Abby Carroll to speak at 25-Mile Thanksgiving DInner

Slow Food Seacoast’s 8th Annual 25-Mile Thanksgiving Celebration will be held this year on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at The Portsmouth Pearl, 45 Pearl Street in Portsmouth NH. Doors open at 5:00 pm; dinner service will begin at 6:00 and end at 7:30.


ThreeSquaresAfter dinner, Abigail Carroll, author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, will share the storied history of dinner in America from “pease porridge hot” to Swanson’s TV Dinners, and explain how Thanksgiving helped shape the way we think about the everyday evening meal. Why do we eat turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, and why has it become “traditional” to serve cranberry sauce out of a can when this tart, celebrated fruit is native to our region?

Why 25 Mile?

You may be wondering about the meaning of “25-mile” Thanksgiving ?In 2006,  a couple in Vancouver BC decided to eat locally for a year. They limited their sourcing to a 100 mile radius from their home, published a blog and eventually a book about their experience. They dubbed their trial “The 100-mile Diet”.  That was some years ago and with the incredible increase in availability of local foods, we’ve upped the ante! We now challenge you to bring a potluck dish that contains as many ingredients (or at least one) sourced within 25 miles of where YOU live!

cranberriesWe’re making it easy for you though, ’cause Seacoast Eat Local kicks off their Winter Market season the very same day! You can easily drop by the Wentworth Greenhouses in
Rollinsford to pick up your local ingredients.  Some local food options include fall greens, onions, potatoes, squash and pumpkins, turnips and rutabagas, apples and cider, dried beans, fish, eggs, cheese, honey and meats.

What to Bring

  • To minimize waste and cleanup time, please bring your own “dining kit” (plate, bowl, drinkware, cutlery, and napkin) and non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Local beer and wine will be available for purchase on site; BYOB is not allowed at this venue.
  • Please Note: There are no kitchen facilities available for washing dishes so be sure bring an appropriate means of transporting your dirty dishes back home.
  • Tickets: $10 per adult for dinner; no charge for children accompanied by their family. Your donation covers the cost of the facility and allows us to pay our local Turkey farmers a fair price for their birds.

Purchase your tickets in advance by clicking here.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for the following tasks:
Setup (3:00 – 5:00 pm; set up tables and chairs, decorate)
Service (5:00 – 7:00 pm; organize and replenish potluck dishes, bus tables)
Cleanup (7:00 – 9:00 pm, approximately; clear tables, compost waste, pack up supplies)

EMAIL Laura at if you would like to volunteer.

More About the Author

Abigail Carroll delights in uncovering the stories behind the foods we eat. She is an author and historian who has taught in the Gastronomy Program at Boston University and has published articles in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She holds a PhD in American Studies and lives in Vermont.