Friday, November 25, 2011

a fine holiday, that

Until yesterday I had never roasted a turkey, made gravy, cooked cranberry sauce, baked stuffing or a pumpkin pie, but all of it turned out fine. I won't say amazing, but certainly passable. I feel like I am truly coming into myself as a cook and here's why: my entire plan for preparing the dinner was based on searching the internet for recipes, getting the jist of them, and opting to work freelance instead. I found out what went into stuffing, the basics of broth, bread, butter, and herbs and made my own concoctions, always erring on more butter than asked (through the entire meal I went through two pounds!) But from the perfectly browned herb-roasted bird to my adaption of the family pie recipe: all went well. And the gifts of cheese, wine, sides, and desserts from the guests were far-beyond my wildest expectations. Diana brought homemade raw-milk hard cheese, Chrissy and Tyler walked in with beets, brussel sprouts, and yams and Ed and his wife (both chefs) brought a propane torch for their pumpkin creme brulee!

At dinner I said a short grace and we dove in. The whole meal eaten by candlelight, with conversation and laughs. New and old friends, happy dogs, and by 6PM when the world was dark and I was about to start thinking about a bonfire, I realized most of us were too full and warm to consider going out in the cold, wet (we just got an inch of rain the night before) to celebrate the old fashioned way. So I chalked it up as a loss and played a few banjo tunes at the dinner table

After Diane, Ed, and his family left Chrissy and Tyler and I headed to the living room to camp out in front of the woodstove and just talk. They work with me at Orvis, so we had a lot of common stuff to talk about. My night ended all of us enjoying the decadence of full stomachs and a warm fire. The stoves had the house up to 74 degrees by this point and I was almost uncomfortably warm, but too full and drugged on turkey meat to care. So I savored it, this comfort-debauchery, and said a silent prayer of thanks for the food and warmth and friends.

So that was my Thanksgiving, a wonderful new tradition at the farm. And today starts another new one: Plaid Friday. I'll be heading into the nearby town of Cambridge to stop in with Gibson at Battenkill books to sign copies of Barnheart and see the town decked out for holiday shopping. I'm lucky to live three miles from a small town with an arts center, yoga studio, organic food co-op, hardware, feed, and grocery stores. There are also several art and gift shops, and I plan on supporting a few in the coming weeks when the wallet gets a little fatter. But for today I can enjoy the big show and start making my lists of gifts for family and friends, and then later on put the Daughton's farm to sleep for the night. I'm watching their animals while they are away in Missouri to see their new granddaughter. I hope your own days were full of good thoughts, grattitude, and kindness.

P.S. Remember all those jar warmers you turned in? Well I am going to post the ten chosen finalists and let you vote for the winner tomorrow!

10 Comments:

Blogger Carol said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I always tell my family that when you can't continue with the old traditions on holidays its time to make new ones. I think Thanksgiving with co-workers, friends and soon-to-be neighbors sounds just wonderful. Congratulations on your first turkey dinner, and hoping you have many, many more at Cold Antler Farm.

November 25, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I always tell my family that when you can't continue with the old traditions on holidays its time to make new ones. I think Thanksgiving with co-workers, friends and soon-to-be neighbors sounds just wonderful. Congratulations on your first turkey dinner, and hoping you have many, many more at Cold Antler Farm.

November 25, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Joshua Tolley said...

When we were plucking our first roosters Wednesday afternoon, and when they came out of the oven Thursday, I couldn't help but remember your posts on your first home-raised roast chicken from a while back. Happy Leftover Day.

November 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger bree said...

Sounds just wonderful. Thank for sharing your day with us!

November 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Hughes ap Williams said...

Start your turkey carcass soup today.

November 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

You've really built a great community for yourself, and for us. Thanks Jenna!

November 25, 2011 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger embracingitall said...

Two pounds of butter, that would have to make everything so tasty! My mouth is watering just reading what you cooked. Sounds like a perfect celebration with lovely company too. Jacinta

November 25, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

Sounds like a fine way to spend the day. Continued blessings...

November 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
OpenID smedette said...

Beautiful bird! So glad you had a lovely Thanksgiving. It can be so easy to stress about everything and forget to enjoy the time you're sharing with everyone.

November 25, 2011 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger becky said...

I think plaid friday sounds wonderful I think its just terrible when people line up out side a store for hours instead of spending it with their family beside some of those black friday shopper are insane my sister in law told me she saw 2 grown women get into a fist fight over bath towels

November 25, 2011 at 10:17 PM  

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