Thanksgiving is coming here in the United States; Canada has already celebrated theirs.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the holiday, I will run through it quickly.
In 1620 a small but rigorous sect of Christians, the Puritans, set out from England to settle in what was the English colonies in Virginia in that is now the United States of America. A storm blew them very far off-course and they landed in what is now Massachusetts, hundreds of miles to the north of Virginia.
The people were ill-equipped to survive on their own. The weather was much harsher than they had expected, the local plants were unfamiliar, the ground was poor for growing and their muskets put shot into the game they did find and ruined most of the meat. They had little fishing skills.
They lost many of their numbers and the rest were ill after the first winter. Local Indians,(especially by the urging of Squanto, who had had some contact with Europeans),took pity on the Puritans. They taught them to hunt with bows and arrows to keep the meat free of shot. They showed them the local safe plants. They showed them how to enrich the soil with fish and, believe it or not, lobsters, which they never ate.
The following Autumn the Puritans had such a bounty of harvest they decided to have a feast to thank God and invited many of their Indian friends. The Indians brought game and surprise to the party; popcorn! They continued the tradition and eventually it has spread across the country and Canada.
Today nearly everyone, regardless of race, creed or religion observes Thanksgiving. It is a day of food, friends and family! Turkey is the traditional meat, sometimes served and eaten by people on Thanksgiving and no other day of the year. Many people eat pumpkin only in pie and only on or around Thanksgiving. Pity. Another food was, until recently, were cranberries.
This year I am in a bit of a rush; I am blogging on my two blogs ,posting on other blogs, writing, housework , de-cluttering and painting the walls in the main part of the house which I have put off for far to long. I need to do it THIS WEEK, so I can cook and prepare for Thanksgiving and relatives.
Today, however, I am participating in “Support for Sandy“, Food Bloggers raising awareness of the continuing need for help in Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path. We have posted comfort foods on our blogs, ones we would like to take to victims of disasters.
[Please see my previous post]
I am also participating in a Thanksgiving-themed post on the blog :
I hope you join us on both, and enjoy!
Here is the recipe I am sharing: Cranberry Relish. It is beautiful; pictures do not do it justice!
1 lb. fresh, firm cranberries, washed and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup coarsely chopped Red Delicious (or other sweet apple)
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup peeled, chopped orange flesh (preferably Navel Orange)
1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest, finely chopped
2 Tbsp .granulated sugar (approximate)
(For all of the above I use a food processor. You may chop or grate).
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly but gently.(Adjust sugar ; the amount needed will depend on individual taste and the tartness of your apples and oranges)
This is delicious as a side dish, with plain hot or cold cereals. It can be used as a topping for custard or a holiday cheesecake.
I hope you try this and enjoy!