giving thanks should not be shut up in a single day
While most Americans sort of believe the picturesque story of a convivial feast between the 51 or so surviving Pilgrims and around 90 Native Americans, perhaps from the Wampanoag Nation, the truth is far more complicated and perhaps a good deal murkier.
The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans. ~ Wamsutta Frank James, Wampanoag activist
Today, especially today, we can understand that within months of the disease ravaged Pilgrims winter 1620 arrival in North America, the native population was decimated by European illnesses. In addition there is strong evidence that the Puritans set the pattern for white settlers in America by seizing Native Lands, killing and enslaving the indigenous populations. Perhaps you could check out the Pequot Massacre of 1637.
As it goes, if there was ever a Thanksgiving Feast at all there is no evidence that the Wampanoags were there, or were even invited.
Being very religious people, it is more likely that the Pilgrims were celebrating a delayed Michaelmas, a harvest festival honouring the archangel Michael, who is a symbol of good triumphing over evil. Back then Michaelmas Day was October 10th. It gets more complex than that because in the protracted switch from the Juilan to Gregorian calendar from 10 to 18 days were removed from the year. That happened in 1752 in the USA. So, only God, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Sarah Josepha Hale, and the Wampanoag peoples know when Thanksgiving happened, if it’s not just a popular myth or a political invention.
Personally I believe that any feast, festival, or religious observance at this time of year is directly related to the autumn equinox, when our ancient ancestors would bemoan / celebrate that the day and night were of exactly equal length. From then on the days would get shorter, the nights longer, the weather colder, and winter would soon come howling in.
At least our English festival at this time of year, Guy Fawkes Night, is based on hard historical fact.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving.
Stonehenge is just a calendar
A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ONE AND ALL
The turkey. The Sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we can all agree so vehemently about?
there is always something for which to be thankful
Well, it’s Wednesday not Friday, but there wouldn’t be much point in my publishing some Thanksgiving recipes the day after the event. So forgive my erroneous title, it’s for a good cause.
You know that we don’t have Thanksgiving here in England, and that some of the things you serve make no sense to me; candied yams for one. Yet, part of me wishes we did have a Thanksgiving feast in the dark months before Christmas.
Have a very happy day tomorrow.
So, first up this week we have a Candied Yams recipe from Lena Abraham at Delish magazine. (I don’t believe I’ve ever had yams…..)
This is another dish I really don’t get, but I understand goes down very well on the Thanksgiving board. From Gimme Some Oven; The Best Green Bean Casserole. This dish is also really healthy. Enjoy.
The Best Green Bean Casserole
All great meals need a light appitiser that one can also use as a snack with drinks if friends call around. Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this very easy recipe for Smoky Chipotle Cheddar Twists. I just know these will disappear fast…..
Smoky Chipotle Cheddar Twists
One of the most critical things about a turkey dinner is the gravy. Ergo from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have; How To Make the Best Turkey Gravy. Looks good to me.
How To Make the Best Turkey Gravy
To start off your Thanksgiving day with a very seasonal holiday breakfast we have these Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. These would also go well as a dessert with coffee after dinner.
Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls
Our collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 68 Easy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas the Family is Sure to Love. From this collection I have chosen to feature their Ginger Pumpkin Pie.
Ginger Pumpkin Pie
oh yes, cook a second turkey for the dog
but where are the trimmings?
Today in America it’s all about shopping.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, is the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. Some say the reason it’s called Black Friday is because this is the day retailers in the USA start to turn a profit for the year. All I know is that if I was made to go shopping to Macy’s, JC Penney, Saks, Sears, or Wal-Mart, or anywhere else come to that, at some unearthly hour the day after Thanksgiving, then I’d be in a pretty black mood by the close of play. Most manly men don’t go for the frenzy of naked consumerism and implausible bargains on offer today.
Even though we don’t have Thanksgiving in England, most retail outlets here are trying to introduce the idea of ‘Black Friday Shopping’ to the English. Like most things which cross the Atlantic from West to East, (American cars, American Halloween, American humor, American Presidents), the materialism of Black Friday doesn’t really work well here.
For a start, unlike a lot of people in a lot of US states, nobody here has today as vacation, so we don’t have to find something to do with our time. Secondly, we English are a cynical and untrusting lot, and generally think the Black Friday hype is just an attempt by retailers to increase sales volume while at the same time offloading all the crap they can’t sell at any other time of the year. (Black Friday ‘deals’ are almost inevitably at the rip-off end of the spectrum.) On top of that, November really is a little too early to be the start of the ‘Christmas Season’.
And, what the average American may not know is that we English have had our very own Black Friday for centuries. In England Black Friday is any Friday the 13th, and that is a day on which bad things happen. Nothing good ever happens on any Friday 13th, and it’s become a day to be dreaded; ladders, mirrors, and black cats especially. There’s even a name for the fear of Friday 13th paraskevidekatriaphobia.
I’m pretty certain that a lot of American men also dread their very own version of Black Friday. This is a time when all good men really need their urban survival skills. They could always say they can’t go shopping because they suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia. Maybe not, it’s a very long word.
Except this isn’t Friday, it’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I wanted to post some ideas for Thanksgiving dishes before this Thursday, and give you time to go to the store. These are mostly desserts and booze, with a few other interesting things thrown in.
As Thanksgiving falls in the Autumn, (hahahahaha, a little English humour there), apples feature quite heavily in these recipes. Accordingly I’d like to remind you of Food on Friday # 48, which is all about apples and includes a few ideas I think could be super for Thanksgiving. (What do I know, we don’t do Thanksgiving in England.)
So, first up this week is a great recipe for a desert, or for something to have in the evening, or on Friday. From Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this delicious looking apple pear pie. And if that wasn’t tasty enough we have Andrea’s favourite Thanksgiving dishes for 2016.
Apple Pear Pie
Also from Andrea, how about this fabulous autumn drink ~ apple pear cider.
Apple Pear Cider
This is a decliciously cute recipe from Jacelyn Delk Adams at Grandbaby Cakes, a site I haven’t featured before, caramel apple cheesecake. Doesn’t it look fabulous?
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
From Heather Christo, one of her gorgeous looking dishes, with one of her trademark very long names; pumpkin caramel and chocolate ganache tart with potato chip coconut crust. Heather says this recipe is both vegan and gluten free.
Pumpkin Caramel and Chocolate Ganache Tart
Autumn Sangria with Apples Pomegranate and Figs
Another drink, this time from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; pomegranate ginger paloma. As well as tequila this recipe uses honey, fresh ginger, and mint leaves. Nice, but make mine without the tequila. If that wasn’t enough, from bon appetit we have a collection of 25 Thanksgiving cocktail and drink recipes. Jeez.
Pomegranate Ginger Paloma
Finally for this week, something that no Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be complete without; the stuffing. From Elise at Simply Recipes we have a sausage, sage, and cornbread stuffing recipe, (we don’t get cornbread in England).
Sausage Sage and Cornbread Stuffing
If all that wasn’t enough, Country living has 37 recipes for your best Thanksgiving stuffing ever, including this slow cooker cranberry pecan stuffing from one of my favourite cooks, Chungah at Damn Delicious.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing
a great big thank you to all of the cool cooks
featured in this Tuesday version of Food on Friday