Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You

Today, our huge family of three celebrated Thanksgiving together with old friends. Well, they were not so old. All were very good friends.

Every holiday, especially Thanksgiving, amazes me by the effort put into making food and the speed with it is dispatched. Even more now. I'll tell you why.

Turkey and Gravy. A year ago last April, our local postmaster telephoned us to announce the arrival of a box of turkey poults, including this year's Thanksgiving turkey and 19 adoptive siblings. We got to know the tiny fellows pretty well over the next 5 1/2 months, as they grew into irritating adults who demanded our help putting them to bed each night while they pecked at anything shiny. Then came a day I've already blogged about and a deep sleep in the freezer. See Today, a few hours in the oven provided our main course and gravy.

Mashed Potatoes. St. Patrick's Day is the prime day for planting potatoes around here. As I recall, a nice rain postponed this year's planting to March 21. Now, growing potatoes isn't just a waiting game. They require weeding now and then, hoeing into hills, and several weeks handpicking Colorado potato beetle larvae during my early morning rounds. Digging them isn't easy, but it's sort of like panning for gold.

Corn. This year our first planting of corn went into the field garden at the end of April. The promise of 130 dozen sprouts proved illusory, dwindled to 5 dozen ears by summer drought. Series of smaller plantings in the garden beds, where I could keep them watered, saved the season. Then came picking, husking, cutting off the kernels, freezing or canning.

Stuffing. Karen used home-made bread for our stuffing this year. Some of the wheat berries and flour came from winter wheat planted either last fall or the year before.

Pumpkin pie. Not really pumpkin, this year's pie came from frozen Georgia Candy Roaster squash we grew last summer. The squash were monsters, relatively easy to put away because we could slice them in half, remove the seeds and pulp, cook them cut side down on cookie sheets, whirl them up in a food processor, and stuff them in freezer bags.

Whipping cream for the pie. Not really whipping cream, goat milk and free-range eggs served as the base for home-made ice cream churned on the patio this afternoon.

"I guess you're saying it took almost two years to prepare this dinner?" says Virginia.

And fifteen minutes to eat it.

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