Black Friday was ….well… Thanksgiving Thursday as many stores opened their doors for the holiday shop-a-ganza anywhere between 3 and 9 p.m.
I went out to Best Buy and Wal Mart at 10:30 p.m. expecting to find the fabled Black Friday frenzy. Instead, I found what looked to be a pretty typical Saturday or Sunday’s parking lot and customer traffic.
The craziness, I was told, happened earlier in the day.
It began when Abraham Lincoln declared that in gratitude for the Union Army’s victory at Gettysburg, the fourth Thursday in November would henceforth be a national day of Thanksgiving. We would come to add the familiar stories and imagery of pilgrims and native Americans, the tradition of a harvest feast, but the celebration’s purpose from the start was in its name.
Thanksgiving means turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… and all the carbs you could want. Although we’ve all got our tried and true favorites, you won’t ruffle too many feathers if you try a couple of new dishes this year.
This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.
Pumpkin patches are popular destinations for families seeking fall fun and you’ll find roadside farm stands all over the country. But pumpkins are big business in Illinois, where farmers feed canning factories hungry for a special kind of pumpkin that looks nothing like those you see on Halloween.
For Kansas farmer Frank Reese, Thanksgiving is a sad holiday. He raises heritage turkeys, a breed very different than those you can buy at in a modern-day supermarket. Few farmers in this country are still raising that kind, and many breeds of the bird are endangered.
To finance his preservation efforts, Reese has to work two jobs, and sell hundreds of birds a year to slaughter.
The great thing about the Thanksgiving feast is that the table is groaning with wonderful comfort foods and lots and lots of leftovers.
The less appealing thing about Thanksgiving is that 48 hours after the holiday, you’re sick of cold turkey sandwiches and re-heated mashed potatoes and you’re ready for something else to eat.
On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Emily Farris, Mary Bloch and Chris Becicka shared ideas for a post-holiday culinary detox, and took calls with listener suggestions. Below are their suggestions.
Here’s an idea for mixing up Thanksgiving dinner this year – hide your old recipes. Today on the show local food writers Beth Bader and Emily Farris are joining us with some incredibly easy and creative twists on traditional dishes.