Those of us tasked with preparation of the all-important Thanksgiving feast know some aspects of the meal are simply non-negotiable. Everyone’s favorite dish must make the table, grandmother’s cornbread stuffing will make it’s annual debut, and the turkey – the turkey must be a slam dunk!
With so much at stake, the tendency may be to make lists, fight the crowd at the grocery store and STRESS OUT! Not this year. Our favorite local artisan butcher – The Whole Ox - has everything you need for a stress-free holiday (including a stress less, enjoy more perspective on the holiday).
This year The Whole Ox has 4 fabulous birds to choose from (all local, free-range, humanely-raised without use of antibiotics or hormones). Grab your holiday planning notebook, here’s your TWOX options (orders must be placed by November 15th):
Kelly Bronze from Fort Valley, VA
These local, Heritage breed turkeys are free roaming naturally fed without the use of antibiotics or hormones. They are traditionally processed by hand plucking and dry hanging. TWOX tells us they’ve cooked several samples and have found these birds to be the most delicious turkey they’ve tasted! Special note, the tendons in the legs have been removed so that more of the leg is meat usable. Bonus: your Kelly Bronze bird will come in a box with a meat thermometer. $11/lb
Heritage Blacks from Ashley Farms in NC
An old breed, probably the first turkeys to be developed from Native American stocks (the Black Turkey made its debut in Europe in the 1500′s and became very popular). They are a naturally mating, slow growing breed particularly suited for the outdoors and produces a very flavorful meat. Raised on a family farm just down the road in North Carolina – this may be the most authentic Thanksgiving Turkey you can find. $9/lb
White Hybrid Turkeys from Warrenton, VA
Local, Jessie Straight of Wiffletree Farm in Warrenton, VA raised this classic white bird with love and care. The birds are free roaming all natural turkeys raised respectfully and without the use of any antibiotics or hormones. $7/lb
Ashley Farms Hybrids from NC
Another classic white hybrid. These NC turkeys are all naturally raised and free roaming without the use of antibiotics or hormones. $5/lb
Oysters & Ham
The bird is not the only show-stoper at our table. My Grandmother (96 years old last April) insists on a batch of fried oysters as a prelude to the big meal. It is a tradition for which I must admit I am quite grateful and plan to continue for all my Thanksgivings to come. Lucky for me, TWOX has Grandma covered.
Chesapeake Bay Oysters: fresh, shucked, select-sized oysters from the Chesapeake Bay. Available by the gallon, quart or pint.
And, for the ham lover at the table (for me its my Uncle Bill and brother Dave), take home a Virginia Ham!
Virginia Hams: Hams from Edwards of the Surry. Spiral sliced: Bone-in, Half Ham or Boneless Mini. Or, Salty Country Ham: Petit Boneless.
Sides & Pie
Why labor all day in the kitchen when TWOX can do the work for you? Just take in this list of delicious and start planning how you’re going to spend all that down time this holiday.
Oyster Chowda (pint or quart)
Apple, Sage & Squash Soup (pint or quart)
Corn Pudding with Bacon
Ginger Cranberry Relish (half pint or pint)
Turkey Gravy (pint or quart)
Sage Sausage Stuffing
all sides available with pre-order.
Locally-made pies from Ahsbank farm are available for pre-order.
Pumpkin Pie (small or large)
Apple Pie (small or large)
Pecan Pie (small or large)
Finally, we asked Derek Luhawiak, owner and “head butcher in charge” at The Ox for his best advice on prepping our holiday dinner. His response, priceless!
“Our “traditional” non-traditional Thanksgiving begins with shooting a few pumpkins outside, then we come in for Bloody Marys and gear up for a day of cooking, eating, drinking and great times.”
“Have fun with Thanksgiving. Don’t stress over the bird. A fresh, free-range turkey will not need much seasoning or fuss. Just stick the bird in the oven and cook it until it is ready. Kick back and have a few glasses of wine while it cooks. As for the rest of the meal, I decided a long time ago not to sweat the timing. We cook all day and just put the food out as it’s ready. We snack on little bits for brunch while we prep the meal. We just keep eating, drinking and celebrating all day long. No stress, just good food and a great time.”
”Have fun with Thanksgiving. Don’t stress over the bird. a fresh, free-range turkey will not need much seasoning or fuss. just stick the bird in the oven and cook it until it is ready. Kick back and have a few glasses of wine…”- Derek Luhawiak, The Whole Ox
Thanks to The Whole Ox, we can all have a stress-free Thanksgiving (special note: they have an extensive wine and beverage selection too). So, forget all the fuss and let TWOX do this one for you. REMINDER: Turkey orders must be received by November 15th. To place your order, come in or call 540.724.1650. Pies and sides are pre-order also, so get your list started and see you at The Whole Ox.
Wishing you a very Happy (stress-less) Thanksgiving!
Tell them SCOUT sent ya!
The Whole Ox
6364 Stuart Street, The Plains, Virginia