Thanksgiving, whether in the country or city, has a special meaning.
It's a time of family get-togethers, turkey-cranberry-pumpkin pie feasts,
and the giving of thanks for our many blessings.
By Mary Emma Allen
We remember then the hearty settlers of Plymouth Rock fame, who endured
numerous hardships to settle a new land. But in the midst of their
trials, they stopped to give thanks and feast with friends after the
first year's harvest.
Although their material goods weren't plentiful, they were thankful to
be alive and have a goodly harvest. They set an American tradition which
has been followed throughout the years.
I remember Thanksgiving at Grandma's farm, where we went to celebrate
each year. We rode the 40 miles in an unheated car, putting our feet on
heated soap stones wrapped in blankets and on the warm roasting pan of
turkey or chicken Mother had cooked for the festive dinner.
Although we were traveling by auto, we children always sang, "Over the
River and Through the Woods." Our voices rang merrily through all the
verses and then on to other songs as we passed the time until we reached
the long laneway to Grandma's Trails End Farm.
Cranberries a Native Food
Thanksgiving without cranberries is almost unthinkable. The early
Massachusetts settlers found them growing among the Cape Cod bogs. We
Americans have continued to include them when we serve turkey for a
These ruby berries had been used for many years by the Indians. "Ibimi"
berries, the natives called them.
The settlers referred to them as "craneberries." Some say it was
because the bud and stem resembled the neck and head of a crane. Others
maintain it was because the cranes living on Cape Cod ate these berries.
Still others called them "bounce" berries because some people bounced
the berries against a hard surface to test their ripeness.
For a tasty CRANBERRY MOLD, cook 1 pound fresh cranberries in 2 cups
water for 5-10 minutes, until the berries have popped their skins (the
sign that they're done).
Strain through a fine sieve. Press the pulp through with the juice.
Then stir in 2 cups sugar and boil for 3 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a 1 quart mold. Keep in the refrigerator several
hours, until it has set. Unmold at serving time.
About the Author
Mary Emma Allen is a columnist, children's writer, and book author.
Visit her web site: http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea;
or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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