Thanksgiving and the Big, Blue Box

Greetings from Minnesota!

Looking back at past Thanksgivings, I would say we’ve maybe had snow about half of the time. In 2010, we’re covered with a glorious dusting of white powder. We traveled to my parent’s farm for Thanksgiving day, and the whole drive looked like a winter wonderland. It was slow going at times, but we made it safe and sound.

It was a full house with my parents, all 4 of my sisters, my brother-in-law, 2 nephews and assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. I think the final count was 22, and we still didn’t nearly finish the mammoth turkey my mom roasted. I think I managed to polish off at lot of the pie though. I also savored Norwegian treats like lefse and krumkake ( I am over half Norwegian after all).

My contribution included an appetizer plate of various cheeses, crackers, and fruit. But, somehow I managed to forget all the freshly washed and cut fruit in the my fridge, so we’ll be trying to eat up about 5 pounds of fruit before it goes bad. Oops!

I also made this Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese Spread . Filled with cream cheese, butter, and coarsely grated Parmesan and flecked with fresh garlic and herbs, everyone devoured it without asking what was in it 🙂 One of my cousins said it looked a bit like mashed potatoes, and I realized it included all the ingredients of rich mashed potatoes – minus the potatoes!  I also brought the wine selections below:

I’m not a great cook, so maybe I got asked to bring the “no bake” items for a reason? 😉 Regardless, I think my wine picks were enjoyed: A sweet red Blaufränkisch (from Hungary), a sweeter Moscato and a Pinot Noir. Most of my family isn’t real big on dry wine (or wine in general), so I tried to select accordingly. It was fun tasting some sweeter wines than we normally do too.

It was nice that we were able to arrange the farm chores schedule so we didn’t have to be back for evening chores this year – thanks to our great employees! We didn’t miss the cows too much though, because we  helped milk cows and feed calves at my parents farm. After chores, we headed inside for some wonderful sweets and leftovers. It was late when we finally hit the road, loaded down with leftovers my mom packed up for us.

Friday brought another Thanksgiving dinner, this time a late afternoon meal at my husband’s grandma’s house. It’s just down the road from the farm, so not much travel required. After enjoying our second turkey dinner with all the trimmings mid-afternoon, I felt like a stuffed snowman as I fed calves and checked on cows Friday night. Note to self – try not to eat so much you feel like you’re going to explode!

During this chilly Thanksgiving and weekend, we’ve been having lots of new calves. While many people’s outdoor worries consist of keeping their sidewalk de-iced and their car windshield clear, we’ve got other things on our mind at the farm. The barn’s shelter and heat from the cows certainly provide some relief from the cold, but it’s not exactly toasty for baby calves. That’s where the calf warmer comes in.

It’s a heavy-duty blue deal that’s kind of like an incubator for baby calves. It has a heater in the bottom, and a grated floor that is covered in a soft rubber to make it comfy for the new baby. The floor is grated so the heat can easily come through. The sides have adjustable air vents so fresh air still gets in and baby doesn’t get too warm.

We’ll put a new calf in the warmer as soon as the mom has cleaned it off a bit with her warm tongue! 

 This little one is extra cute, and she ate like a champ – which is way better than a fussy calf who doesn’t want to drink.

Calves will stay in the warmer until dry (we have several warmers) and then get moved to a calf hutch of their own. They’ll also get a calf coat depending on the temperature outside. If it’s late out then the baby will usually stay inside until morning.

So, my Thanksgiving was filled with food, travel and baby calves!

Did you travel for Thanksgiving?

Which foods or drinks did you enjoy the most?

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Cooking and Foods, Cows, This and That and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thanksgiving and the Big, Blue Box

  1. lifeisbeachykeen says:

    We traveled a little bit for Thanksgiving on Thursday. We went to my Mom’s which is about 1.5hrs away. There was about 30 people I believe. I love Turkey, just love it. I’m eating a leftover turkey sandwich right now, yum!

    Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving!

  2. sweatykid says:

    Calf incubators — what a concept, I never would have guessed how much goes into this. Farming in the winter sounds like quite the unique challenge. That little one is adorable; cows are such sweet-looking creatures.

    I had to plug lefse and krumkake into Wikipedia to find out what they were. Both sound delicious — I am a big fan of anything that even remotely resembles pancakes or crepes.

    I did travel for Thanksgiving… sort of! We hiked up to a cabin and cooked our turkey there. There was some drama within our group of friends, but it was overall a fun and memorable experience. The sun set right as we arrived at the cabin, so aside from some candles, we basically ate our meal in the near-dark. My favorite part was the pie… 🙂

  3. Brit says:

    What a cute little calf!

    I travelled to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. We had our typical enormous family dinner, I believe it was a total of 38 guests this year. We had tons of food and lots of fun.

    My favorite part was the pecan pie. I am pretty sure that I single handedly ate the entire thing over the course of three days. I used to be a big apple pie fan, but my tastes have changed.

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