Happy Turkey day! The all-American feast, Thanksgiving, is never about turkeys. So, how did this lovely bird become the symbol of giving thanks? That’s exactly what you will find out in this article.
Thanksgiving: Holyday Or Holiday?
It is difficult to tell exactly what the first Thanksgiving looked like. But, you should know that it was to celebrate survival. The pilgrims and Native Americans were first to celebrate this feast towards the end of 1621. The primary aim of this feast is to celebrate the productive co-existence of pilgrims and Native Americans. The year was very productive, and farming, the newfound profession, was booming. Sadly, this “tradition” did not last long.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony of the 17th Century
Thanksgiving has never been politically motivated. In fact, it is a “one-off” event that happens between September and November. The first state to attempt celebrating Thanksgiving is Massachusetts. This is connected to the near-death experience the State witnessed in the 17th century.
Massachusetts declared Feb. 22 as a day of fasting and prayer. The state could no longer keep up with rationing five grains of corn to every member of the state. The set day arrived but the planned event never happened. A returning ship from England with food supplies changed the narrative that day. It was a miracle. There was a shortage in the morning, and by noon, there was a surplus. The feasting that followed was massive. It is now amusing that serving “five grains of corn” before the main dish dates back to this incidence. But this act is long forgotten now.
Thanksgiving Vs. Christmas
The memory of hardship and deliverance is not one that Massachusetts will soon forget. This made it easy for the ceremony to continue long after the famous event. But the cultural composition of the state stood as a great threat to the immortalization of the annual feast. During the mid-17th century, some members of the state being pagans, saw Thanksgiving as a direct replacement to Christmas, the more popular holiday. Massachusetts never regarded Christmas. So to think that they would embrace Thanksgiving is a long shot. Thanksgiving and Christmas meant the same thing to them.
It was not until the 19th century that Massachusetts formally celebrated Christmas.
The Patriots’ Holiday
Thanksgiving grew under extreme conditions. Its spread was fast but steady. You should note that different parts of the State had conflicting ideas on what makes up a holiday. The general consensus is that holiday should be a day for Patriots to celebrate their survival. If you take a closer look at this consensus, it in a way relates to the initial gathering of the pilgrims and Native Americans. Survival. Thanksgiving is a celebration of survival.
This made it easier for the Continental Congress to declare a national Thanksgiving. They did this to keep the hopes of winning the Revolutionary War of 1776 alive. The victory of the Revolutionary War morphed into the reason why you should celebrate Thanksgiving. Celebrate survival. Patriots will understand why celebrating survival is important. So like the celebration of independence, you celebrate Thanksgiving will the same tenacity.
George Washington, the father of New America, celebrated Thanksgiving in 1789 and 1795. Other presidents did follow in his steps, until 1815.
The Sarah Josepha Hale factor
You would think that the occasional celebration of Thanksgiving will seal its place in the history of the nation. It did not. In fact, Thanksgiving was unsuccessful in the south. This made Thanksgiving unpopular. Since there was no unification of the event. It was still a one-off ceremony. Thanksgiving was hanging on by a thread. It would take the willpower of Sarah Hale and the influx of migrants from England to resuscitate the dying tradition. Sarah, a patriot, the migrants, enthusiasts valued the tradition.
Sarah was born in 1788. The peak of Thanksgiving. She had a very colorful childhood. Thanksgiving in that childhood of hers was precious. She was a writer and editor. She used her writing prowess to educate people about Thanksgiving. It was a campaign. As an editor of the renowned Godey’s Lady’s Book, she was an authority. She had a reach, one you may call wide. Her bestselling book “Etiquette” included a chapter campaigning for a national Thanksgiving.
The south had no choice than to consider her proposition in 1855. Especially Virginia. As a proposition, it was still opposed by people. The then governor of Virginia brought it up for debate. As a debate, it was easy to denounce based on the fact that it was Puritan in origin. It was implemented by his successor. Rather than debate it, he implemented it. No one opposed the institution of Thanksgiving. By the eve of 1859, every State of the Union celebrated Thanksgiving. That is, except Missouri, Delaware, and Oregon. The civil war was imminent around this time.
The Civil War
It is ironic that war is a unifying factor. Thanksgiving has always been popularized by acts of war. At first, it was the Revolutionary War. Now, the Civil War. Sarah Hale was unrelenting in her quest to legitimize Thanksgiving. She was in constant talks with Abraham Lincoln the then president of the US. Lincoln officially adopted Thanksgiving to be celebrated yearly across the States of the Union. He established the date as the fourth Thursday in November and it remained so.
This declaration is tied around the success of the Civil War. It was to smooth and heal all wounds. It is intended to be the holiday for patriots.
Black Tuesday, the infamous other name of the great depression, was a dark period in America’s history. Farm product prices fell by about 60%. You can imagine how much a full-grown turkey would cost. Between early 1929 and late 1930, Thanksgiving was suspended. It was a miracle that the nation pulled through the economic chaos.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to change the date of Thanksgiving. The third Thursday in November to replace the existing fourth Thursday. He wanted to create an economic boost and allow more shopping before Christmas. But this idea of his was not very successful. The fourth Thursday was already registered in the minds of the populace. The government declared third Thursday. But, people still chose to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth.
In 1941, Congress and the president resolved the mix-up around Thanksgiving. Fourth Thursday in November was restated as a United States federal holiday. From then up until now, Thanksgiving remains in the history of the US. A day set aside to celebrate human survival. This is the concluding chapter of the birth of Thanksgiving.
The Preferred Meal
Feasting does not follow a particular order. You partake and make merry. Everyone is treated and welcomed equally. You reminisce and spend quality time with those you value and share deep memories with. You eat the best of meals as well.
In 1621, the rumored maiden year of Thanksgiving, the menu was whatever you can offer. The primary purpose of the gathering is the celebration of life. The menu is insignificant but necessary. The underpinned feature of Thanksgiving is surplus. What best defines surplus than a menu of abundance? The menu of the 1621 Thanksgiving is made of venison, wildfowls (turkeys), cornmeal, and fish. This is obvious, and they did have a sumptuous meal. The menu over the years began to evolve. If the tradition itself is evolving, so should its menu. But there is that one evolution that often leaves a lasting impression. In this case, it was two major events.
The Sarah Josepha Hale Menu
The godmother of Thanksgiving did more than campaign for the institution of Thanksgiving. She defined the model. Her menu consisted of chicken pies, ducklings, goose, red meat, turkeys, plum puddings, custards and any other pies you can imagine. She was not specific about turkey. Turkey was on the menu and so were wild fowls and red meat. How then did turkey take all the glory?
The American Ego Menu
Turkey is arguably the largest wildfowl. This validates its candidacy as the bird of choice for any feast. More so, the American ego, the insistence on nothing short of the best, translated as having the best of everything. If the turkey is the best meat in the world, then turkey is the menu. Thanksgiving is a national celebration. A celebration of survival. It deserves the best menu, and turkey is duly qualified.
So if you organize a feast in celebration of Thanksgiving, once you serve turkey, the feast is right.
Furthermore, there was a time in American history that Turkey was a rare treat. The depression-era was a period that certain menu was considered luxurious. A bird could cost as much as $8 to $10, equal to a day’s wage. Turkey is very affordable today, but there was that period when it was expensive. Turkey has a long history in American culture. To date, it remains a celebratory symbol of survival. So it came as no surprise that astronauts Edwin Aldrin and Neil Armstrong had turkey for their first meal on the moon.
Present-Day Thanksgiving Demands
The successful establishment of Thanksgiving is worth every struggle. It is fine to remind yourself of what the period really means. Celebration of survival can be related to your immediate family, friends, and your community. Thanksgiving has evolved into that period of quality family time. That means lots of travels and spending. An average of 39 million families travel during Thanksgiving. About 51.6 million turkeys are consumed.
It is important for you to make extra money, and plan ahead of the Thanksgiving. You can make extra money to cover your travels and any other expenses.
How to Earn Extra Income to Afford a Fun Thanksgiving
· Home Cleaning Service
Thanksgiving is a big day, and host families will need a deep cleaning of their house. Some of these families cannot afford the luxury of hiring experts and this is where you come in. You can charge as much as $22 per hour for house cleaning. You can decide to work within your community or outside. That’s totally up to you.
· Home Organization
Home organization simply involves decluttering the home. At the last minute, families realize that they need to keep the home organized. You can decide to take this job up if it is something you can do, and you can earn between $30-$80 per hour doing this.
· Baking Service
The famous KFC started as a home delivery baking service. If you enjoy baking, you can make money doing what you love. Convert your kitchen into a bakery. You can always compare your price with what local bakeries around offer. You can even include delivery in your package.
· Open a driver account with Lyft or Uber
The rideshare industry is another opportunity to earn extra income on your own terms. You can sign up as a driver on Uber and Lyft and help people move from one place to another. How much you can earn depends on how many hours you are willing to work.
Easy To Make Recipe For Stuffing
Stuffing is an important dish for Thanksgiving, it is a perfect blend with turkey.
You probably already have a recipe you intend to try out for Thanksgiving. You can never go wrong with turkey stuffing. There are over 100+ recipes for stuffing.
Here is an easy to make recipe that you and your loved one will enjoy this season:
Certain stuffing recipes often include carrots, dried cranberries, and raisins. But, you would not be needing any of that for a classic stuffing recipe. Poultry seasoning is the best blend for a turkey stuffing recipe. It is best to get it a few weeks before Thanksgiving because the demand is usually high during the season.
Wondering what is so special about poultry seasoning? It is in its composition, a blend of rosemary, sage and thyme.
You can use any type of bread. Just be sure that it is well prepared ahead of time and well preserved.
- Calories: 185
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Cholesterol: 27mg
- Sodium: 462mg
- Potassium: 175mg
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 1g
- Sugar: 2g
- Protein: 3g
- Vitamin A: 435%
- Vitamin C: 6.8%
- Calcium: 61%
- Iron: 1.4%
- 4 stalks celery cubed
- 2/3 cup butter
- 2 small onions cubed
- 1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning
- Black pepper
- 3 or 4 cups of chicken broth
- 12 cups of diced bread
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Heat up the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating, place diced bread in a large bowl and add onion blended with parsley and fresh herbs.
- Pour the broth gently into the large bowl that contains the bread cubes, until the bread cubes are moist.
- Toss gently. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet using medium heat. If you prefer to use rosemary, add it, along with the onion, celery, and poultry seasoning to the large skillet. Cook until it’s tender and not brown. This whole process should take about 10-12 minutes.
- Place the mixture in a serving dish, dot with butter and cover.
- Bake 35 minutes, check it and bake an extra 10 minutes.
It’s ready to serve!
Table Of Contents
Chapter 2 – Thanksgiving: Holyday Or Holiday?
Chapter 3 – Thanksgiving Vs. Christmas
Chapter 4 – The Preferred Meal
Chapter 5 – Present-Day Thanksgiving Demands
Chapter 6 – Easy To Make Recipe For Stuffing