Tag Archives: Thanksgiving (US)

US Thanksgiving in Italy – by Sara Desrocher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

US Thanksgiving in Italy – by Sara Desrocher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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Ciao a tutti! This week was Thanksgiving, yet it did not feel the same being outside of the United States. First of all, it was strange going about my day as if it were not a holiday to me. I went to my internship just like any other Thursday. However, we were able to talk to our boss and get the afternoon off so that we could go home and cook. The other students in my program and I all got together for our own Thanksgiving feast! Everyone was a bit unsettled being away from their families, so we wanted to celebrate the traditional holiday within our group. We formed a potluck where everyone who ate brought one dish. We were able to find a turkey too! This may seem like an ordinary addition to a Thanksgiving dinner, but we had to put in a special order to get a turkey available at our local Co-op. The Italians that we talked to about the holiday found it very strange that a Turkey is the main food in our meal, as they do not have it in their diet very often.

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The potluck was a combination of mimicked food dishes from our own homes, often made by our parents. We ended up with a fantastic spread of traditional foods such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, vegetables, pies and more. We even added an Italian twist with Tuscan wine and tiramisu! I recently learned that tiramisu translates to “pick me up”, which makes sense because it is made of coffee and cream-like custard, an Italian favorite. We had limited cooking space, as all of us were trying to make our own dish and it created a late dinner well into the evening. It was worth the wait! We sat down and shared what we are thankful for while enjoying the food that we had prepared. Our Italian hosts were invited to the dinner and they were very interested in the traditional foods, especially the gravy. They made an effort to try each piece and we had them break the wishbone, the tradition where two people grab a hold of the two sides of the wishbone and pull, promising good luck to the person that ends up with more bone. At the end of the night, it seemed that everyone was happy that we had come together for this meal on a day that is usually spent at home with close friends and family.

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About our special correspondent Sara, I am a junior at St. Scholastica majoring in Computer Science with a concentration of Software Engineering. I am staying in a small town about 25 minutes outside of Florence, Italy with a HECUA program. My current studies are focused on Agriculture and Sustainability, which is very interesting to learn about in Europe. I chose this program because Italy has always been a place that I wanted to visit, mainly due to the fact that my great-grandfather came here from southern Italy. This is my first time in Europe and it has been quite the experience so far. I am excited for even more experiences as I gain a better understanding of the community!

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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US Thanksgiving and Family History – by Carley Nadeau. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

US Thanksgiving and Family History – by Carley Nadeau. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

First came Joseph Nadeau, then Napoleon, Fredrick, Clayton, Craig and lastly me, Carley. Joseph was the first of our family to be born on American soil, after both of his parents immigrated from France. But even as American blood became forged in our veins, our family has never truly forgotten about our French heritage. This includes a very important aspect of the French culture: the strength of family. This love for family could especially be seen during Thanksgiving.

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I have many memories from my childhood that involved Thanksgiving. There was so much excitement for my sister and I as we hurried into the car to go to Grandpa Clayton’s house. We would walk into the kitchen to see Grandma Delores putting finishing touches on the meal she had been cooking all day. Every family would cook also, and would bring a food dish to help take the load off of grandma. When it came to eating the meal, our family would try to stuff themselves around a singular dining table. Closeness and conversation was very important to grandpa, and I can remember from many Thanksgivings he would say, “Scoot in, we can fit in one more.” All of these things that would happen were always just normal to me, but I never realized that they had a big connection to the French culture. In France, meals can sometimes take all day to cook and every family is expected to bring a gift if invited to a dinner. The biggest part of a French meal gathering is the conversation. We would all sit around the table for hours talking; we would all catch up on each other’s lives. These reasons make me feel more connected to my French heritage and my family, which is something I need currently.

In 2012, my grandfather passed away. The excitement I had when thinking of going to his house was now filled with a sadness, a void. I had to come to terms with never getting the daily phone call at dinner again, never catching up on each other’s day and especially never having him at another family gathering. I’ve had to do a lot of searching and thinking to get over the grief of losing him. His wife, my grandma, just passed this summer too, and losing her was also hard. This meant the family would never have Thanksgiving with the grandparents anymore. There would be no more of grandma’s entrees, like deviled eggs and cinnamon rolls. The thought of this also hurt me too. But I came to the epiphany that just because they were physically gone, did not mean they were truly gone. They had taught me a lot, especially about family. As I am transitioning into college my freshman year, I try to stay close to my family by talking to them as much as I can. I want to feel that closeness and have those quality conversations still, and that responsibility now falls on my shoulders from the strong French that have come before me. Now the next step for me is to see how this Thanksgiving will go, but I hope it will have some of the French qualities that are so familiar to my childhood.

Even though the deviled eggs and the dessert after the Thanksgiving meal will never be the same, I will remember the true importance of Thanksgiving this year. It’s not about the food or the time from work and school (which I will admit is nice, anyway). It is about being with family, and remembering the ones that have left. Thanksgiving is a day to be appreciative of what you’ve learned from family, which would be the family unity for me. The love of family started with Joseph, and it will not stop with me.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Minnesota, USA – “Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding” – by Jennifer Battcher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Minnesota, USA – “Now Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding” – by Jennifer Battcher. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Fig Pudding

[Special thanks to Ms. Karen Paczkowski for the photo of the fig pudding.]

I had fig pudding at a restaurant once. It came to the table on fire in a grand display. It was spongy and dry and tasted like fruitcake. Which is probably the worst insult one can give to fig pudding. I was at the dinner with my classmates, and as I watched one after the other slightly push the plate away after one bite I was devastated. I was watching a tradition die.

Fig pudding, according to history.com, started in Medieval England and became The Christmas Pudding of the English. But, it wasn’t a tradition that carried over to North America with the immigrants. Not many people in the U.S. eat fig pudding over the holidays. But my family does. Somewhere in the chaos of human migration my Scandinavian ancestors picked up this English tradition.

My official passage into adulthood was marked by the acquisition of a copy of Great-Grandma Lillian’s original recipe where suet is still listed as an ingredient. (I’m told the current substitute is shortening). The task of preparing the pudding has not yet fallen on me, but when it does I am ready.

Fig Pudding Recipe

Fig pudding, in my childhood memories, is accompanied by aunts, uncles, and cousins all gathered at my Grandma Thissen’s house where the sounds of football and the smell of coffee permeate every room. Now that my siblings and I are adults, fig pudding is made by my mom and eaten a few hours after Christmas dinner when we’ve all made it home for the holidays.

The fig pudding of my ancestors is not the flamboyant production that arrived at the restaurant that day. Real fig pudding is not made in a bunt pan. Instead, it is boiled in tin coffee cylinders in a big kettle of water with sticks at the bottom to keep it from burning and a brick placed on top to keep the cylinders from floating. It is cut in perfect circles and served on Mom’s special Christmas dishes carefully pulled out of boxes from the closet because there just isn’t enough cupboard space in the kitchen. Real fig pudding is dense and succulent with a simple brown sugar sauce on top for sweetness. Some like it warm but those who like it cold, like me, really know how to enjoy it. But the best part about fig pudding is that it’s the perfect companion for a cup of coffee and a gathering of family. The same way the generations before me and hopefully those after me will enjoy it. “Now bring us some figgy pudding,” indeed.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Thanksgiving (US) Holiday — The North Star Reports – by Lee Bongey. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Thanksgiving (US) Holiday — The North Star Reports – by Lee Bongey. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Turkey (On our best china!)

All throughout my childhood, my household typically celebrated a very small-scale Thanksgiving with just the immediate family, since the rest of our relatives live on the east coast. My immediate family is very close-knit to begin with, so this holiday isn’t really vastly different from our usual lifestyle, but Thanksgiving is still probably one of my favorite holidays.

For our Thanksgiving feast, my family prepares and eats all of the standard foods of this holiday, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. This year, my family and I speculated on how turkey came to be the primary Thanksgiving food. Supposedly, the tradition originated with the holiday itself and the pilgrims, but we discussed how the turkey feast was more likely popularized in the mid-1800s by Abraham Lincoln. Turkey was relatively affordable and easy to make yet made for a fancy meal that was large enough to serve many people, so turkey was a good meal that many could have for Thanksgiving. It is interesting to consider such a cultural food in a more functional way.

Eating Our Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays in my family where everyone is in good spirits, and we don’t have the typical miffs that are usually present in our normal daily interactions. While tasty food is certainly a valid reason for high spirits, I also think that the goodwill in my family on Thanksgiving is also largely due to a tradition that we have after we’ve eaten, which is also probably the main reason why I like this holiday so much. After we finish our feast, each member of my family will take turns going around the table, stopping at each person and saying why we’re thankful for him or her. Things that the family member has done that year which we’re proud of, or just general personality traits that we appreciate are mentioned during this little ritual. While it’s a little corny, I really love this tradition. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to articulate why we’re thankful for everyone, and it’s very sweet to hear why everyone is thankful for you.

My family's thankfulness tradition

This holiday is becoming more and more meaningful to me, especially since I left for college. Every year the realization that my family won’t always be together becomes stronger, so now I think that I am able to appreciate and enjoy the holiday and our traditions much more than I used to!

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our program. We also welcome Duluth East High School and other schools around the world. The North Star Reports has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing reviews of books, documentaries, and films, projects on historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers.

We thank The Department of History and Politics for its generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org The NSR is sponsored by The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact chief editor Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Gathering for Thanks — The North Star Reports – by Cheyenne Lemm. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Gathering for Thanks — The North Star Reports – by Cheyenne Lemm. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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This year I was one of the cooks for my family’s big Thanksgiving dinner. I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility and a lot of pride that I am now a full-fledged, turkey-basting adult. There was a moment of stress when I realized that the eighteen pound turkey would take a bit longer than four and a half hours to cook, but because we wait for everyone who is expected to arrive before eating, it was done right on time. We ate as soon as everything was done so I didn’t get the chance to photograph it, though it looked as good as it smelled and tasted.

Thanksgiving dinner has always been an important time for my family to meet up and spend time together. In fact, it is not only a holiday but there are also five of us who celebrate birthdays during this week, myself included. Since we get a turkey we usually don’t do the cake and ice cream that many people are accustomed to. But other than birthdays, I have wondered why so many family members get together at this time.

The first factor that contributes to our gathering at the end of November is that it is convenient and expected. Thanksgiving used to be about celebrating the end of the harvest in my family, as we live in a very agriculturally based region. Now with winter coming we use it as a way to keep in touch before deep winter sets and it will be too cold to start our cars.
I am biracial; one part of my family is white and rooted in Finnish and German traditions while another part celebrates their American Indian roots. This year we had the full spread on the table. Turkey, cranberries, rolls, corn, black olives, yams, wild rice, apple and pumpkin pie, and my favorite– stuffing. Other than the olives, all of these foods are things that can be grown in or around Minnesota. I especially like that we always have wild rice at our Thanksgiving dinner. Native foods like wild rice and fry bread have helped my family remain tied to our American Indian heritage.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our program. We also welcome Duluth East High School and other schools around the world. The North Star Reports has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing reviews of books, documentaries, and films, projects on historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org The NSR is sponsored by The Middle Ground Journal and The College of St. Scholastica. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact chief editor Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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