Family Feasting

Family visiting for the first time in years provides the opportunity for a Family Feast. Family visiting for the first time in years close to a favorite holiday provides the opportunity for a Spectacular Family Feast. And so we did.

Garan, Julie and The Girls arrived Saturday mid-afternoon. I needed to gather the last of the provisions for the week, and wanted to give them a little time to get settled in at the B&B, and maybe even a little lie-down for whomever (Elysia & Genevie...but probably Julie) needed it most.

Jim, Bug and I planned to be over around 5:30 that evening, so after procuring all necessary items, I got down to filling up a welcome basket for a Saturday Picnic for 7:

Parisienne: Daily Loaf Baguette, Dietrich's Cottage Ham, Valley Milkhouse Cultured Butter, Annie's Kitchen Tiny Sour Pickles; Peanut Butter & Honey, Butter & Honey: Echo Hill Peanut Butter, Raw Wildflower Honey, Valley Milkhouse Cultured Butter; Chicken Pâté from Kreeky Tree Chicken Livers: Recipe can be found Here; County Line Apples & Seckle Pears; Shady Mountain Market Concord Grapes; Valley Milkhouse Lady's Slipper, Blue Bell, Thistle; Red Earth Mixed Greens & Arugala Salad with Walnut & Pear in a Champagne Vinegar Dressing; Dietrich's Hickory Stick; Daily Loaf Lemon Curd Scones: Blair CabFranc Rosé & Pinot Gris; Victory Sour Monkey

And that was just the beginning.

Sunday brought everyone together at 2, and they all showed up on time! Angus brought Leigh, and it was her first experience at one of our holiday meals. She had, however, help serve at my last formal dinner, so she had some idea of what to expect. We started with soup by 2:30, and ended with pies and cheese around 7. Much food was made and eaten, and some video games were played. The night ended, naturally, with a Star Wars movie, Rogue One. Angus and Leigh lounging on the couch, Genevie on a giant pillow on the floor, and Garan and Elysia in Jim's Lounger. I was assured later that Leigh had a very good time.

I love spending hours over a meal. I love it even more when it is with Family.


Not all recipes will be in this post. You will need to visit again, for the rest.

Family Feast

Dietrich's Dill Slices & Spears, Annie's Kitchen Tiny Sour Pickles, Garlic Stuffed Olives, Castelvetrano Olives, Dilly Beans, Walnuts, Valley Milkhouse Blue Bell Bits

Squashed Sage Soup; Decadent Roast Chicken; Tater Mash; Dietrich's Garlic Sausage; Squash, Onion & Fennel Galette

Pumpkin Pie; Apple Galette; Valley Milkhouse Lady's Slipper, Blue Bell, Thistle, Clover

Squashed Sage Soup

Squashed Sage Soup

Olive Oil & Butter, equal parts

1 White Onion, large

5 cloves Garlic, minced

2 tbls Rubbed Sage

6 c Roasted Squash

7 c Chicken Stock

2 c Apple & Pear, Chopped

Useful Items: Immersion Blender, Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Mise en place

Sauté Onion and Garlic in Oil & Butter until soft. Add Rubbed Sage, crushing between your palms as you do. Cook until Onion and Garlic just start to caramelize.

Add Apple & Pear, and cook just until they start to sweat.

Add Roasted Squash, mix together. Add Broth.

Bring to a slow simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, until the Apple & Pear are fully cooked, and to marry the flavours.

Take off heat and blend until smooth. Season with Coarse Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste.

Flavor Enhancers

Decadent Roast Chicken

4-5 pound Chicken

1 small White Onion, or .5 large White Onion, coarsely chopped

2 tbls Coarse Salt

1 tbls Cracked Pepper

1 tbls Herbes de Provence

1 Lemon, cut in half lengthewise: 1 half cut into 6 thin slices; 1 half in 6 

2 tbls Butter, cut into .5 tbls slices, then cut again in half to total 8 thin slices, or more if you like

1 c Dolin Dry Vermouth

Useful items: Cast Iron Skillet, Cooking Twine

Mise en place

Oven at 475F

Mix S&P with Herbes de Provence in small bowl to make the Seasoning Mix.

Place Chicken in Cast Iron Skillet.

Generously sprinkle Chicken cavity with Seasoning Mix. 

Stuff Chicken cavity with White Onion and 4 chunks of half Lemon. 

Separate skin from breasts. Under skin, coat breasts with Seasoning Mix. Place 3 slices of butter under skin on each breast. Place 1 slice of lemon atop each slice of butter.

Coat the outside of chicken thoroughly with remaining Seasoning Mix. 

Truss up Chicken. Place remaining Lemon in pan, add Dry Vermouth to pan.

Place remaining butter slices on highest points of the Chicken breasts.

Place Chicken in pre-heated 475F oven in center. Cook for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 375F. Check internal temperature after 25 minutes. Cook until temperature reached. Final cooking time will depend on weight of the chicken.

Let rest on board for 15 minutes before cutting.

After you pick it clean, this makes the most amazing stock.

Taters for Mash

Tater Mash

Red or Yellow Potatoes, cut into equal size medium cubes

Coarse Salt

Cracked Pepper


6 Garlic Cloves, smashed

Olive Oil & Butter, equal parts

Whole Fat Raw Milk

Mise en place

In Pot large enough to hold desired amount of Potatoes: Place cubed Potatoes, liberal amount of Coarse Salt, Rosemary, Garlic Cloves and cover with water.

With Lid On: Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. The time will depend on how large the Potato Cubes are.

Drain Potatoes and place back in pot. Mash until fairly broken down, then add Olive Oil and Butter. Mash until fats are incorporated, then add Milk to desired consistency. Check for seasoning. Season to taste with Cracked Pepper, and additional Coarse Salt if needed.