Macy’s 85th Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s 85th Thanksgiving Day Parade was one of the most successful in New York’s history, drawing an enormous crowd and entertaining more than 50 million TV viewers. The windless weather and relatively warm temperatures made it a perfect day for a parade.

Though police would not release a crowd estimate, a Macy’s spokesperson said: “We expected 3.5 million people at the parade and I’d say we were north of that.”

Some of the beloved characters featured in this year’s parade were Snoopy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Hello Kitty, while some offbeat new additions included “Julius,” Paul Frank’s sock monkey and Tim Burton’s “B.,” the creepy boy made from discarded birthday balloons.

According to Macy’s spokesperson Orlando Veras, there were 8,000 people in the parade, which included 11 marching bands, 800 clowns, 1,600 cheerleaders, dancers and singers, 27 floats, 15 enormous balloons and 44 medium ones.

“We had a great parade today. I’ve done this for 11 years and these were the biggest crowds I have seen,” he said.

Have Your Pie And Eat It Too

Tehachapi Pie Bakers

Just like there can’t be marriage without love, nor can there be a horse without a carriage (if you trust the famous song), there simply cannot be Thanksgiving without pie.  So, given that the holiday season is approaching, a little bit of investigative work was undertaken to find out how the pie-baking was going in Tehachapi, CA for the upcoming holiday.

Some people like the tradition of baking their own pies, and that’s perfectly fine.  But for those who figure they may just be better off with the help of an expert, the Tehachapi pie-bakers don’t intend to let anyone down.

How Many Types of Pie?

It seems like the people of Tehachapi must like variety since there are around 20 different pies being baked in the region, all prepared by the city’s local bakers.  Perhaps even more interesting to pie lovers in the hood, is the one pie that is unique to the place which cannot be found anywhere else in the whole world, and that is the Tehachaberry Pie.

In all, at least 20 different kinds of pies will be prepared by local bakers including one pie found nowhere else in the world — the Tehachaberry Pie. Stuffed with raspberries and blackberries and sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, it has been described as “out of this world.”  The brainchild of Charles Lewis of Tehachapie, it has become well-known over the years.

For those wanting something more traditional though, rest assured that Tehachapie has it all: from apple to cherry; coconut cream to lemon meringue and everything else in between – this is the place to get your yummy Thanksgiving pie.

Have Your Pie And Eat It Too

Tehachapi Pie Bakers


Just like there can’t be marriage without love, nor can there be a horse without a carriage (if you trust the famous song), there simply cannot be Thanksgiving without pie.  So, given that the holiday season is approaching, a little bit of investigative work was undertaken to find out how the pie-baking was going in Tehachapi, CA for the upcoming holiday.

Some people like the tradition of baking their own pies, and that’s perfectly fine.  But for those who figure they may just be better off with the help of an expert, the Tehachapi pie-bakers don’t intend to let anyone down.


How Many Types of Pie?

It seems like the people of Tehachapi must like variety since there are around 20 different pies being baked in the region, all prepared by the city’s local bakers.  Perhaps even more interesting to pie lovers in the hood, is the one pie that is unique to the place which cannot be found anywhere else in the whole world, and that is the Tehachaberry Pie.

In all, at least 20 different kinds of pies will be prepared by local bakers including one pie found nowhere else in the world — the Tehachaberry Pie. Stuffed with raspberries and blackberries and sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, it has been described as “out of this world.”  The brainchild of Charles Lewis of Tehachapie, it has become well-known over the years.

For those wanting something more traditional though, rest assured that Tehachapie has it all: from apple to cherry; coconut cream to lemon meringue and everything else in between – this is the place to get your yummy Thanksgiving pie.

Gobbling Good Ideas for a Thanksgiving Kids Party

So here I am at my parents’ house, enjoying Thanksgiving weekend with my family. My older sister is also here with her two kids. My niece and nephew are of course the cutest children out there – but they are definitely getting a bit antsy here away from their usual schedule. So I decided to be a good aunt and put together a fun kids party for them, where they could invite the friends they have made over the years of visiting their grandparents.

First, I asked them to sit down with me and help me write a menu of foods they’d like to serve. They weren’t interested in traditional Thanksgiving favorites – they wanted hot dogs and marshmallows! So we are going to have an indoor barbecue. Then we worked on the decorations. We chose an autumn theme and had a great time collecting leaves outside to use for giant leaf collages to hang up in the family room.

Finally, we put together some entertaining but educational activities to try and express some of the important themes of the holiday, like gratitude and American history, in a fun way.

The party is tonight – and I’m confident that all the children are going to enjoy it!

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving

I’m writing now from my parent’s home as we prepare for our annual Thanksgiving dinner. I’m happy to be home, and even happier that the big meal is just a few hours away. Meanwhile, as I smell that sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie baking in the oven, I wanted to share, as a reminder, a brief history of the first Thanksgiving.

A group of “Pilgrims” (as we call them now) left Plymouth, England in September of 1620 in search of a new life and religious freedom. These 102 religious separatists set sale on the Mayflower for the New World. Sixty-six days later they had crossed the Atlantic and docked at Cape Cod, a place far to the north of their intended destination. They set sail for another month and finally docked at the new Plymouth, in Massachusetts.

Their first winter in the new land was a devastating one, as most of the colonists chose to remain aboard the ship while the settlement was being built, and over half of those who had arrived died of exposure, scurvy, and disease. The survivors moved ashore when warm weather arrived in March.

To their surprise, they were greeted by two English-speaking Native Americans. One of them, Squanto, taught them survival skills, including how to cultivate corn, extract maple syrup, fish from the rivers, and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the Pilgrims forge an alliance with the local Indian tribe, an alliance that lasted more than 50 years.

After the first successful harvest in November 1621, Governor William Bradford organized a three-day festival – what we call today, the first “Thanksgiving.” The colonists and their Native American allies gathered to celebrate, eating traditional Native American fare such as deer, lobster, seal and swan, as well as local fruits and vegetables.

From then until the Civil War, Americans celebrated their thanks one or more days a year, until in 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26th as the nation’s official Thanksgiving Day, to be observed on the final Thursday of November each year.

So enjoy your meal, and remember to be thankful for all the good in your life.

Rethinking the Thanksgiving Dinner

For people watching their diets for health reasons, Thanksgiving can play real havoc with their best intentions. Although Turkey is certainly a healthy and low-fat source of protein, those that would like to focus more attention on vegetarian choices can still have a wonderful meal with a traditional feel.

“It makes for good eating to reconsider and create dishes that let vegetables play a major role,” said Michael Anthony, executive chef of Gramercy Tavern in New York City.

It is time for home chefs to rethink the place of vegetable dishes in their menu planning. According to Joan Nathan, author of many innovative cookbooks, it is quite possible to have a great vegetable dish stand alone as a main course.

“You can get rid of the idea of the turkey as the center of the meal,” said Ms. Nathan, author of the new “Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France” (Knopf). Vegetarian dishes, she added, “can stand by themselves.”