By MIKE ROEGGE
As Thanksgiving approaches we realize just how much we've got to be thankful for. We live in a society that offers as many benefits and amenities as anywhere on the face of the earth. The elections have just been completed (to the relief of many), and regardless of how your candidates fared, we can also be thankful that we live in a society that allows us the freedom to select those who govern us.
The original Thanksgiving was held as a celebration to give thanks to those who helped the first English settlers of this country. We all know the story. Indians and English alike contributed food to the festivities. Of course, all the foods consumed were raised or gathered by the celebrants.
Today we celebrate Thanksgiving with family, and the traditional meal is turkey. Of course, very little of the food is contributed by the "celebrants;" it's purchased from the local grocery store. But that doesn't have to be the case this year. On Tuesday, the Western Illinois Sustainable Agricultural Society will hold a Winter Farmers Market at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Quincy. Items that will be offered will include vegetables, baked goods, herbs, honey and eggs. The market will operate from 4-7 p.m. and will be just inside the front doors of the Kroc Center.
The two farmers markets in Quincy (downtown and mall) have closed for the season, so this is your last opportunity to get fresh local products for the holiday. It's not often that you get to experience the tastes of local at this time of year.
I probably need to remind you of the fact that there are at least two restaurants in Quincy that serve local foods.
Thyme Square Cafe and the Maine Course both feature local foods in their menu. There may be others as well, and if you ask the staff they could inform you.
That's probably one method of getting more local foods into the menu of area restaurants. Just ask. You all know how the taste of locally grown outshines anything that you could compare it to.
Why not ask that your favorite restaurant consider using locally grown in their menu? It would be a bit difficult to get local produce now, but it certainly wouldn't be for other local products, such as meat, eggs, herbs, baked goods and more. There are local growers who would be welcome the chance to offer their products to area businesses.
In the meantime, enjoy local foods at the restaurants that serve it.