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A Down-Home Thanksgiving on the Kimball Farm

Renee Montagne and Kimball press apples to make cider for Kimball's cider gravy recipe.
Jim Wildman, NPR
Renee Montagne and Kimball press apples to make cider for Kimball's cider gravy recipe.
Kimball bakes a pie in the reconditioned Olds and Whipple stove in his farmhouse kitchen.
Jim Wildman, NPR /
Kimball bakes a pie in the reconditioned Olds and Whipple stove in his farmhouse kitchen.

It's a tradition for Morning Edition to join Chris Kimball, host of the public television show America's Test Kitchen and founder of Cook's Illustrated magazine, on Thanksgiving.

This year, we celebrate the holiday the old-fashioned way: down home on the farm.

This particular farm in rural Vermont belongs to Kimball and his family — wife, Adrienne, and their three daughters and a son.

They live in Boston but drive out to their farmhouse as much as they can.

Here on the farm — which features a barn with crisp, white, wood siding and a black roof right out of Norman Rockwell — Kimball has swapped his signature bowtie for red suspenders and a flannel shirt.

He is as comfortable around horses, an old-fashioned ice-cream maker and a cider press as he is at the helm of the woodstove in his farmhouse kitchen.

Kimball grew up nearby, working on a farm. It's where he learned to cook and do just about everything else needed for this Thanksgiving meal in the country.

The menu is simple. It includes turkey (raised nearby, of course) and cider gravy; potatoes and turnips grown on the farm and kept in the cellar, with a few secret ingredients; pan-baked soda bread; and stuffing with sausage, apples and toasted pecans.

And just like other family kitchens around the country, the Kimball kitchen is filled with chaos, clanging and good family cheer as they work together to prepare their holiday meal.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.