Sunday, November 18, 2012

thoughts for thanksgiving

we have the good fortune to have good friends who cook good food and actually seem to enjoy our company enough that they have invited us to thanksgiving dinner.

hooray for us!  hosting a holiday meal is a big deal and has usually stressed me out.  this time, i can relax and enjoy myself, secure in the knowledge that someone else is handling the turkey while i can make what i do best, which is sweet potatoes (no, not the candied canned ones with marshmallows, but real sweet potatoes steamed and mashed with obscene amounts of butter), pumpkin biscuits, and green bean casserole (hey, i'm from the midwest, and we always eat this, though i am now a convert to the trader joe's way of making it which involves real fried onions that are to die for).

this also means that the kids and i are freed up to investigate thanksgiving history and traditions.

we explored the you are the historian interactive last year and will likely repeat it.  i think this year that ander may enjoy it, too.

from the same source, plimoth plantation, there are some interesting-looking videos.

i need to dig out our copy of eating the plates: a pilgrim book of food and manners by lucille penner.

i get inspiration and ideas for arts and crafts from the crafty crow and spoonful (which i think was formerly family fun and i liked it better then but am trying to get used to the new site), always love the printables from the toymaker, and have been perusing activity village for coloring pages.

i added a new book to our home library: look what i did with a leaf! by morteza sohi (this was a book i fell in love with at the book garden, just like i did with the tree book for kids and their grown-ups by gina ingoglia, and gave to diana for her 9 3/4 birthday).  it is still fall, after all, and though the kids are determined to start singing winter holiday songs prior to the beginning of december, for goodness' sake, i'm trying to retain the rhythm of the seasons and not rush through them.

i'd love to hear what you do/have done to learn about the history of thanksgiving and what traditions your family holds dear.  you know, the really cool stuff, like watching this or this or this or this from mathemusician vi hart.  wait, you didn't know that everything has to do with math? ;)

update:
made it back to the book garden and found two new books about the pilgrims for diana - n.c. wyeth's pilgrims with text by robert sans souci and and the adventurous life of myles standish and the amazing-but-true survival story of plymouth colony by cheryl harness.  and history.com has some great, quick videos about thanksgiving history.

louisa may alcott's an old-fashioned thanksgiving is just delightful, too, especially for those readers fond of laura ingalls wilder.  and the illustrations by brinton turkle in over the river and through the wood by lydia child just drip delightful nostalgia.

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