Thanksgiving Diaries

Thanksgiving is here. But what is thanksgiving? Food is one thing, Black Friday and sales is another, but these are just some of the ways to celebrate the oh-so-important holiday. One of the things that makes this one important is the absolute no relation to any religion. Catholic, Protestants, Jews, Evangelists, Orthodox, hindu and every other religion can celebrate this holiday with no reservations or regrets. There are of course other similar holidays like the 4th of July, the Veterans day but those are revolving around the American nation and not around the family. What was missing was a universal family oriented celebration. A day that we will bring the family around the table and take a moment to be thankful for all the good things that are happening. This became the quest of a woman to make this day, a day that we can use to cherish family and love. It was a quest to make a day that will stop the time; force us to sit and relax; be with those we love.

“…1621 was the first Thanksgiving and was a feast that lasted for 3 days to celebrate the good crop. The next year the harvest was really bad and the party does not take place. It goes forgotten until 1777, where the 13 colonies are getting together to celebrate the british butt-kicking!!! (Hooray Mates!) Since that time thanksgiving is not a regular celebration, although some presidents (George Washington, James Monroe, John Quincy) tried to. It takes the efforts of the editor of a Philadelphia magazine Sarah Hale to get the butterball going. She thinks that the industrial revolution is just taking away from america by diminishing values, such as family. The antidote as she sees it is a day that we will have, nothing, but home, family and hearty meals She wants THANKSGIVING. And she is determined to get it. She writes to governors, senators, congressmen, dog catchers… pretty much to everyone who is in the government and has a mailing address. And she keeps this up for 40 years!!! President Lincoln alone receives so much mail, that he finally breaks down and grands the last Thursday of november as Thanksgiving. Things are not changing, until Roosevelt, in an effort to boost the Christmas shopping and extend the shopping period, changed the date, but things don ‘t work out and he put the date back to where he found it. It is not a big celebration, until in 1941 congress declares the last thursday of November as a national holiday and Sarah Hale is long in grave unable to see her dream coming true. And they do it just a week or two before Pearl Harbor (that is the actual events and not the movie, for the ignorant). After the war all it took is one magazine cover to solidify the turkey as the Holiday food.”

As narrated by Alton Brown in the Special Thanksgiving episode of Good Eats.

“Freedom for want” by Norman Rockwell (1942)

I will list here a brief diary on how I prepare some classic thanksgiving dishes highlighting the importance of proper timing.


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Last modified: November 16, 2013 by Georgios Pyrgiotakis