Thanksgiving gives us a chance to pause and be grateful for an abundance of food and other good things in our lives.
Thanksgiving began as a day of giving thanks for the harvest in colonial times. Today it has evolved into being a holiday involving turkey, family, football and the serious beginning of the Christmas shopping season. For me it is an opportunity to stop and think of how very much I have to be grateful for. After counting my blessings, I have the role of creating a somewhat traditional dinner. Yes, the meal will feature roasted turkey with stuffing, of course. Also pumpkin pie for dessert is a must. In planning the rest of the dinner, I have a little more leeway. I usually prepare one or two of my old vegetable standbys but then I like to include a new recipe. Ah, the search for a new recipe gives me chance to head to the library’s cook books located in the 641 area of the Dewey Decimal System.
As I looked on the cookbook shelves to see what I could include in this blog, I came upon these “interesting” instructions in The American Heritage Cookbook ( 641.5973 Am). They have instructions from 1890 on how to prepare a turkey for Christmas dinner. They tell you that the turkey should be cooped up and fed some time before Christmas. Three days before it is slaughtered, it should have an English walnut forced down its throat three times a day and a glass of sherry once a day. They claim that the meat will be deliciously tender and have a fine nutty flavor. Am glad these directions are for a Christmas turkey rather than Thanksgiving bird, although I know it makes no difference at all! If instead of following their directions, you decide to purchase a turkey from the grocery store, I agree with your decision!
Perhaps you find the idea of preparing something to contribute to the Thanksgiving dinner overwhelming. You don’t need to start with gourmet offering but you can browse the cookbooks to find an easy appetizer or veggie. You can also look for recipes for using some of the wonderful leftovers in the days after Thanksgiving. The people who have been in the kitchen much of the day on Thanksgiving will be more than grateful to hand over the reins to someone else to create a post-Thanksgiving meal.
Check out the cookbooks in the 641 area of the library. You will find a wide variety of recipes for Thanksgiving and also for everyday cooking.