Tips for Those Doing a DIY Thanksgiving


Turducken by 4505 Meats; photo from 4505 Meats.

There’s no holiday like Thanksgiving to bring out the competitive cook in ya. Sharpen your knives, freshen up your spice rack, and test your oven temp, then give yourself a leg up for the T-day cook-off with these DIY tips.

First things first, the turkey. ~OLIVIER’S BUTCHERY~, the new French butcher in the Dogpatch, has free-range turkeys from Branigan’s Farm—yup, real country turkeys. They’ve also got you covered if your gathering is a smaller one: just order the ready-to-cook turkey roti (or another type of roti if you wanna go that route). Call by Thursday November 17th for pick up November 22nd or 23rd. 1074 Illinois St. at 22nd St., 415-558-9887.

Marin Sun Farms, Mountain Ranch Organically Grown, and 4505 Meats at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market are also taking pre-orders for humanely raised turkeys and turduckens. Get turkey ordering details here at CUESA’s Thanksgiving Guide.

To make sure your bird is juicy rather than dry, brine it. Last week we mentioned the SF chefs who started ~S&S BRAND~, and they’ve got a brine mix that’ll do the job. Here’s some handy instructions and a recipe too.

Don’t wanna mangle the gorgeous bird you just spent hours roasting to prefection? Take Turkey Carving 101 at ~18 REASONS~ tomorrow, and watch and learn from John Lee in this observational class. Thursday November 17th, 7pm-8pm; $15 for members, $20 for the general public. Tickets online.

Look to the ~FERRY PLAZA FARMERS MARKET~ for a bounty of fresh ‘n’ local produce for Turkey Day. They’re holding the usual Tuesday market, plus a special Wednesday market on November 23rd, 10am-2pm. And since you’ll be schlepping more groceries than usual, you can always use the Veggie Valet and the validated parking options.

For some help putting it all together, ~JORDAN’S KITCHEN~ is offering a Thanksgiving Training Camp this Saturday November 19th at 5pm. Get hands-on and make four Thanksgiving-worthy courses with seasonal and organic products from local farmers and artisan producers. The class includes a fuyu persimmon, endive, walnut, and goat cheese mousse appetizer; celery root purée; cranberry compote with ginger, cloves, lime juice, and honey; assorted wild mushroom and brioche bread stuffing; and brined Bill Niman roast turkey with pan gravy. And there’s no dishes to wash. 415-710-0761.

Don’t forget the finale, you top chef—make it a show-stopper. Sign up for the Thanksgiving Bake & Take class at the ~COOKING SCHOOL AT CAVALLO POINT~, and pastry chef Ethan Howard will walk you through making and baking a dessert (choose from pumpkin chocolate pie, chai cheesecake, candied quince and butternut squash galette, and profiteroles with roasted pear mousse and hazelnut cream). Then take it home with you, and voilà. $55 plus tax. Tuesday November 22nd, 2pm-4:30pm, 601 Murray Cir. in Fort Baker, Sausalito, 888-651-2003.

Have you had a pie from ~THREE BABES BAKESHOP~ yet? No? Well, you might want to get on that. They bake all-organic sweet and savory pies and sell them from a converted shipping container outside of Saison on the weekends. Today (Friday) is the last day to pre-order one of their pies, from classic pumpkin (wait until you try the crust!) to a seasonal toffee apple—and if you have a gluten-free family member, their bittersweet chocolate pecan with a housemade graham cracker crust is delicious.

Click here for all the details and more. Best of all: they are donating 10% of profits from all pre-orders to one of their three non-profit partners. Even if you didn’t pre-order, 5% of all profits from walk-in purchases on Tue, Wed, and Thu of next week will be donated.

Another local pie maker with an order deadline of today is ~MARGE BAKERY~. You can take your pick of pumpkin, brown-butter sweet potato, dark chocolate pecan, double-crust apple, or spiced pear walnut crumble. Click here for info on ordering and pick-up locations.

~CITIZEN CAKE~ also has a variety of desserts for your Thanksgiving table, from pumpkin sage cheesecake to apple pie with cheddar streusel. For the order form, click here.

The bakery for Spruce, ~MAYFIELD BAKERY & CAFE~ in Palo Alto, is offering a selection of pies, from pumpkin to bourbon pecan to apple. Simply place your order before Monday November 21st by calling 650-853-9201, and you can pick up your pie at Spruce on Wednesday November 23rd between 11:30am-6pm.

You can also boost your dessert offerings with the help of ~STARTER BAKERY~: they’re offering Thanksgiving cookie and tartlet platters, and pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies. Way to finish off the meal right. Here’s the order form—deadline is noon on November 19th. 1552 Beach St. at Halleck, Suite R, Oakland, 510-547-6400.

And though we haven’t personally tried it here at ‘hopper HQ, we do wanna mention the raw, vegan, and gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free option from local microbakery ~SIDESADDLE KITCHEN~. Choose from pumpkin pie, maple pecan pie, or chile chocolate torte ($38 each, $100 all three). Order online by November 21st. ‘Cause there’s always someone with a dietary restriction at every Thanksgiving table.

Of course, there’s the easy way out. We won’t tell if you don’t. You can order a complete Thanksgiving meal from ~A.G. FERRARI FOODS~. $99.99 nets you an Italian-themed feast featuring 3 pounds of local turkey breast, creamed mushroom soup with white truffle oil, A.G. Ferrari cranberry sauce with zinfandel, roasted autumn root vegetables, Brussels sprouts with pancetta in a sherry-shallot vinaigrette, Nonna Ferrari’s traditional Swiss chard stuffing, Gianluca’s homemade turkey gravy, chestnut and butternut squash risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano, 12 focaccia dinner rolls, and a sweet almond torte with red pears and amaretti. Or, get all nine sides only (no turkey) for $69.99. Both packages serve 8; more desserts on the à la carte menu, like pumpkin-ricotta cheese torta. Order online.

Ready. Set. Cook!

Event Info

Thursday Nov 24, 2011