A Farmhouse Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Table at 1840 FarmA Farmhouse Thanksgiving

For me, Thanksgiving is a holiday marked by time spent with family gathered around the table and the delicious tastes of our favorite holiday dishes. I have fond childhood memories of Thanksgiving meals prepared by my paternal grandmother and a team of aunts and uncles. The food was delicious and comforting and the conversation was lively. There was laughter and joy at that table and the meal always ended with my grandmother’s homemade pies.

It’s really no wonder that Thanksgiving traditions have remained so strong over the years. A day that combines family, friends, and comforting homemade food is a holiday to cherish. In many ways, our annual celebration is much like the original harvest celebration that took place 400 years ago, a celebration of all that we are grateful for in our daily lives and the marking of the end of another year’s homegrown harvest of fresh food from our gardens.

The Thanksgiving meal has evolved significantly over the years, but its importance has not diminished.  The first feast would have probably featured wild fowl instead of our modern-day turkey. History tells us that there would not have been cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie at that first celebration.  When those first settlers sat down to enjoy their meal, their sugar stores had been depleted, the potato had not yet made its way to North America, and using butter and flour to make a pie crust was a luxury far beyond their wildest imagination.ThanksgivingSquashDecor

Instead, their celebration would have revolved around food that was seasonal,  rustic, simple, and local.  Most likely, it would have featured venison and seafood that had been hunted and caught by the men of the group along with corn, beans, and squash from the land that they had tended during the growing season.  The celebration took place over a series of days instead of at a single meal.

By the mid-1800s, sage dressing and mashed potatoes had begun to take their place on a traditional Thanksgiving table.  In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.  Since then, we have been marking the day and celebrating with our favorite dishes.

Three generations of my family will gather around our farmhouse table for our Thanksgiving meal in a house that was built decades before Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday.  I will inevitably turn my thoughts towards all that I am thankful for.  The list is too long to mention, but family, friends, and our life here on the farm are all at the top of my list.

I am also thankful for you, Dear Reader.  You have inspired me to continue telling my family’s story and have returned the favor by sharing yours.  I have enjoyed learning about your daily adventures as much as I have enjoyed sharing news from mine.  So, on this holiday that celebrates family, friends, and food enjoyed together, I wish you a day overflowing with all three.  I hope that you have a holiday filled to the brim with laughter, memories in the making, and those nearest and dearest to you.

I also hope that you’ll add a few of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes to your celebration this year.  You can learn more about our favorite recipes and crafts for Thanksgiving by clicking on any of the photos below.  Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Candy Applesauce

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Maple Applesauce

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Ginger Applesauce

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How to Make Homemade Bone Broth

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Velvety Mashed Potatoes

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Farmhouse Gravy

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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Hash in a Cast Iron Skillet at 1840 Farm

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey and Potato Hash

In my opinion, Thanksgiving leftovers don't get the respect they deserve. A feast on Thursday can produce enough leftovers for ...
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Colcannon Style Mashed Potatoes at 1840 Farm

Colcannon Style Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to mashed potato recipes, making them colcannon style is my family’s favorite way to enjoy them. Colcannon ...
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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie – Nut Free

As a child, every Thanksgiving and Christmas was celebrated with my paternal grandmother’s homemade pies. She always had a collection ...
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1840 Farmhouse DIY: Glittery Pumpkins

A few weeks ago, I promised to share a few simple projects to help decorate your Thanksgiving table. First up ...
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Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée

For me, Thanksgiving would be incomplete without a homemade pumpkin pie. In fact, I hold pumpkin pie in such high ...
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Nut Free Pecan Pie Bars at 1840 Farm

Nut Free Pecanless Pie Bars

It was almost five years ago that I first discovered that I could create completely nut free baked goods in ...
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1840 Farmhouse Style Sweet Potatoes Anna

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Pie Crust Tips

If you've been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie. I was fortunate to ...
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Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

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Cast Iron Skillet Thanksgiving Dressing

Of all the dishes that make an annual appearance on our Thanksgiving table, this is the hands down favorite. Everyone ...
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1840 Farmhouse Brioche

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Brown Butter Bourbon Applesauce

This recipe started out as a kitchen experiment. Our dear friends had been kind enough to share their apple harvest ...
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1840 Farm Pumpkin Bars with Dark Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Bars with Dark Chocolate Chips

Every year, we celebrate the arrival of autumn by bringing our favorite fall foods back into the regular rotation on ...
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