November 04, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the fall of 1621, the religious separatist Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. It eventually became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday. (US Census Bureau)

271 million - The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2008. That’s not statistically significantly different from the number raised during 2007. The turkeys produced in 2007 together weighed 7.9 billion pounds and were valued at $3.7 billion. Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

13.8 pounds - The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2007, with a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.2 pounds. Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 212-213

3 - Number of places in the United States named after the holiday's traditional main course. Turkey, Texas was the most populous in 2008, with 456 residents, followed by Turkey Creek, La. (361) and Turkey, N.C. (272). There are also nine townships around the country named Turkey, three in Kansas. Source: Population estimates

117 million - Number of households across the nation -- all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday. Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008

  • The Pumpkin Pie recipes that we've elected to share this month are from "The Pumpkin Lovers Cookbook" by Betty B. Gabbert. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, Phoenix, AZ 85014.


    • 4 lbs. FRESH PUMPKIN (3¾ cup)
    • 2 EGGS
    • 1 tsp. CINNAMON
    • ½ tsp. NUTMEG
    • ½ tsp. GINGER
    • ½ tsp. SALT
    • PASTRY for 9 inch pie (see recipe below)
    • ½ cup PECAN HALVES
    • 3 Tbsp. DARK BROWN SUGAR
    • 3 Tbsp. WHIPPING CREAM
    Combine 3¾ cup pumpkin, milk, eggs & seasonings in processor bowl. Pulse just until blended. Fit pastry into pie plate, pour pumpkin mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 375° for 50-to-55 minutes or till knife inserted halfway between center and edge of pie comes out clean. Cool slightly. Sprinkle chopped pecans around outer edge of pie. Combine sugar and whipping cream in small pan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes; let cool 5 minutes. Spoon over pecans. NOTE: 2 cans pumpkin may be substituted for 3¾ cup fresh pumpkin.

    • 1 tsp. SALT
    • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. melted MARGARINE
    • 1 Tbsp. CIDER VINEGAR
    • 1/3 cup cold WATER
    Mix dry ingredients, cut in melted margarine. Mix vinegar and cold water, add to flour mixture tossing and stirring as you add. Stir vigorously with fork until mixture holds together well, then form into ball. Roll out between wax paper sheets, as needed.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to You & Yours!