Butternut Chips and Thanksgiving Internet Surfing

Since we don’t have to worry about three problem sets, two exams, a CS project, a presentation, a research paper, and the other eight million things we do each week, I present for your viewing pleasure– cool Thanksgiving-related sustainability things online!  We’re all going to spend the next five days on the internet anyway, might as well learn something while we’re at it.

  1. On the note of not throwing away plastic cups/plates/utensils this year: http://www.upworthy.com/i-think-i-m-supposed-to-be-turned-on-by-this-but-i-m-super-grossed-out-instead
  2. Thanksgiving could be better: http://www.upworthy.com/take-this-advice-to-feel-more-grateful-and-less-gross-on-thanksgiving
  3. Traveling by plane to get home? Farmers’ Markets may be a new airport fast food option: http://www.sustainableamerica.org/blog/new-meaning-for-airplane-food/

As for actual Thanksgiving preparations:  Wegman’s does a pretty good job of staying local when possible so I decided to pick up my fixings there, and Sunday I hopped on the University of Rochester Green Line and rode over to Pittsford Plaza.  Sticking with the theme of “food that makes sense” I saw some delicious looking apples and organic butternut squash, and decided to build my dinner around them.  I’ll be trying baked butternut “chips”:

Slice the neck of a butternut squash into 1/8″ pieces, place in boiling water and let sit for 2 min.  Drain the water, spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and brush with olive oil (you can add salt, herbs, or parmesan cheese if you’d like).  Bake at 375 degrees until brown and crispy, roughly 15-20 min.  (I’ll slice the rest of the squash in half and roast it, because as we all know, waste is bad!)

Safe travels to everyone headed home today!


Author: Charlotte Humes



Let’s Just All Eat Pie

Everyone has a different way to finish the sentence: Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without _______.  Feel free to share your own answers in the comments section below!

To me, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without family, a fireplace, and pie… and also food that makes sense, given that it’s November and I’m in New York.  Thankfully, despite the fact that it’s already snowing and about negative five thousand degrees, there’s a cornucopia of produce still in season.  Some great choices are:

  1. Pumpkins and other winter squashes (say yes to pumpkin pie!)
  2. Broccoli and cauliflower, as well as pretty much all root vegetables (like in sweet potato pie)
  3. Pears, cranberries, and apples (mmm, apple pie)

Have I mentioned I like pie?

Fruits and veggies taste their best when consumed in season, and it means you can look for food with minimal transportation required to reach you.  Many of the classics (like cranberry sauce) are still really good choices!

Unsurprisingly, I’m baking pie.  I’ll be trying out vegan pumpkin pie:

Mix up 2 c. canned or pureed pumpkin with 3/4 c. silken tofu, add 1/2 c. sugar and season with your favorite blend of pumpkin pie spices (about 3 tsp. total).  Stir vigorously until smooth and creamy and place in your favorite crust (I’ll be honest, as a broke college student, this will be the cheapest pre-prepared graham cracker crust I can find).  Bake 40-45 min. at 350 degrees, cool before serving.

I’m pretty sure making pie is my new favorite form of environmental activism.  Good luck finding other fun ways to incorporate seasonal food into your Thanksgiving dinner!


PS: If you want to see a more comprehensive list of seasonal produce, a lovely visual guide for New York can be found at http://foodstalk.org/pdf/Growing_Season_Chart_download.pdf , and a more general list for North America is available at http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month .


Author: Charlotte Huumes