Thanksgiving is indeed a wonderful time to give thanks and begin to get ready for the winter holidays, whichever one you celebrate. There's nothing like raising the kids on the farm Everyone who did that has the same stories, just different farms. The walk in the woods after the holiday dinner, the big wooden bowl, the making things from scratch, everyone participating.
One Thanksgiving, my brother and his family--wife, and two kids--came over for Thanksgiving weekend to join our family--myself, husband, and 4 kids. The kids ranged from 4 to 12 years old. Of course they brought over their 2 dogs to join our herd of 5 dogs. The dogs wandered down to the pond, while we all started to prepare the meal. This particular year, in order to get rid of a lot of cream that was accumulating in the basement fridge, we decided to make pumpkin ice cream to go with the pumpkin, blueberry and apple pies. After making the custard, the older boys herded the rest of the kids out to the vestibule to alternately sit on the ice cream freezer or turn the crank. Everybody knew the "if you don't crank, you don't eat the ice cream" saying, though I never can remember anyone being deprived of some of that creamy mouth heaven. Well, the ice cream got done before the dinner was ready and we decided to actually let it sit and mellow. So the paddle was removed, the container resealed and repacked with fresh ice and salt and placed on the backstep outside.
It was Matt who went out to retrieve the ice cream, while my sister-in-law and I served up the pie. "I'll have some of each one" was the usual order. Matt came in breathless and cursing, he being the child who, among all the ice cream loving children, was the most enthusiastic lover of ice cream. "Those darn dogs are just finishing up all of the ice cream. There's nothing left!" It was true. The dogs had cleaned up the entire gallon of our mellowing pumpkin ice cream. Whether any of them besides Winnie and Ben, the two shepherds, had enjoyed much of it is unknown. But as we came out on the stoop, they all slunk away to the barn, while we all wished them a very unhappy and bloated night exiled in the hay mow.
But we just put the pies on hold for 45 minutes, took another batch of cream out of the fridge, added the mashed pumpkin and other ingredients and churned it up. It was ready in 30 minutes and served, slightly soupy, with the pie and was delicious. If it was not as good as the aged pumpkin ice cream, we don't know. We never let another batch sit outside and mellow, winter or summer.
(You might be interested in noting that Jessie Voigts was there that day. She is my brother's oldest child.)