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Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November

Almost every culture in the world has held celebrations of thanks for a plentiful harvest. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanksgiving in the early days of the American colonies almost four hundred years ago.

In 1620, a boat filled with more than one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it. The Pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow many crops; and without fresh food, half the colony died from disease. The following spring, the Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish.

In the autumn of 1621, bountiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They invited the local Indian chief and ninety Indians. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians. To this first Thanksgiving, the Indians had even brought popcorn.

In following years, many of the original colonists celebrated the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States became an independent country, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving, for the whole nation to celebrate. George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day. Then in 1864, at the end of a long and bloody civil war, Abraham Lincoln asked all Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.



Turkey Trivia
The first meal eaten on the moon by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was roasted turkey and all the trimmings!

91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Of the 300 million turkeys raised annually, 45 million are consumed at Thanksgiving.

Of the 300 million turkeys raised for consumption each year, one is sent to the White House for clemency. Each year, the President "pardons" the live turkey, which is sent to a farm to live out the rest of its days.

Over the river and through the wood
To Grandfather's house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow~
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood~
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
By Linda Maria Child



I'm Thankful For...
A simple activity to keep the focus on counting your blessings.

You only need a Basket, small pieces of paper and a few pencils.
Place the basket in a central location. A coffee table or mantle works well. Request that each of the residents and family participate throughout the day by writing what they "feel thankful for" onto the slips of paper ( do not write your name) fold and -place into the basket. There is no limit to number of entries. During the meal take turns passing the basket and reading the entries.

Thanksgiving Weather Report
In the pre-Thanksgiving rush, we have received an early weather report from our in-house weather reporters. This is one, you should be sure to e-mail your Mom.

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.

By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.



Glue silk leaves to back pointed end of pine cone for turkey feathers.
Fold a brown chenille stem in half and curl into a turkey head and neck.
Cut out an orange diamond felt beak.
Glue wobbly eyes to side of head.
Finish with a red bow under turkey neck.

Using an apple corer, cut out a hole in the top of mini pumpkins or apples. Insert candle(s). Very easy unless you make the hole too big, then just put some waxed paper around bottom of candle and then insert the candle.




1/4 c Dried cranberries Water -- boiling, to cover 6 tb All purpose flour 2 tb Cornstarch 1/2 ts Baking powder 1/4 ts Cinnamon 1 pn Fresh grated nutmeg 1/2 pn Salt 3 tb Unsalted butter -- soften 1/3 c Sugar 1 lg Egg -- beaten lightly 1/4 ts Vanilla 2 tb Milk FROSTING 1/4 c Cream cheese -- softened 1 tb Unsalted butter -- soften 2 ts Pure maple syrup or honey Preheat oven to 350~ and line muffin tins with paper liners. In a small heatproff bowl cover cranberries with boiling water and soak for 5 minutes. While cranberries are soaking, into a bowl sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and milk alternatley in several batches, beginning and ending with flour and stirring foten until smooth after each addition. Drain cranberries and pat dry. Chop cranberries fine and stir into batter. Divide batter among muffin tins and bake in middle of oven, about 20 minutes, or until tested done. FROSTING: In a bowl beat ingredients together until smooth and chill. Turn cupcakes onto a rack and cool 10 minutes. Spread cupcakes with frosting. SOURCE: Gourmet Magazine, November 1995.

2 Eggs 16 ounces Pumpkin -- canned 3/4 cup Sugar 2 teaspoons Cinnamon -- ground 1/2 teaspoon Ginger -- ground 1/4 teaspoon Cloves -- ground 12 ounces Evaporated skim milk Note: This filling is enough for two pies. Prepare crust(s) using either the Graham Cracker Pie Crust (Low-Fat) or Pastry Crust (Non-Fat) recipes. Preheat oven to 425. Mix filling in order given. Pour filling into crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 40-45 more minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with Dream Whip.

As you hollow out your Halloween pumpkin, set aside seeds so you can roast them. They make a tasty snack treat!
Wash the seeds and pat them dry.
Soak for about an hour in soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce (you might want to try a batch of each just to see which you like better).
Sprinkle w/ garlic powder if desired
roast on cookie sheet @ low heat 225-250. After 1/2 hr, turn the seeds over and continue roasting for another 1/2 - 1 hr. Test by biting into one - they're done when they're crunchy.
Some variations, soak in butter instead of the soy or wooster sauce. Sprinkle with a few Italian spices - oregano for instance. Experiment until you find a flavor you like!



For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
~Author Unknown ~

T is for turkey on Thanksgiving Day,
H is for "Hurry, I'm hungry!" we say
A is for Auntie, she works and she mends,
N is for Native American friends.
K is for kitchen, the oven's on low,
S is for silverware, set in a row.
G is for Grandma, the one we love most,
I is for inside, where we're warm as toast.
V is for vegetables, eat them we try,
I is for icecream on top of the pie.
N is for never do we have enough dressing,
G is for Grandpa, who gives thanks for our blessings.
~author unknown~

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again!
~author unknown~

Thanks to Rebecca Phillips for submitting the following idea:


Hand Turkey

Place your hand on brown construction paper

Trace your palm with fingers spread apart

The thumb print in the neck/head

The fingers are the feathers

Use silk feathers, glitter or other material to create a colorful turkey

Glue on a beak and a gobble to the thumb print

Make feet/legs out of pipe cleaners


This is an easy craft for any level of ability and personalized because it uses the hand of the artist