Happy Thanksgiving! I'm sitting here cutting green beans, drinking a cup of hot coffee with caramel chocolate creamer and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. I did my pies last night but I was too tired to do much else since I worked till 7 pm. My significant other is still in bed asleep and I like this time alone. ;) The smell of the onions and celery cooking for the dressing smells so good. I thought I'd give y'all a tip on how to make really good homemade gravy.
Take the yucky stuff (giblets, neck, liver) out of the turkey (really!) and cut it up a bit and brown it in butter in a very large saucepan. When it's browned nicely add in 2 or 3 cans of chicken broth. Also throw in a stalk of celery (leaves and all), and about half an onion chopped up a bit and a few pieces of carrot. Add salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder. Cover this...bring to a boil and then simmer on really low for as long as your turkey is cooking. This will cook down. Maybe a half hour before your turkey is done, discard all the stuff in this yummy broth. Add some of the de-fatted juice that came out of the turkey when you cooked it. Now thicken it. I use cornstarch. Just add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch to about 1/3 cup of water and mix. Stir it in your gravy until thickened the way you like. Sometimes I have to add some more. If I don't have cornstarch, I used flour. Mix the flour with water and whisk out all the lumps before you add it to the pan. Add more salt and pepper as necessary. Use a whisk to stir this to make sure there are no lumps. This makes awesome gravy!
What Do You Know About The Origins Of Thanksgiving?
Probably not as much as you think. Russell and I were discussing whether or not they actually had turkey at the first Thanksgiving and he looked it up and found this website which is very informative. Here is an excerpt from it. http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=874&display_order=5&mini_id=1083 Check out the site and you will learn a lot. It tells what kind of food the Pilgrims ate as well.
"The reason that we have so many myths associated with Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It doesn't originate in any one event. It is based on the New England puritan Thanksgiving, which is a religious Thanksgiving, and the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England and maybe other ideas like commemorating the pilgrims. All of these have been gathered together and transformed into something different from the original parts."
– James W. Baker
Senior Historian at Plimoth Plantation
Myth: The first Thanksgiving was in 1621 and the pilgrims celebrated it every year thereafter.
Fact: The first feast wasn't repeated, so it wasn't the beginning of a tradition. In fact, the colonists didn't even call the day Thanksgiving. To them, a thanksgiving was a religious holiday in which they would go to church and thank God for a specific event, such as the winning of a battle. On such a religious day, the types of recreational activities that the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians participated in during the 1621 harvest feast--dancing, singing secular songs, playing games--wouldn't have been allowed. The feast was a secular celebration, so it never would have been considered a thanksgiving in the pilgrims minds.
Myth: The original Thanksgiving feast took place on the fourth Thursday of November.
Fact: The original feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. Unlike our modern holiday, it was three days long. The event was based on English harvest festivals, which traditionally occurred around the 29th of September. After that first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists, Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Indians. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest.
During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November, which he may have correlated it with the November 21, 1621, anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941)