Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Turkey talk


Turkey lectern at Boynton, St. Andrew’s Church, Yorkshire. William Strickland is said to have brought the first turkeys into England, and donated this lectern to his church.


William Strickland’s Coat of Arms.    Yep, that’s a turkey on top.



  •  Albert Flamens. Gallus indicus, Coq d’jnde (The Turkey-cock), from Thirteen Birds Fine Arts Museum San Francisco

Delft tile – 1620


Twelfth Night:

SIR TOBY BELCH: Here’s an overwheening rogue!
FABIAN: O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him; how he jets under his advanced plumes!


Turkey Brought To Jahangir From Goa In 1612


Thomas Tusser   Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, 1577.

 Good bread and good drinke, a good fier in the hall,

brawne, pudding and souse, and good mustard withall.

Beefe, mutton, and porke, shred pies of the best,

pig, veale, goose and capon, and turkey well drest ;

Cheese, apples and nuts, joly Carols to heare,

as then in the countrie is counted good cheare.


Norfolk or Spanish Black – the turkey Columbus brought back to Europe, probably, more or less….

“The Turkie, which is in New England a very large Bird, they breed twice or thrice in a year, if you would preserve the young chickens alive, you must give them no water, for if they come to have their fill of water they will drop away strangely, and you will never be able to rear any of them: they are excellent meat, especially a Turkey-Capon beyond that, for which eight shillings was given, their eggs are very wholesome and restore decayed nature exceedingly. But the French say they breed the leprosie, the Indesses make Coats of Turkie feathers woven for their children.”


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We Gather Together

To make Pies !

Pie Making Marathon III

Kingston Senior Center

33 Summer Street

Kingston, MA 02364

Thursday, November 17, 2016 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm


The pies will be donated, frozen and unbaked, to families served by the Greater Plymouth Food Warehouse, complete with baking instructions and nutritional labels.


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It started, as myths often do, in the dim, misty long ago times. Summer was ending, the days still hot but the nights were cooling, and school was beckoning. There was a fire, a charcoal grill fire. This was long after we had invented BBQ Cheetos, and we stood around the fire and talked of how good, how very good, how very much better than ordinary were burgers and dogs on a charcoal grill, and how we would miss that goodness through the winter, and why couldn’t there be charcoal grilling all year round, why must fire end with summer??????

Why couldn’t we make a place where we could have a charcoal fire all year long, where the burgers and dogs always taste like fire and we would call that place:


And it was good.

And the story did not leave us with summer, but grew and changed and morphed over time.

When the youngest brother was still very young, we began to see him as the emblem of the Wallyburger,

the Wallyburger chef.

The story grew strong.

He would wear all white, like a superhero. A white cap and a white apron; white T shirt and white carpenter pants…..and as the story grew, the apron grew greasy. What was once shiny white became a little…less so.

Like Mel on Alice. Only more so.


A little more grease, a little more scruff…

And Wallyburger Chef would have a 3 day growth of beard, even though he was really 3 years old, and the whole hipster scruffy face thing was decades in the future.


He would have a cigarette hanging out one side of his mouth, with a long ash that was just about to fall……

But because the burgers and dogs were


The people would come  anyway, and pay any price. That good.



Time marching on

and years later, in front of the TV in the Ancestral Home, Dad gave the command.


That’s what Dad said as he was watched Phantom Gourmet.

phantom gourmet log

“The Walls should invade Wahlburgers

A little back story seems in order……

Dad – raised in Dorchester.


The Neponset River as it runs through Lower Mills – this is where Nana is from

Wahlbergs – from Dorchester.


Mark Wahlberg in Dorchester with reporter Lara Logan

Dad was a cop.

Donnie Wahlberg plays a cop in Blue Bloods


Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg in Blue Bloods


And so the plans for invasion began….the problem was that as Wahlburgers was being built ( we couldn’t invade until they were actually there) the various reports had the location sometimes in Hingham – the actual location – and sometimes in Boston, easier to get to, but out of town speak for a place in Massachusetts that isn’t Cape Cod or the Berkshires…..


But Dad got sick right around the time that Wahlburgers opened in 2011, so he never got there.

This Spring, my Number One Son and his girlfriend and I all went to Hingham.


Jake knew the way because in a past job, he delivered the buns.Because Dorchester is all about the connections, even in generations removed.


The menu

I got the Thanksgiving Burger – natch.



For desert I got the Apple Empanada. We forgot to take picture until dessert time.Too busy eating.



it wasn’t quite an invasion.

It was a good meal with a leisurely drive to and fro.

And we discussed if Dad would have gotten an O.F.D. (Originally From Dorchester)  or a Triple Decker…(more properly called a ‘Tree Decka’ from what I remember in Dorchester-ese). And since my son didn’t know the


story….well. I guess that’s what this is for. Our family. Our story. Their burgers.

While the family is gathered round to remember and connect (and eat – eating is wonderful for the memory!)  we will not doubt be remembering  the Wallyburger chef. And Dad. XoX

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Happy Thanksgiving!

thansgiving wombat

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Cranberry Season

The magazine stands are  full of


The most wonderful time of the year!

Pumpkins! Turkeys! Cranberries! Cranberries! Cranberries! Especially the cranberries!!!!!!

Having spent most of my life in Plymouth County, where cranberries are the leading agricultural commodity, I’m a major fan-girl.


Cranberry Sauce. Cranberry Compote. Cranberry Chutney. Cranberry Tart. Cranberry Cake. Cranberry Sauce IN Cake, seriously in this Outrageous Chocolate Fudge Cranberry Fudge Cake from Ocean Spray, which Beth, who drinks kale with chia seed shakes for breakfast (yes, CHIA, as in chi-chi-chi- chia) and all sorts of other healthy, hale and hearty foods  chia petrecommended and made and shared…outrageously glorious cake!

This is the picture from the Ocean Spray site -

This is the picture from the Ocean Spray site …it tastes as good as this looks! Maybe better…..

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Are you going to Marlborough Fair?

Not to be confused with Scarborough Fair….or the song of that name.

Marlborough Pie is a rich, enriched sort of custard and apple concoction that is far too easy and good, good, good to have ever fallen out of favor.

And now seems to be having a teeny-tiny rebirth.

First – there are various historic sites that keep it alive, thank you Old Sturbridge Village

Here’s Ryan Beckman on  pie

and then a story on Eater : what-is-marlborough-pie

…which could be why I’ve been fielding Marlborugh Pie questions all week…

Here’s a recipe from OSV

Marlbor pud RX

There;’s a certain (tasty) place where pie and pudding intersect. Pudding Pie is a real (GOOD) thing.

marlbor pud OSV

Tastes like a million bucks! Don’t skimp on the sherry…

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Popcorn, Pilgrims….

Myth and Magic

Once upon a time, a long time ago…

John Howland pondering popcorn at the first Thanksgiving - from a scene from a 19th century novel

John Howland pondering popcorn at the first Thanksgiving …MYTH



The meal was a rude one looked upon with the dainty eyes and languid

appetites of to-day, but to those sturdy and heroic men and women it was

a veritable feast, and at its close Quadequina with an amiable smile

nodded to one of his attendants, who produced and poured upon the table

something like a bushel of popped corn,–a dainty hitherto unseen and

unknown by most of the Pilgrims.

All tasted, and John Howland hastily gathering up a portion upon a

wooden plate carried it to the Common house for the delectation of the

women, that is to say, for Elizabeth Tilley, whose firm young teeth

craunched it with much gusto.

Breakfast over, with a grace after meat that amounted to another


STANDISH OF STANDISH : A Story of the Pilgrims By JANE G. AUSTIN Author of “A Nameless Nobleman,” “The Desmond Hundred,” “Mrs. BeauchampBrown,” “Nantucket Scraps,” “Moon Folk,” Etc., Etc.Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press,Cambridge 1892 Copyright, 1889,by Jane G. Austin.All rights reserved

But the problem with myth, is that it GROWS….

… and then other myths grow from there.

Popcorn is American. Nobody but the Indians ever had popcorn, til after the Pilgrim Fathers came to America. On the first Thanksgiving Day, the Indians were invited to dinner, and they came, and they poured out on the table a big bagful of popcorn. The Pilgrim Fathers didn’t know what it was. The Pilgrim Mothers didn’t know, either. The Indians had popped it, but it probably wasn’t very good. Probably they didn’t butter it or salt it, and it would be cold and tough after they had carried it around in a bag of skins.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls WIlder, p. 32.

Farmer Boy coverAnd who doesn’t want to believe Half-Pint?


Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls in the TV show ‘Little House on the Prairie’

So although popcorn is a variety of corn that was not grown in New England before the nineteenth century, and therefore popcorn could NOT have been part of the first Thanksgiving, popcorn has a whole lotta cool in its past….even in the Little House in the Prairie series….like this:

You can fill a glass full to the brim with milk, and fill another glass of the same size brim full of popcorn, and then you can put all the popcorn kernel by kernel into the milk, and the milk will not run over. You cannot do this with bread. Popcorn and milk are the only two things that will go into the same place.

Farmer Boy, Chapter 3


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Rocking the Game Hens

Plymouth Mass.

Plymouth MAPlymouth Rock


Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock chicken

Plymouth Rock_hen_in_backyard

A Barred Plymouth Rock hen

Cornish Game hen

CornishHenRock Cornish Game Hen

Tyson game hens

Cross a Plymouth Rock with a Cornish Game bird -voila – and both the boys and the girls are called hens, because why not be confusing??? Practically actual size.


The The Unmelancholy Dane was a birdman

and total aside – Victor Borge was an early promoter of the little bird.

Rock Cornish Game Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing

4 Rock Cornish game hens

6 Tablespoons butter – divided

½ C finely chopped onion

3 Tablespoons finely chopped celery (keep in mind the size of the birds….teeny bitty bits!)

1 ½ Cups cooked wild rice

1/3 Cup toasted chopped pecans

2 Tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries

4 dried apricots, once again, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper



Thaw the birds if their frozen. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel inside and out. Lightly season insides with salt and pepper.

Toast the pecans in a hot frying pan; they only take a minute, not more than two. When they smell good, they’re done! Be careful not to scorch them. This step isn’t critical, but it really adds a depth of flavor, so well worth the extra few minutes and the dirty pan.

I use a little food processor to chop everything, first the celery, and the onion, then the fruits and nuts – just takes a pulse or two. All of this is going inside the little birds, so keep proportions in mind.

Preheat the oven 400° F.

Sauté onion and celery in2 Tablespoons butter until fragrant and translucent. Mix the onions, celery, wild rice, pecans and fruits together.

Stuff the mixture into the birds – about ½ Cup stuffing per bird. Because these birds are so small they don’t need to be tied, sewn ar laced closed. Put them in a baking dish breast side up.

Mix the remaining 4 Tablespoons butter with balsamic vinegar. Put on top of the birds – this is their baste and their sauce.

Cook about 80 minutes or until internal temp is 170°.

After you take them from the oven, let them rest under loosely tented foil 10 minutes and serve.

My then 15 year old son had had this for Thanksgiving with his aunt and requested it for Christmas. Actually, he said it would be good anytime! Auntie downloaded some recipes from Food Network website, and this was, more or less, among them.

Rock Cornish Hens are a cross between a Cornish Game Hen and a Plymouth Rock chicken, very modern and very American. Who knew?

KMW 1-07

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Happy Thanksgiving


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November 27, 2014 · 4:25 am

Thanksgiving Pie

Humble Pie

Humble Pie by Anne Dimock. Musings what lies beneath the crust. Andrew McNeal Publishing: Kansas City.2005 (2005)

Anne Dimock

Anne Dimock

‘The Proust of pie and her remembrance of pies past. ‘

Chapter 11 Thanksgiving Pie

This is a chain letter.

Dear Friend,

You have been selected to receive this chain letter because of something you did somewhere, sometime, for someone. This act of yours mattered and was remembered with gratitude by the sender of this letter. So for a moment, sit back and delight in the surprise of being remembered for your good works. You deserve it.

This chain letter began in Afton, Minnesota, in November 1993 to celebrate and make personal the spirit and intent of Thanksgiving Day. The chain is no longer confined to November, nor to that little corner of the world where it started. Gratitude knows neither season nor boundaries.

This is not your ordinary chain letter. This chain letter will not bring you good luck. It will not make you rich, nor prevent you from cruel misfortune. You won’t get anything back from this chain letter. It’s not about getting, it’s about giving – Thanksgiving.

Unlike other chain letters, you do not have to send books, money, stamps, aprons, cards, or dish towels to a name at the top of the list. You do not have to respond within seven days or risk a lifetime of bad luck and misfortune. You do not have to weigh guilt or annoyance before hitting the delete key. You do not have to do anything at all; the chain can go on without you. But if you chose to join in, you will cause hundreds more to be thanked for something good they did in their lives. You will sleep better tonight and a friend just might cross the street to hug you rather than only wave. You will have the great enjoyment of knowing that you are part of life’s fabric and have been both the weaver and the tailor.

This pie recipe is to share because pies are important way of saying thank you. Like compliments and recognition, there are never enough good pies, and this one has all the wonder and delight of discovery of a new star. It is not a difficult pie to make. Even if you are only halfway competent in the kitchen, you should be able to pull it off just fine. Try to make this pie and deliver it along with your letter. This recipe was created as part of a traditional Thanksgiving feast, no matter where or when it is celebrated.

To keep the chain going, just copy and send this letter by e-mail, snail mail or hand delivery. There is no list of names to cross off or add to, but there is space at the bottom to write your own personal thank you. Be specific about your appreciation. Send it to no fewer than two people, for surely there are at least two people you are beholden to for something. Start your own branch and see it wind through your family, childhood friendships, teammates, work partners, teachers and coaches, former bosses, even people you don’t know. Do it now while that reckless impulse is still fresh in you. You will never regret it. And you don’t have to stop at two. You don’t have to stop at all.

If the chain is never broken, it may go around the world three times and be translated into fourteen languages, but more important, the simple act of giving thanks will assume a life of its own. And sometimes when least expected, you might receive the letter again, thanking you for a kindness you thought long forgotten. What goes around, comes around. As it should.

                                                                      With kind regards,

[your name here]

She includes this recipe, but if you have on of your own, that will work, too.

Thanksgiving Pie


1 (9 or 10 inch) piecrust, prepared or made from scratch


3 apples (like a Mac or other soft, applesauce variety)

1 (12 oz) package whole fresh cranberries

1 cup light brown sugar


¾ cup walnuts

¼ cup brown sugar

1.4 cup white flour

3 tablespoons butter, softened or cut into bits

½ (or more) teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°
  2. Prepare pie crust and fit it into a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to make the pie shell
  3. Peel, core and dice the apples.
  4. Place the apple pieces in a large bowl with the cranberries and 1 cup light brown sugar; mix well and place into the pie shell
  5. Chop the walnuts and then add to a bowl with the other topping ingredients with the back of a large spoon to blend well.
  6. Spoon topping all over the pie.
  7. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes; lower oven temp to 350° and bake for 30 minutes more. Cover with foil if the topping begins to darken too much.

Rx pp. 91-1. Letter pp.88-90.

This is a cranberry tart, no apples - but still easy to make!

This is a cranberry tart, no apples – but still easy to make!

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