by Jennifer Burcke
Photos by author
Thanksgiving is in full swing here at 1840 Farm. Three generations of my family will gather around our farmhouse table today to enjoy a delicious collection of family favorites.
There will be a wonderful selection of traditional dishes like mashed potatoes and our favorite artichoke and sage dressing. I will also make a few recipes that have graced our Thanksgiving tables for decades. There will be cinnamon apple slices from my husband’s side of the family and the cranberry dish that my paternal grandmother used to make every year.
Most notably, there will not be a turkey served at our table. You can thank our heritage breed hens for inspiring that decision. Once we had raised our first group of chicks, we looked at the chicken on our dinner plates much differently. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we no longer wanted to eat chicken. We knew that we could raise our own meat birds, but we simply didn’t have the courage of our culinary convictions to do so.
Instead, we stopped featuring chicken on our dinner plates and instead celebrated the eggs that our heritage breed flock provides. When that first Thanksgiving as a chicken keeping family rolled around, we decided that we could have a farm filled celebration without Tom on our table.
That was two years ago and today we will celebrate our third Thanksgiving sans turkey. Frankly, we haven’t missed it. We have so much to be thankful for, so much to celebrate here at 1840 Farm, that the presence or absence of a turkey seems purely trivial.
I am so thankful for our family and the animals that live here on our farm. In two short years, our farm has become home to seventeen hens both old and new, our French Angora rabbit Herbert Menninger, and a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats.
With each egg we find in the coop and each gallon of milk that is collected in the milk pail, we are grateful. Every time Zinnia comes to demand a scratch beneath her little chin, I am reminded just how lucky we are.
I am also reminded of how fortunate I am to share our journey with you. So, thank you for following our adventures and for sharing yours with me. I love hearing about your hens as much as I enjoy sharing stories about mine.
Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us at 1840 Farm. I hope that you enjoy a wonderfully warm holiday surrounded by friends and family. We will do the same.
And, in case you were wondering, the hens will enjoy the holiday as much as we do. There will be plenty of treats for them to enjoy from our celebration. First on the menu are granny smith apple peels. As you can see, the coop’s Thanksgiving celebration is off to a very happy start!
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm.