She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

Today I'm beginning preparations for our Homemade Thanksgiving Dinner.
On the menu:
Turkey of course, we pick up the turkey today.  This turkey was raised about 30 mins drive from here on a free range outdoor turkey operation.  I will try to take pictures.  It may be raining but it is a cool place and we feel great about eating this bird.

It wasn't raining, it was a beautiful evening and warm.  Bowman & Landes have so many customers this week that they have kids directing traffic.

The turkey comes in a box and immediately that it is removed the box already has an occupant.  The turkey has been vegetarian fed.  This does not mean that the turkey is a vegetarian.  It simply means that the feed does not contain any animal products or by-products.  Turkeys I'm sure will eat whatever bug they can especially when they are out on the range like these sometimes are.

Mashed potatoes.  I don't particularly need them with all the other starches but Chloe will eat mashed potatoes and I really want her to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner.

Stuffing.  I am getting ready to bake some bread. 

I will buy some turkey sausage at the turkey store today.  We have celery, carrots, apples, raisins, walnuts etc etc.

I cut one loaf of bread into cubes and diced onions, celery and garlic.  Then I fried a pound of turkey burger from Bowman & Landes.  The turkey sausage had an ingredient called spices, which is much too vague for me, so until I can ask them exactly what they mean by 'spices' I will use the 100% ground turkey.  It is really good anyway.  I browned the meat and added the vegies and sauteed until they were just translucent.  I seasoned the breadcrumbs to my liking, Italian, and added the fried things.  Chopped apples and walnuts.  You can add anything you want here.  Raisins would be nice but I forgot to buy them.

I had been nurturing a sprig of sage on my porch from the summer.  It had grown a lot since I brought it in and it was destined for Thanksgiving dinner.  There is a close up of the stuffing.  The stuffing is in my opinion the most important part of the dinner.  Well you do have to have a turkey, that goes without saying but the turkey is the final touch to the stuffing.  All those juices running down through the stuffing, mmm mm.  Now you must break a couple of eggs into the stuffing and mix them in and then pour some water over all to allow you to make clumps to help you stuff it into the bird.  I stuff the inside and the neck area.  Then when the bird is cooked you can take the stuffing all out and serve it in a serving dish. 

Brussel sprouts.  I found a delectable looking recipe I plan to try.

These aren't the frozen kind.  These were fresh, well sort of fresh.  I think they had a very long trip, the kind of trip I would dred to make by car, or truck.  They came all the way from California to Ohio to grace our table.  I'm being completely honest here, these were not local by any stretch but they were grown in the USA.  They were in really bad shape and I peeled and chisled much away leaving the inner parts.  I buttered the pan and put the brussels in sprinkled paprika because I don't have or like hot pepper.  Then I drizzled them generously with maple syrup.  When the turkey came out of the oven these went in and the temperature went to 425F.  I stirred them frequently and they took about 45 minutes.  Next time I will toss them in the syrup to cover them better and put more butter in.  They were delicious though.  My mother-in-law said they were. 

Green beans, from the garden, for Chloe.  Pretty sure she won't want Brussel Sprouts.

Sweet Potatoes.  We didn't grow any but we were able to find some organic ones at the grocer.  Second choice would have been stuffed dumpling squash.  Yum.  Can't wait to try that soon.
I boiled the sweet potatoes in water and drained and mashed them.  I buttered the pan and put them in.  In the saucepan I melted butter and brown sugar and cooked for a bit then I added the chopped pecans.  I spread this out over the top of the sweet potatoes and put it in the oven with the brussel sprouts for the last 20 minutes.   These were delectable and definitely replaced and exceeded the whole marshmallow thing I used to do.  I don't use marshmallows anymore.

Apple cranberry salad home made.  Never made it before but really looking forward to trying it.  It was great but I didn't get a picture.

Biscuits.  Chloe prefers whole wheat biscuits so whloe wheat biscuits it is. 
The biscuits went into the oven with the sweet potatoes.

Apple pie

I mixed cinnamon and white flour and tossed the apples with it, then I drizzled the whole thing with honey, just a little as these are Fuji apples which are quite sweet already.  The pastry is 100% whole wheat and butter.

Pumpkin pie

I roasted the pumpkin over water and then Mark pureed it while I washed piles of dirty dishes.  I would totally have pureed it but I think sometimes Mark just wants to be a part of the process so all of us will have had a hand in this pie.

I didn't use sugar in this pie.  I used honey, only not as much as you would use sugar.  I used whole milk fresh from the farm and eggs.  I made a big mistake putting them in the oven on a cold cookie sheet.  If you are reading this you may already know this but I make pumpkin pie once a year and every year have to learn the same lesson.  This is one reason I'm writing this, so that I can read it next year and make sure not to make that huge mistake again.  The cold pan warped and spilled the filling out onto the foil underneath and didn't smell so good by the end of the baking.  The warp went away but that pie had a little less filling.
I served whipped cream with the pumpkin pie.  I scooped the cream off the top of the milk last week until I had a couple of pints.  This way I will have some cream to whip as we gobble up the pie.

Pecan pie.  This was also not made with sugar but with half and half honey and maple syrup.  I was really impressed and my husband loved it.

Really missing the kids this year.  But they are all together out west somewhere making Thanksgiving memories of their own.  And I'm happy about that.
Here is a picture of the whole feast.

Recipients of the feast this year though few in number were large in spirit and incredibly dear.
The folks always enjoy a great Thanksgiving dinner.  For years Grandma served Thanksgiving dinner to crowds of people.  Now she brings her signature albeit not so chemical free oyster dressing which I have tried in the past but could not bring myself to eat.  My husband loves it and so does his dad.  The older kids always relished that part of the dinner.
The precious next generation, my youngest and my grandson.  They set their own table and had a feast to their liking with green beans, turkey and mashed potates.  Chloe loves wholewheat biscuits so they had that too.  They had a little jug of gravy to share as well.  Love the kids, so thankful we still have them.  Isn't God Great, making sure we have children still even though we are older.
I love to cook, and I love to eat.  Cooking helps to give me something I can do in a world where there is plenty I can't do.  I usually clean up the next day but the next day I was sick (exhausted I'm sure) and so Mark had to clean up.  lol

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