Did you get an e-mail from Obama?
This was in my e-mail box when Elly and I got home…
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, Americans across the country will sit down together, count our blessings, and give thanks for our families and our loved ones.
American families reflect the diversity of this great nation. No two are exactly alike, but there is a common thread they each share.
Our families are bound together through times of joy and times of grief. They shape us, support us, instill the values that guide us as individuals, and make possible all that we achieve.
So tomorrow, I’ll be giving thanks for my family — for all the wisdom, support, and love they have brought into my life.
But tomorrow is also a day to remember those who cannot sit down to break bread with those they love.
The soldier overseas holding down a lonely post and missing his kids. The sailor who left her home to serve a higher calling. The folks who must spend tomorrow apart from their families to work a second job, so they can keep food on the table or send a child to school.
We are grateful beyond words for the service and hard work of so many Americans who make our country great through their sacrifice. And this year, we know that far too many face a daily struggle that puts the comfort and security we all deserve painfully out of reach.
So when we gather tomorrow, let us also use the occasion to renew our commitment to building a more peaceful and prosperous future that every American family can enjoy.
It seems like a lifetime ago that a crowd met on a frigid February morning in Springfield, Illinois to set out on an improbable course to change our nation.
In the years since, Michelle and I have been blessed with the support and friendship of the millions of Americans who have come together to form this ongoing movement for change.
You have been there through victories and setbacks. You have given of yourselves beyond measure. You have enabled all that we have accomplished — and you have had the courage to dream yet bigger dreams for what we can still achieve.
So in this season of thanks giving, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to you, and my anticipation of the brighter future we are creating together.
With warmest wishes for a happy holiday season from my family to yours,
President Barack Obama
…and I hope your family has a lovely Thanksgiving as well. (Don’t you think it would be lovelier if you just ended the armed presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought everyone home now? We’d all give thanks to you… and you will have earned your Nobel Peace Prize.)
….and I got this from Franni and Al Franken:
First and foremost, a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the Franken Family! As many of you know, apart from spending some quality (and quantity) time with the family, Thanksgiving at our house is all about the food.
That being the case, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of our favorite recipes with all of you, so you can try them out if you’re looking for any additions to your menu. Now, it’s important for you all to know, these family recipes have been meticulously honed over time. I can say with the utmost confidence, the recipes below are definite winners.
And it’s not just the Frankens who think so!
Thomasin posted these to our campaign website in 2007 and got TONS of feedback from people who gave them a try and were rewarded with delicious results. So while some of you may have tried these in the past, our list of supporters has grown so much since then, we wanted to send them out again for everyone to enjoy.
It would make sense to make this an annual tradition, with new ideas heading your way next year, but that’s not going to happen. Al has already informed me that changing the Thanksgiving menu is NOT change he can believe in.
All the best,
AUNT CARLA’S PUMPKIN CORNBREAD
It is impossible to just have one piece. Be sure to make it the night before so you can have some with your Thanksgiving morning coffee.
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. On the first speed of a hand or standing mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, and milk.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry in three batches with a rubber spatula. The batter will be smooth, and is more fluffy than liquidy.
5. Pour the batter into a 9 by13 baking pan (or two loaf pans), and place in the middle rack of the oven.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick stuck in the middle of the cornbread comes out dry.
7. Let the cornbread cool for ten minutes, and then cut into pieces and serve.
THOMASIN’S ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 in. cubed chunks
3 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. light brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a cookie sheet, and scatter the squash chunks on it.
3. Evenly spread out the chunks of butter among the squash, and sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar evenly on the squash.
4. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender. You can poke the squash with a cake tester, a fork, or a small knife to test.
FRANNI’S PUREED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 in. cubed chunks.
3 tbs. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring the butternut squash chunks to boil in a saucepan.
2. Turn the heat down to medium, and let cook until the squash is tender, approximately ten to fifteen minutes.
3. Drain the squash, and mash with a masher or a hand mixer.
4. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste.
AL’S WILD RICE STUFFING
It’s great alone, but Thomasin loves mixing it up with peas, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
1 lb. Wild rice (Mahnomen)
one stick butter
ten cloves of garlic
3 medium sized yellow onions
4 stalks of celery
2 lbs. White button mushrooms
salt to taste
1. In a colander, rinse the wild rice.
2. Put the rice in a pot, and cover with 3 inches of water. Boil in a pot, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes. If you’re using Mahnomen wild rice, it will cook more quickly than the paddy variety.
3. While the rice is boiling, slice (do not mince) the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and celery.
4. Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until they begin to bleed a little liquid into the butter. Then add the mushrooms. The celery and onions should not be totally soft.
5. Once the rice has cooked, drain it and add to the sautéed vegetables.
6. Add salt to taste, and stuff into the turkey before roasting. The rest can be eaten as a side dish at dinner.
FRANKEN FAMILY POST-THANKSGIVING TURKEY SANDWICH
This is my favorite use of left over turkey.
2 slices of rye bread
1 tsp unsalted whipped butter
2 iceberg lettuce leaves
salt to taste
1. Spread unsalted whipped butter on the rye bread.
2. Sprinkle on salt.
3. Place turkey and lettuce on top of one piece of bread, and place the other piece of bread on top.
4. Slice in half and enjoy!
That’s what I like… a practical Thanksgiving letter… and my best wishes to the Frankens.