Happy (American Schedule) Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Just a brief note that this is the American schedule Thanksgiving Day. (Australia The UK and Canada are on other days, as I recall it, and other countries may or may not even have such a day).

The day exists to give thanks for all those good things that life has brought us. This year. This month. Today, and in the past years.

Today I give thanks for my Grandson, new to the world and having his first birthday in a month. I give thanks for my spouse and family, the most important people in my life. I’m thankful for The Donald as a ‘just in time’ savior for The American Experiment in freedom and liberty; and I am also thankful for all the Trump Train who self organized to make President Elect Trump a reality. I’m thankful that spouse and I still have good health and will be enjoying a few more years together. On a smaller scale, I am thankful for the fine weather we are having today, for the nice all natural turkey roasting as I type, and even for the half dozen squirrels enjoying a small feast of sunflower seeds, neatly placed in the yard and garden. One sits on the living room window potted plant shelf enjoying his own feast ;-) and providing a wonderful bit of entertainment…

I am also thankful for all of you, the people who read and lurk, as well as those who post and participate. Some adding top notes to the harmony, some playing a Devils Tone to avoid things being too treacly all the time, and a few just tapping fingers to the tune. Together it is a symphony of being. I’m very thankful for that, to know kindred sprits exist; and to know that we can all “just get along” when we are less kindred. So thanks for being here.

Now go eat too much, enjoy family and friends, and don’t forget a snack for the local wildlife ;-)

Sidebar on Food

Having made the mistake of cooking a ham two days ago, the fridge was being way too crowded. So at the moment, while the turkey cooks, the leftover ham is in the canner. I’m making 8 ounce ( 1 cup or 250 ml ) jars of ‘canned ham’. I’d saved the pan drippings in quart jars in the fridge. Taking the fat of the top was trivial with a spoon, then the jellied juices were warmed in the microwave and poured over ham chunks in the jars. 1 inch headspace, 10 psi, 1 hour 15 minutes. I’ll report the results here, but likely not for a day or two as I’ll be full of turkey today ;-)

I’m also planning to try a similar ‘pan drippings and meat’ on a few jars of turkey. Two people and a whole turkey is more than we can usually deal with inside a week, so I freeze the extra. As the freezer is now solid full, that’s not going to work. I’ll have a 1/2 gallon or so of separated meat in the fridge portion, but that leaves more… (Even after taking a share to the Pot Luck Thanksgiving Dinner… we’ve got only 3 meat eaters and 4 vegans…) So also some days from now will be a report on canning cooked turkey.

As for the rest of the menu, who knows… It’s a pot luck, so a self organizing system. It usually works out better than any planned and organized event, though!

So look for a post-dinner update later today or tomorrow.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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47 Responses to Happy (American Schedule) Thanksgiving!

  1. View from the Solent says:

    There isn’t a UK day. we don’t need one ;-)
    “To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life”

  2. Zeke says:

    That reminds me, I am thankful for the good health and long life of Her Majesty the Queen. (:

    I am so thankful for all of you, and the past years! What a learning curve. Wow. I am glad you are where you are, and that you have your podium to the world. Of course I am thankful when I get my say too. Ha! (:

    This sums my feelings about these years:

    “At the risk of understating what is necessary to preserve liberty in our form of government, I think more and more of it depends on good citizens discharging their daily duties and obligations.”
    ~Justice Clarence Thomas


    Here is a beautiful sermon if anyone has time.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    Please accept my Thanksgiving wishes as well to all of you. Thanksgiving is a mixed day for me. Thanksgiving day 1970 was one of the loneliest days of my life. Over seas in the Navy (first duty station) had to work that day as the lowest ranking guy in the computer section and all the guys with family connections were off doing Thanksgiving things with friends. After I got off shift, I drifted over to the empty “yacht club” (our nick name for a small stretch of beach near Andy’s hut on Guam which was our hang out place just off post. It was empty too)

    It was a gray day not quite raining but looking like it might, and I sat there on the beach watching the sun set through a break in the clouds near the horizon, alone except for the Filipino who took care of the rental sail boards and his pet goat. I was wishing there was someway to call my Mom and wish her well because I knew she was also alone at home.

    That day is burned into my brain as a bench mark of how it feels to be truly alone with no one to talk to or even anything to keep you busy when everyone you know is off doing their holiday things.

    I am working at home again today, watching a batch job which will run for about 52 hours. I have no close family other than this motley crew here. You folks are the one small universe where I can sit and chat about all sorts of interesting things without having to sit threw family squabbles or watch sports games I care little about. Rather each day is something new to ponder and perhaps throw out a few links of things I found that some of you might find interesting.

    Thank you all for sharing little bits of your life and making this an international Pub where folks can just drop in and chat about anything that interests them without being abused by those who have no tolerance for alternate views. It is so nice to be around folks (virtually) who can respectfully disagree on some things and nod in the affirmative when they agree all without drama and expand your knowledge base about things you never even thought about before.

    I wish you all a happy day as you choose to celebrate. I am busy fast thawing a small turkey roast I picked up late last night when I got off work and will fix a little turkey of my own here later. It was supposed to defrost in the fridge for 24 – 36 hours but I bought it at 10:00 pm last night so must accelerate the thaw without creating a petri dish for bad critters. Water bath at fridge temps seems to be doing the job quite nicely.


  4. Verity Jones says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! May it be melodious and harmonic.

  5. H.R. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. We’re done with the cooking and the eating.

    I managed to get some fishing in. The fish are very cold and slow now so I was lucky to get one bite.. (I fish a bit of red worm on a #4 hook when it’s this cold.) The little booger worked on it a while before taking off with it. I reeled back, but he got away with half the worm and no hook in his mouth. I guess we aren’t the only ones who were thankful for a good meal today :o)

    E.M. – My brother-in-law and I do the cooking for our households. The spouses are not interested in cooking and are not particularly good at it. We only have to split up cooking a traditional turkey-day meal and I’m pretty sure it beats the heck out of cooking for three second-hand vegetarians and four vegans.

    “[…] and making this an international Pub where folks can just drop in and chat about anything that interests them […]

    Excellent, sir!

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    A little appropriate military humor for the day. GI’s will try to do what ever it takes to get a good hot meal on Thanksgiving day – this sometimes leads to hilarity and singed eyebrows.

    Source : https://sofrep.com/68543/thanksgiving-day-in-a-remote-fire-base-in-afghanistan/
    requires a click of a persistent banner so copied here under fair use (ie a fellow veteran absconded with it fair and square in keeping with the fine art of military back channel supply)
    And a thank you for your efforts to keep others safe!

    Thanksgiving Day on a remote fire base in Afghanistan

    By SOFREP 11.24.2016#Featured Email Share Tweet

    Thanksgiving ’02 memory: I will start by saying that Thanksgiving was my favorite day…one of the few days of the year where the dysfunction was kept at bay. So I always looked forward to them.

    In ’02, I happened to be deployed to a small, remote fire base. We would, however, be regularly resupplied via helicopter. On one of those resupply sorties, we got a few frozen turkeys. Funny thing was, we had absolutely no way of cooking those turkeys other than roasting over a campfire. Being an expert in turkey frying, I knew that we could make it work with the proper pot and some peanut oil. I figured that the nearest town could have some, as earlier that week I saw a pelican on a leash on the side of the road. Any town that has one of those must have everything, so peanut oil couldn’t be that hard to find.

    So the plan was simple: All I had to do was build a brick bed in the center of the fire pit, start a bonfire early enough prior to cooking to ensure I had enough coals to heat the oil to the proper temperature, and find a way to hoist the pot on/off the coal bed. The pot had a sturdy metal handle, like a bucket, and I found a large iron pipe. I then ensured that the pipe was long enough so both guys would be nowhere near the flames when lifting/lowering the pot of oil. It all looked good. I even did some walkthroughs with some of the guys that said they’d help.
    Now the cooking part was the trick. As I stated before, the turkeys were frozen. This was November…this was Afghanistan…thawing the thing fully was not going to happen. So this is pretty much a disaster waiting to happen. We have open flame (in the form of a big bonfire), we have hot oil and a large bird that is essentially a block of ice. I mitigated the entirety of the risk by clearing a path that led to an area devoid of anything flammable, completely away from the flames, where we could take the pot of oil and drop the turkey in, then let it flame up until all the water burned off. Then we would just carry the pot back to the pit if the oil got too cold.

    All was going to plan and going well, and it was nearing time to begin the cooking. I took one last look at the thermometer and it was just as I wanted it…about 360 degrees. Knowing that I wanted it cooking at 350 degrees, and that it might take 10 minutes for the oil to stop splashing after we dropped the turkey…360 was good.

    I told some of the guys that we were almost ready to start cooking. Just prior to this, one of the support guys came up and started poking at the bonfire. I told him to standby while I took a bathroom break and to coordinate some of the other people in the camp. Just as I was returning, I see this moron holding a 20-pound frozen turkey over a pot full of 360 degree oil in the middle of a bonfire.

    I tried to tell him “NO,” but Mr. Derp-a-derp decides that when you don’t know what you are doing…just be decisive and do it. The peanut oil-fueled ball o’ flame probably went up 20′ and it took us about an hour before the flames died down enough to retrieve what was left of our boiling oil. Dude was a dumbass for that, but he did not ruin everything…just the turkey. We were able to find a few small pieces off that bird that were worth eating, so…small victories.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. so when do the uSA declare independence from the clinton-obama failed states?

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    Wonderful story… somewhere on my prep bookshelf is a book of recipies for cooking on the road…

    Using your exhaust pipe as burner…

    Mostly it is about foil wrapping depth, method to attach (iron wire helps) and guaging where to place for proper heat and temp. Need to cook? How many miles per pound? :-)


    It was 3 meatavores and 4 vegans. As a potluck, everybody cooked.

    We’ve got some darned good cooks in the family. I started at about age 4 and 1/2 then grew up in a restaurant family (both Mum & Dad cooked in the restaurant). So the turkey was very nice. Now it you want tasty sides, get a vegetarian cook. My niece made a “cheese” cake as good as any… yet vegan and wheat free. My daughter made stuffing that was better than mine (turns out she used extra garlic… note to self…) then the usual mashed potatoes & gravey & such. The old college roomie brought a Greek salad to die for (pounds of olives and mushrooms and feta cheese topper for non-vegetarians) and corn bread. The list goes on, but includes a faux turkey loaf I didn’t try, but had in prior years and found good. Oh and three different pies and cobblers. The apple cobbler was my favorite…

    Lets just say nobody felt deprived or like they wanted something more ;-)


    We all had a great time. Dinner. Desert. 2 hours of DVDs … discussion of things mellow and funny.. nice.


    Maybe I’ll watch the like while canning half a turkey ;-)

    Yes, always more to learn and explore…


    Well, I’m only 1/2 a Brit, but I understand ;-)

    BTW, thanks to a change of law, I can now get a UK passport based on Mum… but the inheritance tax needs some scrutiny first… one California house can really cause a hit…

    Yet it might be interesting to retire back to Engand for a few years. Or maybe Florida… I like Florida and the sun. Then again, from England I could always fly back here when I needed a reminder of what it looks like ;-)

  9. H.R. says:

    @E.M. I’m a second-hand vegetarian. I eat the critters that eat the vegetation ;o)

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM I have cooked many a hot dog, a few cans of Pork and Beans (beany weenie) a taco or two and a couple baked potatoes on top of an engine. I like the top of the intake manifold, water thermostat keeps is around 180 deg F so safe cooking temps and hard to cremate things.

    About 45 min to an hour seems to work for most anything.


  11. Gail Combs says:

    Happy Thanksgiving and a big hug to all of you.

  12. My (ex) father-in-law Bob was once asked at a party for an unusual recipe for Turkey stuffing. He was a little drunk at the time and told them to use unpopped popcorn. He deadpanned it, and so they believed him and tried it for their Thanksgiving dinner. They never talked to him again after that….

  13. Gail Combs says:

    I just bought a new shotgun….

  14. pg sharrow says:

    @Gail; Thank You!! LoL! for that! made my morning. :-)…pg

  15. Gail Combs says:

    PG I was born in New York City. Where else would I go to hunt turkeys….

    When we moved to upstate cow country, the county sheriff caught some dumb butt NYC idiot with our neighbor’s prize Hereford bull strapped to his car hood.

    So the next year he painted all his cows with giant letters in orange, COW and they STILL shot his bull!

  16. G. Combs says:

    Happy Dance, even though it is not Christmas yet.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve worked out that it was Australia that has a Thanksgiving day, not the UK, so changed the posting to reflect that. At least I had it right as somewhere else in the Anglosphere…

    Oddly, it looks like New Zealand doesn’t:

    Oh Well, at least the Equinox and Solstice days are recognized holidays for them, Druid ancestry and all ;-)

    One of the ham pints failed to seal, so it’s in the fridge and on the menu for today as a sample. The meat in the canned ham looks more brown / gray than red. One site said it takes some KNO3 to prevent the color change. Others said to use plain water instead of pan drippings. Others said… OK, so it looks more like cooked pork than ham. I’m not going to worry a lot. IF it gets to bothering me, AND I like the flavor, I’ll work on pink canned ham… Since I’m most likely to use it in cooked foods anyway (scalloped potatoes and ham, ham & cheese omelettes, ham & beans) I’m not going to worry about it until it is a problem (and all that assuming I like the canned ham product flavor and texture…)

    Well, turns out I’ve not canned any turkey after all. I managed to get the carcass stripped into 1/2 gallon “ice cream tubs” (from back when we had honest measures and ice cream came in full quarts and half gallons – now shrunk to some smaller odd size…) and into the fridge. (Just don’t open the door fast!!! ) As I already have too much canned Turkey Soup, I put the neck skin and other odds and ends out for the raccoons. (They just LOVED the pie crust early in the week – spouse doesn’t eat her crust…) but I went to bed before they showed up. This morning, though, almost all was gone.

    We normally have a ‘floor show’ in the living room picture window as raccoons and ‘possums take turns at the cat food dish on the ledge outside. At first, they would be territorial about it, then when they realized it was refilled and ‘perpetually full’, settled more into taking turns. Prosperity brings peace… the risk of injury becoming a high price and the value of early food access becoming nil, where in deprivation the value of early food access is infinite (you don’t starve to death) and the risk of injury irrelevant as you will die if you don’t fight. Even ‘possums figure this out…

    So this morning the cat food trough was still full, and about an ounce of turkey trimmings remained. Seems everyone filled up on turkey ;-) There’s a lot of stuff that usually goes into the soup pot on a turkey, and I wasn’t particularly being stingy … Prosperity brings charity and sharing…

    I do wish I’d been energetic enough to have stayed up to see the “Thanks Mate!” as their raccoon faces peer in the window. At first, they were skittish if the light was on or we moved. Gradually they have learned we’re OK. Now I can have a lamp on near the window so we see them nicely (and they see us) and even move about some. When I move, like getting tea from the kitchen, it gets a look, but then back to dinner.

    I’ve learned a fair amount from watching them. For example, the ‘possums use their hands. One learned to hold onto the end of the food dish while face planting, so the dish didn’t ‘run away’. Another also picked up a bit of ham (last week’s trimmings) and ate it like a donut… They are especially prone to grabbing what they really like and lifting it to their face to eat. (So much for “human hands” evolving from the needs of larger brains to make tools and carry things… hands are out there and used by things from possums to raccoons to squirrels to…) One of the raccoons was ‘face planted’ in the trough one night… then, as he got fuller, sat back on his haunches, contemplated the yard, and would casually reach over and grab a bit of cat-kibble with a paw, lifting it to his face, like snacking on crackers… We are more alike than different. Once hunger is gone, we contemplate and snack.

    So much fun and learning from things that otherwise would hit the trash bin, and about $5 / week of cat food. It has been a pleasure to watch their fur become thicker and glossy, their faces less gaunt and more happy rounded, their demeanor change from desperate wild to calm contemplative. The raccoons, at least, have learned that the window opening is NOT a threat. They scurry off to the bushes near the window, but are back for the ‘refill’ just as soon as I close the window and get back to the couch. They used to just leave, but they have learned it isn’t a threat, it is a friend.

    Oh, and they also leave the garden alone more… cat-food being preferred to garden stuff. Though the possums do keep the snails down. One presumes escargot on the half shell is better than cat-food, at least to a ‘possum ;-)

    OK, on the agenda for today:

    I’m going to do a trial install of Void (NOT the resource sucking Enlightenment one, but the LXDE one) onto a Pi chip. We’ll see how it goes.

    Then there’s doing some ‘blog maintenance’ (i.e. SPAM queue et all) and maybe a new posting.

    Then there’s that left over 1/2 of a pumpkin pie ;-) and my favorite “Turkey and Stuffing on buttered bread with salt and pepper” sandwich for lunch, yum!

    Then maybe a long nap in front of something that doesn’t require thinking on the TV ;-)

  18. Jason Calley says:

    “Then maybe a long nap in front of something that doesn’t require thinking on the TV ;-)”

    If you have access to Amazon streaming, may I suggest “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared”, or perhaps a nice Russian subtitled movie, “Bite The Dust”.

  19. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    Hi EM
    You may have heard of the turducken, but how about this:
    Then you could complain of the space in your fridge.

  20. G. Combs says:

    Right now my freezer is full with a sheep in 1/2 of it and a goat in the rest with a bit of room for veggies out of the neighbor’s garden. The frig has just got a goat stew meat marinating and goat/eggplant lasagna since I haven’t started on the sheep yet.

    Camel? NWIH! Those mothers are YUGE! A friend has camels and one snuck up on me and grabbed my hat. Scared the …. out of me since I though there were only the sheep we were working on in the pasture. When I turned around I was pretty much looking under his chest and he was a youngster. Those suckers can carry 500 lbs easy BTW.

  21. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t have the Amazon Streaming (yet…), but maybe I’ll find the titles somewhere else…


    Your link sends me to a search page with some mixed / odd things on it, that don’t look a lot like food.

    Guessing you meant food, I did a duckduckgo search on ‘turcamel food’ and came to this page:


    Which I suspect is what you intended… Um, gee, my ah, fridge, is, er, a bit small… perhaps a part of the garage during winter in Chicago would work ;-)

    In a cookbook called International Cuisine, presented by California Home Economics Teachers, 1983 (ISBN 0-89626-051-8), you will find:

    Stuffed Camel

    1 whole camel, medium size
    1 whole lamb, large size
    20 whole chickens, medium size
    60 eggs
    12 kilos rice
    2 kilos pine nuts
    2 kilos almonds
    1 kilo pistachio nuts
    110 gallons water
    5 pounds black pepper
    Salt to taste

    Skin, trim and clean camel (once you get over the hump), lamb and chicken. Boil until tender. Cook rice until fluffy. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice. Hard boil eggs and peel. Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice. Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice. Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice. Broil over large charcoal pit until brown. Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts. Serves friendly crowd of 80-100.

    Shararazod Eboli Home Economist, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

    I don’t even want to think about what “pan” you use to boil 110 gallons of water…


    Could have been worse. Could have been a buffalo.. Once near my old home town, a guy with more money and land than brains, wanted to raise buffalo. He eventually fenced in something like 5 acres with 10 foot tall steel pipe (about 3 inch?) fencing… “Fences are only a suggestion”… for the typical fence materials.


    Well, tested the canned ham sample. So-so at best. I think using pan drippings has too much salt in the liquid and sucks the moisture out of the ham. The chunks have a texture sort of like corned beef (muscle threads / bands that break apart when pushed) and is saltier than I’d expected. It is also dark like cooked pork, not red / pink like ham. Overall, I’d much rather have frozen ham.

    Now with that said, I ate the whole chunk and I’ll eat more. I just won’t serve it to the spouse nor call it ‘ham’ in her presence… It’s sort of “corned pork”… Ought to make a nice hash with some potatoes, though, and maybe go well in spiced beans.

    “Going forward” I’ll try canning ham again, but using a water base so the meat stays more ‘wet’, and likely with some added KNO3 or similar to try to preserve some pink in it.

    The drippings an the long cooking gives a sort of a ‘red-eye’ gravy flavor to the whole thing, and a bit of that color in the canning liquid. I may try letting a bit soak in plain water to see if it becomes less like corned pork jerky and more like ham ;-)

    At any rate, it’s a start, and one I’m willing to eat, so no big.

    Tonight? Well, the spouse having gone all Catholic on me, we won’t be having leftovers from the turkey. Tonight is roast salmon (buttered with a small soysauce drizzle, capers at serving time, side of steamed rice and honey carrots…). Though I’ll likely add a side of Brussels sprouts to mine, since I have them and like them more than carrots ;-)

  22. Jeff says:

    First off (and late, sorry for the Jeff-lag). Hope everyone had a happy and blessed and (ful)filling Thanksgiving. And thanks E.M. for a great and interesting blog, and everyone for your insightful and educating (and humorus) comments. You’re a fine basket of deplorables!

    Over here the Turkeys are smaller (except those in Berlin) and Thanksgiving is called Erntedankfest (roughly “harvest thanks”) and is on the first Sunday in October. Folks here know about Thanksgiving, and even pumpkin pie, cranberries, and (yikes) Stove Top Stuffing.

    Gail, your target practice brought to mind this joke about a parrot with a “colorful” vocabulary:

    A man has a parrot that swears like a sailor. He can swear for five minutes straight without repeating himself. The guy who owns the parrot is a quiet, conservative type, and this bird’s foul mouth is driving him crazy.

    One day, it gets to be too much, so the guy grabs the bird by the throat, shakes him really hard, and yells, “Stop it!” But this just makes the bird mad and he swears more than ever.

    Then the guy gets mad and says, “That’s it. I’ll get you.” and locks the bird in a kitchen cabinet. This really aggravates the bird and he claws and scratches, and when the guy finally lets him out, the bird cuts loose with a stream of invective that would make a veteran sailor blush. At that point, the guy is so mad that he throws the bird into the freezer.

    For the first few seconds, there is a terrible din. The bird kicks and claws and thrashes. Then it suddenly goes very quiet. At first the guy just waits, but then he starts to think that the bird may be hurt. After a couple of minutes of silence, he’s so worried that he opens up the freezer door.

    The bird calmly climbs onto the man’s outstretched arm and says, “Awfully sorry about the trouble I gave you. I’ll do my best to improve my vocabulary from now on.”

    The man is astounded. He can’t understand the transformation.

    Then the parrot says, “By the way, what did the chicken do?”

  23. Jeff says:

    @Gail, would this (FarSide) branding iron have helped your neighbor?

  24. Gail Combs says:

    NAH, If two foot high letters in dayglo orange don’t work nothing will.

  25. H.R. says:

    When I was a kid, this is how you bought ham. Opening a 5-pound ham with the attached key was always a race to the end before the winding strip broke and you had to finish up with needle nose pliers or a flat screwdriver.


  26. Gail Combs says:

    Octoberfest? I was in Germany as an Officer’s wife and have fond memories of Octoberfest. The US Army and German Army had a combined festival and when the German officers found out my Ex-husband did not dance but I did, I never sat down again for the rest of the night.

  27. Gail Combs says:

    H.R., I remember those hams… and the pliers. They were really good canned hams too.

    And since it is Friday, one of my favorite lunches to take to work was crackers and this

  28. H.R. says:

    I got a “500 Internal server error” message on that image, Gail. But I’m going to guess that it was a can of sardines.

    I’m not sure what has changed. You can still get canned hams, but I’ve only seen one or two-pounders and no 5-pound canned hams. By far the vac-packed, on-the-bone hams are the favorites now. Perhaps the vacuum packaging is wot dunnit? I don’t know, (I’m sure cost is a factor) but it’s a complete reversal in preference from the 50’s and 60’s.

  29. gallopingcamel says:

    As a Brit I am a little mystified by Thanksgiving.

    It seems like an extra Christmas so you won’t hear any complaints from me.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    As a Brit I am a little mystified by Thanksgiving.

    Think of it as a fall harvest festival feast or Oktoberfest with a focus on food rather than beer.
    It has become a traditional family gathering holiday even more so that Christmas, a chance to celebrate the blessings and bounty of the previous year and give thanks for all you have rather than focus on what you don’t.

    It was not as often portrayed a feast to thank the Indians for the their help to survive the winters, but to give thanks to to the Lord (the Puritans being deeply religious and seeing all things through a lens of Gods action) for seeing to their needs and they saw the gifts of the Indian’s survival skills in their new land as the handy work of God.

    Many families still carry that tradition on (regardless of nominal faith) and the dinner prayers that accompany the Thanksgiving meal often include sincere thanks for various good things that the family has enjoyed throughout the preceding year. Blessings of good health, family and such are commonly mentioned as part of those prayers even among families who other wise seldom engage in overt religious participation.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    Gail’s image is broken because it has a duck duck go preamble in the link, a little editing to clean it up to the real URL gives you this:

  32. G. Combs says:

    Thanks Larry,
    I like sardines on crackers for lunch too, however the roasted eel is much tastier.

  33. E.M.Smith says:


    My Dad used to get Iowa Debuke? or some such. Darned good canned hams! The cans today (for larger sizes) are a plastic tub with a pull ring top. I, too, still remember the Art Of The Can Key and the backup needle nose pliers… (you wind the stub around the nose after you grip it as a new key, not just pull…) Though the vac-pack do seem to have taken over. Cost, I think. The canned hams were much more expensive. Also, IMHO, quality. They had slowly turned into processed foamed ham whiz product and not chunks of meat in gelatin. I now always get the vac-pack on the bone just so I’m actually getting ham…


    Thanks for working that out with the image… I was off in Void and Slackware land doing systems work… (I’m typing this now from Slackware, that seems to have won the non-SystemD lotto… It works and has everything if you look hard enough… I still need to do some more looking for some bits…like my favorite browser and windows system…) But since it’s working now, I’m back…


    I have an overly great fondness for sushi eel… If that’s at all like it, sign me up!

    I regularly do canned kippers and either crackers or just a slice of bread (sometimes buttered, sometimes just dipped in the oil in the can). The local ‘middle-east’ store (really Christian Iranians who fled) sells ‘sprats in oil’ from somewhere like Latvia or Lithuania or some such. Has Cyrillic on the wrapper… They are very deeply smoked and just great. Unfortunately, at something like $2 / small can, not a daily item…

  34. H.R. says:

    Best smoked eel evah comes from the Netherlands. You can buy it in shops but street vendors have them on carts.

  35. Gail Combs says:

    GEE, my kind of folks here. All I got when I opened my can of eels at work was YUCK!

    Of course I already knew you guys were my kind of guys. (GRIN)

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    Ah, “Sprats in oil” in English on one side, Cyrillic (Russian looks like to me) on the other.

    5.6 oz or 150 grams. $1.99

    Produced by Sabiedriba IMS, Ltd.
    Mersrags, Latvia

    The strength of the smoke is more than most smoked fish. I just love ’em. Expiration date on this can, bought about 4 months back, is Feb of 2020, so they think these will keep for at least 4 years. Given the smoke and the canning, I think the biggest risk of spoilage would not be time, but rust…

    Guess what I’m going to have for breakfast? ;-)

    Oh, and Gail, Now I need to go looking in the canned fish section of my local Asian markets for “Roasted eel” ;-) You find really interesting things to eat at Asian markets and gloriously fresh fish… As for people saying “Yuck!”, well, think of it as a flag of Glory-in-Ignorance… My typical response to any food I’ve not seen before is “Is it good?”… I like to eliminate my ignorances, not glory in them…

    BTW, only two kinds of sushi have so far ‘beaten me’. One was a shrimp head, deep fried. It was tasty all right, but the antenna bits and shell bits, being hard and stiff, tended to lodge under my gum line and were a big bother. The other was a pile of salmon roe on top of rice wrapped in Norri (sea weed). Now I love all kinds of roe, so figured it would be great. The taste was nice too. But unlike caviar, that I can eat by the jar, it was slimy. I had a gag reflex I could not suppress. Something about eating fish eggs in fish snot just could not be removed from the brain. I choked it down, but have never had another… (Oddly, other times I’ve had such sushi with fish eggs -usually herring – it has been great. I still do eat it.) And other slimy things, like pudding, are just fine. So I’ve got no idea what it set off in my brain. But something just slammed down the “No Way!” sign and that was that.

    I don’t know if you’ve had it, but eel sushi has a wonderful sauce on it. It is one of my favorite pieces in mixed nigiri… the eel is sort of smoked / baked and the sauce is semi-sweet… oh god, now I’m drooling… ;-)

  37. Gail Combs says:

    E.M., I was never much of a ‘YUCK its NEW I won’t eat it’ kid and I really loved Chinese food and learned to eat with chopsticks before I was 10. I have found that if I am forced to eat Chinese food with a fork I can actually taste the metal.

    At SF conventions we have gone out as a large group and eaten, buffalo, elk, moose, rattlesnake other game meat…. at one restaurant. Deep in China town in Boston some weird stuff you never see in ‘American’ Chinese. That is the one thing I miss about Boston.

    OH and Jamaican Ackee and Jamaican Goat Meat Patties when caving in Jamaica. Had some of the goat meat patties in a Washington DC restaurant but Ackee is banned in the United States because it is toxic if it is not prepared properly.

    Jamaica is really lovely. The caving is wonderful and the diving fantastic. Even if you don’t dive, snorkeling makes it worth the trip. We were the guest of a Brit who had caving buddies in Jamaica so we never stayed in a hotel. Never stayed in a hotel in Europe or England or Canada or Mexico either thanks to the caving community network.

  38. Jeff says:

    @Gail and E.M., a blast from the past (I used to listen to Dr. Demento a lot; sometimes he’d come to USC and set up by Tommy Trojan and we could watch him shuffle LPs too). He gave Weird Al Yankovic his start, too….. A, erm, very appetizing song :)

  39. Jeff says:

    At an HP User Group meeting in 1988 in Göteborg Sweden, we were invited on a boat tour which took around two hours to reach its destination, navigating through a lot of scenic places, as well as some that I thought would rend the boat into bits (or bytes, or words).

    Eventually we reached our goal, an island where we docked, and went into a cave that was dimly lit
    with tallow candles hanging from the walls, waiters and waitresses dressed in period dress (1600s?), and a wonderful atmosphere replete with horn flagons, wineskins, wooden tableware, rough-hewn tables and benches, and wonderful food.

    But, what was the main course? It was meat, of course (sorry), but what?

    I asked, and the waitress was kind to tell me. Actually it was quite good, but
    Ruuuuuuddddddddooooooollllllllllppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhh ????????
    Only thing missing was the red nose. Sniff… But it WAS really good…

    All in all, it was great fun (especially as it was on HP’s dime) (how times have changed). Apparently way up north, reindeer is quite popular…

  40. Gail Combs says:

    I haven’t had reindeer but I had a freezer full of venison (whitetail deer) and elk and moose. We don’t hunt but once friends found out we would eat game we got last year’s clean-out and the excess of this years. Hunters hate toss the meat.

    A friend at work had three freezers. Two for game and fish and the third for skins to be tanned. They never ate store bought. He was a darn good engineer too. He was fired by General Electric after 29 years 9 months so did not get his pension… Until he sued.

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    The key part of reindeer is the ‘deer’ part ;-) I’m pretty sure I had it once… somewhere in Europe…

    BTW, the “cheek meat” in fish heads is the best bit of meat, and the brains and eyes make for a better bouillabaisse than any other… And yes, I used to listen to that on Dr. Demento a lot ;-) Ah, the memories ;-)


    At about 5? years old, we went to the local Chinese restaurant and I ran into chopsticks. Did poorly the first time, by the second I was functional and shortly after that was proficient. I now use them easily. In fact, I use them in either hand, being an ambidexter… so it has sometimes caused a bit of stir at group meals when I’d swap them to the “other” hand, reach out to grab something on that side, and not miss a beat (often picking up a drink with the other hand…). More than once I’ve heard the comment “… with both hands!…” Now I can’t stand eating Chinese of Japanese with fork / spoon. It’s just so akward for things cut to size to grab, not to mention the metalic taste in some of the sauces…

    Worked with a guy from Hong Kong for a few years, and we’d go out to Chinese often (it being a deduction for him…) and he would order lots of interesting stuff NOT on the menu or even on the Chinese only signs on the walls. God knows what it was, but once he knew I was “adventurous”, well, he would push the envelop. My first “Gunpowder Chicken” was with him (Gung Pow…) and he was wolfing it down, chili pods and all. So of course, so did I. About 3/4 done and with sweat pouring down my face, he said something like “You eat good and hot for white guy! Not supposed to eat chili pods, but you like? I always like!” So NOW he tells me I’m supposed to fish out those little fire breathing pods and not chew them up! But oddly, I still eat them now as it’s how I think of the dish… If I’m not sweating and squirming it’s not authentic! (Go figure…)

    I grew up in farm country with hunters. If it moved, you ate it, if it didn’t move, you tried…

    I’m especially partial to frogs and would gig my own… Birds? Under the Pacific Flyway, so several species. Things with fur? Well, I was eating roast goat at about 7 or 8 (that I know of…) and I’m really not sure what all else, but at least including some kind of venison and other things with antlers or horns… Buffalo, beefalo, cows of several breeds, more lamb and sheep than most as Mum liked it, being from England, and it’s my favorite… though the richer flavor of the goat was a big hit with me… Ducks, pheasants (watch out for shotgun pellets someone missed ;-), goose and more are all just great. Once we had pigeons since a friend farmer had a pigeon problem in his barn ;-) (“You can shoot all you want and keep all you shoot”…)

    Sigh. Folks from Blue Cities have no clue what guns mean to folks in red country…
    it means dinner…

    Oh, and fish… I’m not sure what all of them I’ve eaten. There’s many kinds from a bunch of genera in California. From carp (long slow roast like making BBQ pork) to catfish to perch (really several kinds of sunfish), and crappie and bass and trout and salmons and eel from the local river and on it goes. Mud bugs too. (Crawfish or Crayfish or Crawdaddies). Then there’s all the things with shells and some with antennae… ;-)

    Oh Dear, I think it’s time to go cook dinner ;-)

  42. H.R. says:

    Okay, now I’m bumming.

    I wrote a comment on some thread here, I believe in the first week of November, about the stingray I lost while fishing in South Carolina. My tale was of a stingray that broke 80# test on a dead lift trying to get it on the dock.

    The mentions of various Asian cultures eating fish that Americans don’t eat led me to search for stingray recipes. Sunnuvagun! Apparently they are quite tasty, easy to prepare, and there are a ton of recipes out there from a simple “stingray recipes” search.

    Here’s one I found: http://oureverydaylife.com/cook-stingray-20858.html

    Sounds yummy to me. I’ll have to pick up a gaff so I make sure I can land a big’un next trip.

  43. Owen says:

    Happy belated Thanksgiving to you, Chiefio, and to your tribe, and to all who post or lurk here.

    Life is short, we are lucky to be here, and this forum is particularly blessed.

  44. Jason calley says:

    Hey E.M.! Speaking of the stuffed camel recipe, yes, my wife had planned on making that as a side dish this Thanksgiving. Unfortunately we did not have enough black pepper to do so.

  45. Jason calley says:

    Hey E.M.! ” he said something like “You eat good and hot for white guy! Not supposed to eat chili pods, but you like? I always like!”

    I something very similar happen. I was eating at a Chinese restaurant in rural East Tennessee and the dishes were, uh, how shall I say it, “seasoned to match the local preferences”. VERY mild, almost bland — after a few bites I asked whether perhaps I could have a small helping of chili oil to spice things up. A minute later, I see the chef looking out from the kitchen to see who on earth wanted chili oil. He sent the chili out and the food was good after that! As I checked out at the register, the lady there looked at me and said, “Oh! You are man who know how to eat Chinese!”

    Maybe not a huge compliment, but I smiled. :)

  46. Oliver K. Manuel says:

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