Friday, November 28, 2014


28 November 2014: Well, it's done; we all ate ourselves stupid (at least I did!) and it was glorious! The food, family, fun, and football were all great - and while some enjoyed variations, many of us ate the traditional turkey. Mom (or someone) cooked the 10-25 lb bird, fixed platters of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes (often with toasted marshmallows on top - yum!), peas, onions, pies, ice cream and all manner of tasty treats that we have come to associate with over-indulgence and this holiday. A holiday, which, legend would have us believe was created by the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony in 1621. In fact, they only did it the one time and, except for a few other places in the world, the United States is the only place where it's celebrated, courtesy of President Abraham Lincoln who, in 1863, decreed the the 4th Thursday in November would be a national day of thanks in memory of those who died at Gettysburg, allowing the Union to prevail! President FDR and Congress set it in stone in 1941 after the Prez tried to switch it, in 1939, to the 3rd Thursday in November to allow retailers another week of Christmas shopping during the Depression.

I mentioned above that there are only a few other places in the world where Thanksgiving is celebrated; one of them is Norfolk Island (off Australia)! Wow!  You say? Really? Why? Well, the New England whalers brought it with them - even before 1863, the holiday was fairly big in New England and that's where most of the whaleships came from. So when they happened to be in a place far away on that day, sometimes the locals got caught up in the festivities and the tradition continued! 

Cut to modern times and yes, still aboard ship; of course, the United States Navy celebrates Thanksgiving on their ships (and yes, I speak from personal experience) no matter where they might be. Always have, and, I hope, always will. But while the meals are frequently  reminiscent of that which I described above, the quantities are frequently somewhat different. To wit: the USS Carl R. Vinson, a nuclear aircraft carrier (on which I have sailed - wow! what an experience that was!) served the traditional Thanksgiving dinner yesterday to the crew and embarked airwing. There are about 5,000 sailors, officers, Marines, and airmen embarked at any given time. I will leave you today with graphic of their meal:

Courtesy of U.S. Navy
 "The taste of a meal frequently depends on those who share it!" old Chinese proverb

                                                           Fair Winds,
                                                                  Old Salt  

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