The Rapidian Home

Through the season: J. Dykstra Produce's chestnut stuffing and Bob Alt Farm's pumpkin centerpiece

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Underwriting support from:


For every person who took the day off work to cook for Thanksgiving, there's another person still plumbing their minds for what to make. Here are two recipes from a couple of our vendors.



Servings: Enough stuffing for a 15-pound turkey


  • 2 six-ounce bags of seasoned dressing mix (Stove Top works best)
  • 1 pound fresh chestnuts, blanched, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 17-ounce can of mushrooms, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth


  1. Combine chestnuts and seasoned dressing mix in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté onion, celery and mushroom till limp, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add poultry seasoning to the skillet and mix well.
  4. Add vegetable mixture to the dressing mix and toss to combine.
  5. Stir in parsley, add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add just enough broth to moisten the dressing without making it soggy. Either:
    1. Pack the stuffing loosely in the neck and body cavity of the bird for cooking.
    2. Heat oven to 325°F and bake stuffing in greased, covered casserole dish for 30 minutes.


Dykstra Produce was started in 1977. It was a great job for the Dykstra kids for the summer as something constructive to do while earning money. It has since evolved into whaty they do today - five stalls, four days a week from May to November. Jeff Dykstra and his mother Betty work most of the time, and occasionally, Joe and Peter Dykstra help as well. They sell fruit - melons, berries, peaches - as well as chestnuts in October.





  • One 3-5 pounds white pumpkins
  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 medium pepper
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup


  1. Wash the exterior of the pumpkin. Cut the top and scrape out seeds and any string.
  2. Steam rice in a two-quart sauce pan (two cups of water to one cup of rice).
  3. Wash and cut celery into quarter-inch pieces. Dice the peppers.
  4. When the rice is ready, stir all the ingredients together.
  5. Remove the lid from the pumpkin and stuff it with the mixture. Put the lid ack on
  6. Bake in an oven in a shallow pan with a little water in the bottom for two hours at 350°F.
  7. When it is done, set it at the center of the table and scoop it out.


Bob and RuthAnn Alt are the owners of Alt Farms. They began farming part-time when they first married in 1968 and after five years, they were able to go full-time. They started at the market in 1995 selling asparagus, strawberries, peaches, apples, raspberries and pumpkins. Most days you will see RuthAnn and Marilyn DeHos at the market.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.