It is holiday season. We begin to reflect on holidays past. We fondly remember the friends and family we have been blessed with and the time we shared. We remember the good times, good friends and the food….

At Larkinsburg Livestock & Farms we are very tied to tradition. We farm today similarly to the way my family farmed 50 or 75 years ago. Much of what we do every day is tightly tied to tradition.

And then Thanksgiving rolls around. Due to covid, we are not having a gathering, just our household. As much as we are “traditional” in our farming practices, we are not always as traditional when it comes to meals. We know what we like and we will eat it if we like. So………we decided to have a “non-traditional” Thanksgiving meal.

We decided to have a family favorite, shrimp gumbo and bacon wrapped, sausage stuffed, smoked deer loin. So why that? Well, quite frankly we really like it. Our family has always eaten cajun food. Gumbo is a fall/winter hearty dish that makes you feel warm inside and your belly full. Shrimp is much more available than crawfish. We would have prefered crawfish, but availability is limited.

In our house, the cooking is done by EVERYONE. Each of the children can cook. So I began Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, making the roux for the gumbo. Wifey and I shared the duties of preparing the vegtables while I cooked the andouille sausage. As we cooked we all visited and socialized. Sure the kitchen was full and a little uncomfortable at times but the memories made are worth every minute!! With the gumbo 90% complete we gave it up for the night.

Thanksgiving morning it was a full kitchen again. Breakfast was chorizo sausage, eggs and anything you can sneak from the frying pan. The vegetables for the loin were sauteed. Bacon weave prepared for the loin. Piece by piece the ingredients came together. All the while, a full kitchen of family!!

Smoker stared and a good fire in it, we put the first loin on for one of the boys to take to his girlfriends house. As a guest, she was rather fond of it, so I agreed to prepare an extra out of a deer he harvested. There is nothing more rewarding than consuming the fruits of your labors!

We share our noon meal as one big semi-happy, sort of dysfunctional family. We share laughs and memories of holidays past. The food was everything we had hoped for. Gumbo and french bread….nothing fancy, the company was more important than the menu. All together around the table, no practice, no work, no distractions…..just family, bonded by the common meal. True bliss!!! Can’t wait till tonight for the rest of it!!


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