Pumpkin Shortage Looms for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Shortage Looms for Thanksgiving

2015 has not been a great year for the traditional foods of Thanksgiving. A bird flu virus threatened to wipe out the 2015 turkey flocks earlier in the year and now it appears canned pumpkin may be in short supply for Thanksgiving. According to crop experts in Illinois, the country’s top pumpkin-producing state, forecasts show supplies of canned pumpkin falling short compared to past years and consumers may find grocer shelves empty of the product by the middle of November. “I would not wait until Nov. 20,” University of Illinois professor Mohammad Babadoost said, referencing the Nov. 26 holiday. “I’dRead more

History of Eggnog

History of Eggnog

Christmas of 1826 was snowy, cold and lonely for the cadets of West Point. Though called “men” they were really teenage boys — some as young as 17 — and they wanted to celebrate Christmas. Young Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederate States of America, was among them. But West Point then, as it is now, was a house of order and discipline. The military academy was under the strictest orders of sobriety that Christmas season. And being young men some took it upon themselves to challenge those orders in the name of holiday celebration. They organized, they partiedRead more

Fruitcake Toss Day

Fruitcake Toss Day

Today is January 3rd and there are only 356 days until Christmas. It is National Fruit Cake Toss Day and no, we’re not kidding. The first Fruitcake Toss Day was celebrated in Manitou Springs, Colorado in 1995 where it is still celebrated today. Check it out: We haven’t seen their 2014 video yet. There is a rumor going about they smoke those things there now, so who knows. Today is also Festival of Sleep Day, a grand post-Christmas tradition. If you cannot sleep perhaps you would consider participating in National Humiliation Day. It’s not what you think. In my mind’sRead more

Great Debate: To Baste or Not to Baste?

Great Debate: To Baste or Not to Baste?

By Jeff Westover (Author bias: I’ve never basted our turkey. After he is stuffed we give him a light rub down with vegetable oil to give him that overall toasty look and then lightly cover him in foil. That foil stays on until the last hour and then it is removed. The habit of opening the oven to squirt the bird in his own juices seems to be a little cruel to the bird and a good waste of some serious football time). While at the grocery store buying my Thanskgiving provisions I heard a man and his wife discussingRead more

Christmas Tradition of Gingerbread

Christmas Tradition of Gingerbread

By Mac Carey Gingerbread is a popular Christmas treat all over the world, in many different forms. Gingerbread first appeared in central Europe in the Middle Ages, made from sugars and spices that had been brought back from the Middle East by soldiers returning from the Crusades. In England, gingerbread only meant “preserved ginger,” referring to the preservative effect of ginger on breads, cakes, and other pastries. It wasn’t until the 15th century that gingerbread referred specifically to the sweet cake made with treacle and ginger. And it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that the treat became associated primarily withRead more

Chestnuts!

Chestnuts!

By Christmasstar It is rarely tried, easy to cook, hard to peel but very tasty. It is the humble Castanea, better known as the chestnut. I tried one years ago from one of those sidewalk carts when living in the Vancouver area but could not remember what they tasted like. I checked out a local store to see if they even sold them, because I really wanted to try them again. I had never thought about eating them other that when singing The Christmas Song (“…chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”) at Christmas. Oh, the store had them, I cookedRead more