A Moveable Feast

The early bird gets the turkey and more: insider tips from the Litchfield Hills

As the intensity of the fall foliage diminishes, we are happily reminded that the holiday season is fast approaching. In my house, we start thinking about Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings the moment Halloween passes. Litchfield County is full of special handcrafted resources—everything you need for a memorable meal. This month I thought I would mention a few of my favorites:

  • Bucolic Greyledge Farm, owned by Libby and Terry Fitzgerald, is the place to go for free-range, grass-fed turkeys. These are “walking birds” raised without hormones or antibiotics; supplies are limited so order early. The birds will be ready for pick up the day before Thanksgiving at the Darien Farmers’ market and at the farm’s store in Roxbury. Greyledge is also a wonderful source for organic Black Angus beef, pork and poultry. Greyledge Farm, 17 Berry Road, Roxbury, (860) 350-3203, greyledgefarm.com.
  • Best known for their prized heirloom tomatoes, brothers Quincy and Patrick Horan of Waldingfield Farm in Washington have grown a mouthwatering assortment of fall vegetables, including squash, broccoli and my favorite—Brussels sprouts. Check out their website for their farmers’ market schedule or visit the farm stand. The views are spectacular, especially the vast fields of sunflowers. Waldingfield Farm, 24 East Street, Washington, (860) 868-7270, waldingfieldfarm.com.
  • Tucked away in Washington Depot, The Pantry’s Michael Ackerman serves up a cornucopia of culinary delights—there’s a bakery and a small café, and a little picnic area nearby, The pies—think pumpkin, squash, pecan and mixed berry—are the perfect way to end any Thanksgiving feast, especially for those of us who just don’t have time to make them from scratch. For many years, we have brought a mixed berry pie to my parent’s house in Portland, Maine, and no one ever questioned its provenance. Mom…mea culpa! The Pantry, 5 Titus Road, Washington Depot, (860) 868-0258.
  • To add a stylish touch to your Thanksgiving tablescape, visit Dawn Hill Antiques in New Preston. For 15 years, they’ve offered a wonderful collection of 18th- and 19th-century Swedish antiques, objects and decorative arts, as well as Frances Palmer’s gorgeous hand-thrown pottery. Palmer’s “creamware” finish is one of the best I’ve seen, reminiscent of the luster in 18th-century pieces. Dawn Hill’s monogrammed initial napkins are a lovely way to personalize a table setting. Dawn Hill Antiques, 11 Main Street, New Preston, (860) 868-0066, dawnhillantiques.com.
  • At dbO Home in Sharon, owner and master potter Dana Brandwein, creates stunning—and unique—items for the home. My personal favorites are the honeycomb candlesticks and her Burl Collection of serving pieces. Made in small batches, each item is unique. The glazes vary, but each has a distinctive pattern meant to replicate grains in different kinds of wood. dbO Home, (860) 364-6008, dbohome.com.
  • Pewter is a bit off everyone’s radar these days, but it’s one of my favorite materials for the tabletop. It always adds a fresh, unexpected layer to any setting; the more patinated the pewter, the better it looks. Woodbury Pewter’s fine pieces are handcrafted on site. I love the Austin serving charger, or for smaller plates, the Danforth charger in the satin finish. Woodbury Pewter, 860 Main Street, Woodbury, (800) 648-2014, woodburypewter.com.
  • Finally, for those of us who need assistance in the kitchen (and who among us couldn’t use a little help at this time of year?), I can’t say enough good things about Gaylinn Fast, caterer extraordinaire. Previously an innkeeper, the talented Gaylinn formed her own company about 10 years ago after friends kept requesting her services as a private chef. She is passionate about presentation and taste and uses only the best local, organic and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. She’s an experienced DJ, too. Gaylinn Fast Events, New Preston, (203) 788-7735, gaylinnfast@gmail.com. Happy Thanksgiving!