James W. Baker, Thanksgiving Cookery

(2014-03-07 004)Title: Thanksgiving Cookery

Author: James W. Baker; with Elizabeth Brabb

Series: Traditional Country Life Recipe Series

Publication Information: New York, NY: The Brick Tower Press, c1998 (2nd ed.)

ISBN: 978-18-8328303-2 (1-883283-03-5)

Library of Congress Classification: TX739.2.T45

Dewey Decimal Classification: 641

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Thanksgiving cooking
Thanksgiving Day—History

Did you know that the 1621 celebration we base Thanksgiving on was not considered a day of Thanksgiving by the Pilgrims, but only a harvest festival celebrated with the Native Americans that was never repeated?

That’s just one of the facts this interesting cookbook has to offer. the First third of the book gives the history of American Thanksgiving and how the entire holiday originated out of the New England colonies. Several Congresses and presidents from Washington on tried to start a Thanksgiving holiday, but they were only isolated; no national holiday was started until Abraham Lincoln, and it traditionally became fixed on the third Thursday in November until FDR tried to make it the last Thursday in November in an effort to extend the shopping season for Christmas by one week.

Sarah Josepha Hale was the mover behind the Thanksgiving holiday.  She advocated for a return to a much simpler time befor  industrialization started separating parents and children. She believed that a day set aside could strengthen the family. Of course, the South resisted the holiday for years because it had been introduced by Lincoln and it had come from the New England “Yankees.” The holiday was celebrated  by custom until 1941, when FDR signed a law that officially created the third Thursday in November as Thanksgiving.

How ironic that FDR attempted to create an extra week for shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it was the REPUBLICANS who killed the idea. I think an extra week would be preferable to having people work on Thanksgiving, which started with Wal-Mart and is now copied by Target and other heartless corporates. Sarah Hale would be horrified to see what has become of her holiday. So much for the day dedicated to family and food.

The rest of the book has recipes on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. There’s several recipes for stuffing as well as gravy. (For some reason I always have trouble with the gravy. I never make enough, and it’s usually lumpy.) It’s got everything from the turkey to the dessert. Unfortunately, no pics of the food. (I always like looking at pictures.)

A nice book about a wonderful holiday that’s being ruined.

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