I’m not sure if the real holiday is Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Thanksgiving has it’s roots in the Christian idea of having a special feast to give thanks to God. Pilgrims are usually cited, although a possible prototype is the 1621 feast put on by the Native Americans for surviving English Dissenters. It was not declared a federal holiday until 1863 by Lincoln. He declared the last Thursday in November to be a national day of thanksgiving. Franklin Roosevelt moved this to the fourth Thursday in 1940 to give an economic boost to the country (another example of his fuzzy thinking, perhaps he is the father of Black Friday). It has become the official kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. The Black in the name is not supposed to be ominous, it means that stores are out of the red ink and into the black. So everybody has deeply discounted sales and there is a mad crush to scoop them up. The sales used to start at midnight, but now they have crept into Thanksgiving Day itself.
Thanksgiving Day involves massive quantities of food usually eaten with family while watching American football. Many years ago only two teams were willing to play on a holiday, so now they always get to play (and make the extra TV money). My Thanksgivings are patterned after my paternal grandmother’s feasts. She loved to cook but always complained about how much work it was. When she had her house built, there was an “nice” main level with a formal dining room topped by a bowl of wax fruit (if you consider plastic runners on the carpeting and old towels that covered the furniture to protect it ‘nice”, ) and a finished basement with a kitchen. So we were always relegated to the basement. One thing that she said to me which sums her up is: “Gee you look fat, come in and have something to eat.”
Mr. Google said that the most requested recipe in the state is something called “frog eye salad”, which has round pasta, coconut, pineapple, mandarin oranges, miniature marshmallows and whipped topping, but no actual frog’s eyes. It will not be on my menu.
Me and Miss Dog will have roasted turkey, mashed potato and gravy, Waldorf salad, my grandmothers salad, corn pie and pumpkin pie. Her birthday is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so she’ll get an extra feast then and a new squeaky toy.