We here at Serendipity Farmhouse hold Thanksgiving Day to be most precious. It speaks to our hearts and souls of a lofty ideal, yet it resides with us in the realm of reality and common sense. Indeed, to celebrate Thanksgiving Day properly, one must answer two important questions:
For what are we thankful?
To whom are we thankful?
President Abraham Lincoln, in his 1863 Proclamation of Thanksgiving, spoke to both questions when he wrote:
“To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”
Yes, even in the midst of the Civil War, he could say, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.” And he attributed all those “bounties” to “Almighty God”.
We here at SFH, like you and many whom we know, have been touched by the sickness and evils of these most uncertain times of pandemic and social upheaval. Nevertheless, we can also see the many gifts we have been given throughout this year and, without any doubt, we know to Whom we are to give our thanks. Along with Lincoln, we can affirm:
“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.”
At Serendipity Farmhouse, there is no thanks to be given for the great bounty we enjoy, if it is not thanksgiving to Almighty God.
Sometimes, even though it might seem contrary to what one might think, five chefs in a small kitchen isn’t necessarily a pending catastrophe. Nope! Sometimes, five chefs in a small kitchen might be the harmonious prelude to a most memorable Thanksgiving dinner. And so it was on Thursday when we assembled in that unnamed, but soon-to-be-world-famous kitchen somewhere in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
It would take far too much time to describe all that took place in that small kitchen. Nevertheless, I will attempt to summarize as follows, listing each chef and their particular specialties for the day.
Executive Chef – Daughter #2: This up-and-coming young chef extended her already expansive repertoire to include the following masterworks:
Asparagus & Prosciutto Bundles – Working with the basic recipe by Ina Garten, D#2 added her own variations and made this the centerpiece of the dinner plate.
Cranberry Sauce – It wasn’t from a can, it came from a creative hand, and it was oh so tasty.
Turkey Gravy – This was another first for D#2. Never again will she have to rely on some pre-made gravy from a jar or a bag.
Appetizer Tray – Here was an excellent assortment of cheeses and other flavorful morsels.
Sangria – This delightful punch consisted of rosé wine, chopped fruit, and other ingredients and spirits.
Deputy Executive Chef – Son-in-Law #2: Here is an unsung master, who quietly plied his craft and produced two flavorful staples for this traditional meal.
The Turkey – Even if everything else is superb, when the turkey is a failure, the entire Thanksgiving dinner falls flat. SIL#2 did not let us down. The turkey was completed on time and cooked to perfection.
Yeast Rolls – These were a must to accompany the meal. What can be better than to add a little butter, then clean the gravy off your plate with these wondrous little rolls?
SFH Test Kitchen Executive Chef – Dearest Wife: A great joy in the life of a mother is watching a daughter accept the challenge of the kitchen and to master the cooking skills. On this particular day, Dearest Wife assisted D#2 when needed. The day before, she did prepare something that would make the dinner complete.
The Pumpkin Pie – What would Thanksgiving Dinner be without this scrumptious dessert? All agreed that it was the very best they had ever tasted.
Rank Amateur – Yours Truly: Based on his amazing ability to break or damage just about anything, this guy was assigned the duty of mashing defenseless roots.
Mashed Potatoes – Despite his best efforts, this guy was unable to bring about any type of culinary disaster. There were actually some fairly good mashed potatoes on each plate, ready to soak up D#2’s good gravy.
Junior Chef – Granddaughter #4: The Deputy Executive Chef was aided and assisted in several tasks by able and willing Granddaughter #4. Her eagerness to help and apparent joy in joining in with the more senior chefs suggests she is at the beginning of a lifelong culinary adventure.
For this love-filled day, for this time in the kitchen, for this enjoyable meal, for this family we have been given, Dear Wife and I say, “Thank you, Lord!”
SFH Gardens – By the Numbers
The following links will catch you up with what has been planted, harvested, and preserved since our last Journal post:
SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:
SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: