Thanksgiving is celebrated in different ways around the world but many cultures (and countries) have a harvest festival where people give thanks for their crops.
In the United States, we’ve been celebrating some form of Thanksgiving celebrations since the Pilgrims. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.
For many families, the centerpiece of the holiday is a meal shared with friends and family at which they remember – and give thanks – for all the good things in their lives. No matter what is served – turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy are just some of the usual suspects – the point of the meal is to share it and give thanks.
In our family, we eat a traditional turkey dinner but we also play a game of either soccer or football (weather permitting). In the evening board games usually make an appearance. Every year we like to add a new element. This year, Betty Crocker’s Turkey Cupcakes made a wacky debut on the dessert table. They were as fun to decorate as they were to eat (I should know – I ate three!)
This year, I gave thanks not only for my family, my friends, and my jobs but also for these Turkey Cupcakes and the big laugh they gave me.
Election Day is my father’s favorite holiday. Growing up, he got each of his four children involved in political campaigns and public service at a young age. This has had an excellent impact on each of us. You don’t have to love politics in order to get involved. Of the four of us, we vary widely in political parties, opinion, and involvement. But each of us learned a lot about the way our system of government works and the impact that one person (and one family) can have.
Here are a few books to help you teach your children about government, politics, and why Election Day is a reminder of why we’re among the most fortunate people on earth.
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
I Want to Be President by Dan Liebman
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Ready for the end of summer? Eager to jump into a pile of fresh leaves or go apple picking? One way to build excitement for the new season upon us is through books. Here are a few suggestions for books that may get your child – and you – in the spirit of the autumn season.
Clifford: Apple Picking Day by Samantha Brooke, illustrated by Jim Durk
Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan
Apples, Apples, Everywhere: Learning About Apple Harvests by Robin Koontz, illustrated by Nadine Takvorian
Busy Animals: Learning About Animals in Autumn by Lisa Marie Bullard, illustrated by Nadine Takvorian
I’m not really a sports fan, I just like the parties. I think that’s true for a lot of people (especially those of us who have suffered long, intense droughts when our local sports teams failed to live up to our expectations! I’m talking to you, Philadelphia Eagles!).
But one thing everyone can agree on is that we need another excuse for a party. Face it: Life – and sports – are hard; you should be permitted to face them with a sandwich in hand.
Recently, I attended a cooking class on food that can be served at a tailgate party. It was fantastic – and with a definite focus on meat, in all its glorious forms!
We enjoyed a delicious brisket with homemade barbecue sauce.
There were fantastic lamb gyros with tzatziki sauce layered over a cucumber and tomato salad.
Old-school sausage and pepper sandwiches (with lots of yummy tomato sauce and without).
A muffaletta sandwich which was described by my Philly cooking instructor as “New Orleans’ hoagie”.
A new take on chicken wings, this one using a muted, but still delicious, red curry.
And a gorgeous buffalo-blue cheese meatball sandwich that will make hearts soar, mouths water, and keep Tums in business!
It almost makes me crave a salad!
I did notice the increasing international flavor of Americans’ tailgate menus. As the chef pointed out, if you show up with burgers and dogs you’re going to get laughed at in the parking lot.