A traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and vegetables.

Brackett kimberly w
Freelance Writer
Kimberly Williams-Brackett is a freelance writer based in Idaho.

Why not spice up the Christmas dinner table with Idaho commodities?

Falls Brand offers smoked turkey around the holidays.

They also offer bacon, sausage, marinated pork, smoked meats, sausage and ham. But let’s not forget beef and lamb.

The Idaho Beef Council has recipes available online for holiday entertaining.


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"November and December will be our two largest months of the year," says Elizabeth Thomas of Thomas Cattle Company in Oreana. Her family sells direct-to-consumer beef quarter, half or whole shares, as well as small bundles. "We bring in holiday meats from the wholesale side of our business to stock up our direct-to-consumer website. This year, we are planning to double the amount of holiday beef due to our growth over the last 12 months."


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"Boneless prime rib is the most popular cut with bone-in prime rib being second. This year, we also are offering full tenderloins as well as striploin roasts for a less expensive option. We sell many holiday gift packages of beef that customers ship to their friends and family all across the U.S.," says Thomas.

In December, what’s in season in Idaho? According to Idaho Preferred, apples, microgreens, onions and potatoes. There is a farm and food finder available on the Idaho Preferred website, so you can shop locally.


Photo by Lynn Jaynes.

No dinner is complete without Idaho’s “famous potatoes.” Idaho produces around 30% of all U.S. fall potato production each year. “Our shipments to retail for the month of November increase by roughly 55 to 65 percent over normal movement, and our shipments for December increase by roughly 30 to 35 percent over normal movement,” says Coleman Oswald, director of sales for Eagle Eye Produce. “Breaking that down a bit further, the shipments two to three weeks before Thanksgiving are up by as much as three times normal weekly shipments and for Christmas, they are usually two times our normal weekly shipments.”

Idaho ranks fifth in the nation in onion production. Idaho Preferred reported 25% of all U.S. onions come directly from the Snake River Valley of southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. According to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), the Idaho-eastern Oregon production area is the only storage onion region in the U.S. governed by a federal marketing order. In this area, more than 30 packing sheds store, pack and market onions.


Photo by Lynn Jaynes.

Approximately 66% of the world’s supply of sweet corn starts with seeds developed in Canyon County, Idaho, according to Idaho Preferred. Idaho counties with the most corn farmers are Twin Falls, Jerome, Fremont, Canyon and Ada.

Nearly half of all Idaho wheat is sold to foreign markets, making it one of our top export products, according to the ISDA. In terms of revenue generated, wheat has consistently ranked as Idaho’s second-largest crop behind potatoes. “Direct wheat sales – bypassing the elevator and going straight to consumer – is very rare in Idaho,” says Britany Marchant, executive director for the Idaho Wheat Commission. “We see flour sales increase around the holidays for holiday baking, but I do not know of anyone who would be putting together direct wheat sales or increasing wheat sales during the holidays.”


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Rick Naerebout, CEO of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, says Ballard Cheese does direct-to-consumer sales and markets a number of holiday boxes, although Steve and Stacie Ballard could not be reached for comment.

A Christmas dinner is not complete without apple pie. Apples are Idaho’s No. 1 fruit crop at 60 million pounds annually. According to Idaho Preferred, it takes a medium-sized apple tree six to 10 years before it fully produces fruit. Once fully grown, an apple tree will produce enough apples to make 225 pies each year.

The favorite Christmas beverage? Why eggnog, of course. “Cloverleaf Creamery is a local creamery, farm and dairy farm in the heart of Buhl,” says manager Shelby Scott. “Cloverleaf Creamery has been providing fresh dairy products throughout Idaho since 2007. Cloverleaf products stand out not only as local, grass-fed, fresh dairy products but are also recognized for the minimal pasteurization and homogenization of their products. From the ice cream to the milk and even our seasonal favorite, eggnog, we strive to provide our customers with the freshest and most natural dairy products in Idaho.”


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Scott adds, “Every year as the weather gets colder, our famous eggnog becomes an all-time seasonal favorite. People from all over Idaho and even out of state stop by our Buhl and Twin Falls locations to buy a bottle of our eggnog, and they are never disappointed! We start making our eggnog the first week of October to the first week of January. On average, each year we make 8,500 bottles of eggnog! We use high-quality ingredients in our eggnog, and rather than cracking eggs into every batch, we use a premium premix powder that contains egg yolks and a blend of ingredients and spices that make this beverage refreshing and delicious.”

She continues, “Our customer base goes crazy for our products. We have customers asking for eggnog in July. We have several locations where we sell our Cloverleaf products. All of the locations are listed on our website.”

If you’re looking for something a little stronger, according to the Idaho Wine Commission, Idaho is home to more than 75 wineries and eight cideries and is growing wine grapes on more than 1,300 acres of planted vineyards in Idaho.


Photo by Mike Dixon.

Idaho Preferred has 36 different Idaho gift baskets available, if you want to experience Idaho agriculture. Idaho specialty foods include jams, jellies, syrups, honey, soups and baking mixes. The ag-artisan and crafted boxes can be purchased on the Idaho Preferred website.

Give the gift of Idaho.