a feast of gratitude

i suspect i am not alone in the desire to initiate and maintain meaningful celebrations for my family. with so many pressures coming at us from every direction, it can sometimes be hard to clarify and create our own ideas for annual celebrations. marriage and parenting only make things trickier when we try to meet the needs of multiple family’s traditions and gather with far away extended families. it can sometimes be a tricky dance that we don’t always do as gracefully as we would like.

around here, we have been challenged surprisingly with thanksgiving. landing right at the moment we have concluded our long farmers market delivery season and bid the last of our season’s apprentices farewell, we are tired and ready for a celebration hard to define by societal standards.with plans to travel to nearby marion county on the actual thanksgiving day for a larger gathering with dear friends, we chose today, the first day following the end of our 30 week season to have a little family holiday: a simple feast to honor the most precious moment for us:  our first day off.

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as i pondered this meal in my post consumption fullness, with the fire in the wood stove blazing and temperatures outside my door in the 20’s and dropping, i realized that each dish in this purposefully simple feast truly represented the things i am most thankful for right now.

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with the turkey i am thankful for our fellow vendors at the metro nashville farmers market. this fresh 10 pounder was hand delivered to us on our last market day in trade for some of our farm’s offerings. without supportive relationships with the other farmers and artisans selling their wares by our sides, those saturday mornings would be brutal. as we bid our market season farewell until spring, i know i will miss these friends, i will indeed.

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with the stuffing i am reminded of my CSA members. this stuffing is made simply from butter, onions, parsley, shaved carrot and a hand crafted european sourdough bread. two loaves of this nourishing delight are handed to us fresh each saturday by a long-standing shareholder in exchange for his family’s weekly vegetable share. the relationships with our shareholders are some of the most important in our lives. these folks support our farm and our family with their devotion to a local food supply. their willingness to spend their food dollars with us ensures our livelihood and the sustainability of our farm. i am grateful beyond words to the 75 families that are Hill and Hollow CSA.

with the mashed potatoes i delight in the love of my closest friends. when we travelled to bugtussle last week to celebrate a dear one’s birthday, eric couldn’t help but pile our van full of foods we didn’t have. we are far from going hungry, but an autumnal feast with no spuds, ouch. with each bite of the fluffy treat i was reminded how lucky i am to share this life with like minded folks scattered in the hills of this region. i am truly blessed.

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the small bowl, colored deep cranberry red, the relish. with this tart fresh taste my heart is full of familial love. handmade by grandmom, this family tradition reminds me how deeply honored i am to share this path with these dears. my husband, my extended family, and my most beloved children, these people are my core, we sustain each other through busy times and now we can relax together. nights by the fire, chilly winter days by the wood pile, collecting maple sap, all of these “off season” treats lie ahead and i am so thankful to share these moments with my most favorite people.

yes, sharpie on william's forehead, only took 3 days to disappear!

yes, sharpie on william’s forehead, only took 3 days to disappear!

while the memory of these flavors still linger for me and my entire being swells with gratitude,  i wish you all a sustaining holiday season ahead. may you enjoy gatherings of loved ones, feasts of simplicity, and the mingling of flavors and thankfulness that so define the holiday season.

4 thoughts on “a feast of gratitude

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