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Thursday, November 19, 2009

From the Mayflower to the Moon

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May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey be plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

~Author Unknown

I’ve been trying to inject a little fun into my life, my job and the school day for the boys at my school. Chocolate is always the first thing I turn to for fun (well, chocolate and ice cream, but chocolate is easier at school). So I’ve been stuffing my brain and theirs with Thanksgiving Trivia and stuffing my pockets with mini candy bars to toss out to the guys in return for their right answers. I have to admit that I’ve learned a few things I didn’t know before about Thanksgiving and all that goes with it. So here’s some turkey nuggets (so to speak) to toss around your table this thanksgiving.

Did you know the original Plymouth Rock has cracked multiple times and is now about the size of a car engine.

Did you know that a ripe cranberry should be able to bounce at least 4 inches high?

Did you know largest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds – about the size of a large dog (and I thought my thighs were big).

Did you know that because of breeding, turkey breasts have become so large that the turkey’s fall over? (I didn’t actually share this one with the guys at school ‘cause I just couldn’t see a way around the “B” word without…well…you know, they’re teenagers.

Did you know California consumes the more turkey per capita than any other state? (Combine that with the previous fact and I”m sure there’s a plastic surgery joke in there somewhere, but maybe I shouldn’t dig too deep).

Maybe you already knew as I did that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But I didn’t know that it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him and it is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as 'tom' to spite Jefferson (I kind of love stories about the Founding Fathers being snippy with each other – makes them seem more real somehow).

And, speaking of real, it is kind of amazing to think of the people – the real people that started this long-lived tradition. 102 Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower in 1620. Even with the help of the Wampanoag Indians, only about half of them survived to celebrate the Thanksgiving Feast a year later in 1621– and only 5 of those survivors were women (who still had to do all the cooking).

Over three and a half centuries ago, linked by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New World where they could worship according to their own beliefs.

How could they have imagined that 300 years later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren, the first men on the moon would eat their first meal on the moon inspired by the Pilgrim’s first day of thanks - a roast turkey dinner out of foil packets.



Anaise said...

Happy Thanksgiving back to you. My favorite of your trivia pieces was the idea that Franklin called male turkeys "tom" to annoy Jefferson. :)

Rachel said...

Oh my gosh I am laughing so hard over the "B" word and the next trivia question and plastic surgery. Mature I know.......

Happy Thanksgiving to you and thanks for the 'food for thought'. Fun trivia!

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