Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Here are some fun and interesting links:

• The History Channel points out that the first Thanksgiving feast included venison and wild fowl (possibly wild turkey, goose, duck or swan) and possibly cod, lobster, and eel. There was no sugar for cranberry sauce or pies, and vegetables were few next to the meat.

• You can also listen to "first hand accounts" of the 1621 feast from Plimoth Plantation inhabitants "Myles Standish" and "Ellinor Billington".

SF Gate has the basics on cooking a turkey, making traditional side dishes, and preparing a Thanksgiving feast with an "Asian touch". (the cranberry chutney sounds yummy).

Epicurious has an "ultimate Thanksgiving guide", with How-to videos.

• FoodieView tells you How to Stay Sane on Turkey Day. They have a nifty online tool to plan your cooking timeline.

• Rose Levy Beranbaum has a tip on how to keep your pie crusts from overbrowning (the short version: put a foil circle around the edge of the crust before it goes into the oven).

• LifeHacker has a Thanksgiving roundup of helpful posts, including "how to fix mom & dad's computer" when you go to visit.

• The shopping day after Thanksgiving is called "black Friday". Consumerist has the scoop on expected deals. (Me, I just sleep in.)

The Improbable Research blog reports on Hull et al. "The effect of the Thanksgiving Holiday on weight gain" Nutrition Journal 25:29 (2006). The conclusion:
We found over the Thanksgiving holiday an increase of 0.5 kg [0.9 pounds] in body weight. Although this may seem like a trivial amount of weight, considering the short time frame, this is troublesome since previous research suggests weight gained during holiday periods is retained (Yanovski 2000). Therefore, we found in our sample, the Thanksgiving holiday represented a critical period for weight gain and obesity development. Additionally, it seems as though graduate students or those who are already overweight/obese are at increased risk of greater weight gain.
The LA Times points out:
Although this number is far below the tossed-around "5 pounds" statistic, Hull was disturbed by the change in body composition she found when the study was continued past the new year. She and her co-workers scanned 84 of the students with X-rays to determine the fat and muscle content of their bodies. Though their average body weight returned to pre-turkey day levels by January, their overall body fat rose by 1.5%. In other words, "they lost muscle and gained fat," Hull says. Fat they get to squish into their new Christmas clothes as tokens of an overly happy holiday season.
Bummer.

• The Public Domain Clip Art blog has lots of Thanksgiving-related images, including the one on this post.

Anyway, I am thankful for the people that read and comment here. Thank you!

Eat wisely and (American readers) enjoy your holiday.

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