Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving Thanks for a Rustic Thanksgiving at Diggers Bend Farm

When our son Autumn invited us to his farm for Thanksgiving for a farm to table dinner, we were beside ourselves with excitement. We haven't done a road trip for Thanksgiving in years.

My good friends will tell you I'm not much of a mountain girl; the ocean calls to my soul but I was excited to experience our son's farm and to be together to share Thanksgiving.

I knew we were probably going to hit traffic driving on 90 West on Thanksgiving morning. At first I put on my playlist but then we decided to channel surf and hear the different radio stations as the Boston radio stations faded away in the distance. We played car-aoke and sang along with whatever tunes happened to come on the radio including all Christmas favorites all the time.

When we got bored with that, we decided to play a version of McManus family trivia pursuit reflecting on holidays past as well as reminiscing about our relationship through these past almost 40 years.

We took in the beautiful views from the highway:

and then played when is the traffic going to break. I won because I predicted once we passed I-84 so everyone heading to Connecticut and New York would exit the Mass. Pike.

We chatted with Autumn giving him updates of what towns we were passing through and then returned to the radio. "It's 95.5 Albany playing" you guessed it - "all Christmas favorites all the time."

I could feel my excitement mounting as we wound our way through country roads. Tom and I were joking about us City Slickers heading to the Country for Thanksgiving.

We could not have imagined the beauty, the sights, the sounds, the scents and the fresh air and the joy that our road trip would bring.

Autumn and Michelle went all out in preparing a magnificent farm to table feast for us. We brought a turkey to cook but because of the traffic we knew we wouldn't have time to cook it for our dinner. Fortunately Autumn had prepared a roasted chicken with gravy. We started out with chevre which for those of you who might not know is a cheese made from goat's milk. I could have made a meal out of it. We munched on kale and brussel sprouts as we made stuffing and Michelle made biscuits from scratch. Autumn had picked the squash and potatoes and made a savory butternut squash dish and au gratin potatoes with goat's milk and cheese. He did admit they bought the cheddar cheese to add to the au gratin potatoes. The room was warmed by a wood burning stove. Autumn splits the wood and they have a pile of it by the farm house that was built in the 18th century.

As everything was simmering and biscuits were baking, we went outside to breathe the fresh air and Autumn and Michelle told us more about the history of the farm and farming because Tom and I, as city slickers were clearly lacking in knowledge about how all of this works.

Back inside this rustic home, Bucket, Michelle and Autumn's cat wanted to see if she could sample the Thanksgiving feast as Autumn put the finishing touches on an arugula and another type of lettuce salad with mozzarella cheese made from goat's milk and mashed the squash.

She went from table to Autumn's shoulder and got a bird's eye view of the feast:

We took our time savoring each dish with its unique flavors after serving ourselves family style from the table and then dishing up our gravy from the pot on the wood burning stove.

The turkey continued to cook and would provide us with the necessary Thanksgiving leftovers. Autumn made a turkey gravy that was second to none that I have ever tasted.

After enjoying our meal and being completely satisfied with every dish, we took a walk out onto the farm.

Autumn had suggested we bring boots and I'm glad he did. The first frost and thawing left the field muddy; the kind of mud that would suck your shoes right off of your feet if you weren't careful. We received a tour of the chickens, roosters, Pumpkin the cow and the female goats along with their kids. Hey does that make me a goat grandmother? Well they did have two sets of twins.

We sat around the table having coffee and drinking in the warmth and love of being together for a real old fashioned rustic Thanksgiving.

We carved the turkey, made the gravy and divided up the leftovers. Autumn also sent us home with bagels, chevre, lox, and farm fresh eggs.

It made for one terrific weekend of pre-long run meals and this sumptuous post long run meal after today's 10.5 miler...but that's a story for another day:

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