Thanksgiving Dinner

This is a guest post by Tigger, who was one of our lead cooks for Thanksgiving this year.

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I’ve been doing the thanksgiving dinner for most of the 18 years I’ve lived at Twin Oaks. It has always been my favorite holiday. What can go wrong with a day of cooking and eating, which are two of my top activities. I tell new members that if there is one day to invite their families to the farm for their a visit it should thanksgiving.

1-It takes a village

For me one of the traditions of Thanksgiving is to get as many people involved as possible, whether baking deserts, prepping vegetables, or decorating the dining room. It takes a village to feast 150 people with as much homegrown produce as possible. Inclusion is one of the core values, this is our community, our meal for which we are giving thanks. The invitation is always there for people to come in and do as much as they want, to prepare a dish or dessert that has a special personal thanksgiving meaning to share.

2-dining room redone

Each thanksgiving we rearrange the dinning room to place the tables so that we can eat together. At dinner, its nice to look along the table and see the various families and affinity groups eating gather together as one greater community. We have a yearly tradition of going around the table where each person is invited to say what they are thankful for this year. To me this is the central part of the day’s festivities, to hear what each of us is thankful for and to share in the bountiful joy expressed by our friends and family.

3-The Real heroes of T-day, the K2 crew

The real heroes of the day aren’t the cooks but those who have their k-shifts during the day and after dinner. The K2 crew of Christian, Keith, and Kristen really came through with good spirits even while the kitchen was a wreck.

4-the secret ingredients.....bacon and cranberry sauce

Even though we do try to use as much farm produce as possible we do supplement with special ingredients, such as bacon and cranberries. Twin Oaks has been going through a real culinary craze lately as you will see from the menu posted at the end.

5-pre dinner snacks

To keep people from being famished before dinner, Carly prepared some snacks, Cheese balls with homemade ricotta, wheels of brie made by Bochie. All made from the milk of our cows,.

6-John and Carly carving the turkeys

7-turkey and tofukey with gravy on the side gravy

8-at last the mash potaotes

John and Carly carve the turkeys. We served 6 turkeys and a couple of tofurkeys with gravy and stuffing, as well as a steam-table filled with mashed potatoes and vegetable goodies.

9-dessert table before

desert table after

The real tradition of thanksgiving at Twin Oaks is the yearly “ping-pong table of desserts”. Which was started by Jess a few years ago. We had ran out of space for desserts, so she brought out the ping-pong table (which was folded up in the corner of the dining room) and started filling it with desserts. Now each year, weeks before the big day I start recruiting the various treat makers to prepare their best and favorite confections. I believe this was perhaps the best ping pong table of desserts we have ever had.

Menu

  • Turkey w/ Red wine porcini mushroom turkey giblet gravy
  • Tufurkey w red wine porcini mushroom gravy
  • Sausage and apple stuffing
  • Wild rice and cornbread stuffing
  • Mash Potatoes
  • Roasted sweet potatoes tossed in a bacon, maple syrup, butter glaze
  • Roasted butter nut squash with fried sage
  • Steamed broccoli tossed in olive oil, lemon, and almond slivers
  • Cranberry Kale salad
  • Cloverleaf rolls
  • Fresh garden salad

And a ping pong table of desserts