It's the day before Thanksgiving... are you ready for the holiday? The New York Farm Bureau is out with its 2013 Market Basket Survey - shoppers across 11 districts of the state went to the store with shopping lits of 12 traditional holiday food items, ranging FROM turkey to celery to whipping cream. The average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s national average of $49.48.
As this year’s momentous Thanksgiving Day approaches, adorned with marketing grossness and all-out efforts at political pay-off, pay-back and pontification, this commentator’s conscience is belabored by the habitual harking back to less volatile times, when we were regaled with more memorable tales of Native-American generosity, that made the First Thanksgiving not only possible but seemingly more worthy of our remembrance. Tragic but true, the selfless generosity shown by Native-American tribes to far too many of those who came here seeking ownership, instead of apportionment, was eventually repaid with rapacious plunder and greed. Former Poet-Laureate, William Jay Smith (of partial Native-American extraction, himself) has immortalized the inhumane treatment of American –Indian tribes in his now historic poem: “The Cherokee Lottery,” hailed as one of the “great works” of American literature.
Break out the latkes, turducken and HE’BREW Beer, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah – which begins on Wednesday and Thanksgiving on Thursday. We do so this morning with the assistance of Shmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park. Overlapping for only the second time since President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday — the last time it occurred was in 1888 — these two holidays are renowned for enjoying delicious foods and libations.
Shmaltz has a brand new 20,000 square feet brewery in Upstate New York. Their 4th Annual HE’BREW Holiday Gift Pack includes a chance to make a beer menorah. Paul McErlean is the Head Brewer at Shmaltz Brewing Company and joins us this morning with suggestions on how to celebrate this Chanukah/Thanksgiving hybrid holiday.
From one of America’s finest food writers, the former restaurant critic for The New York Times, comes a definitive, timeless guide to Thanksgiving dinner—preparing it, surviving it, and pulling it off in style. We welcome Sam Sifton and speak with him about his book, Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well.
I have often thought back to a conversation I had many years ago with one of my students. She had come from a rural background with a strong, and in many ways admirable, streak of self-reliance. She was dumbfounded when I quoted the saying “There but for the grace of God go I,” often attributed to a sixteenth century evangelical preacher and martyr, John Bradford. How could I, her professor, imagine myself in the position of people who were down and out, people without jobs who needed help?