Our Thanksgiving Feast and Giving Thanks

As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, I decided to take a break from baking and cooking and share with you some of the reasons, both big and small, monumental and inconsequential, that I am thankful for the life I lead.

Of course there are the big, serious reasons to give thanks:

I am thankful that my husband didn't get sent to Afghanistan and that our friends who did all came home safely.  

I am also thankful that due to his years of service, we have access to affordable medical care and as long as the government is running, he will get a paycheck. In this economy, I realize that isn't something that everyone can take for granted.

I am thankful that we are healthy and that our parents, although we don't see them nearly as often as we would like, are healthy, thriving and only a phone call, Facebook post or email away.

I am thankful that we live in a place where are are given the opportunity to raise any kind of animals we want to, and in a country that if we choose not to eat them (which we don't!), there are grocery stores, farmers markets and local farms where we can buy fresh produce and meat.

On to some more frivolous, but important to me, reasons to give thanks:

I am thankful that the kitchen in our house was SO ugly when we bought it that we didn't have to feel guilty about ripping it all out and redoing it into my dream kitchen.

I am thankful that Fresh Eggs Daily has proved to be so popular and brought me many opportunities in literary and poultry circles that I never would have thought possible or have been able to achieve otherwise, thereby negating the need for me to go back to being accountant (blech!) or selling on ebay (double blech!).

I am thankful for all the fans friends I've met over the past two years who don't think I'm crazy for hanging curtains in my coop or baking bread for our chickens and actually LIKE seeing photos of fluffy butts.  And I am thankful for being able to help teach new chicken keepers how to raise happy, healthy hens on such a large scale and give advice when they run into trouble.

I am thankful that, despite my husband saying 'no funny-looking' chickens when we first started raising them, I managed to slip in a few Cochins and Faverolles when he wasn't looking anyway (feathered feet = funny-looking in case anyone was wondering).

So many reasons to be thankful really.

As I was preparing the food for tomorrow, I thought about my grandmother setting out all the serving dishes on the dining room table each holiday with a slip of paper in each one naming what was to go in the dish so she would remember to take everything out of the oven and refrigerator. I thought about my Mom organizing themed holiday celebrations where we cooked foods from a different country each year and dressed up in that country's native clothing.  

We generally go a bit more traditional.  My husband is descended from the Pilgrims and can actually trace back to ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower. 

Since we are both from New England originally, we prepare a traditional menu and serve it in a Colonial-inspired dining room.  

Potatoes waiting to be mashed.

Macaroni & Cheese in individual ramekins (okay not traditional, but yummy!)
Shaped butter pats

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

We will also be serving a fried turkey, creamed spinach, homemade bread, herbed cornbread stuffing, and scalloped potatoes with cheesecake and pumpkin pie for dessert.

A beautiful floral arrangement arrived this afternoon from dear friends.  It was such a lovely surprise and the colors coordinate wonderfully with our holiday table setting. 

Of course my table had to include a nod to our feathered friends.

Chicken feathers in stuck a silk flower arrangement

My rooster figurine standing center stage.
I like to incorporate items from nature into holiday tablescapes and this holiday I used pine cones to accent the place settings as well as personalized placeholders made from twigs.

Ready and waiting....quiet now but tomorrow our dining room will be filled with fine wine, good food and great friends.

There is so much to be thankful for just because we are fortunate enough to live in the United States. We never have to worry about having a roof over our head, enough to eat or warm clothing.  I also feel very thankful this year, and every year, for our liberties and freedoms.

What are YOU thankful for?


  1. Oh thank you so much Lisa for a beautiful talk and a tour I loved it thanks

  2. I love it! So glad to be reminded of all the freedoms we have. I got a laugh out of all the chicken references....friends not thinking your crazy for liking them and treating them as real pets. We are new to keeping chickens, have been doing it for only a month. Already, I get some of the same pleasures, share weird pictures on Facebook, and read Chickens magazine! And, after seei.g some of your pictures, informed my husband that the coop...aka Hen house....will have to have curtains. Lol Never thought that'd be me. But, I love it. I love your blog and have learned a lot from it. Keep up the great work. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. To you as well Angie. You are going to love raising chickens. Go for it with the curtains! Have fun with them.

  3. What a beautiful post. I am so thankful for my family and friends, my health, and the abundance of blessings that have been poured out to me this year. God bless you throughout this holiday season and always.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! My husband is from Maine, so we'll add turnip to the list of dishes on the table :-) Could you post your recipe for sweet potato cinnamon rolls some time? They look so yummy.

    1. Hi Linda! We love Maine, my father in law lives there. It's not my recipe, and its my first time trying them, but here is where I found it: http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com/2012/11/sweet-potato-cinnamon-rolls-oh-yes-i-did.html

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all that our Lord has given us!

  6. Thanks Lisa! I love your blog. You're always interesting to read and like I said to my husband this morning, you're the kind of person I'd like to meet for a glass of wine and a good diner. Enjoy your day, and that nice Thanksgiving diner with your family and friends.

    Me and my family wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from New Brunswick, Canada

    1. Thank you Jocelyne! What a compliment. My husband just shakes his head at some of the stuff I post but I try and keep it real! I'll join you for that glass of wine if I'm ever up in your neck of the woods.

    2. It would be a pleasure! I'm just across the river from Madawaska Maine if you ever come up north! ;)

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Thankful for so much today!

  8. Thank you, Lisa, for your great blog, especially for Thanksgiving. My dad is retired military and so the part about your husband and friends meant a lot to me. I also giggled when you mentioned your grandma putting the little note in each serving dish...I do that! :) Anyway, God bless your day.

  9. This post is a lovely peek into your heart and your home. Thank you for taking the time to compose it.

    I share your sentiments about the freedoms we enjoy, in part due to the Pilgrims, in part to the military -- both of these groups sacrificed so much!