Entries in Indulgence (1)


Thanksgiving - A delicious time to be an American


Thanksgiving is a uniquely “American” holiday whose meal centerpiece has countless variations, as Americans come from more than 125 countries, according to Census figures. Starting in the late 19th century, Thanksgiving was seen as a way to “Americanize” new immigrants. Tales of courageous Pilgrims were shared with schoolchildren of all backgrounds along with heaping helpings of turkey and pumpkin pie. “It was a way of teaching people how to be American,” says food historian Sandra Oliver, co-author of Giving Thanks, a history of the holiday. This ‘lesson’ rings true today for me on a personal level, as my significant other is English, thus no Turkey Day for him and his brethren. I’ve found myself in the precarious spot of ‘trying’ to describe the holiday’s contemporary meaning and tradition, without going too historically factual (read: colonial struggles and subsequent obliteration of the Native American peoples), to curious spectators of young and old. Much to my surprise, Thanksgiving is not a household namesake in the UK, nor is its significance widely known. Which reminded me that this delicious holiday has not been exported to other nations like let’s say, our commercialized incarnation of Halloween. It can be claimed by Americans (and Canadians – that’s another story) alone. The year’s hallmark meal, thankful sense of reflection and good ol’ family face time proved to be the American rite of passage for my green-card carrying Brit, who seemed to have no trouble getting acquainted with the cornucopia of indulgent offerings. One year down… 

Giving Thanks to...

Out of fear of sharing misleading information and tarnishing our (ok, my) good name, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do a little research and get familiar with the origins of this feast once again. Our modern food-coma inducing holiday, owes much of its success to the harvest festivals of yesteryear. Commonly celebrated across Europe and by Native Americans alike, it was a time to rejoice and give thanks for an abundant harvest. There is some contention, but according to a few sources, the inaugural Thanksgiving was held in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Our nation’s harvest festival became a national holiday, officially in 1863 by presidential proclamation (thanks Honest Abe). While we’re on the subject of firsts did you know that Turkeys were not even represented on the original Thanksgiving tables? Rather, local fauna like lobster, seals and swans. Shocking, isn’t it? Such a beloved fixture, absent from the equation. It was a good time to be a turkey.

Wish You Health, Peace and Happiness

Any way you slice it – historically, foodily, thankfully, family, the holiday is a pleasant reminder of how our journey to America began and of giving thanks to the family that brought us here. Thanksgiving, a delicious time to be an American.