Every Black Friday, my husband’s family had the tradition of going Christmas tree shopping. We’d wake up at a reasonable hour (reasonable, that is, for Black Friday), mosey over to the Christmas tree farm together and each pick out that perfect tree for our family’s Christmas décor. Then afterward, we’d enjoy a delicious lunch of turkey sandwiches piled high with turkey, cheese and cranberry sauce. (Check out some of our past blog articles for ideas on post-Thanksgiving sandwiches.)

Christmas Trees copy

No matter how good the first tree we’d find may be, we always had to spend a good chunk of time looking through all of the trees available before selecting that “perfect” one. My in-laws were partial to the Fraser Firs, which tend to have more distinct branches and a light to medium green hue. My mother-in-law would wrap the lights around each and every branch! My brother-in-law’s family loved the Concolor Firs, a full, long-needled medium-dark green tree with a citrus aroma. My husband David and I like variety, so we’ve had Concolors, Frasers and Douglas Fir’s (a traditional dark green tree). Wolff’s has a beautiful supply of all of these varieties and many more ready to go for this Black Friday. Plus, don’t forget to pick up a copy of their Christmas tree preserving tips.


This year, however, as we find ourselves living in the French Alps where they don’t sell fresh cut Christmas trees, we’re probably just going to have to get an artificial tree from Ikea. One time, though, while on a hike we came across the most amazing coniferous tree I’ve ever found (pictured above). It looked like just like any other evergreen, but when we brushed by it, we couldn’t help but tell how soft it was – it felt like petting a Golden Retriever! We’ve since tried to find others of that variety to no avail. So you can rest assured that we did not cut down an alpine forest tree – not yet, at least.


To carry on the traditions of making recipes out of Thanksgiving leftovers this year, I’ll be making a turkey pumpkin chili this weekend for the international college students we work among. Turkey shreds apart easily, so this recipe can be made with either cooked turkey or by browning raw turkey (either ground or finely chopped turkey breast). So as you plan your Thanksgiving feast, why not grab a few extra ingredients to make this chili with your turkey leftovers?



Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • Author: Rachel VanDuzer
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Chili
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (or cooked shredded turkey)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney, cannelloni or black beans, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (or 2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ Teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt


  1. In a large stock pot, brown turkey (if using raw turkey) over medium heat. Drain and remove from heat.
  2. Saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil, cook about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add turkey.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, pumpkin puree and beans. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, chili powder and salt.
  4. Bring to a low boil and then turn down immediately. Simmer 20-25 minutes.

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