The Season To Be Thankful For Local Food

Butternut squash roasted with the skin left on makes for an easy fall side dish.

November is an exciting time for all lovers of food. This month kicks off a season of eating family favorites, dishes prepared once yearly, and indulging in rich flavors and delicious desserts. This year, try hitting up the farmers market for local flavors for your holiday season table.  


Three vendors at the market,  Lobenstein Farm, Back Acres Farm, and Mud Foot Farm, all sell locally raised turkey-and it’s not too late to place an order.  Other Thanksgiving favorites that can be found at the market include Brussels sprouts, winter squash, carrots, cornmeal (for cornmeal dressing!), apples, sweet potatoes, collard greens, potatoes for mashing, and kale, as well as other local produce.  


If you’d like to skip baking this year, or need a host/ess gift, you could pick up éclairs or cream puffs from Baudry, LLC, or decadent Italian desserts from Cucina Della Patrizia, or gluten-free spice cookies from Early Bird Bakery.  The market also has local herbal teas and locally roasted coffee for after dinner.  


To get the fall cooking season started, the market shares a simple recipe (below) for roasting butternut squash. It would make a great side dish at Thanksgiving or is great for a weekday meal.  The recipe is unique because the skin of the squash is left on and eaten. This makes cooking the squash a breeze and increases the recipe’s nutritional value.   


  1. Slice any sized butternut squash into quarter to half-inch pieces, removing any seeds.
  2. On a baking dish spread 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to coat.
  3. Add spices of your choice.  Make it simple with just salt and pepper or add Italian herbs like dried dill, basil, and oregano, or cumin, curry powder, and chili for a spicy side dish.  Cinnamon also goes well with squash.
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.  Remove foil and roast another 10 minutes or until soft.

For more inspiration, you can visit the market on Nov. 4, 11, and 18 for cooking demonstrations by Cincinnati State’s Midwest Culinary Institute students or sign up for Adult Cooking Class, 5:30-6:45 p.m. on Nov. 19, to learn how to make alternative Thanksgiving sides: Pommes Anna, Pommes Duchesse, and Butternut Squash Flan with Parmesan Sage Sauce.


For more information, visit the market’s website, or find us on Facebook at Twitter, #nsidefarmersmkt, and Instagram


Written by Ana Bird

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