November 20, 2022
It's amazing how a barn full of strangers can quickly become a community that encourages one another, exchanging smiles and stories, side-by-side at a table, toasting and sharing a meal. We celebrated Friendsgiving last night; our seventh one. As guests stepped in from the blustery cold and into our warm, candle-lit and festively-clad barn, there was such joy, signaling the start of the holiday season. It's here, Friends - cheers!
In-between cocktails and courses, guests wrote down and shared what they greatly cherished . No one mentioned a single 'thing' or a personal accomplishment - every single, grateful thought was for another and the time spent together, answered prayer and for the love given by another. Thanksgiving is about another. It's about the goodness you received from someone else. You can't thank yourself for anything you truly cherish. It was given to you and you likely didn't earn it or deserve it. I know this is true for me. Realizing that the goodness that fills my heart with hope and cheer doesn't come from any doing on my part, compels me to give thanks and share with others.
The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
Until next week,
Mrs. Farmer Jones
P.S.: below the pictures I have my favorite Turkey tips.
Preparing for the Thanksgiving Feast can be daunting - both food prep and getting the place ready for your peeps. I want to share some of my favorite tips for a delicious menu:
We pasture-raised, smoked, and deep-fried the turkeys for last night - 90lbs worth. This was a three-day process: two days to brine (fresh turkeys), four-hours in the smoker (very low temp) and 30-minutes in the deep-fryer. The brine and the rub are a big deal:
Locavore Brine (19lb. bird): Enough filtered water to cover, 2 cups of Kosher salt, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar, 5 garlic cloves, 2 fresh sprigs of Rosemary, zest/strips of one whole orange and handful of peppercorns. Refrigerate for two days.
Locavore Sumac Rub: We create a solution for injection and to rub over bird. For a 19lb. bird, I use a 1 cup of sumac, 3T. of cinnamon, 3T of coriander, 3T Smoked Paprika, 2T of nutmeg, 1T of cracked pepper, garlic paste and salt. Half of the mixture is combined with hot pot of olive oil, about 2 cups; stirred and drawn up through the injector. The remaining half is rubbed over bird after you've injected solution under the skin and into the dense meat of the bird. These flavors are just pure yum.
My favorite side is a Rainbow Potato Au Gratin: A day or two before the feast, slice a variety of potatoes in 1/8-inch circles - use a mandolin. Store in refrigerator in a salty water brine. Day-of, drain potatoes and stack in 2 inch stacks. Ideally use a cast iron skillet, arrange stacks in a spiral, tightly packing the skillet. Melt butter, add flour, salt and pepper to create a roux. Take off heat and stir in your favorite cheese (sharp and pungent is the best). Pour over potatoes; add herbs of your choice (sage or rosemary) and cook covered for 1-hour and then 30-minutes uncovered. It's beautiful and delicious.
This was our menu for Friendsgiving. If you'd like any recipes, just let me know and I can share. We were recently given the opportunity to publish a Locavore Cookbook. This is a project in 2023:
Black Bean and Smoked-roasted Pumpkin Taco, Vanilla Crema, Farmers Cheese
Pulled Pork, Orange Cranberry Chutney Taco, Fresh Rosemary, Lime Crema, Farmers Cheese