Try the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie at Sugaree Baking Company

We love pumpkins! We just want to carve 'em, roast their seeds and then bake the guts into all kinds of awesome. So, this autumn, we're on a quest for the tastiest local pumpkin goodies, before the fleeting flavor is gone. Do you have a favorite local seasonal pumpkin food? E-mail tips@riverfronttimes.com. Check out our other fall and Thanksgiving coverage over at Gobble Gobble.

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Julia Gabbert

When a bakery only opens to the public twice a week for seven hours at a time, and in that time frame people are constantly lining up to buy their favorite treats, you know it's going to be good. Sugaree Baking Company (1242 Tamm Avenue; 314-645-5496) has managed just that. Originally a bakery specializing in wedding cakes, Sugaree now opens its doors every Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers a hefty variety of fresh pies, cakes and cookies.

The pumpkin whoopie pies from Sugaree put a nice autumnal spin on the classic chocolate whoopie pies owner Pat Rutherford grew up eating in New England.


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Where to Shop for Last-Minute Groceries on Thanksgiving

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It's almost certainly happened to you -- likely more than once.

You've begun your preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, your relatives are inbound, and you suddenly realize that you're out of milk or butter or, God help you, turkey.

OK, we're not sure anyone can help you find a (not-frozen) turkey on Thanksgiving, but as long as you don't wait until the late afternoon to assemble your mise en place, you'll have at least a few options for buying groceries on the holiday itself.

Our list is after the jump.

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Too Lazy To Cook? Where to Dine Out on Thanksgiving

Categories: Gobble Gobble
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Pardon us, but we'd rather not cook the bird ourselves.
In preparation for Thanksgiving, that most food-centric of holidays, families have been storming area grocery stores and haggling over Butterball turkeys. But as the big day approaches, some may decide to run far, far away from the kitchen when faced with the imminent arrival of a dozen relatives -- and a meal-prep plan more complicated than a football playbook.

For those shuddering at the thought of cooking a Thanksgiving feast -- or those unable to dine with family -- several St. Louis-area restaurants are throwing open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you're looking for traditional food or cheap fare, Gut Check has assembled a guide to dining out on Turkey Day. Just be sure to call ahead for reservations or to get your meal to go.

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Try the Pumpkin Pie Crêpe at City Coffeehouse & Crêperie

We love pumpkins! We just want to carve 'em, roast their seeds and then bake the guts into all kinds of awesome. So, this autumn, we're on a quest for the tastiest local pumpkin goodies, before the fleeting flavor is gone. Do you have a favorite local seasonal pumpkin food? E-mail tips@riverfronttimes.com. Check out our other fall and Thanksgiving coverage over at Gobble Gobble.

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Emily Wasserman
City Coffeehouse & Crêperie (36 N. Brentwood Blvd., Clayton, 63105; 314-862-2489) is known for serving up French crêpes with an American twist: The crêpes here are twice the size of the traditional French treats. Not that we're complaining. Whether it's a sweet crêpe filled with creamy, melted chocolate-hazelnut spread, or a savory creation with layers of gooey Mozzarella and tomatoes, Gut Check has never left a crêpe unfinished.

The "Pumpkin Pie Crêpe" combines a traditional Thanksgiving dessert with French culinary tradition, and the result is nothing short of perfection.

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Maude's Market: Recipe for Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Maude's Market offers locally raised heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving this year in addition to a plethora of seasonal items. Read on to see how Maude Bauschard makes the most of the season's harvest with her recipe for apple stuffed acorn squash.

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Mabel Suen
A selection of squash from Maude's Market.
The year-old Dutchtown shop 
Maude's Market (4219 Virginia Avenue; 314-353-4219) provides weekly groceries for 50 families through a local buyer's club and also offers general retail of locally produced, organic when possible goods. Owner Maude Bauschard works with a small team, including Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Michelle Blodgett, to choose products and develop suggested recipes for the goods she offers.

Some of Bauschard's favorite regular items include Berhanu Organic lentil dips and soups, farm-fresh eggs, coffee, tea and elderberry products. However, she also offers seasonal specialty products such as apple cider and a variety of sizable squash including such varieties as triamble, hubbard, crookneck and banana. The store features ten-plus-pound pumpkins that range from $2.50 to $4.75, and other squash varieties sell for no more than $6 a piece.

"They're enormous and very tasty squash," says Bauschard. "They're so unique, and many people aren't familiar with them. Even though it's a lot of food, they're not that expensive. I recommend that people freeze parts of them to save for later recipes."

Read on for Bauschard's recipe for apple-stuffed acorn squash, and get inspired to do some squash cooking to show off the full extent of fall flavors this holiday season.



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The Five Worst Stuffing Recipes

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WARNING: This post contains the words "Paula Deen" and "lumpy corn dog."
While malls and radio stations are already gearing up for Christmas, Gut Check is patiently awaiting the beloved return of Thanksgiving. Gorging on Halloween candy was a good warmup for the inevitable belly stuffing that will occur on the 24th, and as usual we're fully prepared to loosen our belt more than one mere notch.
Few joys compare to the feast that accompanies Thanksgiving. We're thankful for juicy turkey, tender roasted veggies, tangy cranberry sauce, buttery, hot-from-the-oven dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. Assuming the chef's got the turkey technique nailed, the only potential downside to dinner is mushy stuffing done wrong.

Read on for some of the most shudder-inducing stuffing recipes you may or may not be forced to endure this Thanksgiving.

1. Deep-fried stuffing on a stick
Leave it to Paula Deen to take something gross, put it on a stick, deep-fry it and make it even more gross. This stuffing recipe includes sausage, carrots, celery and Saltines (among other things), deep-fried in oil. We're skeptical of any recipe containing the sentence, "This should look somewhat like a lumpy corn dog," and we don't want to be responsible for anyone's cardiac arrest this holiday season.


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Maude's Market Offers Heritage Turkeys for Thanksgiving

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Mabel Suen
Turkey time is quickly approaching! If there's still no word on your bird, consider a locally raised heritage turkey from Maude's Market (4219 Virginia Avenue; 314-353-4219) for the dinner table this year. Maude's Market, a year-old shop in up-and-coming south-city neighborhood Dutchtown, provides fresh local farm products year round, including staple items in addition to unique specialty products. So what exactly makes a heritage turkey a heritage turkey?

According to owner Maude Bauschard, the heritage lineage of turkeys was bred 100 to 150 years ago specifically for taste, show, feathers or thriftiness because they required less feed. While they are relatively easy to raise on a family farm, they are not as commercially viable because they take time to raise, and they put on weight slowly. The American market's most familiar breed, the broad breasted turkey, gets big and fat quickly, but it's bred more so for their ability to put on weight rather than their taste. Simply put, heritage turkeys are better than your average holiday bird and pack quite a flavorful punch.

"It's like the difference between having a tomato grown in Chile during the middle of our winter and shipped up here as opposed to a tomato from your back yard," says Bauschard.

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A Rant Against Pumpkin

Categories: Gobble Gobble
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To celebrate Thanksgiving, Gut Check has been running a series of posts celebrating our pumpkin-flavored treats. To which I say: Bah, humbug.

The primary function of a pumpkin should be decoration, either as a Halloween jack-o'-lantern or as the centerpiece of a gourd-centric autumnal table setting.

As far as a foodstuff, pumpkin has exactly three (3) acceptable uses:

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Try the Pumpkin Truffles from Kakao

We love pumpkins! We just want to carve 'em, roast their seeds and then bake the guts into all kinds of awesome. So, this autumn, we're on a quest for the tastiest local pumpkin goodies, before the fleeting flavor is gone. Do you have a favorite local seasonal pumpkin food? E-mail tips@riverfronttimes.com. Check out our other fall and Thanksgiving coverage over at Gobble Gobble.

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Chrissy Wilmes
When visiting Kakao Chocolate (7272 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-645-4446), it's best to simply give in. Indulge. Resistance is futile. You can try all you like to stick to window-shopping, but once you begin browsing the display of delectable barks, caramels and truffles, your self control is best re-purposed towards something more practical. Like limiting yourself to, say, only five treats.

While Kakao has standard confections that are always available (we go back again and again for those dark-chocolate sea-salt caramels), the chocolatiers are constantly experimenting. You can count on something new with every visit, even if, like us, you maybe visit a bit more often than you should.

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Try the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake at Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium

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Emily Wasserman
While some of us are content sitting back and waiting for the traditional Thanksgiving pie, others need a more frequent fix. Gut Check falls into the latter group.

Luckily, we struck pumpkin gold at Fozzie's (1170 South Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-932-5414). Although Fozzie's is better known for its sandwiches, burgers and chips, it also offer a variety of milkshakes, including the "pumpkin pie."


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