July 19, 2018

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Day Today (8)

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To all Canadians here in the Cayman Islands, and to all others reading this on the web, iNews Cayman wants to wish everyone of you a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY

Thanksgiving Day in Canada

Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. It is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.

What do people do?

Many people have a day off work on the second Monday of October. They often use the three-day Thanksgiving weekend to visit family or friends who live far away, or to receive them in their own homes. Many people also prepare a special meal to eat at some point during the long weekend. Traditionally, this included roast turkey and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn ears and pecan nuts. Now, the meal may consist of other foods, particularly if the family is of non-European descent.

The Thanksgiving weekend is also a popular time to take a short autumn vacation. This may be the last chance in a while for some people to use cottages or holiday homes before winter sets in. Other popular activities include: outdoor breaks to admire the spectacular colours of the Canadian autumn; hiking; and fishing. Fans of the teams in the Canadian Football League may spend part of the weekend watching the Thanksgiving Day Classic matches.

Public life

Thanksgiving Day is national public holiday in Canada. Many people have the day off work and all schools and post offices are closed. Many stores and other businesses and organisations are also closed. Public transport services may run to a reduced timetable or may not run at all.

Background

The native peoples of the Americas held ceremonies and festivals to celebrate the completion and bounty of the harvest long before European explorers and settlers arrived in what is now Canada. Early European thanksgivings were held to give thanks for some special fortune. An early example is the ceremony the explorer Martin Frobisher held in 1578 after he had survived the long journey in his quest to find a northern passage from Europe to Asia.

Many thanksgivings were held following noteworthy events during the 18th century. Refugees fleeing the civil war in the United States brought the custom of an annual thanksgiving festival to Canada. From 1879, Thanksgiving Day was held every year but the date varied and there was a special theme each year. The theme was the “Blessings of an abundant harvest” for many years. However, Queen Victoria’s golden and diamond jubilees and King Edward VII’s coronation formed the theme in later years.

From the end of the First World War until 1930, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day were celebrated on the Monday closest to November 11, the anniversary of the official end of hostilities in World War I. In 1931, Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving Day was moved to a Monday in October. Since 1957, Thanksgiving Day has always been held on the second Monday in October.

Symbols

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is linked to the European tradition of harvest festivals. A common image seen at this time of year is a cornucopia, or horn, filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables. This represents the “Horn of Plenty”, which was a symbol of bounty and plenty in ancient Greece. Turkeys, pumpkins, ears of corn and large displays of food are also used to symbolise Thanksgiving Day.

For more on this story go to:

http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/thanksgiving-day

Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems – Solved!

Have a Wonderful Holiday

By Linda Larsen, About.com Guide

Thanksgiving dinner is the big one in the United States. There are so many expectations and hopes surrounding this meal, and lots of pressure on the cook. And things will invariably go wrong. I think it’s something to do with entropy. At any rate, turn to this collection of solutions to the most common problems about Thanksgiving dinner. And you’ll be prepared to deal with anything!

1. Dry Turkey

A dry turkey is an overcooked turkey. There’s no way to reverse that process, but you can still serve moist meat. The breast is most likely to be dry, since it has very little fat. The dark meat should be fine no matter what.

So evenly slice the turkey breast, and place the slices, in a single layer, in a large shallow pan. Slowly pour some chicken or turkey broth or stock over the slices, moistening them thoroughly. Cover the pan with foil and place in a 250 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes until the meat is hot. You can carve the rest of the bird while the breast slices are in the oven.

As long as the meat is warm, it will be moist. The meat will dry out when it cools down, so serve lots of gravy on the side.

Brine the turkey next year!

2. Family Only Likes Dark or White Meat

If your family likes white meat, cook two or three turkey breasts instead of the whole bird. The breast is easier to thaw, easier to handle, and easier to cook. In fact, you could cook the breast a couple of different ways: roast one, and cook another boneless breast in the slow cooker.

If dark meat is the star in your household, roast turkey legs and thighs and cook the stuffing in the crockpot.

The easiest way to accommodate one preference or another is to roast turkey parts instead of a whole bird. You can choose one breast and four drumsticks, two breasts, two thighs and two drumsticks, or any other combination!

3. Turkey Doesn’t Thaw in Time

You can’t cook a turkey partially frozen, since the thawed part will dry out before the frozen part is done. And you run the risk of serving underdone turkey, which is never a good idea. NEVER thaw it on the counter.

Clear out your sink, plug it, then place the partially thawed turkey in the sink. Run cold water into the sink until the turkey is covered, or as covered as you can get it, given the depth of your sink. Every 15 minutes, drain out the water, plug the sink again, and add more cold water.

The turkey will thaw in an hour or two. Pat it dry and continue with your recipe.

For this Thanksgiving, buy your frozen turkey four to five days ahead of time. It takes 24 hours to thaw for every five pounds!

Next year, cook the turkey frozen!

4. No Time to Make Dessert

Dessert is not usually something I forget. But it does happen. Luckily, many grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving day, at least until noon, so you can send someone out to grab some ice cream and little graham cracker shells to make Ice Cream Tartlets.

Or make Instant Apple Croustade, which is beautiful, festive, and very easy.

Or just buy a premade pecan pie, drizzle it with melted chocolate, and serve with homemade whipped cream. A bakery pumpkin pie can be made fancier by crushing up some brittle or toffee and sprinkling it over the top. Then add some whipped cream and drizzle caramel sauce over the whole thing.

And for a sophisticated touch, put out some cheeses and fresh fruit, along with whole nuts for a refreshing change of pace.

5. Lumpy or Flavorless Gravy

Lumpy gravy is caused by not dissolving the flour or cornstarch before adding to the hot drippings or hot liquid.

Start by beating the gravy with a whisk. Sometimes this will help break up the lumps so they will dissolve into the gravy.

If that doesn’t work, add more liquid to the gravy and beat it will to thin it out a bit. Then strain it. Pour the gravy into the strainer set over a clean pot. You’ll probably need to stir the gravy so it goes through the strainer more quickly. Then reheat the gravy in the new pot.

Salt is the key to the best gravy. If your gravy doesn’t have a lot of flavor, add salt, a pinch at a time, and stir for a few seconds. Keep tasting. When you hit the right amount, the flavor will bloom. Or add some jarred gravy.

6. Hungry People Crowd into Kitchen

There are two ways to deal with kitchen-crowders. One is to put some of them to work! They can finish setting the table, help you by dishing up recipes, or work on starting clean-up so after dinner there isn’t a huge mountain of work. Some could help make last minute appetizers. This is where having a well stocked pantry comes in handy.

But if you have a small kitchen, or lots of people in the kitchen make you nervous, have some appetizers ready and waiting to go. And serve them in another room so people get out from underfoot!

And keep kids and pets out of the kitchen in any situation. They can really get underfoot and cause safety issues

7. Can’t Get Things Done at the Same Time

Planning is really the key to any big endeavor, whether it’s writing a book or planning a dinner party. Read through these instructions, from inviting people to planning the menu to making lists to the timetable of cooking.

It will help if you plan the meal so only one or two things are last minute, and everything else is made ahead of time.

And even if things aren’t done at the same time, don’t worry about it. You can always reheat something in the microwave, or on the stovetop. And even if you forget something in the fridge or freezer, it doesn’t really matter. The main point of this celebration is gathering together, not serving the perfect meal. If you’re relaxed and happy, everyone else will be too.

8. Turkey Won’t Get to 165 Degrees!

This is most likely a problem with your thermometer. If the turkey isn’t registering 160 to 165 degrees F in the breast meat and 175 to 180 degrees in the thigh or leg, check your thermometer.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat and stick the probe in the water. It should register right around 212 degrees F. If it’s lower, and many thermometers are off by a few degrees, you’ll know that your turkey is hotter than you thought.

In fact, it’s a good idea to check your thermometer before you need it. I myself use a Thermapen from Thermoworks; it’s expensive but completely accurate.

9. Small Oven

If your oven is too small to cook a whole turkey, cook the turkey in parts. You can choose how many to cook – cook just a breast and two thighs for a gathering of four to six, or more for more people.

If you can fit a whole bird in the oven, roast the vegetables around the turkey to take care of one more dish. Then use your crockpot to cook the stuffing, other side dishes, or to make the potatoes or keep them warm.

10. Picky Eaters or Those with Allergies

I find it helpful to make one or two dishes that are very plain, like a simple green salad with a choice of dressings, plain dinner rolls, or some roasted vegetables. That way someone always has something to eat.
It’s always a good idea, whenever inviting anyone to your home for a meal, to ask if there are any food allergies, special likes or dislikes, or foods someone can’t or won’t eat. Make a note of these so you remember next time.

And if someone doesn’t like the food, it’s their responsibility to keep it quiet. You have worked hard, opening up your home and heart to others. So don’t take it too hard if the meal is criticized. This can, after all, be a learning opportunity for kids – on how to not behave at a dinner party!

For more on this story go to: http://busycooks.about.com/od/thanksgiving/tp/toptenThanksgivingproblemssolved.htm

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