Complementing the featured Thanksgiving Day turkey, cranberry sauce is perhaps the most ubiquitous side dish on the holiday table. Historians are not entirely certain that cranberries were present at the “First Thanksgiving” in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the autumn of 1621. This three day celebration shared between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians was held as a means of giving thanks for the recent bountiful harvest after suffering through the hardships of the previous winter. The Native Americans were utilizing cranberries as a food long before 1621. If cranberries were served at the celebration, they would not have been in the guise of a sweet sauce, but as an ingredient in dishes created by the Wampanoags. Native American Indians in the northeast used cranberries in a variety of different ways. They were a key ingredient in pemmican, a survival food comprised of dried venison meat, crushed dried cranberries and rendered fat. This was perhaps America’s first high protein energy bar! Cranberries were also used as a medicine in treating wounds and to dye garments, blankets and rugs. Cranberries received their name from early settlers who thought the small pink flowers that blossomed in late spring resembled the head and bill of a crane, thus calling them craneberries. Over the years the name morphed into its current usage. Much like the British mariners who brought lemons on long voyages to prevent scurvy, early American sailors carried cranberries on whaling and other ships for the same reason. In 1816 Captain Henry Hall of Dennis, on Cape Cod, was the first person to cultivate cranberries. Massachusetts is the second largest producer of cranberries in the U.S., providing about 25% of the annual harvest. Wisconsin is the leader, accounting for approximately 60% of the total crop. New Jersey, Oregon and Washington combined produce about 13% and round out the top five states.
Rob’s Bog- You can harvest your own organic Cape Cod cranberries from Rob’s Bog, a glistening pool of bobbing, bodacious berries residing in the produce department.
Turkey Talk- If you are not interested in the pumped-up birds riddled with hormones, growth stimulants, GMO feed and self-basting additives that most Americans consume on Thanksgiving, then try one our fresh organic or natural turkeys. A $10.00 deposit will reserve a bird of distinction for your holiday extravaganza. Please order early as quantities are limited.
Holiday Pies- Choose from a selection of delicious homemade pies from our kitchen. Varieties include apple, cranberry-apple, blueberry and pumpkin.
Divine Wine- Peruse Erica’s curated selection of fine wines from around the world. Organic wines and those with no added sulfites are always available. Wine tastings on Fri 11-6, 5-7pm & Sat 11-21, 12-2pm.
Vegan Fixings- No turkey- no problem! We will be offering Tofurky feasts and roasts as well as Quorn holiday roasts. Dairy-free vegan cheeses, eggnogs, creamers and whipped cream will also be available. And don’t forget to pick up a sumptuous homemade vegan pumpkin pie to punctuate your holiday meal.
- This Year I’m Thankful For: Evelyn Silver, who along with Deborah Cary and Allen Fletcher created the Greater Worcester Land Trust (GWLT), an organization preserving open space in the Worcester area. Colin Novick , the current executive director, in a recent T & G article, referred to her as the “great-grandmother of all environmentalism in Worcester”. Evelyn is also a co-founder of the Regional Environmental Council and created the Lake Quinsigamond and Blacksone River Watershed Associations. The GWLT just purchased the 23 acre Donker Farm, the last working farm in the city (near the Tatnuck area), from Elizabeth Donker.
- Our Loyal Customers and all the organic farmers that have helped to make the Living Earth a leading proponent of organic foods and nutritional supplements since 1971.