The above photo is one of my favorite vantage points all year. I am standing over my grandmother’s kitchen table on Thanksgiving morning, the same one I remember sitting at as a little girl, where I would enjoy a bowl of cereal (the same bowls, so tiny now, I use them to hold prepped herbs and other mis en place) before bundling up and heading outdoors into the frigid mountain air to play. I am likely on my third cup of coffee, enhanced with a healthy dollop of heavy cream and maple syrup. My modern (Grandi calls it ‘fancy’) Japanese knife rests on her antique oval cutting board as I clean and top some farm carrots. I take in the morning’s light streaming through the Church’s stained glass windows. Yes…a church re-purposed, it has been my grandmother’s home now for over 30 years. I sing softly to myself to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” playing from the old computer speakers by the furnace & contemplate their preparation. It’s in this still moment before the kids, dogs, cousins, aunts and uncles arrive, and time speeds up and it’s over before I know what happened, where I can feel the gratitude in my heart swell. Savoring the little details, acknowledging them and reflecting on them, at least for me, is what Thanksgiving is all about.
The joys (or tribulations) of cooking for Thanksgiving vary widely from each individual and family. Some have the affair catered in order to make more time for visiting with family. Others gather with friends and share a communal potluck, complete with a wide range of dishes, lovingly prepared by all in attendance. Many start day dreaming weeks, even months, in advance of the big day by clipping recipes, reading articles and drafting a mental game plan in the quiet moments between other more pressing daily tasks.
Of the latter, I am a card-carrying member. We are a preoccupied lot who dream about next Thanksgiving while enjoying the current one. We scheme at our desks, while driving, when we are supposed to be listening…at how we will better bake, chop and prepare each sacred side, pie, and potato. We flip through magazines and scan websites. We take mental notes when grocery shopping weeks in advance with the seriousness of an undercover detective. To quote Maryjane Mojer, ‘This is who we are, this is what we do.’
Luckily, whichever group you fall into, I find year in and out that Bartlett’s offers something for each of us. Our Farm Kitchen cooks the best darn Thanksgiving catering available, while our Market provides a world of ingredients, fresh produce, cheeses and groceries for both pot-luckers and for the obsessives, like me. The best part though, is that the Farm hasn’t just provisioned for up to Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that there are weeks of holiday festivities & parties yet to attend and gifts of thanks to give well after Thanksgiving wraps up. We have already prepared by filling our store with holiday wreaths to ship to loved ones, (so easy to order you might as well fill out a send form while you pick up your catering), gorgeous hostess gifts like hand-crafted wines, Christmas ornaments, local artisan honey, handmade granola and rum cakes. We offer Wreath-Making Workshops during Thanksgiving & Stroll weekends to serve as a festive outing for visiting family and friends. We take the stress out of gift-giving & decorating by offering hand-delivered gift baskets and all the fragrant greenery, bows, swags and garlands you could ever need for holiday decorating.
We are a true one-stop shop, family-owned and operated, and one that is staffed by long-time Islanders who cherish these services and shop from these shelves as much as you do. We are here to share our tried-and-true hacks, recipes, & family secrets with you to make this year an even more memorable, festive and delicious Holiday season. Join us, won’t you?
Happy Thanksgiving, we hope to see you on the Farm!
M & P, Wine Manager