Many of you know, I am an ambivalent American.  I am educated enough to see the apocalypse looming, but not powerful or skilled enough to do anything to stop it.  I see myself perched on the edge of the precipice watching the decline of the American Empire and view my function little different from  a biologist I met who devotes his life to assembling statistics dealing with frog species extinction, realizing that his purpose is to “memorialize the decline” of the earth’s ecosystem.

And when it all seems darkest, then comes American Thanksgiving, the Great American Feast Day, and I remember. I remember where we came from. I remember who we are.  I remember our promise.

More to follow.


10 Responses to “TURKEY DAY”

  1. As one who is only vaguely familiar with American foods, and only then via TV and fast food ‘restaurants’, I wonder if you could answer me one small question re: Thanksgiving Feasting. To wit – what on earth is this ‘candied yams’ thing? The dish that has marshmallows over the top and is baked? Is this dessert? Or just beyond the comprehension of this Australian?

    I’m thinking of lumping it in with the North American habit of pouring maple syrup all over breakfast…pancakes, bacon, eggs, the lot. I did try it once (Canadian friends keep us stocked with Real Canadian Maple Syrup) and it wasn’t something I’d do again. Great on the pancakes, on the bacon and eggs, errrr not so much.


  2. BB – my memories of American food are of very large portions. That maple syrup over everything doesn’t really happen. Pancakes, french toast yes, bacon and eggs, didn’t really see that.
    PNB, to this Aussie your Thanksgiving Day seems like a cross between the feasting we do at Christmas and the sombre reflection of our Anzac Day. Punkin Pie, candied yams, turkey with cranberry jelly seem like a fine way to feast.
    So did Sarah Palin go out and bag then dress her own turkey? I’m not googling that one because I’ll just end up back here.


  3. I am assured by my Canadian Maple Syrup dealers that they do pour it over everything…maybe it’s something peculiar to Canuckistan?


  4. No, we do not pour it over everything. Least not most people I know. We are pigs though. No denying it.

    The typical spread at T-day would be: Turkey (In the south it might be a ham), Stuffing(dressing) or mashed potatoes, some sort of veg, and/or cranberry sauce. Then Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, maybe Apple. Candied yams aren’t really that popular. Neither is cranberry sauce, but it’s obligatory. Of course, the bigger the gathering, the more options you’ll have and some families go all out. Restaurants too will offer just about anything imaginable. Duck, Pork, Venison, Prime rib, you name it.


  5. BB – Yams – and sweet potatoes – are not just a traditional addition to the American Thanksgiving feast, but also a welcomed addition if prepared well. They are delicious.

    Canned yams are merely an attempt to make the preparation of yams more convenient. And, like similar to the products of the same impulse, what was gained in convenience was more than lost in flavor. Canned yams are an abomination.

    Please be aware, also, that the traditional Thanksgiving foods are a combination of luxury feast foods (turkey/ham) traditional/historic foods (pumpkin/cranberries) and peasant foods (yams/stuffing).

    The maple syrup is a regional flavoring. If it seems like it is over used here, that is because it is delicious. Real maple syrup is one of those amazing, unique flavors that has no commonality with anything else and cannot be reproduced. So why not use lots of it when lots of it is available?

    Climate change is going to affect the supply of maple syrup. Expect it to become a luxury food until new trees can be planted farther north to compensate for the ones that will die to the south.

    Therbs – I have it on very good authority that Sarah Palin bagged many, many turkeys via sale of her book.

    Puma – Most non North Americans paste Canada and the US with the same cultural label, not realizing that the two cultures are very different. However, we share some commonalities, and the Thanksgiving Feast is one of them. Our shared love for dog fighting is another.


  6. With work schedules and school/travel schedules we will give thanks and enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Traditional is defiantly stuffed turkey, potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce. Fresh berry sauce, enough to put on pancakes and toast for a couple weeks. All this as my mother made it. We never did yams, but my husband’s family did. So I do them, but no marshmallows on the yams, just some apples and a bit of brown sugar and pecans. My brother-in-law’s mother brings a fruit and marshmallow salad. It is lovely, but enough marshmallows for one meal. A simple green salad with apples, satsumi mandarins, dried cranberries and a light vinaigrette for vegies. Pumpkin and apple pie with a dollop of whipped cream.


  7. nymphsreply Says:

    I’m just going to recognize and appreciate the green lantern pic.


  8. Thank you. That is so very nice of you to notice and to say. I am not a very good poet, but, at times, I am capable of doing poetic things.


  9. mmmm thanksgiving turkey

    “Climate change is going to affect the supply of maple syrup”…. and don’t those treacherous neighbors to your north know it. They probably have already set up the strategic maple syrup reserve. The US will have to move in to seize this asset when the situation becomes critical.


  10. Barnes – If world history enfolded the way it was supposed to before aliens from a parallel reality interfered, then, after WWII, the United States would have used its monopoly on the atomic bomb and the troops it had stationed around the world to take complete control, and there would be no need to invade Canada to get maple syrup. But as it stands now, when the US is finally out of Afghanistan and Iraq, we won’t be invading anyone again for a very, very long time.

    But other than that, I’m a happy guy – who is hoarding maple syrup, black pepper and coffee.


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