Northern Wilds Magazine
Maple pecan cheesecake is one of the dessert add-on options for MidCoast Catering’s take-out Thanksgiving meal packages. | MIDCOAST CATERING
North Shore Dish

Giving with Gratitude and Good Eats

For a lot of us in the States, Thanksgiving is the ultimate food holiday. Family, friends, gratitude, and most of all food, glorious food! Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to pull out all the stops on annual favorites, memorialize loved ones with their old recipes, and even try a few experiments for fun.

Even with a pared down guest list, cooking and baking (and eating) the day away is a lovely way to spend time together at my house. A household vote puts “second supper,” or leftovers as the favorite part of the experience. One vote goes to a decade-old tradition of “pie first,” implemented the year an early snow storm delayed our guests. That single vote is mine, because it reminds me what my mom said that day; “You never know when you’re going to die, so maybe we should eat dessert first.” Words to live by…

Whether you immerse yourself into a glorious frenzy of cooking, or want to allocate your time to focusing on what you’re grateful for, there is something for your table of bounty on this year’s list of T-day goodness along the North Shore.

The Bad Seed, Grand Marais

Here’s a way you can contribute to someone else’s family feast. Christina Conroy of The Bad Seed is expressing her gratitude by serving others all the ingredients necessary to have a classic spread.

While Conroy has come to be appreciated for her smoked meats, curries, vegan options, and farm-to-table emphasis, she is leaning hard into traditional Thanksgiving with her free meal boxes that include a turkey, salad, rolls and other sides.

Who is eligible for the turkey day meal? “Anyone who feels like they could use a Thanksgiving box, just sign up,” says Conroy. Others who know of someone in need can also sign them up through The Bad Seed’s Facebook page.

Conroy uses a percentage of her profits year-round to put back into the community, because, she says, “Community-mindedness is an important part of who I am and what my business represents. I feel like it represents social awareness.”

Last year, Conroy was able to send 58 meal boxes out with the help of community fundraising, and enlisting friends to make deliveries. This year, she hopes to keep up the momentum with help.

“Especially now that the world is even harder than normal; if I can provide a bright spot in someone’s day to make life a little easier, I want to do that,” says Conroy.

Christina Conroy, owner of The Bad Seed. | SUBMITTED

Moving from wholly catering under the Rebel Girls flag, to a food stand, Conroy has just wrapped up her first food truck season as The Bad Seed and it’s been a good year. With what she calls “a visible ideology,” Conroy says she draws “a ton of support from the community; the customers I have are fun, amazing and adventurous.”

The Bad Seed’s catering business is also in full-swing, with a packed season of weddings and next year mostly booked already.

Conroy says she celebrates her own way on an alternate date for “Friends-giving, it’s a celebration of friends and family coming together where I cook, and mac’n cheese is always involved.”

MidCoast Catering Co., Duluth

If you want to stay home, but still want a killer feast, consider MidCoast Catering’s Thanksgiving meal packages. Evolved out of the Rambler food truck and Jonathon Resnick’s skillful, yet playful, culinary ambitions, MidCoast’s take-out Thanksgiving meal is getting creative with stuffed pork tenderloin, filled with cranberry stuffing. Garlic mashed potatoes, parmesan asparagus, creamed corn and sweet potato praline round out the main course. Leave room for dessert, because you will not want to miss the add-on options of pumpkin crème brûlée or maple pecan cheesecake.

Place an order by November 19 at 3 p.m. by calling (218) 464-1856, or messaging through social media. Orders to be picked up on November 23.

OMC Smokehouse, Duluth

Want to score the main feature so you can concentrate your attention on whipping up delectable accompaniments? OMC’s general manager, Evan Sieve, says they will be adding “Gobble-Gobble” to their “Oink, Moo, Cluck” repertoire with some whole wood-smoked free-range turkeys again this year. Last year, smoked birds brought in from a local farm were a big hit for a pick-up one to two days before Thanksgiving.

Smoked turkeys can be ordered online, or by calling (218) 606-1611, and will be sent out the door ready to reheat in an aluminum pan. Turkey stock is included so you can whip up some gravy, and ordering sides is optional.

Black Woods Bar & Grill, Two Harbors, Duluth & Proctor

Moving away from their typical buffet spread, the Black Wood’s restaurants will be open for slightly limited hours on Thanksgiving Day, and will instead be offering a plated holiday special for dine-in, curbside, and some locations offer delivery. The family meal package serves six with all the usual favorites, and can be ordered by November 19 by calling (218) 625-6147.

Island View at Grand Portage Casino, Grand Portage

Holding with tradition, Island View is serving up all the classics with a plated special on Thanksgiving. In addition to the turkey, you will get sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, bread dressing, corn, and a slice of pumpkin pie. What could be more classic than that? Open on Thanksgiving Day, you will find the special on the lunch and dinner menus.

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