Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for what we have in our lives. There are many reasons to be thankful, but one thing that tops many lists is our beautiful environment. We are so lucky to live in one of the most amazing places on the planet with readily available and fresh food options. Skip the turkey and bring a taste of the Hood Canal to your dining table for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Drinks

Stimulate your appetite with an aperitif. Gin is well known for getting the pallet prepared and The Hardware Distillery in Hoodsport has one that can’t be missed. Named after the old wives tale that oysters are best eaten in months with the letter “R,” the distillery’s R Gin is distilled, slightly smoky, and is intended to be enjoyed with oysters. It’s even made with barley that was smoked in Hama Hama Oyster Co.’s oyster smoker!

A great meal is always paired with a delicious drink. Pour guests a glass of wine from Hoodsport Winery. One of the first Washington wineries, its wide variety of local delights are sure to please any pallet. Jump in early enough to grab some cranberry wine to pair perfectly with your Thanksgiving theme.

Hood Canal Hardware Distillery
Begin and end your feast with a drink from Hardware Distillery. Photo courtesy: Hardware Distillery

A digestif is a drink traditionally used to help with digestion after a meal. Thanksgiving is always a feast to remember so aide in the process of breaking all of that down and avoid a food coma with Hardware Distillery’s Cat’s Pajamas. This cherry concentrated liqueur ends the meal with a delicious treat, and part of the sales benefit Kitten Rescue of Mason County.

Feast

While turkey is a must-have on Thanksgiving, the quintessential Hood Canal menu almost always starts off with something straight from the salty waters. Established in 1922, Hama Hama is well known for its oysters but their clams are equally delicious. A pitcher of clams is sure to bring smiles to a hungry crowd. Cook it up with some of Hoodsport Winery’s Pinot Gris for a micro-local experience like no other.

Hama Hama oysters are delicious in a variety of forms. One of the more unique and tasty forms for even the pickiest of eaters is a casserole. Hama Hama’s website boasts a crowd-pleasing recipe called Your Grandma’s Oyster Casserole. With simple ingredients surrounding the oysters, it’s a winning flavor. Add bacon for even more melt in your mouth appeal.

Hallelujah Fudge
Family will be shouting “Hallelujah!” once they’ve had a bite of this local fudge. Photo credit: Hallelujah Fudge

Dessert

Fill up your tank at Twin Totems before the final leg of your drive to complete your annual feast with the most mouth-watering desserts available on the canal. Karl and Bev Black are the creators of the show-stopping Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. Finding a gourmet sorbet and ice cream niche in the Pacific Northwest, these inventors have brought delight to community members for over 30 years. Their fall flavors include spiced pecan, caramel apple, caramel pecan chocolate chip, maple nut, and cinnamon caramel swirl. For a lighter treat, their sorbets are made with fresh, local berries and include a variety of cranberry-based flavors.

Owner and maker of Hallelujah Fudge, Jolene McArthur, has always brought smiles through her cooking. Making creamy, rich, and chocolaty fudge was the ultimate way to spread cheer. Skip the pie and buy the apple pie fudge instead. The peanut butter chocolate, caramel sea salt, and Cinnabon fudge are also crowd pleasers. Fudge can be purchased by the pound off the official website or if you are cruising down the canal, stop at Cameo Boutique in Union for a bite.

Join around the cornucopia with your closest family and friends to gobble down on the best meal of the year and be thankful for the bounty from the shores of the Hood Canal.

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