December 3, 2010 by
Whether you are planning a special meal, shopping for gifts or searching for the perfect Christmas tree, it is important to think local throughout the holiday season. Not only is buying locally good for the environment, it is also good for our local economy. An added benefit is that it is much more fun to visit a local farm market or shop on a main street rather than fight the hoards of disgruntled holiday shoppers in a generic megastore!
If you are searching for some unique gift ideas why not consider homemade preserves, relishes, jams, maple syrup, cheeses or summer sausage? Many local retail shops and farm markets offer attractive gift baskets, saving you the trouble of wrapping. Other options to consider are the handiworks of local artists, books from a locally owned bookstore or tickets to a local theatre or music event. Maybe even a gift certificate for tickets to Foodlink’s Annual Taste Local! Taste Fresh! event.
Make sure your Christmas tree is local also. There are many Christmas tree farms and nurseries in the area that offer fresh local trees and greenery. Perhaps you can even knock off another gift or two by making your own wreath or centrepiece.
With holiday entertaining and menu planning it is especially important to keep local in mind. When you buy your turkey and produce from a local farmer it keeps you more connected with your food, it’s easier on the environment and it provides much-needed support for our local farm families and food producers.
Foodlink’s Buy Local! Buy Fresh! map, the Local Harvest newsletter and the website make it easy to find the growers and producers who provide us with quality food products year round. To make your holiday planning a little easier, we have put together a menu that highlights some of the best seasonal foods available in Waterloo Region.
Locating fresh local ingredients is easy. Just check out the Available Local Food page of our website to find out where to buy your local summer sausage, turkey or even pickles.
Check out the Recipes section on Foodlink’s website for the following menu ideas and more:
Cubes of Cheese and Summer Sausage
Veggie platter with herbed goat cheese dip
Mini Potatoe Pancakes with Sour Cream and Smoked Trout
Mulled Apple Cider
Curried Pumpkin Soup or
Cream of Parsnip Soup with Smoked Sheep Cheese
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Maple Glazed Carrots
Roasted Beet and Apple Salad with Bacon Dressing
Caramelized Pear Trifle