Last week kicked off the busiest time of the year for the kitchens of home cooks and bakers. And eaters. Thanksgiving, arguably the biggest foodie holiday of the year, slipped by without me doing a post. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the food I was making or eating over the holiday, so all you’re gonna be left with is a stream of consciousness and musings from last week.
The Christmas Creep
In modern life, many of the customs and observances of the holidays as we know them have evolved into a commercial passing. A money-making opportunity for every industry down to diapers. Yes, diapers. I saw a newspaper insert for a drugstore or grocery store advertising disposable diapers printed with big red bows and holly motifs. I wish I were kidding.
Thanksgiving, for a long time, was a holiday with little commercial meddling, save for Butterball and Eagle brand evaporated milk. But now, a new term has been coined to refer to the ever-earlier Christmas shopping season: the “Christmas creep.” And this year, somehow, the Thanksgiving dinner, which is essentially what this holiday had become from a very solemn rememberance of the hardships of life as a colony and the charity of Native Americans, has now been reduced even further as just a day to ramp up to Christmas shopping sales beginning at 10 pm.
I’m not bitter. I swear.
My pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkey
The past couple years, I’ve bought the turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and my mom. A couple months back, I ordered an 18-pound turkey from Almost Heaven Farm in Monroe County, via the Monroe Farm Market. Perhaps I should not have gone for such a big bird, but all that turkey meat that I still have left will make good dumplings and soup later this winter. Especially, in planning for the Dark Days Challenge. The turkey was pasture-raised, and not treated with hormones or antibiotics. However, it was not a heritage breed. I have been able to find a heritage turkey in West Virginia (or anywhere nearby) since White Oak Ridge Farms went out of business a few years ago. At least this guy was well taken care of and allowed to engage in some turkey instincts like pecking for bugs and stuff in the grass.
Pumpkin recipes and canned vs. fresh pumpkin
For dessert, I was going to make the pumpkin mousse recipe from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living, but I realized too late in the game that I didn’t have any unflavored gelatin. So, this beautiful pumpkin that I grew, will go into the recipe for the Starbuck’s pumpkin scones. I made these a few weeks ago, and I think I ate all of them but one. They haunt me. And they were so easy to make. I didn’t make the glaze, but they were good without it, or with a little bit of apple butter, actually.