True to the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, we relied on others to help us create a memorable feast.
We pardoned Tom this year. Many of you will remember that we butchered one of our own last year, but this year we were welcoming 7 additional people to our Thanksgiving table and the heritage Bourbon Reds we raised just weren’t big enough.
At the last minute we were able to secure a 25lb bird from our friends at Sap Bush Hollow Farm
The farm is located just 12 miles from the Beekman in Warnerville, NY
Jim and Adele Hayes, and their daughter, Shannon, and her husband Bob, raise only grass-fed livestock on the farm: turkeys, chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs, and geese (and probably something we are missing).
Shannon earned a PhD from Cornell University in sustainable agriculture and community development and is the author of the wonderful The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, and The Farmer & the Grill. We used her instructions for cooking our turkey and made her delicious walnut cranberry sausage stuffing. (save this recipe for next year!)
The rest of the menu included brussels sprouts au gratin, green beans almondine with orange zest, cranberry orange sauce, roasted parsnips, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and Boston Cream pie. Of course most everything was a product of our Heirloom Vegetable Garden.
Because the goats are preparing for the winter birthing cycle, we paid a visit to our friends at a neighboring organic dairy farm and got some milk fresh from the tank. This particular container became a delicious vanilla whipped cream for the pumpkin pie. In exchange for the milk we bartered some of our excess pumpkin crop that had frozen (accidentally) in the garage. Chickens love to eat pumpkins and pumpkin seeds.
We decorated the table very simply with a number of votives that our friend Anne Reeves made for us be wrapping pages from old books around glass votives. The amber light was a beautiful way to eat dinner. She maintains a wonderfully creative and inpiring blog herself. We also placed Thanksgiving cards at each guest’s spot in which we wrote why we were thankful for them.
While much of the 4 day weekend revolved around gluttony, we had constant reminders that the holiday was most importantly about family. Phone calls were made to North Carolina, Wisconsin, and even France.
Time that wasn’t spent cooking or eating was spent playing and exploring the farm.
A family of raccoons obviously thankful that we were not hunters
We are not certain what creatures built this hutch on Heron Pond, (guesses anyone?), but as we walked by it on a Thanksgiving afternoon constitutional, we could not help but think of a lovely family snug and warm inside its walls.
And we hope that all of our readers and customers were, too