A Guide to the South Fork Local’s Thanksgiving
What to buy and where to buy it
Whether you’re having thirty people over for the holiday or just three, you can cook an entire meal using the bounty of the East End. We’re fortunate in the Hamptons to have access to a number of vendors who specialize in using local grains, produce, and protein. Why not give them our business and showcase all of the incredible things that come from the region right here in our backyard? Here’s everything you need to know about shopping for the holiday.
Start with Cheese
Michael Cavaniola’s Sag Harbor store, Cavaniola’s Gourmet Cheese, makes some of the most incredible cheese platters you have ever seen, and they’re perfect for entertaining. You can tell the store exactly what you’re looking for — right down to the number of guests and the style of cheese you prefer — and they will customize a platter for you. It takes some of the work out of entertaining, but none of the elegance.
Buy a Local Bird
In North Sea, North Sea Farms sells locally raised turkeys, the smallest of which run around 10 pounds. You can pre-order them by stopping into the store, or, alternately, by calling a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Birds go up to around 30 pounds. Prices vary from year to year, so call for more information. If you opt to skip out on the turkey and do a chicken instead (smaller families may find a chicken more manageable), Iacono Farms, in East Hampton, sells delicious chickens that are well worth the price point. Don’t forget to pick up a dozen eggs while you’re there.
Visit the Baker
Local baker Carissa Waechter now has two outposts for her local breads, pies, and cakes, but her original space, Carissa’s The Bakery, on East Hampton’s Newtown Lane, is still the star for bread. The chewy olive ciabatta makes an excellent bread stuffing, and her meringue-topped pies are always an effortless and impressive way to greet guests with dessert. Then again, there’s always ice cream, and Joe & Liza’s Ice Cream, still owned by a local family, is churning out some fine selections. You can find the ice cream throughout the Hamptons, at places like Balsam Farms. The coffee flavor is beyond compare. The Sag Harbor Baking Company, which is right near Cavaniola’s, makes a seasonally available pumpkin tiramisu cake that will redefine decadence, should you choose this route instead.
Keep Your Produce Local
A few of the local farms remain open until right around the holiday, including Balsam Farms in Amagansett, Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, and Green Thumb Organic Farm in Water Mill. Given the season, plan your menu around what’s available (this shouldn’t be too difficult — there are plenty of potatoes, Brussels sprouts, herbs, and dark greens at the market at the end of fall). Shop at your local markets first, and then, as a last resort, hit the grocery store. You should be able to find the majority of what you need if you plan appropriately.