Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Every year I look forward to getting together with my family, enjoying a delicious and calorically-dense feast, and pausing to be grateful for the time we share together.

I also look forward to eating an otherwise socially unacceptable amount of pie, and I reject your judgment, Cousin Fran.

Whether you spend days preparing the meal or prefer to take a more laid back, couch-based approach, gathering around the Thanksgiving table with loved ones and eating together is a memory-rich experience.  However, meal preparation can be a bit of a time-eater. According to national surveys, American families hosting Thanksgiving dinner  will spend up to 15 hours preparing the spread (yikes). For those of us who would like to reclaim a bit of that time and still enjoy the thoughtful flavors of home-style cooking,  local food fave Zingerman’s offers a beautiful, made-to-order selection in Thanksgiving Dinner from Cornman Farms<----- Click here to learn more!!!

Inspired by his family's love for all things Thanksgiving, Chef Kieron Hales has combined the traditional fare of Thanksgiving with local ingredients and his own childhood food memories into an a-la-carte, by-the-serving Thanksgiving menu prepared with love in the Dexter, Michigan farmhouse to be enjoyed in your home. We’re talking about:


  • Turkey (gobble gobble)

  • Beef Tenderloin

  • Cream of Blue Hubbard Squash Soup

  • Kale Salad

  • “Perfect Mashed Potatoes”

  • Crispy Stuffing

  • Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • Glazed Honey Carrots

  • Rosemary & Thyme Apples

  • Turkey Gravy, Red Wine Sauce, Horseradish Cream Sauce

  • Salted Butterscotch Pudding

  • Chocolate Mousse

  • PIES… Pumpkin and Pecan

  • Cranberry Pecan Bread 


Will you tell your relatives that this gourmet, scrumptious feast is from Cornman Farms, or claim the credit for yourself and accept compliments from Aunt Karen on how well-rested you look? The choice is yours.


And what to do with all that extra time on your hands, since you’re not cooking this year? Get out there and enjoy the Thanksgiving season in Washtenaw County! Here’s our top 10 list for awesome mid-late November events and attractions:


1. Take a walk.

Enjoy the last of the crisp, clear fall weather before snowflakes start to fall. Visit the newly completed Border to Border Trail, or head out to Mill Creek Park or Hudson Mills MetroPark (especially perfect for a pre-dinner-pickup activity since Cornman Farms is in Dexter). 


2.  See a movie.

Family movie nights are a great way to keep the fun going into the evening. Check out our historic gems - the State Theatre and Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor - or head to Emagine in Saline for a renowned theater-going experience. Don’t forget the popcorn!


3. Shop for gifts.

There is no time like the present! (See what I did there?) We have no shortage of holiday craft markets with treasures from local makers. Shop small and check those names off your list early!  DIYpsi is a local mainstay tradition for unique, handmade gifts. Also, check out Tiny Expo at the Ann Arbor District Library! And after Thanksgiving celebrations taper off, don’t miss Kerrytown’s KindleFest as well as Midnight Madness and Moonlight Madness in downtown Ann Arbor.


4. Go to an exhibit.

Wandering through a museum is a marvelous way to spend a leisurely day. Stroll through the always-free University of Michigan Museum of Art and check out its “Art in the Age of the Internet” exhibit, or learn about family and history at the Washtenaw County Historical Society's “Quilts - Family Threads and Mysteries” exhibit.


5. Get moving.

While I don't run unless someone is chasing me, those of you who want to move and groove can skedaddle through the A2 Turkey Trot for a gobblin’ good time. And, Bløm Meadworks is hosting yoga classes throughout the month, and the $15 per class price includes a draft pour of mead. 


6. Take in a show

The Ann Arbor area has a ton of local theater that would be so appreciative of your support! This Thanksgiving season, check out the improv scene with ThanksLiving Room at Pointless Brewery & Theatre, or see an original Jeff Daniels play at the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea. More of a Broadway-style musical fan? Hello Dolly! will play at the Encore in Dexter starting on November 15, and Passing Strange is the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department show in November. There’s also a karaoke fundraiser for the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre happening on November 16, and a Gershwin revue two days after that!


7. Prefer rock bands or folk jams?

Amy Ray (½ of the Indigo Girls) will be at the Ark in mid-November  (as well as other renowned artists almost every evening throughout the month), and Klezmephonic will bring their rollicking freylakhs, sweet cradle songs, and hot American vaudeville tunes to the Kerrytown Concert House around the same time.


8. Parm Party!

Zingerman’s is doing a weeks-long celebration of all things parmesan, and and on November 11 the Creamery will host a Parm Party with education and so many tastes of this truly great cheese. YUM!


9. Be a mermaid.

Yes, you read that correctly. Unicorn Feed & Supply (Downtown Ypsilanti’s newest quirky retail store) will host its first annual Mermaid Party at Bona Sera. Expect gorgeous performances and music, themed cocktails, and prizes for costumes.


10. Jump Into Christmas!

When it’s all said and done, it’s time for more holidays! Pack a pocket leftover sammie and head to the Tree Lighting Festival in Ann Arbor to welcome in the new season.


Whatever you decide to do with your extra time, you’ll be glad you decided to bring home Cornman Farms’ scrumptious Thanksgiving Feast (and enough tasty pies for sweet-toothed guests like me!). Happy Turkey Day to you and yours!


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