Home / News / Jim Hightower: This Thanksgiving, Break the Colonial Mold and Have an Earth Dinner

Jim Hightower: This Thanksgiving, Break the Colonial Mold and Have an Earth Dinner

Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgiving
Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Let’s speak turkey!

No, not the orange butterball sitting in the Oval Office. I’m articulate about the genuine thing, the big bird, 46 million of which we Americans will assimilate on this Thanksgiving Day.

It was the Aztecs who first trained the gallopavo, but leave it to the Spanish explorers to “foul-up” the bird’s origins. They announced it to be associated to the peacock—wrong! They also suspicion the peacock originated in Turkey—wrong!  And they suspicion Turkey was located in Africa—well, you can see the Spanish were flattering confused.


So is the start of Thanksgiving itself. The renouned arrogance is that it was first distinguished by the Mayflower immigrants and the Massosoit locals at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1621. Not so, contend the proponents of the Jamestown cluster down in Virginia; they explain the Thanksgiving feast was first had there in 1608.

Hmph! Hold your horses, pilgrims. Folks in El Paso, Texas, contend it all began way out there in 1598, when Spanish settlers sat down with people of the Piro and Manso tribes, gave thanks, and then feasted on roasted duck, geese and fish.

“Ha!” says a Florida group, reporting the very, very first Thanksgiving happened in 1565 when the Spanish settlers of St. Augustine and friends from the Timucuan clan chowed-down on cocido, a dish of salt pork, garbanzo beans and garlic, soaking it all down with red wine.

Wherever it began, and whatever the purists explain is “official,” Thanksgiving currently is as multicultural as America. So let’s enjoy! Kick back, giving interjection we’re in a country with such racial brilliance and dive into your turkey rellenos, moo-shu turkey, turkey falafel, grilled turkey.

Whatever you are formulation on having for cooking to symbol this year’s day of thanks, how about having an earth dinner?

Not that you’d eat earth, but that you and others would accumulate around a list for a social arise to applaud the annuity of the good, immature earth. This is not just another Thanksgiving event, but a gratifying event to have friends and family cook, eat and splash together while reveling in the enlightenment of food.

Most of us don’t comprehend that the cooking tells many stories, embodying the personal histories, family memories, music, art, and other connections… besides the tummies. To help reawaken those informative links in a way that can be tasty, touching and fun, the folks at Organic Valley Family of Farms have come up with the novel thought of Earth Dinners.

The judgment simply involves throwing some arrange of cooking party at which the food is not merely consumed, but is the concentration of list talk, reminiscing, singing, laughing, diversion playing, and whatever else you can dream up. It can be a potluck dinner, a buffet, a five-course epicurean meal, a backyard barbeque… whatever suits you. The pivotal is to know something about the food being served—where it comes from, the story of some of the ingredients, songs created about it and so on.

The idea is to get everybody joining in some personal or informative way to the cooking as it progresses. Ask guest to tell stories about their very first food memory, or to remember any family member who was a rancher or a ridicule cook. Invite people of different backgrounds and all ages. Ask a plantation family to join you, or a cheesemaker or others concerned in producing food. Then eat, talk, enjoy!

Rootstock is a cooperatively constructed blog authored by organic farmers and partial of the Organic Valley Family, they offer a arrange of Earth Dinner starter kit, with tips on all from menus to party favors, as good as providing reports on successful dinners that others have put together.

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