Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Journey

The Wild Thanksgiving Turkey

This bird was harvested in the wild this yearby a friend whose proudly holding it. Wild turkey's are abundant in many areas this year. This one was taken near the PA – NY border in the western regions of both states. They are pretty good smoked, pan fried or oven baked for a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Myself, I'm glad Ben Franklin didn't get his way and have the turkey proclaimed the national symbol. The Bald Eagle works fine as a symbol and the turkey is just good eating.


Hard to believe it is almost Thanksgiving 2009. Turkey, parades, football, good foods, family, friends, snow- for a lot of us, deer season – for many. It is a time to share, laugh and remember.
There's a lot of quaint stories about the holiday, like the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, with plates of goodwill and friendship, which really wasn't the first thanksgiving, nor was it all goodwill and peaceful.
The 1621 feast marked the beginning of a lot of treachery and bloodshed. Within a few short months, after the native Wampanoag people fed the starving immigrants, whose food crops failed, the Native People were called “heathens”. Soon, bloody skirmishes, murders and attacks were common place. The mislabeled 1621 first thanksgiving opened a not so pretty chapter in American history.

People long before the arrival of the colonists celebrated thanksgiving. There was no set date; thanksgiving depended on the harvest. There were centuries of dances and songs, periods of fasting and prayer, and great communal meals.
A new twist in the meaning of Thanksgiving happened during another bloody uprising in 1863, the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a day of national Thanksgiving to be held every year, the fourth Thursday of every November. It was to be a day of prayer, reflection and feasting.
Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, also thanked the same Almighty and proclaimed a similar day of Thanksgiving. There wasn't much celebration though as the Confederacy was collapsing; the evil institution of human slavery in the New World, thankfully, was soon to be squashed.
In 1910, the Turkey Trot was the rage; the dance was controversial for many religious groups who attempted to ban it. The ban didn't work., many were thankful. The Macy's Day Parade marched for the first time in 1924 and the first NFL football radio broadcast was on the airwaves in 1934. The Chicago Bears won 19 – 16 defeating the Detroit Lions. Television followed in 1956.
Thanksgiving 1963 was somber as Americans grappled with the assassination of JFK on November 22.
Thanksgiving is a holiday on a long and varied journey, much, much more than a woodland feast in 1621. A hundred or so years from now, how will someone reflect on what we do for the holiday?
What are your thoughts - comments?

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Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes or Yams

I like both but probably prefer the sweet potato. Real sweet potato pie is one of the world's best delicacies, Thanksgiving or not.
Sweet potatoes and yams are two completely separate vegetables from completely different families. Often what is called a “yam” is actually a sweet potato, both terms are often intermingled.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, a three and ½ ounce serving provides twice the recommended daily intake for adults while containing only 141 calories. It is what we add to the dish that drives up the calorie count. The are a health food for more meals than just a Thanksgiving feast.
I grew sweet potatoes one year and the harvest was respectful. They are on the list for spring 2010 experiments. Sweet potatoes do require a growing season of 100 to 150 days, sort of long for a Zone 5, but it can be done. I am thinking of using an old bathtub or making a raised bed which can be easily covered during the famous “cold spells” around here during the summer growing season.
Plants can be purchased from online sources, while some garden centers will also have them available. It is also possible to start you own by taking cuttings from supermarket varieties. If peanuts grow in my garden, certainly tropical sweet potatoes should be able to make it. Peanuts are back on my spring list. Both are attractive and can be used as ornamental plants plants. Both can easily be grown in containers and are distinctive in hanging baskets.

Flu Information Stay informed by clicking the ad below and read Linda Nickerson's article on how to recover if you are suffering from the virus.

Thanksgiving Stuffing from the Backyard

Stuffing is one of the best reasons to grow sage, a perennial evergreen herb. Fresh sage is a world apart for the dried seasonings in cardboard boxes currently on sale in many supermarket chain stores. For some more information on how to grow the herb sage, click here.

Thyme is another good Thanksgiving herb. It is easy to grow, hardy and a good choice, like sage, for container gardening.

And Thanks for the Photo from Nepal

Sadeep posted and sent this photo of a Sahar fish taken from this scenic lake in Pokhar, Nepal recently. He says it is a colorful predator fish, well known in his home country. The fish is used in many popular dishes in the kingdom of Nepal. Thanks for sharing, Sadeep.


Happy Thanksgiving to all, followers, readers, new friends. Thanks for all the support, encouragement and insights. I'm thankful, very thankful for you all, it has been a good journey and more to come.

Blogs Thankfully Recommended.

Urban Veggie Blog – Dan is getting awards and seed saving cucumbers.

On Your Way to the Top - Kathleen has some good thoughts in this blog after a short break from writing and a great article on Christmas presents, here. Guys, this is a good one to read.

Simply Snickers - A great poetry blog with links to a mouth watering pumpkin bread recipe and some hints for cooking the turkey.

Vincent di Fondi– Vincent is living in Costa Rica and has recently published his first novel, Blessed Abuduction. Vincent will be featured in the December issue of International Living Magazine; more on this next post if available. Read Vincent's insights into Coast Rica and click the ad below to purchase his book.
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New York's Southern Tier - Kathleen has a great blog on New York's Southern Tier. So, if you are traveling that region for the holidays, be sure to check out what to see and do.

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