Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Too Snooty to Booby?

We have not one, but two friends who have suggested that breastfeeding is a class issue. Seriously, I’ll give you a moment to check your calendar and make sure that we’re still in the new millennium. I was totally and utterly shocked both times this subject came up. My first question (to which I already knew the answer) was “So were you breastfed?” The answer came back an emphatic “NO!” in both circumstances. Of course the topic came up both times while I had a boob in a baby’s mouth. Smack, right? While a bit offended, I was really more amused than anything. I mean who suggests to your face that you are clearly not of the upper crust because you choose to breastfeed your child?

I felt momentarily compelled to blurt out the list of my parents various advanced degrees in order to defend my lineage but that wouldn’t have made my genealogy anymore illustrious. My parents are both self-made people, coming from good old-fashioned working stock. My mom grew up in row houses owned by the glass factory that my grandfather worked at and my dad grew up on a homestead in South Dakota with an insurance salesman as a father.

My second question to our fancy friends was, “So what you’re saying is that the upper class is not concerned for their children’s immune systems and brain developement?” Before getting an answer, I added, “That’s really too bad. You’d think with all that privilege they could have figured that out.” Take that you rude booger!

It occurs to me that with  the changes facing our world, I’m rather glad to come from peasant stock. I’m glad that I’m not too fancy to dig my hands into the ground and work like a mule in order to take care of my family. I’m glad that I have the knowledge to teach my girls and prepare them for a life that may not be one of ease.  Of course I’m still going to enjoy the fruits of others labors while I can. I like extravagance as much as the next guy. The only difference is that if the shit hits the fan my family won’t have to wonder where their next beluga is coming from. And because I love my friends despite their short comings, I’m going to make sure that I put up enough food on our homestead that they will always be welcome. Of course I’ll get my revenge by working them like slaves but that’s just the karmic wheel my friends. You give me crap, I just may make you shovel it.

Now, for a nice peasanty recipe from my German side.

Staumped Grüne Bohnen

  • 4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic
  • bacon
  • steamed green beans
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil potatoes with bay leaves and garlic until tender.
  2. Fry bacon, reserving rendered fat.
  3. Steam beans.
  4. Mash potatoes and garlic with some bacon fat, butter and green beans. Salt and pepper according to taste.
  5. Stir in crumbled bacon.

I leave the proportions up to your tastes. This is a dish that will put a smile on even the biggest snob’s face.

The Best Laid Plans

I have lived long enough to know that bad stuff doesn’t only happen to bad people and that disaster doesn’t just strike the other guy. Am I a fatalist? No way! I am positive and forward moving but the truth is you have to be prepared in life because no matter what you do, life happens and it’s not always pretty.

When the earthquake hit Fukushima, Japan, I had an eighteen-month old and was pregnant with our second child. I watched suffering that I did not expect to see in our modern world. People starved to death because food and drinkable water could not get to them in a timely manner. People died under piles of rubble because there weren’t enough people for search and rescue.

Having lived in California during two major earthquakes, I’ve learned enough to be prepared. Having children has given me incentive to up my game.

I can’t protect my children from everything. I have had family members die in a plane crash, in a car accident and from a brain tumor. I can’t control these things. But I can make sure that my children have basic survival skills that seem to have been bred out of us in recent generations. I don’t want my girls thinking that the only way to get food is to buy it from someone else. I want them to have the pleasure and security of putting their own hands into the soil and watching their labor grow into something that will feed and sustain them.

In the last couple of weeks our world has known great devastation. With hurricane Sandy, we’ve all seen the pictures and can’t begin to relate.  A 7.5 earthquake rocked Canada, another in Guatemala at 7.4 and then a 6.0 this week in Mexico. Things are changing in our world every day and I for one am not going to think that they will never happen to me.

A worthy recipe for a disaster of any kind is Garbage Soup. What Garbage Soup entails is throwing every leftover in your refrigerator in a pot with some chicken or beef stock.  No garbage soup is ever the same and every one that I’ve made or eaten has always been strangely delicious. So if you find yourself low on food or with a power outage and food about to spoil, this is the recipe for you!

My motto in life is to aways plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Don’t let yourself be caught unaware or unprepared and if you have to serve Garbage Soup, make a party out it!

The Best Thanksgiving Side EVER!!!

This recipe has been a Thanksgiving tradition in my family for years. It is the side dish that we all agree is a must, right up there in importance with the turkey itself! It is our most requested recipe and now it is yours to savor, drool over and give thanks for!!!

Barley Casserole

  • 6 generous servings (double for Thanksgiving–at least)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup quick cooking fine pearl barley
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 – 2 oz. package dehydrated onion soup mix
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sautéed in 1 TBL. Butter
  • 1 – 5 oz. can water chestnuts (sliced & drained)

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in saucepan.  Add barley & onion, sauté until golden color.
  2. Add almonds, soup mix & chicken broth.
  3. Add mushrooms & water chestnuts, stir well.
  4. Pour into casserole dish, cover and bake at 350º for one hour; add more broth if necessary.
  5. Can be prepared 1-2 days ahead of time.
  6. Bake the day of serving.