Pauline Lord’s Thanksgiving at White Gate Farm
We are always home at the farm for Thanksgiving. There are plenty of ingredients at hand for the feast and lots of room for friends and family to stay. For most people, Thanksgiving means turkey. White Gate’s Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys are similar to heritage breeds but with an important difference: they are tasty, juicy and tender. Low in fat, they roast faster than the standard Double-breasted White, the breed that famously becomes so huge it can neither walk nor mate. It’s only patriotic to eat so much at Thanksgiving that one vows to never eat again.
Year after year, I have found that hunger eventually returns. We are happy to see the leftover turkey for sandwiches, happier still to make it into salad with grapes, chopped parsley, some walnuts and lots of mayonnaise. The denouement of the feast is dismembering the carcass for the all-important stock. I pick all the meat off, smash up the leg bones with a hammer to free up the marrow. Pile the bones into a stock pot with leek, carrot, celery and parsnip tops, onions and garlic, a fist of parsley and spices and boil it hard for a couple of hours. Strain and chill for a wonderful turkey soup. Soon.
It’s nice to provide a pre-dinner nosh, but nobody wants to fill up on cheese and crackers. What better time to feature fresh, local produce? Our vegetables are delicious, beautiful and often obscure. A crudite plater will entice kids and adults to taste things they might normally avoid at all costs. Along with familiar and colorful carrots and radishes, include sweet hakurei turnips and crunchy kohlrabie. Some Romanesco cauliflower (the green veggie above) is almost too pretty to eat. We serve it with a simple hummus of pureed chickpeas, lemon juice and fresh farm garlic.
The quintessential Thanksgiving dessert is pumpkin pie. Our farm chef, Esty Wood, made this one and you can, too. We use our own Long Island Cheese Pumpkins but it’s fine to use canned. Esty is the creator of Erica’s favorite Gluten Free Breakfast cookies, made with almonds, flax and maple syrup (available at the farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and they freeze beautifully, too!) Her delicious Apple Cider Sauce is amazing on ice cream. Esty will offer a special menu of prepared foods for Thanksgiving, made fresh from farm ingredients. Check whitegatefarm.net for offerings.
Click here for our favorite recipe for pumpkin pie: Joanne Chang’s Pumpkiny Pumpkin Pie.