The Recipe Spot
November 14, 2012
The Recipe Spot
Its turkey time, so let the eating marathon begin.
Thanksgiving officially kicks-off the eating frenzy when people go party to party, gathering with friends and family indulging in a feast or two during this time of tradition and sharing.
With burgeoning appetites soaring into the atmosphere and for those who have prepared their palate all year, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated next Thursday, November 22.
With its long history dating back to colonial times, Thanksgiving is an American holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
With decades of tradition to reflect on, the first harvest took place in an area inhabited by Native American tribes familiar with the land. The Wampanoag people fished and hunted well before the 102 English and Dutch ‘Separatists’ left the Church of England, fleeing religious persecution.
After a treacherous three-month journey across the Atlantic carrying the ‘Separatists,’ the 100 ft. vessel called ‘The Mayflower,’ arrived in November of 1620 from Plymouth, England. The journey was led by William Bradford, the founder of the new colony who unified the community with the Mayflower Compact, which provided the basis for their government.
Landing in the barren, cold wilderness of the New World at Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts in an area what is now called ‘Cape Cod,’ the experienced native people taught the settlers how to fish for cod, grow corn and skin beavers for coats.
In the fall of 1621, the 53 surviving colonists were blessed with an abundance of food from a successful harvest, invited the Native Americans to rejoice together in celebration of the fruitful fields.
Far from today’s traditional Thanksgiving feast, the meal between the native people and the colonists included deer, fish, roasted meats, Indian maze, harvest grains, assorted berries, fruit and squash.
The celebration, which lasted three days, is remembered as the “First Thanksgiving in Plymouth.”
Fast forward two centuries later, with the idea of unifying the nation, it was President Abraham Lincoln, who in October of 1863 at the height of the Civil War, proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving for ‘general blessings and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.’
Often, the meaning of Thanksgiving in today’s modern world can get lost juggling busy schedules with an endless labyrinth of last minute to-do lists, easily forgetting what is truly at the heart of the celebration, which is to give thanks for all the blessings.
Nonetheless, Thanksgiving Day is either a time for intrepid cooks to showcase their talents or for those tentative cooks, the day can be an arduous journey that finally ends at the Thanksgiving table.
No doubt, everyone has their time-honored favorite dish for this much celebrated holiday, and with plenty of room to liven up old favorites, there are many opportunities to create new traditions of your own.
With a lot of options for show-stopping desserts that feature fall’s favorite flavors, this easy dessert for Cranberry Bars will round out the feast as a nice complement to the dessert table.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ cup melted butter
1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon peel and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and mix together well. Reserve 1 cup of the flour-oat mixture for the topping. Pat the remaining flour-oat mixture into an ungreased 9 x 9 x 2 inch-baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Carefully spread the cranberry sauce on top of the baked crust. Stir nuts into reserved flour-oat mixture and sprinkle over the cranberry sauce. Lightly pat flour-oat mixture onto the sauce. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is a light golden color. Cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.
Yields about 20 bars