Posts Tagged "parade"

Weird Thanksgiving Food, Pizza, and Talking Turkeys

Dear Kid,

Because we’re a crazy sort of couple, Dad and I stayed home and watched Free Birds a few nights ago. Very cute movie. The basic premise is that a couple of turkeys travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to make sure turkey is not on the menu.

Let's grab a slice (or two) of pizza. DearKidLoveMom.comAfter a series of adventures, the turkeys win and deliver pizza from the future to the first Pilgrim feast.

Which started me thinking about odd Thanksgiving food (you thought I was going to wonder about talking turkeys, didn’t you?).

I understand that many people feel strongly about Thanksgiving and its associated traditions. I’m all for tradition, but I like the idea of contemplating something new. And since “new” and “food” go together beautifully in my world, I turned to my good Friend the Internet for inspiration.

Let me tell you, there are a lot of weird ideas about weird Thanksgiving food out there. There are some things that sounded interesting and (duh) some things that sounded downright wrong. Like turkey gravy cupcakes.

Let me be really clear: savory cupcakes are great if you like that sort of thing, but gravy does not belong in a cupcake. Not now. Not ever. Because I said so. (Sometimes, you just have to put your foot down as a mom.)

Also the Thanksgiving Dinner Cake sounds like a bad idea. The basic recipe is turkey meatloaf which you bake in round pans and use as the “cake”; stuffing for the “icing” between the layers of meatloaf; regular mashed potatoes as “icing” on the sides of the cake; sweet potatoes as the “icing” on the top of the cake; and (of course) mini marshmallows on top of the sweet potato layer. Actually, this sounds like a great idea for dealing with leftovers if you have children under 10.

On the other hand, the idea of Thanksgiving sushi rolls sounds really good. A little turkey, a little sweet potato, a bit of cranberry, and a bit of love all rolled up in a rice and cut sushi-style. How bad could it be?

Apple cider mimosas sound like an idea worth trying. As does doing something with butternut squash. Don’t know where we’d fit another side dish, but I like the idea.

I found a recipe for soft pretzel stuffing which sounds like a great idea because the bread won’t get mushy.

What do you think about pumpkin cornbread served warm with honey? I think YUM.

The photo of stuffed Brussel sprouts (like stuffed mushrooms only greener) almost makes me believe these little babies are low cal and healthy. (I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that you can’t do healthy on Thanksgiving).

I did not find anyone suggesting salmon (although I think that would be a great Thanksgiving food). Nor did I find any suggestions for pizza. Pizza makes a lot of sense since the national religion of Thanksgiving is overeating and football.

Maybe the turkeys got it right after all.

Love, Mom

The turkeys shared pizza. You can share DearKidLoveMom.


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Bet You Don’t Know This About St. Patrick’s Day

Dear Kid,

Pull on the brakes and stop the presses because it turns out we’ve all been had.

The well-known Irish phrase “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya’” is well-known but not so Irish. It was invented by Hollywood to seem Irish.

And if that weren’t enough to stop your non-Irish eyes from smilin’, the well-known response “and the rest of the day to yourself” is also Hollywood fiction.

AND corned beef and cabbage is a distinctly Irish-American meal—quite probably borrowed from Jews in the neighborhood (in Ireland you’d be eating bacon, my friend).

The oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is in—wait for it—New York City.

Top o' the morning to ya' ... and the rest of the day to yourself.


On the “it’s real” side of things, the wearing of the green really did originate in Ireland in the 17th or 18th century. Except they didn’t wear green clothing, they wore shamrocks (to symbolize the trinity). It was a rebellious act by Catholics (Catholicism was forbidden) to show their defiance of the ruling class. On the other hand, the original color associated with St. P was blue, so go figure.

As for green beer, not so much in Ireland. It’s an American invention (which does nothing to improve the taste of beer or the people who drink it).

And finally, as for Saint Patrick having banished the snakes from Ireland? Well, this would be about equivalent to me banishing the zebras from our house. We don’t have any zebras (and Ireland hasn’t had snakes since before the glaciers) so getting rid of them isn’t a big trick.

Having said all that…Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Kiss Me I’m Irish, because today everyone is Irish.

Love, Mom

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Happy Almost Turkey Day! (How DKLM Helps in Office Trivia)

Dear Kid,

Sometimes it pays to pay attention.

Happy Almost Turkey Day DearKidLoveMom.comYesterday we had our Thanksgiving celebration at work. It included a team trivia project where we had to answer questions about Thanksgiving.

Guess whose mama remembered that the first Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924 (yep, pulled that out of nowhere).

And remembered that the Pilgrims were originally called Puritans (got that reading London after you had to read it for school).

But completely missed the name of the captain of the Mayflower. (Go ahead, I’ll give you time to think about it.)

And had absolutely no idea that the Wampanoag were the Indians who attended the first Thanksgiving. But completely redeemed herself by knowing that only five of the Puritan women survived to the first Thanksgiving and that the first feast lasted three days.

My teammates came up with a raft of useful answers like President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday and Roosevelt moved it up a week to extend the holiday shopping season. (Which doesn’t matter too much anymore since the holiday shopping season now begins before Halloween.)

Surprisingly, the questionnaire did not even touch on the question of turkey tryouts (which you might want to read because I thought it was set to publish on time yesterday, but instead it went live last night so I’m not sure if you got around to reading it).

Happy Day Before Turkey Day!

Love, Mom

Christopher Jones was captain of the Mayflower.

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Who Is Pulling the Strings? | Puppets and Real Life

John Lewandowski, Madcap Puppets, DearKidLoveMomDear Kid,

Once upon a time, when I was a wee pup, Grandma Pat and Grandpa Buddy (your great grandparents) would take us to see the Bil Baird Marionettes when we were in New York. Then I got all grown up (about 5th or 6th grade) and stupid and said I was much too old to enjoy a marionette show. Eventually (thank goodness) I became young enough to enjoy puppets again.

Bil Baird and his wife produced and performed “The Lonely Goatherd” in The Sound of Music. Which is to say, they puppeteered; Julie sang.

Also when I was a wee pup, Grandma and Grandpa (yours, not mine) would take us to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We would watch the parade uptown near where Grandma and Grandpa (mine, not yours) lived and then go to their apartment for hot chocolate and to watch the balloons all over again on TV.

When I was in graduate school, I went the night before the parade to see them blow up the balloons. Very cool. Actually, quite chilly, but still cool.

And not too long ago, I had the great privilege of hearing John Lewandowski, Artistic Director of Madcap Puppet Theater, speak (all the actual facts hereafter are from the notes he was kind enough to share with me—all the mistakes and made up stuff is mine).

Puppets—depending on how you define these things—have been around since people have been around. Little prehistoric babies were entertained by prehistoric baby sitters using rocks and charcoal to make hand puppets (I made that up, but the theory is probably sound).

Madcap Puppets Cincinnati DearKidLoveMomShakespeare hated puppets. Probably because he was scared by one when he was in 5th or 6th grade. Also because he thought they took people away from his theater.

Traditionally, puppets were adult entertainment (think Jeff Dunham). I doubt you had to show ID to see a show, but the themes and dialog were definitely adult-oriented and frequently involved social or political commentary. The puppets were rarely locked up for their views. Can’t say the same for all puppeteers.

There have been some other incredible puppeteers in these here now United States in addition to Bil Baird. Tony Sarg, a Cincinnati native, toured a large marionette company at the beginning of the 20th century. He was invited to New York and created the first large street balloons for the first Macy’s parade, designed as upside-down string puppets (ta-dah! You thought I couldn’t tie it all together, didn’t you?).

Of course, my own personal heroes in the puppet world are Kermit Thee Frog and the stunning Miss Piggy who has a shoe collection to die for. I heard recently that there is a new biography of Jim Henson if you find yourself in post-exam-mode with nothing to do (ha).

Also in Cincinnati is Madcap Puppet Theater which does great shows and collaborates brilliantly with other arts organizations (puppet opera anyone?). They have done a marvelous job figuring out the fine line between appealing to adults and being accessible to children. Or possibly appealing to children and being accessible to adults. I still feel I should borrow a child to go see their shows, but I know I’ll enjoy myself.

I’ll meet you Thursday morning in front of the TV to watch the parade (“poodrade” as a certain someone used to say when he was but a wee pup) and its upside-down puppets. Not to worry—there isn’t any football until after the parade.

Love, Mom

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Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down

Don't let the turkeys get you down. DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

We are officially into the Thanksgiving Season. I know this because when I dropped Pi off this morning at Kids’ First (for her first training so she can work kids’ parties) there was a giant blow up turkey in the window. With a pilgrim’s hat. You’re going to a Thanksgiving dinner this evening (if I remember correctly), and half a zillion people are partaking in the highly public Facebook days of thankfulness.

I feel sort of sorry for Thanksgiving. It’s a great holiday and doesn’t get enough recognition (imho). I think part of the problem is that Thanksgiving is squished between Halloween and Christmas. And really, there aren’t that many turkeys out there that can compete with cute kids in princess or Batman costumes or dogs dressed up like Santa Claus. Even with a pilgrim hat (the turkey, not S. C.).

There isn’t a lot of great Thanksgiving music. “We Gather Together” has never (to the best of my knowledge) made the Top 20 Hit List, and I don’t see a big opportunity for a singing (gobbling?) turkey band.

Television and movies don’t pay a lot of attention to Thanksgiving (except for the commercials for Black Friday). I saw a commercial for a Thanksgiving-ish movie that’s coming out soon, but I can’t really think of annual Thanksgiving TV specials or movies that one automatically associates with Thanksgiving.

So here we have what may be the Perfect Holiday (food, football, shopping, and a parade [more about the parade in future posts]) and while it is by no means overlooked it seems sort of overshadowed. Then again, I’m not sure a bunch of people gobbling gobblers and watching football would make for a very heartwarming Hallmark Special.

Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

Love, Mom

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