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The Thanksgiving Proclamation

The Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, D.C.

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President:  Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,

Secretary of State

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Passing the Baton

John, Gordon, and Hugh come by every week and pick up some of our food bank donations. They are a part of a team that, for Klesick Family Farm (KFF), begins with you. Yes, you. Through your partnership with KFF, we are able to bless hundreds of families throughout our delivery areas. We are currently serving eight different food banks in Island, Skagit and Snohomish Counties weekly through our Neighbor Helping Neighbor initiative. With your help, so far this year we have been able to donate upwards of 650 boxes of organically grown produce and would love to see that number grow to 1,000 boxes of good for the year.

John, Gordon and Hugh are the middle legs of a relay race, where good food ends up in their vans on the way to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank or His Pantry food bank at Camano Chapel. Once there, the baton makes its way to many more volunteers who sort, merchandise and finally help our neighbors in need. But it all begins with the donation of a $26 box of good. For just $26 a month you can purchase a Neighbor Helping Neighbor food bank box and begin an act of compassion—one that will send a message of hope (and good food) all the way through the channel of volunteers on its way to a family in need.

Around Thanksgiving and the holidays, in particular, the sting of hunger hurts a little more. So for more than a decade KFF has sponsored a $26 donation Holiday Box. This is the same Holiday Box that we offer to our customers for their Thanksgiving meal, but we discount the donation Holiday Box in order to make it easier for customers to bless others in  our community.

Klesick Family Farm is committed to serving our neighbors in need. We are thankful to partner with you and John and Gordon and Hugh and the hundreds of other volunteers to offer a good food solution and an act of compassion to help others.

Would you consider joining us this Thanksgiving by starting another relay race and investing $26 to help our neighbors in need? We have made it super easy, just order online or contact our office and we will do the rest.

Thank you in advance for your continued partnership.

 

tristan-sign

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FARM DREAMS

Originally Published in The Herald: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Story and photos by Dan Bates, Herald Photographer

THE HEART

Tristan Klesick may not be able to feed 5,000 people with a couple of fish and five loaves of bread, but he does possess strong Christian faith, unusually good food-growing skills and some great ideas for helping people bless other people.

“I know others have the heart to bless people with food,” Tristan says. “And with our farm staff and products, and our delivery vans, we have the means to help them do it.”

Tristan started a program called Neighbor Helping Neighbor about 10 years ago, but it isn’t advertised. He is low key about it and he won’t pressure others to use it. He merely would like to provide a conduit that people can use, by their own choice, to bless others with food.

It’s a not-for-profit function of the farm, something Tristan and his family believe in. They would do it themselves, anyway, but providing a way for others to use them increases the bounty for everyone. So far this year, about 340 family boxes and 100 holiday boxes have been donated.

People can purchase a box of food and have it delivered to someone they know who needs it. Or, what is more often the case, people ask the Klesick Farm to donate it to the food bank. The Klesick Family Farm matches every fourth box that customers donate.

THE SOUL

She is all too young, and alone, holding a baby in a carrier. She avoids drawing attention to herself as she nervously looks over the food at the Snohomish Food Bank.

It’s clear she can’t carry groceries and hold the 2-week-old baby at the same time.

Ed Stocker, 82, kindly invites her to set the baby down next to him. He’ll gladly watch the child.

She is reluctant to separate from that baby, even for a minute. Yet, she finally leaves the child, quickly gathers some food and carries it to her car.

The next time she arrives, she takes the baby right to Stocker and sets the carrier down next to him. Each time she returns, the women volunteering fawn over the baby while she gathers food. Her guard lowered now, the young mother chats happily with the women, and the old man.

The young woman hadn’t been afraid in the beginning, Stocker explained. She was embarrassed.

It’s not easy to seek help. It can be an art to give it.

THE BLESSING

Gail Brenchley of Snohomish donates Klesick boxes because she feeds her five kids produce grown by the Klesicks and sees the difference in how they eat.

“If people are getting fresh vegetables, they’ll eat them,” she said. “Their kids will eat them because they taste better.

“I like to give others the same thing I feed my own family.”

Eva Burns donates the Klesick Farm boxes because, she said, it’s the way she would like to be treated if she were in need.

The delivery is key, she said. Somebody else doing the lifting is what makes it possible for the 82-year-old Everett woman to bless others in this way.

Michele Payton said the Klesick Farm’s pre-order holiday box is a bargain at $30.

“You can donate a second holiday box to some family you know, or to the food bank for $25,” she said. “And you should see it!”

Still, the Camano Island woman cancelled her own Klesick Farm deliveries.

“Because of economics, I e-mailed the Klesick Farm saying I needed to suspend deliveries for a while, until things get better,” Payton said. “Tristan not only called and lowered the cost of my food box, but he counseled me on the economic situation; he’s very knowledgeable.

“It touched me. I was personally surprised by the generosity.”

“It isn’t ‘business as usual,’” Payton said. “It’s not just another good value, food-wise. What other place would call somebody?

“I’m not going to get a call from some CEO at Costco to say, ‘Hey, let me help you out for a while.’ ”

Vicki Grende, whose husband, Don, was on strike at Boeing for eight weeks with the Machinists union, recently e-mailed the Klesick Farm to thank them for charging them half-price throughout the strike and to let them know they would like to pay full price now.

The majority of the donated Klesick Farm boxes go to the Stanwood Camano Food Bank. Ed Stocker will pick up about 60 holiday boxes for the Snohomish Community Food Bank this week.

The food banks are accustomed to stocking fruits and vegetables from the big stores, product that is near the end of its shelf life, yet still good if consumed right away.

The Klesick boxes are different.

“The thing about the Klesick boxes is they’re fresh vegetables,” Stocker said. “They’re not culls. They’re strictly the best — the same food they deliver to their customers is what they send with me.”

“I will go any distance to pick up produce,” Stocker said. “With Tristan, that’s my trip because his kids and I like to talk duck hunting and goose hunting. Those kids, they’re just like my own.”

He thinks Tristan is OK, too. He notes that Tristan began farming as an adult, rather than growing up on a farm like everyone in the Stocker family.

“He has a different slant on agriculture than someone who grew up on the dirt,” Stocker said. “And that’s good!”

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A Homemade Thanksgiving

Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

John Henry Jowett

 

It’s that time again isn’t it? Time to decide if the potatoes will be gratined or mashed. Mashed, definitely mashed. So then mashed with sour cream, heavy cream, butter or all of the above? Will the green beans be casseroled, roasted or simply blanched then tossed with browned butter? What sort of spice and herb mix will go into the stuffing? Perhaps you have had this all long figured out. Maybe there’s no change from year-to-year. I can appreciate that too.

I love scouring magazines, websites and cookbooks this time of year for the classics and new twists on the classics. But this year what I’m most struck with as I start to visualize the Thanksgiving table is not what recipes, flavors, and ingredients I’ll use but rather how incredibly thankful I am to have a spot at the table.

I’m finding myself less motivated by which method I’ll brine then roast the turkey and more inspired by the heart of the holiday; being thankful. The simple fact that I get to think about my potato preparation, which pies to include in the dessert line up, and who is joining me at the table, well, that’s enough.

Coming to this realization was first met with a bit of fretting over the fact that it’s already into November and I haven’t given the food as much thought as I normally do. Thoughts of letting people down, and lackluster side dishes began to swirl before that rational voice inside my head, however soft it may be, began to whisper, “just be thankful.”

There will be a feast, maybe it won’t be as inspired as the Latin Thanksgiving menu we enjoyed last year but I will be thankful, grateful and very full by the end of the day.

 

TURKEY ROULADE WITH SAUSAGE STUFFING

inspired by Ina Garten

Serves 8

This is a twist on the classic bird but the classic flavors are all there. Extra bonus – it doesn’t take nearly as long to roast.

The most difficult part about this recipe is tying the stuffed turkey just prior to roasting. It makes the job much easier if you have an extra set of hands help you get the turkey to submit. It’s going to be messy and you’ll feel a bit clumsy. Be brave and confident as it will come together and your reward for such bravery will be a flavorful and moist turkey that will sure evoke elation and cheers as it’s brought to the table for (easy) carving.

3/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

1/2 cup brandy

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 ½ cups diced onions (2 onions)

1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)

3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed

1 ½ teaspoons paprika

1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix (homemade recipe below)

1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 large egg, beaten

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons good mustard

1 whole turkey boned (save bones, wings and giblets for gravy and stock)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Place the dried cherries in a small saucepan and pour in the brandy and 1/4 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Stir in 1 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of salt. Add the cherries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and hazelnuts and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and spread the mustard over the turkey.

Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place any leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.)

Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon paprika, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

 

Homemade Stuffing Mix

3 cups ½” diced rustic bread

½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, sage, rosemary, thyme etc.)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

pepper

 

Combine everything in a large bowl and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350*F until bread is golden and dried out, about 20 minutes. Stir the mixture halfway through the baking process. Taste and add more salt if desired.

 

-Ashley Rodriguez

Chef, feeder of three hungry children, creator of Not Without Salt and author of Date Night In, Running Press 2015.