Friday, November 21, 2008

The Giving of Thanks

I love Thanksgiving! Like the 4th of July, the holiday is a celebration of America and gratitude. A great heaping bunch of delicious food, and no presents to fuss over!

So here are some holiday facts; some well known, some a little more obscure:

  • The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as "suggestive."

  • Turkeys are known to spend the night in trees! (Maybe to escape the Thanksgiving table?)

  • Turkeys can drown if they look up when it's raining!

  • A turkey's field of vision is 270 degrees--one of the main reasons they're able to elude some hunters.

  • The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.

  • There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats.

  • The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name craneberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry.

  • Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.)

  • President Abraham Lincoln established the original date for our National Thanksgiving Day celebration in 1863.

  • President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national “Thanksgiving Day.” Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as 'tom' to spite Jefferson.

  • Congress did not declare Thanksgiving a national holiday until 1941.
I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving week. I'm very, very thankful that TWILIGHT was released today....what are you thankful for?


Alice Audrey said...

I love Thanksgiving too. It's such a great excuse to get together with family and act all traditional. I love passing recipes I learned from my grandmother to my kids, including the way we treat the turkey.

Gillian Layne said...

Hi Alice! I have a favorite from my grandmother as well; corn and ouster casserole, although my mother and I are the only ones who really eat it.

How do you treat your turkey? My mom is queen of the turkey.

Terry Stone said...

I think Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Families get together and visit without the burden of gift giving. Huge quantities of our favorite des, er, food. LOL.

And I love the facts you dug up, Gillian, very interesting!

Gillian Layne said...

Hi Terry Jo!

The pumpkin pie will be my favorite, hands down. And then I love stuffing and gravy. And that green bean and mushroom soup casserole is awesome, too.

Christmas is a little too high stress for me lately, so Thanksgiving is a welcome reprieve.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Gillian! What a fun post! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!