Food for Thought
THANKSGIVING TIDBITS AND TIPS
“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”
~ Edward Sanford Martin
Although some historians claim that the first day of giving thanks in the New World was on December 4, 1619, at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia, it is commonly believed that the first actual celebration of the harvest and blessings from God took place in Plymouth in 1621.
The festivities lasted three days and included feasting, entertainment, and competitions. President George Washington issued the first governmental National Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. In 1863, during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, Thanksgiving became a federal holiday, and FDR, in 1939, designated the fourth Thursday in November as the official Day of Thanksgiving.
Food Fact: The first Thanksgiving feast most likely did not include turkey, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie, but the early settlers did enjoy seafood of all kinds, seals, swans, geese, corn, turnips, and spinach.
Here are some great sites for Thanksgiving recipes!! Here you will find food from the past (chestnut stuffing, mince pies), meals for the vegetarian or diabetic, healthy adaptations for old favorites, gourmet dishes, treats for kids (Daddy’s Popcorn, cheesy ranch Chex mix). Also visit the websites of Ocean Spray, M and M’s, Pepperidge Farm, and McCormicks. And get all your Turkey cooking questions answered at Butterball.com or call the Turkey Talk Line – 800-288-8372.
“What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?
“No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981
To make basic cornbread stuffing crunchy and delicious, simply add lots of toasted pecans and moisten the mixture with sweet apple cider. You can also add liquid bacon for a smokey flavor. For extra zing, do this while softly singing, “Oh, turkey dear, oh, turkey dear, how lovely are thy feathers…” and drinking spiked hot cider punch!
More tips: To calculate amount of food and drink you’ll need, follow this guide.
- Whole turkey–1 lb. per person
- Bone-in turkey breast–¾ lb. per person
- Boneless turkey breast–½ lb. person
- One bottle of wine = about five glasses
Time required for thawing the bird: for each 4 ½ lbs. of frozen turkey, allow 24 hours of thaw time in the refrigerator. Once fully thawed, the turkey may be refrigerated for 1-2 days. And still another…Suggestions for turkey leftovers include dumplings, patties, chili, tetrazzini, barbeque, turkey/wild rice soup, turkey/ginger/apricot salad, all sorts of casseroles, and a myriad of others found at www.allrecipes.com and many, many others.
And speaking of greetings–and gratitude–Xerox has a web site that lets you send a message of thanks to soldiers currently serving in Iraq. This is a FREE service and only takes a minute to do. What a great way to spread the spirit of the season! Visit LetsSayThanks.com today.
Ever feel sorry for the poor Pilgrims always dressed in drab shades? Not so, say many historians. Those early settlers used vegetable dyes to produce colorful attire, and although the colors weren’t as bright as they are today, it was not at all unusual to see clothing made of wool, linen, fur, and leather in hues of blue, green, violet, red, yellow, orange, and purple. Many of the Pilgrims were skilled in clothing related trades, and they produced fashions which mirrored those of England at the time. And no buckles on shoes or hats, either–those didn’t come into style until much later.
HOLIDAY DECORATIONS–EXERIOR AND INTERIOR Create a warm and thankful holiday mood by decorating your doorstep with nature’s bountiful harvest.
REQUIREMENTS: Cornucopia or Baskets, Yellow and Orange Christmas Tree Lights,
Ears of Indian Corn, plain Wooden Wreaths, Gourds, Pine Cones, Oak Leaves, Pumpkins, a yard long Velvet Ribbons, glue.
INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase a cornucopia (horn of plenty) basket and arrange pumpkins, corn, gourds, apples and nuts inside so that some of them are spilling out onto the walkway. Create garlands of autumn leaves and orange and gold Christmas lights and wrap them together around any poles or columns. Place pumpkins, stalks of Indian corn and gourds along the edges of walkways and steps. Buy a plain wooden wreath and decorate it with artificial autumn leaves, nuts, pine cones and berries. Add a fall-colored velvet bow. Hang the wreath on the door. Tie around orange and gold lights in any trees or plants near the doorway. Wrap garlands of artificial autumn leaves in the branches along with colored lights if some of your trees are bare from cold weather, Make sure none of your decorations block the peephole in your door.
CAUTION: Check to make sure that your outdoor decorations are not in the direct line of your sprinklers.
AND INTERIOR…A PAPER CHAIN OF BLESSINGS
You’ll need: Construction Paper, Scissors, Markers, Stapler
Directions: Cut out 2 inch by 6 inch strips from various colored construction paper. Have everyone write one thing they are thankful for on the strips. Form the strip into a circle and staple. Make sure the writing is side out! Take the second strip and stick it through the center of the first circle you made then staple. Continue doing this until you have used all your strips.
These hints–and hundreds of other craft ideas, songs, turkey jokes and one liners, and games are found here. A GREAT source of ideas!!
And now Kid Stuff…
Help children make the most of Thanksgiving by planning activities that become family traditions. During dinner, have everyone tell what they are most thankful for. If someone is thankful for food, plan to share a meal with someone less fortunate. If the kids are thankful for toys, collect unused or nearly new toys for a toy drive.
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to share our blessings with those less fortunate than we are and to spread the spirit of friendship and community. Opportunities for helping others during the holiday season are many and can involve one individual or the entire family. Some ways to foster goodwill and embrace the idea of sharing include:
Contribute non-perishable foodstuffs for a local food bank. Give money to local agencies who feed the hungry. Volunteer your time to sort supplies, set up and/or clean up, or serve meals on Thanksgiving Day.
Invite a neighbor who lives alone to join you for dinner. Take a warm plate of Thanksgiving food–and a big smile–to a shut-in. Contribute to holiday food collection bins in grocery stores. Purchase pre-packaged boxes of food (generally around $10.00) to be distributed by local grocers. Check with your local place of worship to see where your help is most needed.
So there you have it–facts, myths, tips, websites, and everything you have ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving. May yours be an enjoyable celebration shared with friends and family and filled with gratitude for all your blessings!