WHAT I BOUGHT ON BLACK FRIDAY

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday

Honestly, I was in the mood to buy something. A camera, a lens, a widget, gadget, cool electronic toy. I was eager and ready. But wherever I looked, the stuff on sale was something I already own … or something I don’t need or want. I’ve already shopped for my family and close friends, so there are no gifts on my list to be bought.

So I looked. And looked. And looked again. Finally, I found exactly what I needed on Amazon — and snapped it up. Greenies tooth cleaning dog biscuits for small breeds. I was thrilled to find it on sale for 20% less than I usually pay.

That concluded my Black Friday shopping. Garry and I bundled up and went to enjoy the annual lighting of Heritage Museum and Gardens.

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. Thanks to all of you who came and visited. Congratulations to all of us who stuck it through and made it to the end. It has been an experience … and a lot of fun! See you next year!

THANKSGIVING 2013 REDUX

The turkey was delicious. The baked potatoes were perfect. The meal was enough for everyone to eat seconds, thirds and probably fourths, but no one made it to the end of one. The leftovers should feed everyone for at least two days.

In this family, we do not fight at the dinner table, especially not on Thanksgiving when we have gorgeous food to eat. You don’t let the food get cold while you argue. Argue before dinner or, if you can stay awake, after dinner. At the table, eat. We all grew up being told: “Don’t waste food. People are starving in … (fill in current location of famine) … “

Growing up in my family, there were two cardinal sins:

  • Wasting food.
  • Defacing books.

Although each of us grew up with different parents and traditions, we all emerged from food-obsessed cultures. On Thanksgiving … really, at any meal … we eat. With dedication, appreciation and purpose.

Happy Leftovers Day, one and all!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

life-thanksgiving-ye-glutton

For those of you who think Norman Rockwell only painted idealized images, he didn’t. His idealized images are the most popular, but he painted many other, hard-edged pictures. If you’re in the neighborhood of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, I recommend the Norman Rockwell Museum. It’s an American experience. I especially like this Thanksgiving cover for Life Magazine — reminding us that the Pilgrims were a humorless bunch. They wouldn’t approve of Thanksgiving, not one little bit and you probably wouldn’t want them at your table.

I enjoy Thanksgiving. The idea of it. It’s good there’s a day dedicated to gratitude. And eating too much, visiting with family and friends. But — you knew there was going to be a “but” didn’t you? — I am frequently reminded there are people who don’t have a family. Others who don’t have much to celebrate. And of course Native Americans, who on the whole, don’t find Thanksgiving a reason to rejoice.

So, while we are consuming our dinners and enjoying our family, please give a thought to those who aren’t celebrating. Can’t celebrate. Are disinclined to celebrate.

Please don’t post stuff promoting a work ban on holidays. There are people who need the extra money from working holidays. Not everyone has someplace to go. For many, working holidays is an escape from the pressure of a warm fuzzy event in which they cannot (or will not) participate.

It’s wonderful to be grateful for what we have. It’s also good to be mindful that not everyone is equally or similarly blessed.

The Pilgrims: America’s First Mooches – Covered in Beer, Thomas Cochran

From: The Pilgrims: America’s First Mooches on Covered in Beer by Thomas Cochran
Also see on Scoop.itForty Two: Life and Other Important Things

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Looking back on my younger school days, I can remember the lame way we were taught about the first Thanksgiving like it was a wholesome party on top of Plymouth Rock. They ignored the fact that the Pilgrims had no business being there and the Native Americans would have been perfectly within their rights to shove a hot spear into thou’st rectums; but they didn’t.

This is not a piece of work where I’m going to argue how unjust the discovery/founding of America was etc. because those arguments are stupid. I was born in 1986 and didn’t have a damn thing to do with any of that. But the Pilgrims do remind me of that friend everyone has who conveniently has no cash, stays on your couch too long, cleans out your fridge and then puts pox infected blankets on your bed so you’ll die and he can take your house.

first-welfare-caseThe popular understanding of why the Pilgrims came to America is so they could gain religious freedom, a tale simply untrue. The Pilgrims originally moved to Holland where the laws regarding religious practice were much less restrictive. But, after 12 years, they decided to travel to North America because of financial troubles. In other words, they were tired of paying for stuff and set sail across the earth looking for some free stuff. Well, they found it and then some, and it didn’t take them very long, either.

About five minutes after landing, the Pilgrims began looting some Native American graves they found near the shoreline. The Wampanoag Indians left supplies, as many civilizations did, for their dead’s journey into the afterlife. The Pilgrims mistook this for some sort of community chest and began hoarding the sacred items for themselves. Naturally, when the Indians found out about this they began to shoot arrows at the thieves. Thus, the first Thanksgiving fight was born.

Thankfully, as in every typical Thanksgiving throw down, there was a moderator who eased relations between the Pilgrims and the natives. Squanto is like that uncle who doesn’t drink and is sane enough to stop the fighting before it comes to blows. It is typically taught that Squanto spoke English because of interaction with past settlers. Actually, Squanto was kidnapped five years before the Pilgrims arrived by explorer Thomas Hunt and brought to Spain. There, he learned English and promptly got the hell on back to North America. When the settlers arrived, after muttering, “not these mo-fos again,” Squanto decided to make peace between his people and the Pilgrims. He taught them how to grow corn so they wouldn’t steal anymore from graves. He also taught them a lot of other things that I’d rather not research and write about. Squanto made the fatal mistake when it comes to moochers: he showed them where the beer is.

“If you offer a man a beer, he’ll have a drink; if you show him where they are, he’ll drink all day.” – An Alcoholic who doesn’t fish.

The first Thanksgiving occurred in 1621. It is thought to have begun because the sorry-ass Pilgrims weren’t prepared for the coming winter and begged the natives for food. This also isn’t true. The Pilgrims weren’t totally stupid and were aware they needed to stockpile food for winter. What we call “Thanksgiving” started when the Wampanoag became suspicious of the Pilgrims one day after hearing gunfire. They feared the settlers were preparing for war and became defensive. Instead, the Pilgrims were hunting. Squanto once again was the voice of reason and it was decided that the two sides would enjoy the fall harvest feast together. Happily for us, the Thanksgiving tradition was born.

(Too bad they didn’t follow through on those war suspicions and kill all the Pilgrims in their sleep because in ten years they would become hostile and start trippin’)

Marilyn Armstrong‘s insight:

If you think this is an exaggeration, it’s not. If anything, it’s an understatement. I didn’t write it, but I agree with it and wish I did write it. So … here it is, in its entirety. Enjoy.

PLEASE NOTE: Really, I did NOT write this. It is a reblog, or more accurately, a scoop. Kudos and comments go to:

Covered in Beer: The Pilgrims – America’s First Mooches

See on coveredinbeer.wordpress.com

DAILY PROMPT: SIMPLY IRRESISTABLE RAW CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

This is the most popular side dish I serve with the turkey on Thanksgiving. This year, I’m making a sugar-free version for my diabetic daughter in law using the baking version of Splenda. There are probably other sweeteners you could use — the measurements will be based on whatever the manufacturer says. Since it isn’t cooked, the only thing you have to worry about is texture. You should use something which has a bit of bulk to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are many variations of this and I’ve included some in the “related articles” section. The basic recipe is much the same, but the things people add to it vary quite a bit. It’s a popular recipe and has been around for at least 50 years.

They used to publish a version of it on the Ocean Spray package, but stopped a couple of years ago. This is a simple recipe. Takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and a big favorite with everyone. It is the easiest recipe for cranberries I know of. Everybody prefers it to the  traditional cooked cranberry sauce, though I still make that too. For traditionalists.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • A food processor.

Variations:

  • Brown sugar instead of white (or half cup white, half cup brown)
  • Add nuts — walnut meats sounds great (thank you my fellow blogger!) to give it crunch (unless someone has diverticulitis in which case, scratch that!).
  • Add a dash of nutmeg and/or cinnamon — I mean a pinch, not a lot. Especially nutmeg, less is more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DIRECTIONS:

No cooking required.

Cut up the orange, rind and pith and all into bite-size pieces. Put the entire bag of cranberries, the orange pieces, the sugar and the lemon juice into the food processor. Grind it all up. If you need to add a little water to get it processing, use tiny bits of water. Too much and you’ll have soup.

When it’s approximately the texture of coarse applesauce, you’re finished. Put it in a container with a lid. Let it chill. It will thicken as it gets colder. You can eat it like applesauce for dessert, serve it with the turkey, as a relish with chicken or pork.

NOTE:

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. It is more difficult and you’ll have to keep mixing stopping the process and stirring the mixture until it starts to process. You may a bit of extra liquid.

DONE!

That’s it. You’re done. The hardest part is cleaning the food processor. I promise, you will like it. If you don’t, send it here. We will take care of it for you!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA