We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, our first at the new property. We invited two families (the most we could fit) from Long Beach, ordered a 26 lb turkey, and hoped for the best. The result was three of the best days we’ve had up here!

As you might imagine, we had plenty to do to prepare for the long weekend. Once Monday came I went about working on my shopping lists, recipes, menus, etc; Lizzy focused on the cleaning and preparation of the house (I think she got the short end of the stick on that one).

I managed to bang out three pies by Wednesday: key lime, apple and pumpkin. Nothing fancy, but we got to use our own apples, which was nice. We’re hoping to have our own pumpkins come next year, and maybe even our own limes someday. We’ll see…

As I said, Lizzy wound up doing most of the cleaning, which was a lot. I did my part by cleaning and organizing the guest bedroom, which had become somewhat of a “man cave” since football season started. It’s also where my desk is, along with the printer and shredder, so it’s ostensibly where I do my “writing.” Riiiiight….

Anyway, by the time the guests showed up on Wed. everything looked great. We even got the turkey in on time, though at 26 pounds it took some doing. Fortunately, we had found a nice recipe for an apple cider brine that would work perfectly for us (we’ve got gallons  of cider in the freezer).

Here are a few pics:

Sarah hadn’t seen her friends since July, but once they were reunited they didn’t miss a beat. Two and a half days – with minimal supervision – and no fighting, no crying, no hogging; no pushing, poking or whining …heaven!

Here’s the turkey in all its glory. You can see that it’s been roasted to perfection…what you can’t see is that, hours before, it had been dropped on the kitchen floor – twice – while Lizzy and I tried to squeeze it into a Reynolds 24 lb-capacity oven bag. Hey – I never said I was good at this stuff…

It looked great at the table, though, with Apple Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Root Vegetables, Green Beans with Walnuts and Cranberries, stuffing and gravy.

Of course the kids had their own table…

We ate at a late-ish hour, so by the time we finished up the pies the kids were ready for bed. Getting them to fall asleep was another story altogether, but we figured they could lose a little sleep, just this once.

The next day we got out of Dodge and hit Santa Cruz for some boardwalk action, if only to stretch our legs and work off some of the meal…

New sunglasses for everyone!

Then back at home for one of our last apple-picking excursions of the season…

Which, of course, meant more fresh cider…

On the third and final day (Saturday) the kids got together to make a gingerbread house…

And we ended the holiday weekend with some tractor rides (naturally)…

What a great couple of days! The adults ate and drank wine like nobody’s business, and the kids had the time of their lives. And as far as I know, no one has gotten salmonella or e. coli…

…which, in my book, makes for a successful Thanksgiving!


– Jason


One thought on “Thanksgiving!

  1. Wow! You guys went through all that work for us? I feel special! We had an awesome time! Thanks again!! By the way, I really envy your sustaining farm lifestyle. I like the idea of having your own spring, Working your land to produce your food and have enough animals to produce your meat and eggs, but it’s also cool that you are near the markets so that when you need Olive Oil or etc. you can head to the local Whole foods for it. PERFECT!!!!! Perhaps we can get Robert on board on of these days.

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