Greetings and sincere, although slightly late, wishes that all your Thanksgivings were satisfying and comfortable. Ours was friendly, filling and festive. We had a special group of 40 or so nice people to share cooking, eating and conversation. It was a feast for all, in many ways.
Some of us gathered in the morning in the "lounge" of the Bosque to start the basics; turkeys, dressing, potatoes and various homemade styles of bread. The plentiful kitchen facilities here give us the opportunity to cook up a storm. And they are used often by the volunteers and staff for potlucks or anyone's favorite soup concoction. So we had plenty of utensils, ovens and chefs. Add to the mix that everyone else was busy putting together their favorite delicacies at home.
After the turkeys were perfectly roasted, Jerry got busy carving. Linda was right there to assist. Linda and her husband, Dave, are from New Hampshire and live next door to us in the volunteer RV park. They have also been known to share Monday evenings at the local blues spot. But that's definitely a story for another post. They are two of the able visitor center team for the winter.
Of equal importance to the cooking, of course, was the sharing of stories and laughs. Joe and Dorothy and Bonnie, the trio here pictured, provided their fare share of all of the above. We appreciate their fine touches on the gravy, dressing, fresh spinach salad and frivolty.
Among the tales told during this cooking episode were a few about recipes of historical significance. For instance, Have you ever had "boiled rag?" Or maybe you know it as suet pudding. We learned about this traditional German Thanksgiving preparation from Sandy. It's a little like raisin bread with tinge of fruitcake flavor. Yes, suet is an ingredient. While the dough boils inside a rag, the suet forms a crust. It was quite good.
Sandy displays the "rags" before they go into the boiling kettle.
Then you see the end result below, the fresh slices of "suet pudding" - yummy.
Sandy and her husband, Dennis, are super tour guides on the refuge for boy scouts and school groups. It's fun getting to know the group of volunteers with us here at the refuge. They work and play well!
As the day moved along towards our 3:00 p.m. dinner time, the attendees meandered in with every sort of contribution to tempt the taste buds. It didn't take long to fill the hall with good conversation along with aromas. There is no description that would paint the picture of the array of delicious dishes of cranberries, sweet potatoes, green and yellow veggies, various salads, and every assortment of bread and dessert that created our buffet. Use your imagination and add to it generously.
Of course, the people were the special ingredient. The group assembled included volunteers and family members from across the country, and some refuge staff and families. We were lucky to have the refuge manager's family with us as well as the deputy manager, who live in homes on the Bosque. It was a very congenial group with many reasons to give thanks for all of our blessings.
Speaking of families with blessings, would you be willing to claim this guy as your father? Well Ray's daughter, Ann and her husband, Jeff, accepted him despite his hairdo.
We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!