The Davenport library will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 22nd and 23rd in observance of Thanksgiving. All three buildings will reopen their regular hours on Saturday November 24th – 9:30am to 5:30pm.
Have a safe and happy holiday!
Thanksgiving : How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton is a definitive, timeless guide to Thanksgiving dinner – preparing it, surviving it, and pulling it off in style. From the planning of the meal to the washing of the last plate, Thanksgiving poses more – and more vexing – problems for the home cook than any other holiday. In this smartly written, beautifully illustrated, recipe-filled book, Sam Sifton delivers a message of great comfort and solace: ‘There is no need for fear. You can cook a great meal on Thanksgiving. You can have a great time.’
With simple, fool-proof recipes for classic Thanksgiving staples, as well as new takes on old standbys, this book will show you that the fourth Thursday of November does not have to be a day of kitchen stress and family drama, of dry stuffing and sad, cratered pies. You can make a better turkey than anyone has ever served you in your life, and you can serve it with gravy that is not lumpy or bland but a salty balm, rich in flavor, that transforms all it touches. Here are recipes for exciting side dishes and robust pies and festive cocktails, instructions for setting the table and setting the mood, as well as cooking techniques and menu ideas that will serve you all year long, whenever you are throwing a big party.
Written for novice and experienced cooks alike, Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well is your guide to making Thanksgiving the best holiday of the year. It is not fantasy. If you prepare, it will happen. And this book will show you how. (description from publisher)
If you’re looking for a little escape from the family togetherness during the next big holiday, try one of these dvds in which families and friends display a range of dysfunctional behavior during the Thanksgiving season.
Jody Foster directed the surprisingly funny Home for the Holidays. Starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr., as her irreverent brother. Hunter plays a single mom who loses her job right before Thanksgiving. This is only the beginning of a very stressful holiday with her eccentric family.
Friends, the Complete Eighth Season had a classic episode with special guest Brad Pitt, (married at the time to Jennifer Aniston). He played Will, a high school classmate of Ross and Rachel’s. Unbeknownst to Rachel, they were both members of the “I Hate Rachel” club. Rachel doesn’t recognize Will because he is much slimmer than he was in high school. Pitt shows off excellent comic timing in this show.
The Thanksgiving episode of The Middle, Season One revolves around Mom Frankie’s doomed effort to force her family to celebrate a traditional dinner, and to accommodate her boss’ demand that she work at the car dealership. (The Middle refers to the middle class family in the middle of the country).In typical Heck family fashion, they aren’t able to pull this off. If you haven’t seen this series, now is the time to start.
The Davenport Public Library will be closed today in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be open again tomorrow, 9:30am to 5:30pm.
Here’s hoping you and your family and friends enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday!
It’s almost here – the non-stop food fest that we call “the Holiday Season”! The next six weeks, from Thanksgiving to New Years will be filled with eating opportunities galore. In any culture, sharing food – especially homemade food – brings together families, friends and communities, creating bonds that last. Putting together all of that food can be a lot of work though, so this week the Info Cafe blog is going to focus on some of the new cookbooks that are now available. Be sure to stop by the library and check out a copy!
Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrating the harvest, is all about food – there’s no pressure to find the perfect present or outdo the neighbors with your light display. It’s also maybe the most traditional – almost everyone automatically thinks of turkey when they think of Thanksgiving. It’s how you fix the turkey and your choice of side dishes where family traditions take over.
If you’re looking for something different, or if this is your first year hosting the big event, take a look at The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan with it’s traditional yet fresh approach to the meal. There is a nice variety of choices listed for the basics – turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, deserts – with some interesting twists included. How about Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting instead of the ubiquitous pumpkin pie? Or shake things up with Molly’s Pumpkin-and-Sage Lasagna.
Two chapters make this book a stand-out – “Regional Thanksgiving Menus with Timetables” that will help any cook plan for the big day, and “Leftover Favorites” which lists several tasty ways to deal with leftovers that go beyond the turkey sandwich.
And don’t despair if you can’t get ahold of this book in time for Thanksgiving – the autumn themed recipes will be just as delicious at Christmas or New Years, or any wintertime family gathering.
That wonderful day is coming when family is around, turkey is on the table and football is on the TV – Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving was not always celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November nor were the main foods always turkey, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole.
The first US Thanksgiving was held between September 21 and November 11, 1621 in Massachusetts by 50 Plymouth Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag neighbors. The meal consisted of seafood: cod, eel, clams and lobster; and fowl: wild turkey, goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge and eagles. There was pumpkin, peas, beans, onions, radishes and carrots with plums and grapes for fruit. After this first Thanksgiving, the holiday was held fairly randomly. It was used to celebrate a good harvest or making it though the winter. It wasn’t until President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill on November 26, 1941 that Thanksgiving was established as the fourth Thursday in November.
Davenport has its own unique Thanksgiving tradition – the Turkey Note. A Turkey Note is a simple 2, 3 or 4 line rhyme that is wrapped in a tissue paper, tied at both ends and given to friends and family. Turkey notes go like this:
Go to waist
If you went to grade school in Davenport, it’s likely you’ve written a few Turkey Notes yourself. What was your favorite? Or try your hand at writing a new one, whether you’ve written one before or not – they’re fun! Get in the holiday spirit and share it in the comments!
You can find out more about Turkey Notes and other unique aspects of Davenport history in the Richardson Sloane Special Collections Department located in the lower level of the Main library.
It’s Thanksgiving and it’s your turn to cook! What to do? It can be especially unnerving if this is your first time cooking for all the relatives. Relax — it’s actually easier than you think. Here are a few tips:
1) Delegate. Have each guest (or family unit) bring a dish to share. Not only do people really want to contribute, but it also makes them feel needed and appreciated. And, as you know, Thanksgiving is all about showing gratitude!
2) Plan Ahead. Set the table the day before. Designate which serving dish you’ll use for each item on the menu. Peel the potatoes, bake the pumpkin pie. Anything that you can prepare ahead of time will make your job on Thanksgiving day that much easier.
3) Laugh at Your Goofs! Keep a sense of humor — it helps you and your guests. Plus, it won’t be the first time someone left the bag of giblets inside the turkey!
4) Call a Hotline. When all else fails, here’s who to call:
Butterball Turkey-Talk Line: 800-288-8372. A team of home economists will answer bird-related questions on Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Crisco Pie Hotline: 877-367-7438. Get advice from pie pros from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
5) Have a glass of wine. Relax! Enjoy yourself. You may think it’s all about the food, but it’s really about the company you keep. Now, go out and have a happy Thanksgiving!
For those who don’t like parades or football, try a Thanksgiving movie:
Alice’s Restaurant (1969) – Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie’s song is converted into a motion picture. Arlo goes to see Alice for Thanksgivng and as a favor takes her trash to the dump. When the dump is closed, he drops it on top of another pile of garbage at the bottom of a ravine. When the local sheriff finds out a major manhunt begins. Arlo manages to survive the courtroom experience but it haunts him when he is to be inducted into the army via the draft
Home for the Holidays (1995) – Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft
After losing her job, making out with her soon to be ex-boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson has to face spending the holiday with her family. She wonders if she can survive their crazy antics.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.
Pieces of April (2003) – Katie Holmes, Oliver Platt
April Burns (Holmes) invites her family to Thanksgiving dinner at her teeny apartment on New York’s Lower East Side. As they make their way to the city from suburban Pennsylvania, April must endure a comedy of errors – like finding out her oven doesn’t work – in order to pull off the big event.
Ice Storm (1997) – Kevin Kline, Joan Allen
In the weekend after Thanksgiving 1973, the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood reels from drink to drink, trying not to think about his trouble at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self help books and losing patience with her husband’s lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holidays, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young, budding nymphomaniac, Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends’ parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century and things get bad…
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