- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving. In keeping with the season, here are some timely reminders from the 34th president of the United States, issued 66 years ago:

“Early in our history the Pilgrim fathers inaugurated the custom of dedicating one day at harvest time to rendering thanks to Almighty God for the bounties of the soil and for His mercies throughout the year. At this autumnal season tradition suggests and our hearts require that we follow that hallowed custom and bow in reverent thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us individually and as a Nation,” said President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Nov. 25, 1954, in his official Thanksgiving Day proclamation.

“We are grateful that our beloved country, settled by those forebears in their quest for religious freedom, remains free and strong, and that each of us can worship God in his own way, according to the dictates of his conscience,” the president said.

“We are grateful for the innumerable daily manifestations of Divine goodness in affairs both public and private, for equal opportunities for all to labor and to serve, and for the continuance of those homely joys and satisfactions which enrich our lives. With gratitude in our hearts for all our blessings, may we be ever mindful of the obligations inherent in our strength, and may we rededicate ourselves to unselfish striving for the common betterment of mankind.”


Here’s some advice to fans of President Trump, should a political squabble occur on Thanksgiving Day.

“When your liberal relatives begin to brag about how their guy won because he is more decent than Orange Man Bad — take a few deep breaths. Don’t get into the laptop from hell or Dominion Voting Systems. Trust me, you aren’t going to turn the Trump Derangement sufferers into MAGA fans over a box of Stove Top stuffing,” writes Grace Curley of the Boston Herald.

“On a serious note, there’s nothing wrong with caring about politics. However, I can guarantee you that you won’t regret giving it a rest for 24 hours. If you skip debating your family members this Turkey Day, you won’t forget that some of your relatives might have different political leanings than you,” she continues.

“But you might remember that you can enjoy your family despite the fact that you might not always agree with them. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re sitting next to your Trump-hating cousin or your MAGA-supporting mom, we can all agree on one thing: Don’t ever take sides against the family,” Ms. Curley counsels.


The U.S. Census offers the original numbers from that first Thanksgiving gathering 399 years ago, when the total population in the early colonies was 2,499 people.

“Just 53 Pilgrims celebrated the fall harvest, an English tradition, in the New World in 1621, The first Thanksgiving included 90 Wampanoag Indians,” the federal agency said, noting that the 2010 Census counted 6,500 members of the Wampanoag American Indian tribal grouping.


Back by popular demand, here is the authentic recipe for “President Reagan‘s Favorite Macaroni and Cheese,” a simple recipe shared by “Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Washington, D.C., Wife of the President.” It appeared in a community cookbook published by the American Cancer Society’s Northern Virginia division in 1983.

This recipe is for four to six people, to be baked at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. The following directions are verbatim from the cookbook:

“1/2 lb. macaroni, 1 tsp. butter, 1 egg, beaten; 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. dry mustard, 3 C. grated cheese, sharp; 1 C milk.

“Boil macaroni in water until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1 tablespoon hot water and add to milk. Add cheese leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into buttered casserole, add milk, sprinkle with cheese. Bake until custard is set and top is crusty.”

What else was on a Reagan family Thanksgiving dinner?

“President and Mrs. Reagan gathered with their family for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner at their fogbound ranch in the Santa Ynez mountains, where the main topic of conversation was the weather. It was an all-American menu that included corn-bread dressing, cranberries, string beans, mashed potatoes, salad, pumpkin pie and monkeybread, a family favorite,” a 1985 Los Angeles Times account noted.


Here is a recipe for the Pumpkin Pie Martini, courtesy of Town and Country Magazine. It was developed by Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs, a New York City caterer.

Ingredients: 1.5 oz. vanilla vodka, 1 oz. spiced rum, 1 oz. Domaine de Canton, 1 Tbsp, pumpkin puree, 2 tbsp. white sugar; 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, marshmallow cream of whipped cream, for garnish

Instructions: Add vodka, rum, Domaine de Canton and pumpkin puree into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well combined. Rim a martini glass with mixed sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Double strain the martini into the glass and top with marshmallow cream or whipped cream.


A new survey finds that 61% say they “deserve to indulge” in all the good eats on Thanksgiving because of the continued stress of the pandemic, election concerns and other factors during 2020. That said, 45% plan to eat so much they will have to loosen their belt, 43% admit they will eat more than one dessert and another 43% admit they have stopped attempting to be healthy during the holiday season. Oh, and one more. 30% admit they have in the past eaten so much that they felt “sick, unwell or ready to burst.”

So says a One Poll/Herbalife Nutrition poll of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 3-Nov. 5 and released Sunday.


• 229 million: the number of turkeys raised in the U.S. during 2019.

• 5.3 billion pounds: the amount of turkey consumed in the U.S., or 16.1 pounds per person in 2019.

• $4.3 billion: The “total value of turkey production” in 2019.

• 3.1 billion pounds: The amount of turkey meat exported by the U.S. since 2015.

• Top turkey producing states: Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa and California.

Source: Current data from the National Turkey Federation, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

• Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for reading Inside the Beltway.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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