Over the creek and through the woods to Grandmother’s (and Grandfather’s) house they came.
Part of the family converged on the farm yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving together. With nine in the house, meals are major. While one family was driving here, and the other at work, I cooked up a pot of pasta sauce with sausage and turned it into a huge thick lasagna and added a big salad with some of the last of the Farmers’ Market salad greens, some carrots and daikon radishes also from the market and we ate hearty last night.
Today was so mild and beautiful, son, daughter, daughter in law, a grandson, and I set up an assembly line to put the 6 cull chickens in the freezer before we tackled the Thanksgiving feast. With everyone chipping in, the 6 birds were dealt with, the garage and driveway cleaned up, and Thanksgiving prepared. The 20.48 lb turkey was spatchcocked to reduce the cooking time and because we learned last Thanksgiving, what a moist delicious bird it makes. The huge bird cooked in only a bit less than an hour and a half.
Though preparing a turkey this way does not let you put a whole golden bird on the table, we don’t do that anyway and this is so much more delicious. With a turkey as large as this one, son is called in to cut the backbone out, flatten the bird and lift it into and out of the oven. He also is the carver while the remaining dishes were being finished in the oven and put on the table. Last year, with a slightly smaller turkey, we bought the huge pan and worried it wasn’t going to be large enough today. After Thanksgiving last year, I bought poultry shears which makes removing the backbone possible. The organ meats and backbone were tossed in a large stockpot with some celery, water, and salt and started simmering. The cooked turkey bones were added after our feast.
The giant sweet potato from the garden was peeled, boiled and then baked with a touch of butter, cinnamon, and a little brown sugar.
It didn’t take but the one sweet potato to make a casserole that had leftovers. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread dressing, rolls, homemade pickles and cranberries, assorted olives, pumpkin and pecan pies, and we are all in food comas now.
Though granddaughter has celebrated her birthday twice this week with the roller skating party with her best friend on Sunday, her classroom celebration on Tuesday, today was her real birthday. Though she had her cake on Sunday, her Daddy bought her a chocolate chip cookie cake for today and we all sang to her one last time for this birthday. They have taken her to the new Disney movie Moana for her birthday after dinner.
The kitchen is cleaned up, the table linens laundered, the dishwasher run and dishes put away, the broth is cooling enough for me to debone it. Tomorrow, I will reboil it and can it for later use. The freezer still has jars of broth that I need to use for making soup, gravy, or to cook rice. For now, I am just sitting and resting for a bit.
Tomorrow, we will eat turkey leftovers then as a group will go out to dinner on Saturday.
Today we gave thanks. Hope you had a good day too.