Turkey Day: Slow it Down!

It’s that time of the year again!

That time of year where we wake up at 5am to beat the lines for Black Friday deals, gather friends and family around the dinner table to eat antibiotic-filled turkey, and fall asleep in front of the TV watching football after Instagramming the dessert spread.

Wait…what? No! This cannot be the modern Thanksgiving, right?! Unfortunately, the sad truth is with the rise of fast deals, fast food, and fast technology, we are moving further and further away from what should arguably one of the slowest holidays we have in America.

Here’s how to slow it down…

1. Think Slow Meat.

Turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dinner table, so let’s give it the love and attention it deserves. Let’s remember that this wonderful, nourishing bird on our table once had a life, and that it’s up to us to give it dignity in both life and death. Choose a bird that lived a great life on a local farm (find one here!), and rest assured that your money went to supporting humane animal treatment, protection of the land, your wonderful farmer neighbor, and the health of your friends and family (money well spent, no?). Then roast that sucker to perfection.

2. Unplug, unwind, and enjoy your loved ones!

It’s tempting to reach for your new iPhone at the dinner table to Tweet or take a call in the middle of Grandpa Jack’s story of how he met your Grandma. Take some time to step away from the technology and tap into your friends and family. Thanksgiving is often a time when we’re all gathered together and you have the opportunity to have slow conversation. Need ideas on what to talk about? How about asking if there are any food traditions in your family? What is everyone’s favorite dish? And go ahead, ask Grandma if you can watch her make her famous Sweet Potatoes. Not only will you learn a cherished family tradition that you can one day pass on, but it will make Grandma happy! If chatting with your family gets weird, however, feel free to indulge in number 3…

3. Drink a local libation!

That’s right, Chicago, we have wonderful local distilleries who use local grains to make delicious liquor, and a farmers markets full of interesting ingredients (pumpkin, apples, pears, cranberries, etc.) that mix perfectly with cocktails. Impress your family and friends by making a signature cocktail drink of your own and support local farmers and small businesses while you’re at it!

4. Make your own side dishes!

Boxed stuffing is sooo last year. Head to the farmers market and surprise your guests with an interesting take on traditional sides. Look to chestnuts, bok choi, and beets to add flair to your meal, dig through old family recipes to make something timeless, and take it from us, y’all, make sure to grab some pumpkin and make a pie from scratch! Even if it’s ugly as sin, your family will appreciate it. On second thought, maybe you should just order one from Bang Bang Pie

5. Avoid Black Friday…

You know what’s slow? Sleeping in on Thanksgiving morning and making yourself a lovely cup of hot apple cider and enjoying being in your pajamas until company heads over. You know what’s not so slow? Elbowing three old ladies and tackling a couple of young men just to get $50 off the latest Game Boy. (We don’t even know if they make Game Boys anymore?) Sleep in! Sleep is slow and priceless! If you’re just itching to go shopping, though, think of skipping big box retailers and shop instead on Small Business Saturday. Taking place on 29 November, you can support local producers even after Thanksgiving is over.

We hope this helps! How do you slow your Thanksgiving down?