Well, we did it. We pulled off our down home Thanksgiving! After doing this, I understand why pioneer women stayed home to cook and clean. It takes a lot of time. Maybe not the cleaning part, because dirty floors and outdoor toilets don’t require a lot of attention. But, boy, the growing, prepping, cooking takes time. Even with electric appliances.
The final menu:
- Corn bread and sausage stuffing
- Mashed potatoes
- Glazed carrots
- Green beans and bacon
- Pattypan and Ricotta quiche
- Dinner rolls
- Deviled eggs
- Pumpkin Pie
- Holiday cookies
My shopping list had a whopping 7 items on it, including spices, half and half, whipping cream, and celery. Yeah, I had to break away from the farm for celery. Not only were we not able to grow it here, but we couldn’t find it at farmers markets, either. Still, not bad. The sausage and bacon came from our friends at R Heritage farm. The one item that was sadly missing was corn. Rats got to our cornfield before harvest. Everything else came straight from our backyard and kitchen.
While it was nice to head out to the backyard to gather Thanksgiving, it was the longest prep timeline ever. Besides the big projects like planting and processing, there is also the daily feeding, watering, and cleaning, etc.
- Buy chicks so they will be laying eggs in time (Hens start laying around 20 weeks)
- Green beans
- Buy turkey chicks (Turkeys are processed at 4-6 months)
- Harvest and can green beans
- Process and can chicken stock
- Harvest potatoes, pumpkins, squash and carrots
- Make pumpkin puree
- Catch and process turkey (this is harder when it’s been raining and the yard is muddy and slippery)
- Bake corn bread
- Prepare pie crusts
- Slice carrots
- Bake dinner rolls
- Bake cookies
Everything else was pulled together on Thanksgiving.
Now, we missed some holiday standards because I was determined to bring as much as possible from the back yard. There were no cranberries, and no sweet potatoes, which are my favorite. Next year, we can probably grow sweet potatoes, and some mushrooms would be good. I don’t see cranberries happening anytime soon. Something about a bog, or something. Hmm. Maybe we could do that. We’ll see.
Christmas is right around the corner, and our Christmas dinner will be as much from home as possible, but I’ll have to bring in other goodies, too.
Thanksgiving will continue to be homegrown, and I’m sure will evolve over the years. It’s not a matter of having or making MORE. For us, it’s about doing it ourselves, appreciating where we are and what we’re able to produce, and providing for our family. It also reminds us to be thankful year-round. And that’s the very best part.