Holiday Meals Off-Grid
Many of the families in the area use their rural land to come together and celebrate the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, since it's still nice enough during the day to get out and enjoy the land. Since I'm most decidedly not the cook in my family, I polled our community to see how they create their special meals. Here are some of the fun answers I recieved:
Cheryl loves the holidays at her ranch. It requires more preparation and cooking ahead at her full-time home, because right now, they are set up to camp and only have a Coleman Stove and a Weber smoker at Rockin' R Ranch. What her family has done is to bring a brined turkey, ready-to-go, in one cooler, and the sides and fixin's in another. She says flexibility is the name of the game--if the turkey takes a little longer to cook, there are munchies for those who are too hungry to wait for the big spread. Choosing easy-to-transport side dishes has been a help as well. Green bean casserole and stuffing made at home re-warm well on the Coleman stove, and it's easy to cook fresh (or dehydrated, if you like) mashed potatoes or yams on the stove as well. Having extra ice and empty containers on hand ensures you're able to keep the leftovers food safe for the next meal if you're in a camping-environment like they are.
On the smoker, all done.
Linda says, "We put our turkey on the BBQ grill, use charcoal and a roasting pan. Cover the turkey with bacon slices and cook it for 3 hrs. Or we use the propane tank and fry it in oil on the back porch." YUM.
Non-traditional dishes are fun - s'mores for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner! Holiday treat: use homemade banana bread instead of graham crackers on the s'mores. Just trust me...it's a good move.
And of course, we all love the stories where things went wrong. Rolls forgotten in the oven that become rocks. Turkeys that just won't get done. What's funny is those are the stories that get re-told in the coming years. But, when you're at your rural place, remember you can take a break from the 'holiday fun,' go for a walk, and count your blessings and things you're thankful for.
So...enjoy your holidays, and remember, "Life Begins Where The Pavement Ends".