By Rebecca Price Janney, Nov 22 2017 06:45PM
One of my favorite holiday shows is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” I especially like the part where Snoopy goes to great lengths to feed CB’s uninvited guests and ends up making large batches of popcorn and buttered toast. Although Peppermint Patty is not amused, we viewers certainly are!
I doubt many of us serve Snoopy’s concoction at our tables. Let’s face it, turkey takes center stage this time of year, except maybe at the White House. Here’s a story you may enjoy about the history of U.S. Presidents and Thanksgiving turkeys.
By most accounts, the tradition began during the Civil War when Tad Lincoln tearfully intervened on behalf of a bird brought to the White House for Christmas dinner. Touched by the boy’s distress, President Lincoln spared the turkey’s life. This somehow morphed into a Thanksgiving tradition, I’m guessing because turkey is the meat of choice for the holiday because farmers brought their prized birds to the White House as gifts for First Families.
President Reagan was the first Chief Executive to send a turkey to a farm to live out the rest of its days, and a few years later, George H.W. Bush issued the first official pardon to a turkey (1989).
This year two turkeys were presented to President Trump—I understand the second was an “alternate” in case Drumstick wouldn’t be able to fulfill his official duties. Both Drumstick, weighting in at a whopping 36 pounds, and Wishbone, were pardoned and go to live at Virginia Tech’s “Gobbler’s Rest,” which is part of the school’s poultry sciences program. (Something tells me First Families still end up eating turkey!)
What are some of your family’s Thanksgiving food traditions? Popcorn anyone?