This weekend was Thanksgiving, the weekend to end all weekends for cooks like me. I had my trustee cookbooks flagged, pages were torn from my favourite magazines, blog articles printed and my little notes jotted down in the various moleskins I carry around with me everywhere.
Our cottage is under renovation right now so dinner was to be had at the Farm in Hawkstone, Barrie. Dreading the lack of good grocery stores up there, I walked over to Whole Foods to load up on ingredients for my cooking adventure. Whole Foods makes me wanna cry/sell out/live there. I adore it. I felt like I spent a good 2 hours just wandering the aisles, drooling over roast peppers marinating in garlic herb oils, cheeses from around the world sitting behind pale glass and fruits and veggies (organically grown of course) just waiting to be turned into lovely side dishes and succulent desserts. I loaded up my seven heavy bags of groceries into a cab and headed back to the apartment. I always feel so special whenever I take a cab anywhere. Is this weird? But even more so when you take a taxi from Whole Foods. They call one for you from the customer service desk, and it meets you outside, they load in your groceries and then take you home and help unload. And since I live so close it was only an $8 ride. Pretty fancy but not really.
When I got home, I got to stewing my cranberries, making my cheesecake, stirring my butternut squash soup, preparing my pie dough and organising the various groceries into different bags corresponding to their intended recipe. I was very very organised this year since I had so much to do and Chelsea was coming up too, and I didn't wanna be too frantic in front of a guest.
Mum and dad picked Chelsea and I up and we headed out to Barrie from there, arriving at the farm and getting right into baking the rest of the desserts. Chelsea and I made our recipe up while we were there, Peanut Butter Silk Pie with a Ginger Snap Crust. It was so rich but delicious. We also made cranberry glazed pumpkin pie, apple pie with a lattice crust and finished the cheesecake. Magnifique!
In the morning, I woke up with the farmers and ate breakfast with the early risers. The weather was fantastic, and everyone was spending as much time outside as they could. I was stuck indoors with all the cooking, but I came out now and again to chat with peeps and play with dogs.
The rest of them headed off to Church, and I got down to business while Chelsea got some much-needed rest after a long night of baking. I prepped the Turkey, made the stuffing, cut the veggies, roasted the squash, peeled the root vegetables for the salad and much more but it was all kinda a blur of sage, cinnamon sugar and apples.
Speaking of apples...While the turkey was cooking away in the oven, Chelsea and I went out with Pat, Joe, Dad and the dogs to pick some apples from the orchard. I love the orchard in the fall, especailly when it's not full of teenage cows with attitudes...I hoisted myself up in one of the wolf river trees and tossed basketball sized apples down to Chelsea who packed them away in boxes for us to take home (apple sauce anyone?)
After picking apples I told Chelsea about Grounder Baseball. A "Grounder" is an apple that has fallen to the ground which my uncle thinks are edible and which I think are gross. But they are good for one thing. Baseball. I took one of the aluminium bats from the garage and met Chelsea back in the orchard and asked her to toss me an apple of the ground...
That's right. I'm awesome at baseball. Patrick made serveral comments about this throughout the day. He is constantly surprised when I'm good at anything atheletic. I might join a league next summer...off topic but yeah.
With one easy hit it smashed into a million pieces. Yeah, it is beyond fun and the best stress reliever. We took turns smashing apples in the air and when the boys came in their eyes lit up when they heard what we had been doing. I went back in to check on the Turkey and grab a beer and then ran back out to join the team as we batted around giant grounder apples off the grass. It was possibly one of the best times I've had all year. I laughed so hard and we all had soooo much fun!
Patrick is laughing at the size of the Wolf River Apples this year...they were insanely huge.
There's nothing like a giant apple exploding off an aluminium bat and getting to watch the pieces go flying everywhere. They were in our hair, on our clothes and would even fly into our mouths (not so fun for the victim, hilarious for the onlookers). Below is a picture of me getting some apple in my mouth, everyone else is laughing, as am I....
Patrick bracing for an Apple attack
At one point we even decided to throw a few at a time! Smash, smash, smash. Greatness.
I bailed on apple baseball after a while as I had to go back into the kitchen and get back to work. I went a little over the top with the turkey this year. Over the top in a good way. I decided to go with an elegent Cider Glazed Turkey with Lager Grazy. It was amazing. Cooked to perfect and soooo juicy. Even the white meat was nice and moist.
It was, I think, the best Thanksgiving ever. I find family times sometimes a bit difficult but everyone was awesome, and I was so glad Chelsea was there by my side to keep me from being lonely on the holidays. She was such an amazing helper in the kitchen, and I couldn't have pulled it all off without her.
(Above: John's plate) Despite being vegetarian for 6/7 months now (haitus while in europe), I did have a bit of turkey to sample my efforts. It was beyond delicious and the cider lager gravy really made me miss meat a little. But I'm happy the way I've been doing things lately with the vegetarianism so despite telling people I was gonna stop after Thanksgiving, I think I'm going to continue being veggie - eating meat only on special occasions and when people have gone to too much trouble not to eat it and be a dick about it ;)
I'm thankful for my friends and family, for my new job (which is going great), my little Scarlet who always makes me smile, for the blog and all the joy it brings, for yoga and all the wonders it has done for me and most of all for my besties - who are more than friends or family but are my guardian angels.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. xoxo
65 days till move it!!!