I had a wonderful post typed out on the ALBC conference, but the computer ate most of it. So, more on that next week...
It's Thanksgiving week! For most of us, it means food and family, and if we're lucky, some time off. For me this year, it's craziness, though! After the conference I attended in North Carolina, I took some much needed time away from the farm to hang out with three of my siblings (I'm the oldest of 6!). I had a great time visiting and catching up with sibs, spouses and their kids and returned home last Thursday to all the post-vacation stuff...laundry, catching up on email, and juggling orders from customers looking to stock up on our meats before the end of the season.
This week is our final week of the farm stand season, and we'll be processing the last of the chickens tonight and the last pig Friday. It's the time where I start thinking about how our farm year went and all I have to be thankful for, but instead of musing that online today, the plan is scrubbing and baking.
This year, for the first time, I'm hosting family Thanksgiving. I've cooked holiday meals for Dan and I in the past, and had Matt over, too, but this year will be the first time I've cooked for my Mom and siblings. Honestly, I'm a little nervous about it, which is a bit on the crazy side. I cook from scratch pretty much nightly, and far more so than most folks, so a whole turkey is no big deal, and I'm already pretty skilled at making sure everything comes out at the same time. Nothing that I'm cooking is difficult to me or something new, but I guess there is that little voice in the back of my head that worries that this will be the year Emily ruined Thanksgiving by (insert disaster here...no mashed potatoes, burned stuffing, whatever). So today I'm continuing to scrub the farmhouse so it's fit for company and baking. Since baking is my least-perfected skill, I thought it would be good to do it ahead so that I have a chance to adjust if things go wrong. However, I'm feeling pretty good, as I'm making a pumpkin cheesecake recipe I've tried before, and it came out awesome the first time. The other dessert is a Shea family tradition, but also pretty foolproof, and the last thing you'd expect to be served at an organic farm feast. But the Candy Bar Pie, made with chocolate pudding, graham cracker crust, cream cheese, Cool Whip and Snickers bars requires no baking and just needs to be part of our celebration.
For the big day, I'm going classic (in my opinion, now is NOT the time to try new recipes!)...roasted turkey and homemade gravy, Mom's famous stuffing recipe, mashed potatoes, my home-canned cranberry sauce, green salad, and a winter squash side. Maybe some sweet corn, too. When I talked to my mom on Sunday, she asked what she could bring, so I put her on beverage duty. I'm excited to have my family sit around the table together, give thanks, and dig in.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday week filled with family time and great food! Happy Thanksgiving to all!