Sunday, November 26, 2023

A Dozen Feasters - Week of Nov. 20th

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude." ~A.A. Milne, "Winnie-the-Pooh"

Cameron has always liked the idea of traditions.  It seems that almost every time we have encountered something new or different, he has asked if this is now a tradition. 

For the last few years, Cam and his mom have driven to a local turkey farm to acquire their Thanksgiving bird. 

Otto's Turkey Farm, located in Middleville, has a rich history.  Scottish Immigrant, Charles McQueen, purchased this farm in May 1846. In his later years, he parceled the farm off to his three daughters, Kittie, Isabella, and Alice in gifts of 160 acres each. Kittie, who received the  existing 160 acres, married John Otto in 1892 and they continued farming this land. John and Kittie had one son, Harold, who purchased the land from his parents and in turn sold it to his son, David, who sold it to his son Tom in January 1984, with an additional 40 acres of woods that David had added to the original farm. Today, Tom Jeri Nick and Nate operate the farm with Nathan and his wife Jillian in line to purchase the farm and represent the sixth generation to farm this land, while endeavoring to be good stewards. They set about making turkey a healthy meat to eat everyday, all year long.

When you enter the parking lot, two individuals guide you in and indicate where to park.  Upon entrance to the building, you're asked what size turkey you're looking for and less than 2 minutes later, your fresh bird is presented to you for purchase.

Jane picked up Oma and Opa Wednesday afternoon and we were excited to have them with us for the next two nights.  We all enjoyed watching a funny movie that evening and it was difficult to determine who enjoyed it more!

On Thursday morning, we began preparations for the upcoming feast.  The stuffed turkey entered the oven at 10am.  For the first time, we prepared the mashed potatoes afterwards and readied the sweet potato casserole.

By mid-afternoon, we welcomed our cousins Mike and Eric, Coco, Max and their kiddos and Ms. Ann.  The house was full of activity as we munched on appetizers and visited with everyone.  

As we moved items from the oven to the table, it filled up quickly.  The silver penguin bun warmer is a special centerpiece that was used by Jane's grandmother and is now the Weatherford holder of crescent rolls.  Coco's homemade carrot soup is a delicious first course that is one of her family traditions.  Oma always makes her fresh cranberry relish, adding a beautiful color to the meal.  After a few rounds of dishes being passed and lively conversation, everyone slowed down.  

We waited a bit prior to the move to dessert and had quite an array...homemade apple pie, homemade pumpkin cheesecake truffles, peppermint chocolate bark, ice cream and whipped cream.  The kiddos had fun trying out the whipped cream and Cam declared himself officially stuffed!

After a restful night, we were ready to tackle holiday decorations Friday morning.  It has been a tradition for Cam, his mom and grandma to add the ornaments.  Chris is always the one to handle the top of the tree decorations, including the angel.
We discovered a family treasure of Oma's that now adorns our mantle- a handmade wooden creche that she purchased in Austria in the 1950s.  It is in mint condition and she is happy it is now displayed again.

We know we are fortunate to have our extended family with us during a holiday and having a house full of laughter and liveliness is one of the best feelings.

Robert Brault is quoted as saying "What greater blessing to give thanks for at a family gathering than the family and the gathering."  We couldn't agree more!

Camology Quotes:

Cameron is acutely aware of directions and locations.  His geographical instinct is much like his father's- spot on.  When traveling to the turkey farm, though, he seemed a bit misdirected.

"Mom, this is not the way we usually go."

Yes it is, Cam.  There is actually only one way to get here.

"Nope. The GPS must be off today." 

Hmm, I guess it contracted a virus! 😉

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