What goes on on the homestead in late November? Thanksgiving prep and celebration, of course!
This year was on the smaller side. Covid. As a pretty good-sized family, though, it’s never what one might call “small.”
Getting Ahead by Prepping Ahead
When you grow much, most, or all of what you eat, holidays like Thanksgiving can take a bit longer to prepare for than they might in a more conventional household. A lot of these foods have already seen some prep early on in the year during canning or preserving. Here on our homestead, I don’t pre-can things like pie fillings, and seldom are sauces (cranberry sauce, for instance) canned ahead.
I do grow pumpkins and squash and love to make homemade, completely from scratch pies with them (in fact, I’ve been years tweaking commercial recipes to get one “just right” for homegrown pumpkin pie—we will talk about that in another post). Pumpkins and winter squashes store so well that I don’t usually put the time and utilities into preserving them (it’s not really considered safe to can pumpkins and squash as a puree so if I do preserve them it’s in the freezer, which I find a little less preferable to freshly cooked or roasted–too watery).
The bottom line is that if it’s not coming out of a can or off a grocery store shelf, it’s going to take a little more time and effort to turn those homegrown goods into your holiday meal. The results, though, are oh, SO worth it!
Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving
Some of our homesteading was sidelined a few years ago due to a catastrophic injury in the household. During that time we did not give up, but we did scale way back. I made pains to keep some semblance of backyard farming going in an effort to maintain a lifestyle that was recognizable to us, a lifestyle we’d always enjoyed, and also to maintain the mental health of the household. And so, we have not raised our own turkeys here on the homestead in at least three years.
We do, however, have excellent local farms for whom household members work part time, and so we were blessed with the gift of appreciation in the form of a farm-fresh turkey. This nearly 24-pounder was one of the first prepping projects when he went into the brine. And he was worth the extra time and effort.
As for the rest, the pictures can take over the talking. As always, though, comments and questions are quite welcome.
Hoping your Thanksgiving was a delicious and blessed as ours on our homestead, and that the remainder of the year and the upcoming holiday season is full of peace, joy, and tranquility!