Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s what I’m thankful for this year:

  • A wonderful husband of 5 years and a baby on the way
  • A great big extended family and in-laws who love each other very much
  • My dream house
  • All of our wonderful animals
  • Nourishing food
  • My 12-year-old car that just keeps on going
  • Our good jobs and benefits
  • Our good health
  • That tomorrow I can start decorating for Christmas! Yay Christmas village!

What are you thankful for this year?

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Turkeys

I didn’t get to help out with the turkeys today, since I went to school and later to help out at the farm market with Thanksgiving pies.  Thanks to Ed’s mom Marie for these pictures!

 

The turkeys

After the turkeys are killed, using a cone, and bleed out, they’re dunked in boiling water to scald them and make the feathers come out easier.

The turkey then goes into a plucker, which removes most of the feathers.

Some feathers remain, and need to be taken out by hand.  The turkeys are also gutted.

It was chilly enough today to do this outside, which helps to cool the meat.

The finished product goes into the cooler.  Some will be cut apart and/or vacuum sealed and frozen.

Tucker had a hard day!

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Glittery Pumpkins

Last year in December I took my remaining pumpkins and gourds and painted them to become Christmas decorations.  This year, I broke out the glitter and got started a little early.  I’ve had a couple of requests to post a tutorial for my Santa gourds, but I’m not quite making those yet.  I did take pictures today of how I made glittery pumpkins, which will serve as decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Start with mini-pumpkins, which also can be called Jack-be-Little pumpkins.  Choose pumpkins that are nicely shaped and without soft spots, and try to get ones with long stems, since they’ll be easiest to hang on to.

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Spread craft glue on the pumpkin with a paint brush.  You can paint it all at once while you hold the stem, or you can do it in two or three different sections.

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Hold the pumpkin over a bowl and sprinkle it with glitter.  Today, I used gold, orange and maroon glitter to make pumpkins in fall colors.

*Warning: If you need to sneeze, turn away! I sneezed right over the bowl and glitter went everywhere.  I can only imagine how messy this project will be when I have little helpers.

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Let the pumpkins dry completely while sitting on newspaper.  Use them for decoration around the house, but check them regularly to make sure they’re not rotting.

Do you have a favorite way to decorate pumpkins?

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Baby Turkeys!

baby-turkeys

Ed’s family was so happy with how well raising pigs turned out last year, they’ve decided to raise some turkeys this year, too.  The babies are so cute in the photo above (from Mom Marie), where they’re about a day old.

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Here’s one of the turkeys now, at about a week and a half old.

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Ed holds the turkey inside his work area of the barn.  They’re living here for now, under lights to keep them warm.

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Here are the turkeys in their home.  They’re trying to fly out of the pen now, but a screen across the top keeps them safe inside.

As the turkeys get older, they’ll be moved to a pen where they can free-range until Thanksgiving.  I’m so excited that we’ll be able to add sustainably and humanely raised turkey to our table this year.

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It’s Officially Thanksgiving…

… last night I burned my finger taking pies out of my oven and this morning the smoke alarm went off.  Not due to my cooking… some smoke got in the house from the wood stove, and the bad thing about good insulation in a new home is that the smoke stays in the house and sets off the alarm.

For the last two years, Thanksgiving has been incredibly low key for my family.  Up until then, we were always working at the farm.  We would bake pies all night long, and customers would start to line up before 6 a.m. to get them.  Apple and pumpkin were the favorites, of course, followed closely by Fruits of the Forest, which is a mixture of apples, strawberries, rhubarb, red raspberries and blackberries.  I remember as a child staying up late with my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, running in and out of the warm kitchen at the farm market and camping out in my grandmother’s office.  We’d help box pies, label the the boxes, wash trays, take out the trash.  One of the most fun parts was jumping in the cardboard dumpster to help make room for more.  We’d get to skip school on Tuesday and Wednesday, since they were the busiest days.  There are so many funny memories of those late nights baking, from falling asleep and burning a load of pies to our “Employee of the Year” nomination accompanied by a goofy picture.  In high school, I couldn’t miss school because of basketball try-outs, but I’d always end up at the stand afterwards, helping customers and then baking into the night.  In college, I’d again skip classes so I could bake all night, take a quick nap and then get up early to work on the cash register.  We’d spend endless hours counting pies and playing the guessing game that we’d baked enough of each kind, but not so much that there would be too many left.  When I started teaching, I’d rush out of school at 2:00 to head to the stand to relieve people who had been working all day, and then I’d stay and bake until 10 or 12 before heading home to get some sleep before going back to school.  It was stressful, and there was more than one customer that lacked the holiday spirit, but like most things in life, I remember the good parts.  The Thanksgiving rush, in my mind, is the perfect example of a farm family working together to make it.  Everyone, all generations, help out, doing whatever needs to be done.  From small children (although we’re all grown up now) to my grandmother and everyone in between, all had a role to play.  But, by the time Thursday came around, we were so exhasted and nobody wanted to eat pie.

Last year we decided to close and skip the Thanksgiving madness.  We’re still open from May to October, and lots of customers buy pies to freeze for Thanksgiving.  As we all grow up and work off the farm, it’s hard for everyone to find the time to help out, and my grandmother can only do so much.  Last year was the first year I actually got to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving, and I know a lot of my family feels the same way.  Instead of running around like crazy this week, I got to coach my school’s powderpuff football team.  Although we didn’t win the game, I was impressed by all the hard work that the girls did to get to that point, and I was extremely proud of the way that the girls represented their town.  It feels strange to not be rushing around, but it feels good to only have to bake three pies instead of thousands.  Last year we attended Ed’s family’s party at his aunt and uncle’s home in Rhode Island for the first time, and this year we’ll be eating dinner with my family.  It’s a new tradition and a new chapter in my life. 

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Be Thankful

Inspired by Joyce’s challenge to be thankful during the month of November, I’m going to write about some of the things I’m thankful for.

 

I’m thankful for my husband.  Ed is supportive, caring, strong, and my best friend.  This month marks our seventh year together, and also the first anniversary of moving into our house.

I’m thankful that I have a family who loves each other, lives nearby, and whose company I enjoy.  I’m close with my mom, dad, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  I’m also thankful that the family I married into has similar values to my own family and has welcomed me with open arms. 

I’m thankful for our home.  It took a long time to save up, decide to build, design, plan, and build our house.  While it’s still in the works and will most likely never be done, it’s wonderful to be living here.  To be in a warm, safe home is one of the things that I’m most thankful for.

I’m thankful for my education, which has given me incredible opportunities and enriched my life.  Not only do I enjoy reading, but I enjoy writing, learning about all different topics, solving mathematical problems, and exploring our planet and the universe.  The only topic I don’t particularly enjoy is history, but I’m learning to appreciate it.

I’m thankful for my career.  I am genuinely happy at work most days, even on the most stressful and crazy ones.  There are of course tough times, but I love what I do and feel like I really do make a difference in the lives of my students.  In addition, I have job security, a wonderful schedule and great benefits.

Finally, I’m thankful that we have everything we need.  Shelter, clothing, food, and love.

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