The office is abuzz with festive cheer these days with the approach of Santa’s big arrival, and, of course, the anticipation of dining with friends and loved ones in celebration of Christmas.
Among our staff, we’ve issued a bit of a challenge to see how many of us can have a 100% local Christmas dinner. And do you know what? The more we talk about it, the more we want to spread the word that, as it turns out, it is ridiculously easy to support PEI’s farmers and fishers on that holiday dinner table.
Here are some ways we plan to incorporate the fruits of our farmers’ labour on our dinner tables this holiday season:
To be completely honest, we surprised ourselves with how many amazing options are available in the appetizer department when we sat down to write this post. We really are Canada’s Food Island.
PEI mussels, lobster dip, squash soup, award-winning cheese, cured meats, smoked salmon, oysters, bar clams, scallops, seafood chowder… we could go on and on, but have fun searching our website for your own ideas. We have a ton of recipes there, too.
We don’t like to call this part of the meal “the star” as it’s often called. That’s because when you’re planning a 100% Christmas dinner, everything is the star.
But, usually, it’s the protein that the rest of the meal is centered around. (With the exception of our vegetarian friends, but no worries, we’ll have lots of non-meat options in this post!)
While turkey is usually the PEI meat of choice, our farmers also raise lamb, pork (ham is perfect for Christmas), and, of course, we have our Certified Island Beef. So many options to choose from! And don't forget about all of the seafood options there are to consider. It’s perfectly acceptable (and highly recommended) to indulge in seafood during the holidays. Lobster, scallops, mussels… why not?
We could go on and on here, but because there are just so many options, we’ll have to focus on the vegetables most often found on Island tables for Christmas dinner. Of course, there are our PEI potatoes, turnip, and carrots. But you need something green. How about local brussels sprouts? Or a salad made with Island greens? Don’t forget to use local garlic when you reach for a bulb. Make your cranberry sauce with local berries rather than buying a can! And don’t forget the pickles. J.J. Stewart Sauces & Preserves can help you there.
Yes, technically stuffing is a side, but it deserves its own category because who doesn’t love stuffing? Make your stuffing with bread from a local bakery, use a PEI onion, and some locally grown summer savory. Some folks like to add PEI potatoes to their stuffing and perhaps some local bacon? Oh, we’re getting so hungry!
Pure Berries fruit puree makes a wonderful topping for cheesecake or ADL ice cream. Or use our wild blueberries in a pie or a fruit crisp. The Prince Edward Island Preserve Company makes impossibly delicious raspberry pies. ADL has you covered for your whipped cream, no matter which way you go. And don’t forget to use that ADL butter, local maple syrup, and/or honey in your homemade desserts! A nice pot of Lady Baker’s or Preserve Company tea will go quite nicely with any of these options. Oh and don't forget the Anne of Green Gables chocolates!
Deep Roots Distillery makes a wonderful variety of spirits and liqueurs, and Myriad View Artisan Distillery produces Whisky, Gin, and other items to spike the punch with. Of course, we have a number of Island wineries and breweries to choose from, too. For those who do not partake in alcohol, we have J.J. Stewart sodas, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, ADL egg nog, and apple cider.
Cheers! (Find out where to purchase all of the aforementioned items at our Culinary Trail directory.)
Don’t forget that we have many local options for holiday decor. A locally sourced centerpiece of greens and berries will top everything off perfectly.
Merry Christmas from our kitchen to yours!