When it comes to cooking for the holidays, many of us trot out the same dependable dishes year after year. But with many families and friends returning to large, spirited gatherings this season, it’s time to roll out the red carpet and impress those guests by calling on the bounty of specialty and high-quality local ingredients available to cooks in the Hudson Valley.
For ideas about how to seamlessly add a few elevated, locally sourced touches to your holiday table this year, we turned to Sunflower Market. With locations in Woodstock and Rhinebeck, Sunflower has been a name in healthy, local groceries since 1978.
Read on for four ideas about how you can make your menus an extra-special part of the festivities this year.
Curate a Charcuterie Board Using All-Local Cheeses
Everyone loves a great charcuterie board. They’re photogenic, fun to eat, and just darn delicious! And with so many boundary-pushing artisanal cheesemakers in New York, it’s easier than ever to create a wow-worthy board of your own.
Anchor your board by teaming up three or four cheeses of different textures and flavor profiles, such as:
- The spreadable Rose-Peppercorn Chèvre from Lively Goat in the Finger Lakes
- A bold cow’s milk variety like Harpersfield Dairy’s Farmstead Cheese made with Black IPA from Muddy River Brewery in Unadilla
- A luscious soft-ripened cheese like the Camembert-style Mammuth from Ardith Mae in Columbia County
Then add some:
- Sliced prosciutto or smoked trout from Catsmo Artisan Smokehouse
- Crispy, seedy crackers or sliced baguette
- Green Castelvetrano olives
- A jar of local honey for drizzling on top of each curated bite
There you have it—a holiday charcuterie board that will keep your guests noshing and talking until the dinner bell rings!
Make a Local and Super-Flavorful Turkey Your Centerpiece
Looking to serve a classic holiday meal with an emphasis on sustainability? Sunflower has you covered with pasture-raised and antibiotic-free turkeys that are big on flavor from regional poultry farms including Goffle Poultry Farms, Jaindl Family Farms, Northwind Farms, and Plainville Farms.
And no bird would be complete without the classic accompaniments:
- Easy-to-make Olivia’s Traditional Stuffing or Aleia’s gluten-free variety
- A quick Cranberry and Golden Raisin Relish made with fresh cranberries
Make a Dessert with New York State’s Best
If baking is already a beloved part of your holiday routine, then chances are you’re up for a challenge. Mix up your go-to dessert options by using all or mostly New York State ingredients!
Whether you’re going with classic pumpkin or apple pie or something more adventurous like a yule log, here are a few ingredients that make easy swaps:
- Oliver’s Eggs from the NOFA-NY certified organic, free-range hens in Frankfort
- Regular all-purpose flour or a heartier whole or alt-grain variety from Farmer Ground Flour in Trumansburg
- Local maple syrup from Catskill Mountain-based Tree Juice Maple Syrup in place of white granulated sugar
When in Doubt, Call in the Dessert Doyens
No natural baking instincts in sight? No worries! You can leave the measuring, mixing, and waiting to the professionals and grab a stunning dessert at Sunflower from one of several local bakeries.
- Serve up warm slices of pie like the Crown Maple Pecan Pie from Pieconic in Chatham with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.
- Grab a gluten-free dessert like an Apple Crumb pie from Meredith’s in Kingston.
- Stock up on some flaky pastries from another Kingston favorite, Diesing’s.
With so many thoughtful spins on classic holiday offerings at your disposal, you’ll be ready to claim your rightful place as Holiday Host Supreme!