There are no presents, no songs, no stories about red-nosed turkeys that fly. And yet, Thanksgiving is many people's favorite holiday. It's certainly our most universal celebration, a day when 97 percent of Americans—more than 280 million people—share one common goal: eat some turkey!
Are you curious about the origins and history of Thanksgiving? Do you need the perfect hostess gift for the friend or family member who is cooking your Thanksgiving feast this year? Are you searching for inspiration for your own holiday cooking?
A Treasure Trove of Holiday Lore, Images and Recipes
, published in October of 2005 by Clarkson Potter, a Random House imprint, is a treasure trove of holiday lore, images and recipes that will be cherished year after year when Thanksgiving rolls around. Subtitled “Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie,” this book by Plimoth Plantation food historian Kathleen Curtin and Food History News
publisher Sandra L. Oliver is not only the definitive Thanksgiving cookbook, it is a detailed and fascinating account of the origins and meaning of the quintessential American holiday.
The first third of the book is devoted to telling the tale of Thanksgiving, from the Pilgrims' first three-day harvest celebration in 1621 to modern interpretations of the traditional feast of thanks. Trivia lovers will discover myriad tidbits with which to regale fellow dinner guests.
The Definitive Thanksgiving Cookbook
Cookbook collectors and those seeking to infuse their Thanksgiving celebrations with new tastes will turn right to Part II, where Curtin and Oliver share more than 75 recipes ranging from classics, such as Roasted Turkey, New England Stewed Pumpkin and Wampanoag Corn Porridge, to more exotic fare, such as Cuban Stuffed Turkey and Cranberry Pear Pie.
The one thing missing from the book that would have made a nice addition is a place to record details of your own memorable Thanksgiving menus, guests and stories.
The hardcover book is beautifully illustrated with historic drawings and photos, paintings by American artists such as Norman Rockwell, commercial advertising art and color photographs from Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, that preserves the culture of the Wampanoag Indians and New England’s first English settlers.
History, Food and Gratitude
Giving Thanks is a book not only about history and food, but about gratitude. Holidays can be hectic, but Thanksgiving, especially, is a time to pause and to appreciate the abundance and opportunities that America has represented to generations that have called it home. Curl up with Giving Thanks before the family arrives, while the gravy is thickening, or after the last morsel of pie has disappeared. Even if you have only a moment, short sub-topics and sidebars will allow you to learn something interesting and inspiring about America's holiday.