so forgive me for the lack of deliciousness

so tired and so old

Could this be the year we finally go out for Thanksgiving dinner?  I don’t think I can bring myself to do it. Tempting, but it just seems wrong. After all, we have a scrumptious chicken from Sweetwater Farm somewhere buried under a hundred or so pounds of beef, and good root vegetables from Open Oak. And now that I think of it, frozen sweet meat squash for a pie.  Somewhere.  And cranberry sauce I made a couple of weeks ago and froze.  Also somewhere.

But as ambivalent as I am about making Thanksgiving dinner, I am not hesitant to give you a delicious recipe for the leftovers: turkey with mole verde, a pumpkin seed-green tomato sauce from our neighbors to the south. I made a bunch and froze it about a month ago (are you sensing a theme here?).  You can see it above, served with a yucky sprouted tortilla, but rather surprisingly appetizing tempeh, crookneck squash, and cauliflower à la Retrogrouch.

Mine is a rather traditional mole verde recipe, but it uses the rest of our stubborn Northwest green tomatoes instead of tomatillos, and garden herbs.  Since tomatillos are more acidic than green tomatoes, I’ve added a slug of fermented chile juice to mine.  You might try lemon or lime juice.  Or you might just like the mild nuttiness of the sauce.  The lettuce leaf and herbs are added for color as well as flavor, as the green tomatoes and green pumpkin seeds will turn the palest chartreuse.

Can’t be bothered to cook any more?  Cheat shamelessly with a local product I bought on a whim at Market of Choice, Enrique and Dolores Riquelme’s Barcelona’s Finishing Sauces out of Bend, OR.  Haven’t tried the red mole yet, but it looks great.  They also have a seasonal green pipian sauce, similar to the mole verde, and a nogada sauce.  Yum.

Mole Verde

Makes several cups, good for freezing.

  • 2 lbs green tomatoes, cut in half or quarters if especially large (substitute tomatillos if you have them, either canned or fresh)
  • 1 cup pepitas (Mexican unsalted, shelled, green pumpkin or squash seeds)
  • 1 handful of new crop filberts if you’re from Oregon and proud (WV represent!)
  • 3-4  cloves garlic, left whole
  • 1 small white onion, sliced thickly
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable or a nut oil
  • 1 romaine lettuce or green mild chicory leaf
  • handfuls of parsley, epazote (lamb’s quarters), wild arugula, marjoram, fennel, tarragon or whatever leafy green herbs you have left in your garden.  If you don’t have a garden, try 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, a half of a small fennel bulb with the fennel greens, and a half-cup of parsley.
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • fresh lemon juice or pepper vinegar or green, vinegar-based hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.  Place the onions, garlic, green tomatoes or fresh tomatillos on a baking sheet and toss with the oil.  Roast until softened and the skin is deep brown in places and the onions and garlic have a bit of char.  This isn’t an exact science; it’s just to add more flavor.  If you’ve opted for canned tomatillos, dry char the onion pieces and garlic in a cast iron pan to lend the flavor.

While roasting, toast the pepitas over medium heat in a cast iron pan until they lighten in color and start to smell toasty.  Be very careful not to let them burn.  Low and slow is preferable to higher heat.

Let cool a bit, then pulse the pepitas in a food processor with the herbs and lettuce.  Use a bit of the chicken stock to thin enough to process effectively.

Add the softened, charred green tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the food processor.  Add enough chicken stock to make a consistency you like.  Add an acid (lemon juice or fermented pepper juice) if you are using tomatoes instead of tomatillos, and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, heat about a cup of the sauce with a bit more oil and chicken stock, then add about the same amount of cooked shredded chicken, turkey, or tempeh.  Serve the stew with fresh, soft corn tortillas.  You might garnish with more cilantro and pico de gallo.

Freezes beautifully, too.

restaurants open for thanksgiving in eugene 2011

This post is from 2011.  Interested in 2012’s list of restaurants and other shops offering Thanksgiving delights in Eugene? Click here.

I’ve been getting blog hits inquiring about Eugene restaurants open for Thanksgiving, so I asked around.  Here’s what I’ve found so far.  Do you know of others?  Only recommended places, please.

  • Excelsior Inn buffet (reportedly the dessert is worth the trip alone)
  • King Estate buffet (also check out the winery events for the entire weekend)
  • A reader on my Facebook page says the Hilton’s Big River Grill is usually open, but I can’t find any information on that for 2011.
  • Red Wagon Creamery tells me that they’re doing holiday pies for delivery, including Thanksgiving morning.