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Eco-challenge 7 Results: Turkey Triumph or Trainwreck?

11.30.09 Eco-challenge 7 Results: Turkey Triumph or Trainwreck?

freeman boys on thanksgiving

Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! I had a great time hanging out with everyone - but I do have a small confession to make. I don't really like Thanksgiving dinner much. I love the holiday - all warm and fuzzy, great smells, parades, people, pjs til noon - but for some reason I've just never warmed up to the food, especially the turkey. It's just so much work for something that's pretty bland tasting in my book. Tried to go turkey-less this year but was laughed out of my house at the mere suggestion. Sigh. One of these days I’ll get them to go for lasagna or something. But not this year.

As a reminder, Eco-challenge #7 was for me to serve 100% organic or locally grown Thanksgiving dinner. Well, I have to give myself an A for effort - but about a D for execution. Here's the breakdown...

Turkey - failed miserably here. Monday I drove to four different organic grocery stores find an organic turkey from a local farm and there were none to be had! Most had asked people to order ahead of time...which is super convenient. Anyway, my in-laws were approaching and I had to have something when they arrived so I was forced to go with a national brand turkey from a big chain grocery store (gasp!) FAIL 

Mashed Potatoes - officially THE ONLY thing I like about Thanksgiving dinner. I succeeded here without knowing because my in-laws picked up a 50lb bag of potatoes at a farm in Michigan where they live. One of those honor system things - just pull up, grab a bag of potatoes and leave a $5 bill. Nice. No idea if they're organic or not but they were local - not local to me - but local to them and since I'm originally from the Great Lakes State I'm all about supporting their local farmers too. So I'm counting this as a pass. PASS


Stuffing - integrated some organic ingredients here (fresh herbs, onions) but they brought the bread, celery and turkey matter (gizzards and stuff - ick) so those were all conventional. Nice try but FAIL

Green Bean Casserole – Every year I make the Campbell Soup/French's onion version but in the name of this challenge, I decided to make a much more complicated organic version from Trader Joe's. It took about an hour instead of 15 minutes to prepare because I had to make the soup mixture from scratch. I was feeling very fancy until I tasted it and -- well, it didn't taste anywhere near as good! I was so disappointed because I was talking it up to the family big time and then fell flat on my face. I was asked to “go back to Campbell’s next year.” Boo. But the challenge was to try and I did.  PASS (but really a FAIL)

YoBaby Veggie Meals – Surprisingly, the kids didn’t go for the turkey OR the sides (turns out they’re mine afterall!) but they did go for the new YoBaby 3-in-1 meals. These are these fruit/veggie/yogurt combos that come in Pear/Green Beans, Peach/Squash and Apple/Sweet Potato. Admittedly, these combinations don't sound that great but they actually taste pretty good (yes, i tried a spoonful) and the kids gobbles them right up. PASS

Cornbread - Kind of like the green bean casserole....I made an organic cornbread mix that tasted really awful.  I was the only one to actually finsh one piece - and these people are all members of the clean plate club. Oh well. I tried. PASS (but really a fail)

Pumpkin Pie - bought organic here and was overruled because it wasn't "the way we always make it" so that stuff lies unused in my cupboard. I detest pumpkin pie so that will be given to a food bank who I'm sure won't be half as picky. FAIL (but really a PASS)  (by the way - HOW CUTE are these little personal pumpkin pies my mother-in-law made for the boys?)

Brownies - success! Made organic brownies with organic eggs etc and they were pretty yummy. PASS 

So, looks like although I didn’t succeed in providing a total organic/locally produced Thanksgiving, I do have more passes than fails which is WAY better than any year in the past! At this rate, I'll be ready by next year...

THE RESULTS...Is this a change I can realistically incorporate next year?
5 stars: SOLD! Where do I sign?
4 stars: Love it. I think I can pull this one off.
3 stars: Not quite sure, but can’t wait to try
2 stars: Sorry guys, probably not gonna happen.
1 star: Gonna take a pass on this one.

Back tomorrow with this week's challenge...

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