A Maryland Thanksgiving Menu That Celebrates Farm-to-Table Foods

By: Gretel H. Schueller  |  November/December 2013
Sit down for a farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner featuring recipes full of Maryland's signature flavors.
See our tips for preparing turkey
Those bare November days, when faded farm fields are kissed silver with frost and clinging mist, are the time for farmers to assess the past growing season—and most important, to give thanks. At Star Bright Farm, in the rolling countryside of northern Maryland, Thanksgiving truly is an honest celebration of both family and harvest.
That’s in part because Helen Norman and Mark Elmore’s 130-acre organic farm sits next to One Straw Farm, where her brother and sister-in-law, Drew and Joan Norman, run an 1,800-member organic CSA program. Helen likes to say they are “one family but two farms working together.”
Like most meals on the farm, the Thanksgiving menu “is dictated by what’s growing,” says Helen. “Fall brings us squash, potatoes, broccoli and beets.” In addition, the whole family gleans the late fall remains. November fields still bear patches of frost-sweetened kale and spinach and dainty broccoli heads. “We’ve picked kale literally frozen to the ground. It’s so tasty, sweet.”
It's no surprise that Thanksgiving is Helen Norman’s favorite day of the year. “It’s about sharing family and food,” she explains. Farmers or not, this is a day when we can all indulge in gratitude—for family and for all those successful harvests that nourish us every day of the year.
Pictured Recipe: Bay-Spiced Roast Turkey