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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, this means you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Just don't eat too much ... !
Today is  - Thanksgiving

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
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Today in History

43 BC   Octavian, Antony and Lepidus form the triumvirate of Rome.  
511   Clovis, king of the Franks, dies and his kingdom is divided between his four sons.  
1095   In Clermont, France, pope Urbana II makes an appeal for warriors to relieve Jerusalem. He is responding to false rumors of atrocities in the Holy Land.
1382   The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, crush the Flemish rebels at Flanders.
1812   One of the two bridges being used by Napoleon Bonaparte's army across the Beresina River in Russia collapses during a Russian artillery barrage.  
1826   Jebediah Smith's expedition reaches San Diego, becoming the first Americans to cross the southwestern part of the continent.  
1862   George Armstrong Custer meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon, at a Thanksgiving party.  
1868   Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer's 7th Cavalry kills Chief Black Kettle and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children) on the Washita River.  
1887   U.S. Deputy Marshall Frank Dalton, brother of the three famous outlaws, is killed in the line of duty near Fort Smith, Ark.  
1904   The German colonial army defeats Hottentots at Warm bad in southwest Africa.  
1909   U.S. troops land in Blue fields, Nicaragua, to protect American interests there.  
1919   Bulgaria signs peace treaty with Allies at Unequally, France, fixing war reparations and recognizing Yugoslavian independence.  
1922   Allied delegates bar the Soviets from the Near East peace conference.  
1936   Great Britain's Anthony Eden warns Hitler that Britain will fight to protect Belgium.  
1942   The French fleet in Toulon is scuttled to keep it from Germany.  
1950   East of the Choosing River, Chinese forces annihilate an American task force.
1954   Alger Hiss, convicted of being a Soviet spy, is freed after 44 months in prison.  
1959   Demonstrators march in Tokyo to protest a defense treaty with the United States.  
1967   Lyndon Johnson appoints Robert McNamara to presidency of the World Bank.
1967   Charles DeGaulle vetoes Great Britain's entry into the Common Market again.  
1970   Syria joins the pact linking Libya, Egypt and Sudan.  
1973   US Senate votes to confirm Gerald Ford as President of the United States, following President Richard Nixon's resignation; the House will confirm Ford on Dec. 6.  
1978   San Francisco mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the city's first openly gay supervisor, assassinated by former city supervisor Dan White.  
1978   Kurdistan Workers' Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan, or PKK) founded; militant group that fought an armed struggle for an independent Kurdistan.  
1984   Britain and Spain sign the Brussels Agreement to enter discussions over the status of Gibraltar.  
1999   Helen Clark becomes first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand.
2001   Hubble Space Telescope discovers a hydrogen atmosphere on planet Osiris, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.  
2004   pope John Paul II returns relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.  
2005   First partial human face transplant completed Amiens, France.
 2006  Canadian House of Commons approves a motion, tabled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizing the Quebecois as a nation within Canada.

Editorial Comment

Once again we here at Carolina Naturally are celebrating a Holiday by featuring posts about the holiday.
Just as we did for Samhain (aka: Halloween) we are posting stories and images of the holiday.
Although most Americans think of it as a uniquely American holiday Thanksgiving is actually celebrated in several countries including our neighbor to the north, Canada. While other countries have similar holidays to celebrate the harvest as well.
Harvest festivals have been around since there has been a harvest in cultures around the world - even the aforementioned holiday we celebrated on the last Saturday in October is a harvest festival.
Enjoy your holiday but remember that Turkey does have a chemical in it that induces drowsiness - it is NOT an old wives tale - so indulge accordingly.

The Truth Be Told

The modern meaning of Thanksgiving - It's all about spending money to 'simulate' the economy

The forgotten first president (Hint: It wasn’t George Washington)

by Rick Klein, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps
Here’s a Thanksgiving pop quiz: Who was the nation’s first president?
If you answered George Washington, pass the gravy and get ready for a history lesson. It was actually John Hanson, a founding father whose name is largely forgotten in the pages of American history – until now.
“They were both first presidents. We've had two governments,” said Peter Michael, a descendent of Hanson’s who is working to revive his memory as the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the precursor to the Constitution.
“George Washington was very famously the first president of our second government under the Constitution,” Michael said during a recent interview outside a replica of Hanson’s historic home in Frederick, Maryland. “But for eight years before the birth of that second government, we had an original government chartered under the Articles of Confederation. It had its presidents, the first of whom was John Hanson."
Michael, who has authored a biography about his ancestor’s life and also presides over a memorial association in his honor, explained that Hanson played a central role in putting the United States on solid footing in the wake of the Revolutionary War.
“John Hanson and his Congress inherited a blank slate and had to create a government from whole cloth and they did -- and successfully,” Michael said. “If they hadn't, the United States might not have existed."
Under the Articles of the Confederation, the young United States was governed under a single unified government, without separate executive and legislative branches. And Hanson, as an elder statesman at age 66, was nominated by his peers in Congress to lead the fragile new government in 1781.
“The American icons of the Revolutionary period -- Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, [and] others -- looked to John Hanson as the one [who] twice saved the nation and also to Hanson's way with people,” Michael said. “When no one else could do it, he persuaded the six states with the western lands to cede the western lands.”
We also have Hanson to thank for Thanksgiving.
"Thanksgiving, as an observance, had been recognized since the days of the pilgrims,” Michael said. “But it fell to John Hanson to establish Thanksgiving as an official annual observed holiday. It became a paid holiday, and a day off, in the Franklin Roosevelt administration."
Hanson served a one-year term as president and died a year later in 1783.
But in the decades and centuries following his death, Hanson’s memory would be largely forgotten to history. So forgotten, in fact, that his home in Frederick, Maryland, was demolished in the 1980s (a replica has since been built in its place) and his grave, in Prince George’s Country, Maryland, was paved over to make way for a parking lot. The burial site remains unmarked today.

What if ...

Countries that celebrate Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving (French: l'Action de grâce), occurring on the second Monday in October, is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although the original act of Parliament references dog and the holiday is celebrated in cults, the holiday is mostly celebrated in a secular manner. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in all provinces in Canada, except for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. While businesses may remain open in these provinces, the holiday is nonetheless recognized and celebrated regardless of its status.


In the West Indian island of Grenada, there is a national holiday known as Thanksgiving Day which is celebrated on October 25. Even though it bears the same name, and is celebrated at roughly the same time as the American and Canadian versions of Thanksgiving, this holiday is unrelated to either of those celebrations. Instead the holiday marks the anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of the island in 1983, in response to the deposition and execution of Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.


In the West African country of Liberia, which began in 1820 with the colonization of freed black slaves (Americo-Liberians) from the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Thursday of November.

The Netherlands

Many of the puritans who migrated to the Plymouth Plantation had resided in the city of Leiden from 1609–1620, many of whom had recorded their births, marriages and deaths at the Pieterskerk. To commemorate this, a non-denominational Thanksgiving Day service is held each year on the morning of the American Thanksgiving Day in the Pieterskerk, a Gothic cult in Leiden, to commemorate the hospitality the puritans received in Leiden on their way to the New World.

Norfolk Island

In the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Wednesday of November, similar to the pre-World War II American observance on the last Thursday of the month. This means the Norfolk Island observance is the day before or six days after the United States' observance. The holiday was brought to the island by visiting American whaling ships.

United States

Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the (agricultural) year, including the harvest.

Similar holidays


The Harvest Thanksgiving Festival, Erntedankfest, is an early October, German festival, includes large harvest dinners (consisting mostly of autumn crops) and parades. The Bavarian beer festival Oktoberfest generally takes place within the vicinity of Erntedankfest.


Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日 Kinrō Kansha no Hi) is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place annually on November 23. The law establishing the holiday, which was adopted during the American occupation after World War II, cites it as an occasion for commemorating labor and production and giving one another thanks. It has roots in an ancient harvest ceremony (Niiname-sai (新嘗祭)) celebrating hard work.

History of American Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving Day , set aside for the special purpose of prayer and celebrations, was decreed by Governor William Bradford in July 30, 1623.
There were harvest festivals, or days of thanking the gods for plentiful crops because that year the fall harvest was very successful and plentiful after a period of drought.
There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires.
The Governor proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
The event, however, was a one-time celebration and was not intended to be an annual festival.
It was not even repeated the following year. It was only after 55 years that another Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed.
The Governing Council of Charlestown, Massachusetts convened on June 20, 1676 to weigh how to best express thanks for the good fortune that had secured the establishment of their community.
By unanimous vote, Edward Rawson (the Clerk of the Council) was instructed to announce June 29 as a Day of Thanksgiving that year.
But this time also the event proved to be just a one-time event.
Then the Continental Congress suggested a day of national thanksgiving during the American Revolution in late 1770's. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states also did the same.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving.
Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday for Thanksgiving in America.

History and Origin of Canadian Thanksgiving

There are three traditions behind Canadian Thanksgiving Day:

1. The farmers in Europe held celebrations at the time of harvesting to give thanks for their good fortune of a bountiful harvest and abundance of food.
The farmers would fill a goat's curved horn with fruits and grains.
This curved horn was known as a cornucopia or the horn of plenty.
It is believed that when the European farmers came to Canada they brought this tradition of Thanksgiving with them.
2. The history of Thanksgiving in Canada is related to Martin Frobisher, who was an English navigator.
He made a lot of efforts to find a northern passage to the Orient.
Though he did not succeed in his efforts but he was able to establish a settlement in Northern America.
In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now known as Newfoundland, to give thanks for surviving the long journey.
This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Martin Frobisher was later knighted and an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada was named as ' Frobisher Bay' after him.
When other settlers arrived here they continued this ceremony of giving thanks.
3. The third influence occurred in 1621 in what is now the United States.
Here the English colonists, celebrated their first harvest in the New World at Plymouth Massachusetts.
By the 1750s this celebration of harvest was brought to Nova Scotia by American settlers from the south.
In the 1600s, another navigator Samuel de Champlain crossed the ocean and arrived to Canada.
Other French Settlers also came with him and their group held huge feasts of thanks for the harvests.
On this event they shared their food with the Native American neighbors and thus involved them in their celebrations.
Then they formed ' The Order of Good Cheer' which marked the harvests and other events as well.
After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.
During the American Revolution the Americans who remained loyal to England moved to Canada.
They brought with themselves the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada.
In 1879, the Parliament declared 6th day of November as the day of Thanksgiving and also declared it a national holiday.
Over the years different dates were used for celebrating the Thanksgiving Day in Canada but the most popular date was the 3rd Monday of October.
After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day were celebrated on a common day that was Monday of the week in which fell the 11th day of November.
Ten years later, in 1931, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed as the 'Remembrance Day'.
Finally, on January 31st, 1957, the Parliament issued a proclamation to fix permanently the 2nd Monday in October as the Thanksgiving Day. The Proclamation goes as...
"A Day of General Thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October…"

Historical Photos

Mary Philbin

Thanksgiving Football

Thanksgiving postcard circa 1900 showing a turkey and football player. 
American football is one of the many traditions in American culture that is associated with Thanksgiving Day. Virtually every level of football, from amateur and high school to college and the NFL (and even the CFL on Canadian Thanksgiving), plays football on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) or the immediately following holiday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
Thanksgiving Day football games in the United States are nearly as old as the game itself.
The first Thanksgiving Day football game took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving Day of 1869, less than two weeks after Rutgers defeated Princeton in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in what is widely considered to have been the first American Football game.
On November 17, 1869, the Evening Telegraph newspaper of Philadelphia published the following announcement: "Foot Ball: A foot-ball match between twenty-two players of the Young America Cricket Club and the Germantown Cricket Club will take place on Thanksgiving Day at 12 1/2 o'clock, on the grounds of the Germantown Club."
The proximity of Philadelphia to both Rutgers and Princeton invites speculation that this game may have been played under similar rules and perhaps involved some of the same participants, or at least people familiar with the game played at Rutgers, and a second match at Princeton, earlier that month.
Princeton played Yale in the New York City area on Thanksgiving Day from 1876 through 1881. 
The Thanksgiving Day football game became an institutionalized fixture of organized football in 1882, when the Intercollegiate Football Association determined to hold an annual collegiate championship game in New York City on Thanksgiving Day between the two leading teams in the association.
Previously, the 'Champion' was to be determined by a team's records over the entire season against all members of the association.
For at least the three previous years, the championship had been a matter of dispute as a result of Yale and Princeton playing to scoreless ties on three Thanksgiving Day games in a row.
The tradition of playing football games on Thanksgiving continues to this day.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is another attraction of the Thanksgiving Day in America. This parade is held every year in New York city and TV audiences enjoy its broadcast also.

Thanksgiving Spirit

Few years back on one Thanksgiving Day I went to the store to buy turkey with my parents. 
After buying it when we were coming back to home we saw an accident. 
A car hit a young girl and fled away. 
The poor girl was slightly injured and needed help. 
We took her to the doctor and then dropped her to her home. 
Her mother thanked us again and again. 
That day I realized the true spirit of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Poem


The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.

Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway ---
Thanksgiving comes again!

Daily Comic Relief

Twenty Facts About Turkeys

On Thanksgiving, the odds are high that a turkey will be laid out on many of our dinner tables. How do you all feel about turkey? Is a roasted bird something you look forward to or something you avoid? Do you have any turkey-free Thanksgiving traditions? What dish do you most eagerly anticipate this year? Comment away.
But first, here are twenty facts about turkeys that you may not be aware of. One fact is, to female turkeys, size matters. Snood size, to be exact. The snood is the long, red protuberance hanging off of the turkey's beak in the picture above. A study in the Journal of Avian Biology reports that female turkeys prefer their male counterparts to have long snoods; snood length can also predict the winner of a competition between two males. I wonder if some poor guy turkeys suffer from snood insecurity? That's some insult to add to the injury of being eaten on T-day.

Modern Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Today

The Case of the Missing Turkey Leg

by Judy Solomon
The excitement about Thanksgiving was really building that year. Grandma arrived early with a homemade pecan pie in one hand and a pound cake in the other. Dad was poking around in a cabinet, searching for his electric carving knife. Mama was in the kitchen tapping the pots with a spoon and humming Turkey in the Straw. Little Lonnie bounced up and down on his diapered bottom, keeping time to the music. Dad smelled the air and sighed. My big brother, Slim, who was anything but slim, sneaked off to his room with a slice of the pecan pie. Even Fido was wagging his tail.

Mama stretched a new, white tablecloth over the dining room table. She put cardboard Pilgrims and colorful fall leaves from the craft store in the center, and she set the table with real china and real silverware. Then she looked up, smiling. "Help me carry in the food," she said.

Slim, who had come out of his room by this time, went racing into the kitchen. "I'll get it! I'll get it!" he screamed. The rest of us piled in behind him, with everyone grabbing a pan or a dish. Into the dining room came the dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, and corn, Grandma's pound cake and the pecan pie, minus a slice. We placed the pans and dishes on the sideboard and looked up to watch Dad carry in the biggest, brownest, best-smelling turkey we had ever seen with Mama's hand under the platter, just in case. Together they lowered the turkey to its place at the head of the table.

It was the tradition in our family for each of us to think of something for which we were most thankful, and we knew Mama wouldn't let us eat until we had done it. We all ran to the table yelling something like "I'm thankful for Grandma" or "I'm thankful for school being out" or "I'm thankful for pecan pie!" All eyes were on that enormous turkey as we took our seats at the table.

Yes, everything was perfect except for one thing. Three hundred sixty-four days of the year Mama served the dinner, but not on Thanksgiving. That was the one day of the year when Dad sat at the head of the table and carved the turkey. It was an honor that he had eagerly anticipated for days in advance, as he discussed the relative merits of white meat versus dark meat, thick pieces versus thin pieces, with gravy and cranberry sauce, or without. Now Dad was not a well-coordinated man. He frequently tripped over his own two feet, and he could be counted on to drop just about anything. He was said to have two left thumbs, or as Mama sometimes called him, he was a clumsy ox.

That's why we all eased back from the table just a bit when Dad plugged in the electric carving knife, and we all eased back just a bit more when he tested it in the air. Dad went to work on the white meat first with surprisingly few problems. Slice after slice landed neatly on the platter. Dad leaned forward and grabbed the end of the left turkey leg and cut it off at the thigh joint, placing it whole on the platter beside the white meat. His oily fingers glistened in the light of the chandelier, and Mama waved her napkin. "I'm all right, Mama," he said. "I'm all right."

But as Dad leaned forward to pull back the right turkey leg, a button from his cardigan sweater caught under the edge of the platter. He pulled back the turkey leg and lowered the electric carving knife to the thigh joint. The turkey leg slipped from his slippery fingers and popped back to its original position, splattering Dad's sweater with gravy. As Dad jumped backward to avoid the gravy, the button from his sweater lifted the edge of the platter. He dropped the carving knife and grabbed the platter. Slim and I jumped from the table in terror as the carving knife fell to the floor and began chewing the table leg. Dad looked down at the fallen carving knife and lost his balance. As he started to fall, he tossed the turkey and platter in the air. He regained his footing just in time to grab the platter and slip it under the falling turkey. Mama quickly unplugged the carving knife and placed it on the table.

"A mess!" screamed Mama. "What a mess!" She ran around the table with a napkin, mad as a wet hen, wiping drips of turkey stock from her new, white tablecloth. Finally Mama settled down, and we all pulled our chairs back up to the table. Dad looked at Mama. "At least I saved the turkey," he said.

"Tucky leg!" yelled Lonnie, bouncing and kicking in his seat. "Tucky leg! Tucky leg!"

All of us looked at the turkey. Lonnie was right! A turkey leg was missing. We looked around the room, under the table, at each other. We looked at Fido, who was standing at the toddler gate licking his lips. Little Lonnie began to cry softly for he was the one who had expressed that he was most thankful for turkey legs.

Just then a brown blob of turkey juice landed on a Pilgrim and dripped down its costume. Everyone looked upward. There, balanced on the top of the chandelier, was the missing turkey leg.

"Clumsy ox," muttered Mama under her breath

What Most People Don’t Realize is Behind Their Thanksgiving Dinner

You can picture it now, can’t you? The familiar sounds of a parade or football game playing on the TV while little ones chase each other through the house. More friends and family members than you can ever remember in one place at the same time. And the aroma … those delightful smells that let you know it’s a holiday. You see the table surrounded by mismatched chairs, dinnerware and cutlery. And on that table, neatly decorated with the rich colors of the season, sit bowls filled with traditional fare and in the center of it all, the pièce de résistance – the golden brown bird around which the entire meal is built. Turkey. The year’s most prestigious meal!
Chances are, as you sit down to that mouthwatering Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing on your mind is a compost facility, or prescribed grazing, or any other conservation practice. In fact, unless you’re either a farmer or employed by USDA, you’ve probably never even heard of them. But these conservation practices all have a lot to do with the food products you consume.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works with farmers and ranchers all across the country to keep the nation’s soil, water, animals, plants and air healthy, in turn, helping keep all of us healthy.
How does it work? Let’s use the example of Ekonk Turkey Farm, in Moosup – Connecticut’s largest pasture-raised turkey producer. Each year, this family-run business produces 3,000 turkeys and more than 2,000 chickens, along with geese and capons.
Farm owners Rick and Elena Hermonot have been working with NRCS since 2010. Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, they have been able to implement a nutrient management plan, and install an efficient composting system that allows them to combine all the leftover animal materials and waste and have it break down naturally, leaving them with clean, healthy compost that they use to fertilize their fields.
This type of system also ensures that waste doesn’t get washed off the fields into groundwater or local waterways, keeping your water clean.
The Hermonot’s have also worked with NRCS to implement a prescribed grazing system that allows the fowl to roam free and eat a healthy diet from the pasture.
So whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore, you benefit because the programs that NRCS offers and that producer’s voluntarily implement help to keep our food supply safe and healthy, and that is something for which to give thanks!

Retro Photos



The History of Pumpkin Pie

by Nate Barksdale
pumpkin pieIt’s hard to imagine an American Thanksgiving table without the ubiquitous orange-crusted custard made from strained, spiced and twice-cooked squash.
Few of our festival foods can claim deeper American roots than pumpkins, which were first cultivated in Central America around 5,500 B.C. and were one of the earliest foods the first European explorers brought back from the New World. The orange gourds’ first mention in Europe dates to 1536, and within a few decades they were grown regularly in England, where they were called “pumpions,” after the French “pompon,” a reference to their rounded form.
Pumpkins, as the Americans grew to call them, quickly became part of England’s highly developed pie-making culture, which had for centuries been producing complex stuffed pastries in sweet and savory varieties. When the Pilgrims sailed for America on the Mayflower in 1620, it’s likely some of them were as familiar with pumpkins as the Wampanoag, who helped them survive their first year at Plymouth Colony, were. A year later, when the 50 surviving colonists were joined by a group of 90 Wampanoag for a three-day harvest celebration, it’s likely that pumpkin was on the table in some form. As useful as the orange squash were (especially as a way to make bread without much flour), they weren’t always popular. In 1654, Massachusetts ship captain Edward Johnson wrote that as New England prospered, people prepared “apples, pears, and quince tarts instead of their former Pumpkin Pies.”
What were these “former Pumpkin Pies” like? At the time, pumpkin pie existed in many forms, only a few of which would be familiar to us today. A 1653 French cookbook instructed chefs to boil the pumpkin in milk and strain it before putting it in a crust. English writer Hannah Woolley’s 1670 “Gentlewoman’s Companion” advocated a pie filled with alternating layers of pumpkin and apple, spiced rosemary, sweet marjoram and handful of thyme. Sometimes a crust was unnecessary; an early New England recipe involved filling a hollowed-out pumpkin with spiced, sweetened milk and cooking it directly in a fire (an English version of the same preparation had the pumpkin stuffed with sliced apples).
By the early 18th century pumpkin pie had earned a place at the table, as Thanksgiving became an important New England regional holiday. In 1705 the Connecticut town of Colchester famously postponed its Thanksgiving for a week because there wasn’t enough molasses available to make pumpkin pie. Amelia Simmons’ pioneering 1796 “American Cookery” contained a pair of pumpkin pie recipes, one of which similar to today’s custard version.
It wasn’t until the mid-19th century, though, that pumpkin pie rose to political significance in the United States as it was injected into the country’s tumultuous debate over slavery. Many of the staunchest abolitionists were from New England, and their favorite dessert soon found mention in novels, poems and broadsides. Sarah Josepha Hale, an abolitionist who worked for decades to have Thanksgiving proclaimed a national holiday, featured the pie in her 1827 anti-slavery novel “Northwood,” describing a Thanksgiving table laden with desserts of every name and description—“yet the pumpkin pie occupied the most distinguished niche.” In 1842 another abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child, wrote her famous poem about a New England Thanksgiving that began, “Over the river, and through the wood” and ended with a shout, “Hurra for the pumpkin pie!”
It’s no wonder that, when Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, observers in the Confederacy saw it as a move to impose Yankee traditions on the South. An editorialist in Richmond, Virginia, offered a sardonic explanation of the Yankee Thanksgiving: “This is an annual custom of that people, heretofore celebrated with devout oblations to themselves of pumpkin pie and roast turkey.”
After the Civil War, Thanksgiving—and with it, pumpkin pie—extended its national reach, bolstered by write-ups in women’s magazines like the one that Hale edited. In 1929 Libby’s meat-canning company of Chicago introduced a line of canned pumpkin that soon became a Thanksgiving fixture in its own right, replacing the need for roasting and straining one’s own squash. Next time you open a can, consider the past: the centuries of industrialists, editors, housewives, anti-slavery firebrands, culinary experimenters and Mesoamerican agriculturalists whose combined labors made your pumpkin pie possible.

Kentucky Named the Capital of that Infamous Thanksgiving Dish, the Green-Bean Casserole

Laura Begley Bloomby Laura Begley Brown
Kentucky Named the Capital of that Legendary Thanksgiving Dish, the Green-Bean Casserole
This is an ode to my mother. Actually, it’s an ode to the green-bean casserole, that quirky vintage dish that I grew up with — along with many people in this fine country. The basic ingredients include Del Monte green beans, a can of Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions on top.
My dad worked for Campbell's when I was growing up, so we got all the free soup we could eat, so I assumed my mom’s amazing recipe for this comforting Thanksgiving casserole was a Begley family special. Alas, it turned out that we were not alone in our love of this dish, originally created in 1955 by a member of the home economics department at Campbell’s. According to Del Monte, 30 million green-bean casseroles will appear on tables across the country this Thanksgiving.
This year, the Del Monte Green Bean Index also tracked the top 20 states where the recipe is most popular across this country, and the winner is… Kentucky, where 78 percent of residents “really like or love the dish.”
The survey also revealed some quirky factoids, like the fact that Florida residents like to add mushrooms at an unusually high rate… 25 percent pick it as their favorite secret ingredient. And overall, bacon (no surprise) is the most popular secret ingredient across the country.
To conduct this study, Del Monte’s “bean counters” (sorry, couldn’t resist) surveyed 1,500 Americans. Here’s a look at the top 20 states for consuming green-bean casserole, proving that no matter where you travel this Thanksgiving, you’re sure to stumble across the iconic dish:
1. Kentucky
2. Wisconsin
3. Missouri
4. Iowa
5. Maine
6. New Hampshire
7. Florida
8. Colorado
9. California
10. Mississippi
11. Oklahoma
12. Utah
13. Kansas
14. Texas
15. Maryland
16. Ohio
17. Massachusetts
18. Illinois
19. Michigan
20. New York

Celery and Olives Dominated Thanksgiving for Nearly 100 Years—Until They Didn’t

I just bought celery and olives yesterday. I always buy them for Thanksgiving, but rarely any other time of the year. Olives are a special treat, and the adults in my family love them. I use celery in my cornbread dressing, and the rest of the stalk is served alone or stuffed. However, I did not know that the two were traditional on everyone’s Thanksgiving tables for almost a century, and then faded out in the 1970s. It all started when fresh produce began to be transported across the country to be enjoyed whatever the season.
The pairing of the two was both a result of the fact that they were introduced and made readily available around the same time and they served a similar purpose: both celery and olives were palate cleansers, and ones that didn’t require a servant.

“People were looking for a palate cleanser in between Thanksgiving’s richer courses,” explained [Rick] Rodgers. “At a family meal where you don’t have servants, the tray of celery and olives could be put on the table and you didn’t need a servant to serve a sorbet course.”
Advertising played a big part, too. Celery and olives eventually became “traditional” at Thanksgiving. But what happened in the 1970s to change that? Read the entire story of celery and olives on the Thanksgiving menu at boston.com.

27 Fun Recipes Made With Tater Tots

Behold the almighty tater tot- the best tasting food product shaped like a tiny barrel.
Whether they’re fried, baked or microwaved they always end up tasting like hot potato goodness, and the fact that they’re easy to pop in your mouth by the handful makes them a big hit with the snack packs.
Nowadays people are going all fancy feast with their tater tots, piling cheese and other delicious stuff on top to make totchos supreme, or laying them on top of a casserole to add the perfect amount of tot-ness to an already delicious dish.
Tater tot fans are in for a treat, because BuzzFeed has put together a collection of 27 Tater Tot Recipes That Will Change Your Life, grab a bag of spud barrels and give your taste buds a treat!

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The Penguin, dead at 60

by Erin Tracy-Blackwood
It’s with a heavy heart and a hungry belly I write to inform you The Penguin Drive-in, age 60 of Charlotte, North Carolina, has died. The Bird had been unresponsive and on life support since last August.
The Penguin was born in 1954 when a decorated WWII veteran named Jim Ballentine and his wife bought a small ice cream shop on the corner of Commonwealth and Thomas streets. They named it The Penguin, expanded it to serve food and beer, and all of Charlotte came to eat. Through the 1960s, hippies and businessmen alike flocked to The Bird for burgers and at one point the restaurant sold more beer than anywhere else in the Southeast region.
The Penguin stood strong during the following decades despite neighborhood decay, and lived to see Plaza Midwood transform into the eclectic enclave it is today. But it was battered and bruised. The Ballentines retired from the The Penguin in 1999, passing the torch to Brian Rowe and Jimmy King, who gave it some much-needed TLC and cosmetic surgery. Under the ownership of Rowe and King, The Penguin flourished spectacularly.
For the next decade, there were lines out the door every day. It was heralded by many as Charlotte’s Best Restaurant. Couples met and were married there; it was featured on a popular TV show. It became more popular than ever before, more than a Charlotte institution. It became an icon.
The Ballentines decided they could duplicate The Penguin’s success elsewhere by franchising it. Lisa Ballentine, Jim’s daughter, was put in charge. Rowe and King were forced out, and customers were outraged. The pair left the Bird on Oct. 24, 2010, and they took with them its lifeblood — the neighborhood.
The Penguin struggled to stand alone without the support of its surrounding community. The Ballentines’ franchise deal fell through, and the Penguin became terminally ill. Lisa Ballentine’s attempts to ward off the Bird’s death through bankruptcy failed. Hit with an eviction notice and power disconnection, a silent darkness fell over it, and it slipped into a coma in early August. On Monday, Ballentine agreed to pull the plug and officially end The Penguin’s life.
It’s survived by its neighbor The Diamond, Rowe and King’s highly successful post-Penguin venture; and its former betrothed, Pinky’s Westside Grill, which was once planned to be called The Penguin Westside.
No funeral arrangements have been made as of yet.

Care home workers rewarded for doing right thing

by Chip Johnson
Miguel Alvarez, 33, recalls being (at times) the only person caring for the abandoned residents of Valley Springs Manor last week as he sits with his son Lucciano Alvarez, 4, in Alvarez's home that he shares with his mother, wife, son and step son in San Leandro, Calif. Alvarez started working as a part time janitor at Valley Springs Manor on October 7th and says he was supposed to be paid on the 25th but now he doesn't know if he will ever receive payment. Over time, Alvarez's hours became increasingly strange, sometimes he would be the only person in the building with the residents from 6pm-6am the next day. Alvarez says that he lived at the facility from last Tuesday until Saturday to make sure the residents were cared for. He missed his son's first day of school. By Thursday he was the only person bathing and caring for those who were still at the manor, though he is only trained as a janitor. "They just left them for dead," he said, "I didn't know what to do."
Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez, the cook and janitor who stood like sentinels over 19 elderly residents abandoned by staff at a Castro Valley care facility, were honored last week at the Hayward Veterans Memorial Building. It was the latest of many laurels bestowed on the two men, who have been friends since middle school. In the week since news of their good deed spread, people responded with goodwill, gifts and donations to the men and their families.
Rowland and Alvarez stood fast for two days after the state-ordered shutdown of Valley Springs Manor, an assisted care center. They cleaned, fed and cared for patients on their own time, placing the dignity of human life above their paychecks. State officials moved swiftly last week to assume control of a Modesto care home owned by the same people who ran Valley Springs.
The selfless actions of these two men have drawn praise from every corner, including government bodies, veterans groups and scores of private citizens from the Bay Area to Ottawa.
In addition to the award from the American Veterans Association, they received a certificate of special recognition from Rep. Eric Swalwell's office and a commendation from the California Legislature.
And thanks to the generosity of Chronicle readers touched by the story, they are being compensated for their efforts as well. Checks and gift cards have poured in, and the two men have established a bank account to take in the donations, which they have agreed to split evenly.
"We didn't expect any of this," Alvarez said. "We've never expected anything from anyone in life."
The men were surrounded by friends and family at the brief ceremony in Hayward, and it was one of those occasions when parents could not have been more proud of their children.
"I think I raised him the right way," said Rowland's mother, Carrie Bell, who turned to me with a knowing smile and asked, "What do you think?"

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Store owner has bought piece of cheese big enough to kill you

A 1,000-pound piece of cheese that would likely kill you if it fell on you the wrong way has arrived in Ottawa, Canada.
“You never see something like this,” said Joe Nicastro, co-owner of Nicastro’s Italian Food Emporium.
Every year, the Nicastro brothers ship over a large provolone by a boat that travels from northern Italy, through to Toronto and into Ottawa.
Nicastro said it took nine people on Monday morning to offload the provolone, almost 12-feet long and worth around $18,000, from a truck and into his store. The store will chop it up and market it at a cost of roughly $18 per pound.

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