Monday, November 16, 2015


 This weekend, we celebrated our North Carolina Thanksgiving. The kids and I started cooking Friday, and for the first time our meal included cranberry ice, which is a hallmark of our family holidays in Napoleon. Mom sent me the recipe, complete with her one note, and then I spent most of the evening texting back and forth about everything that is not actually in the recipe:
 We were so fortunate to be able to start with cranberries from the Produce Box:
But the recipe should really mention that they explode rather than pop. Evan found the cranberries shooting across the kitchen hysterical. Next time we will use a larger pot! My heart melted when I explained that Grandma Luzny used to make this, and now Nana makes it, and now I'm learning to make it, and Issa announced, "And someday I'll make it!" Yes, love, you will.

Saturday morning, the kids and I headed to the farm. It was the last open day of the season, and we spent the morning caring for chicks (which delighted the kiddos), rounding up loose livestock, taking down some shade tents, and planting garlic and cover crops. We stayed nearly an hour later than usual, but it was such a perfect morning on the farm we didn't mind. Even corralling steers was fun, although I have an ugly bruise on my hip from Big Red who was being stubborn and head butted me. We came home with loads of sweet potatoes--some of which we mashed for the feast--and two butterkin pumpkins. Coupled with the two I ordered from the Produce Box, that gave us a total of four pumpkins to roast and puree:
Thankfully it freezes beautifully. Once we started making our own last year, though, canned pumpkin just won't do.

We also prepped the turkey Saturday night. I have become a huge fan of dry brining, which means the turkey sits in the roaster in our refrigerator over night. Evan spent most of the evening and following morning opening the refrigerator and remarking, "Boy, that sure is one big chicken." That kid sure know hows to get under his sister's skin; every time she would shout, "IT IS A TURKEY! And it is very big." I always buy a bird that is too big for the occasion, and as I was trying to justify it this year as having to account for the bones Brad pointed out bird bones are hollow. We have left-overs.

Sunday morning, the preparations were in full swing. We started by making the pumpkin pie, and then we made Mama Fisher's yeast rolls. Her recipe really is the best, and every time I make them I see her standing in her kitchen mixing the flour in by hand when Tay and I would go to her house to escape campus. Mama Fish, I use a mixer; I'm sorry. They are still delicious. 

I got the stock going for gravy, and then it was all crafting hands on deck. Issa had checked out a Thanksgiving craft book at the library, and we replaced our very ordinary bread basket with this beauty:
It was so fun crafting with her!

We used the good china and genuinely enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal. We will be eating leftovers all week, and I'm making some deliveries to friends today. All of the preparation is so worth it, though. I love being in the kitchen with the kiddos, and I love that we extend the gratitude a bit by celebrating here, too. After all, we have so very much to be grateful for.

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