Thanksgiving 2012

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Star Trail photo by Austin

We always mean to take more photos of holidays, but always get swept up in the enjoyment of just being present with our family. As being married seems to add more food, family, and tables to our lives, we’ve really try to maximize our plans each holiday. It’s definitely still something we’re working on, especially as our siblings get married and settle down and add their own families to the mix. For the past few years, we’ve spent Thanksgiving in Springfield with Neil’s family. Neil’s cousin Austin comes down from St. Louis, and we have a good three or so days to hang out in the country like recluses on his parents’ 40-acre property.

We kind of kept it low-key this year. Neil and I picked up the turkey from Pasture Nectar Farm on the way back from our trip to Tulsa. It was our first time picking up the turkey, and it was really a highlight for me. Neil and I love seeing where our food comes from, and the Vimonts were so gracious, offering us fresh cider, homemade doughnuts and a tour of their farm. They specialize in organic/pasture-raised cows, pigs, chicken and turkeys. They also produce raw milk, something exceedingly rare around here. I’ve never had it, but I know a lot of people who have, and swear by it. I’ve always wanted to try it myself, but unfortunately it’s quite difficult to come by in our neck of the woods. Seeing it in glass jars chilling was what I imagine moonshining during prohibition must have felt like. They’d already met their orders for the day, but said we could order a few days out of our next trip down and they’d have some for us to try.

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Neil’s brother Ben smoked the turkey again this year. There are few words to describe how good it is. The man has a way with meat.

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We decided to experiment with stuffing this year, and ended up making two different kinds. One from sourdough and pumpernickel, the other from cornbread with a little bit of leftover pumpernickel thrown in. We’ve always been kind of lazy with the bread, always just grabbing the pre-made bags that are at the grocery store, but we definitely won’t be doing that anymore. Next year, I think I’ll go the extra mile and take my sister’s suggestion and bake some Paleo bread to put in. I just didn’t think ahead this time.

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We also made a super simple cranberry-orange sauce, made with a bag of cranberries, the juice and grated skin of one orange, some water and coconut sugar. I’ve made it every year, and it’s always a hit.

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Simple green beans with warm bacon dressing.

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My plate.  That plate had real altitude.

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We then settled into movies, card games and a giant crossword in front of a warm fire.

So there you have it. Calm, relaxing and simple. Sometimes I crave a big production, but I’m happy we went the other way this year. I think the cornbread stuffing was our favorite dish of the night, it’s definitely going to make another appearance at Christmas.

What’s your favorite holiday dish?

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