Sunday, November 20, 2011


   This recipe comes from www.marthastewart.com .  A nice take on the standard pumkin pie.

If you're planning on making this for Thanksgiving, start it early in the day. The pie needs four hours to set, but the refrigerator does just about all the work.
  • Yield Makes one 9-inch pie
    Serves 8


  • For the Gingersnap Crust

    • 1 1/4 cups ground gingersnaps (from about 25 cookies)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • Salt
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • For the Pumpkin Cream Filling

    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Salt
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (from one 15-ounce can)
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whisked to medium peaks
    • Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Make the gingersnap crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingersnaps, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch metal pie dish. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Make the pumpkin cream filling: Bring milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.
  4. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup milk mixture into yolk mixture. Gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until bubbling in center, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately whisk in pumpkin. Whisk in butter.
  5. Strain filling through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Pour into gingersnap crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream, and garnish with nutmeg.


   The theme for the 85th America’s Thanksgiving Parade® is So Much To Believe In. The theme chosen by The Parade Company, expresses that there is so much to believe in for our great State of Michigan and Detroit!
   America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, one of the country’s oldest and most celebrated Parades, will step off at 9:20 a.m. on Woodward Avenue and Mack and end at Woodward Avenue and Congress in downtown Detroit on Thursday, November 24, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of parade-goers will be watching as the Parade makes its way down Woodward Avenue. The parade will be broadcast LIVE on WDIV Local 4 and on WJR 760 AM.

The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation
   The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation was founded in 1982 for the purpose of staging and perpetuating America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, Michigan’s grandest and most cherished civic event. It is governed by key civic and corporate leaders representing the primary industrial, retail, automotive and institutional organizations that define the greater Detroit community. Their active involvement ensures that America’s Thanksgiving Parade® remains a vital part of metropolitan Detroit’s cultural community.
   The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation also includes a volunteer corps of 1,500. These dedicated individuals contribute to the staging of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, under the supervision of Michigan’s Thanksgiving Parade Foundation and a full-time management staff of event, marketing, and creative professionals.
   The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, was founded in 1924. For more than 75 years, The Parade has been a one-of-a-kind spectacle of fantasy, holiday spirit and community enthusiasm. The Parade has grown to include more than 75 parade units, including floats, balloons and marching bands in procession.

   America’s Thanksgiving Parade® is Detroit’s most visible civic event, a positive demonstration of the best this community has to offer to its people and the greater American community. Exceptional curbside attendance as well as extensive “live” radio and television coverage, on a regional and national level, combine to create unparalleled marketing and promotional exposure for the City of Detroit.
    In an effort to expand the reach and impact of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation also has produced a variety of auxiliary fundraising and community outreach events including Hob Nobble Gobble®, a spectacular black-tie fundraising event; the International Freedom Festival, a celebration of Canadian and American friendship; the 1997, 1998, 2002 & 2008 Red Wings Victory Parades; The 1998 University of Michigan Rose Bowl Victory Parade; the 1999 Big Balloon Parade staged in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and The Parade Company assisted Australia with their Centenary of Federation Parade on January 1, 2001.

Big Head Corps

   America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, produced by The Parade Company, has become a unique and eagerly awaited holiday tradition...uniting families and individuals throughout our community and the nation in a celebration of spirit and storybook wonder.
    One of The Parade Company’s grandest attractions is our world renown papier-mâché head collection. These colorful artifacts were originally acquired from artists in Viareggio, Italy with some dating back to the 1940s. The ever expanding collection of nearly 300 heads are restored by the seasoned artists at The Parade Company that have been trained by the talented artisans from Viareggio. These cherished parade characters can be seen throughout the year on display in the studio and along the parade route.

    This year will mark the 4th year the Big Head Corps makes it’s march down Woodward Avenue. This year also plans to be even bigger and better with many exciting new activities planned throughout the year for our members. 2011 “Head Honcho” Steve Booher is confident in making an even bigger impact in the community this year. This group of enthusiastic young professionals will put on their heads Thanksgiving morning and march down Woodward Avenue, all in hopes of bringing smiles to people's faces and shedding light on one of Detroit’s hidden treasures.

2011 Distinguished Clown Corps
   You only have to look at the faces of the children to know when the clowns are coming down the street. The magic of America’s Thanksgiving Parade® has been enhanced for more than two decades by the Distinguished Clown Corps. This is a group of corporate and community leaders who generously contribute for the opportunity to trade their business suits for clown suits to make the grand march down Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.
   It all began with business leaders such as Tom Adams, then chief of Campbell-Ewald, and Walter McCarthy, then chief of Detroit Edison, who served as the spark in creating a way for the leadership to become personally involved in helping The Parade Company.
   Over 2,000 clowns have touched the memories of millions as they make their annual appearance. Passing out candy, smiles, and of course… beads. The Distinguished Clown Corps, supported by the Junior Jesters, is a vital part of the grass roots tradition of America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. A heritage that is working hard to grow its ranks even further.


  There are some very interesting facts about the origin of Thanksgiving in America. It is believed that the celebration of Thanksgiving in America was probably originated from the harvest-home ceremonies. These harvest-home ceremonies were originally held in England. During such ceremonies certain days were reserved to thank God for blessing the people with plentiful crops and bountiful harvest.
   Therefore later it became a tradition, according to which, even in modern times this holiday takes place late in the Fall Season, after the crops have been collected. Although the form of celebrations of thanksgiving has changed a lot with the time but traditionally still it is the time for serious religious contemplation, church services and prayers. These days the Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States as a family affair, complete with sumptuous dinners and happy reunions and get together.
  However the fact about the origin of the Thanksgiving is that the first observance of Thanksgiving in America was entirely religious in nature and it did not involve any form of feasting. It was on 4th December 1619 when a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River...a location, which is now known as Charles City, Virginia. The charter of this group required that the day of their arrival to that place, be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving to God.

   On the other hand the first Thanksgiving in the New England area was celebrated in 1621, a little less than a year after the Plymouth colonists had settled in America. The Plymouth colonists were popularly known as the Pilgrims. It is believed that they had set sail from Plymouth, England on a ship called the 'Mayflower' on September 6, 1620.
   Actually the pilgrims were fortune hunters, bound for the resourceful 'New World'. And the Mayflower was a small ship crowded with men, women and children, besides the sailors on board. Aboard did passengers comprise the 'separatists', who called themselves the 'Saints', and others, whom the separatists called the 'Strangers'.

Mayflower Compact

   When finally the land was sighted in November following 66 days of a lethal voyage, a meeting was held and an agreement of truce was worked out between the 'Saints' and the 'Strangers'. It was called the 'Mayflower Compact'. This agreement ensured the equality between the members of these two groups. And then the two groups merged together to be recognized as the 'Pilgrims' instead of the 'Saints' and the 'Strangers'. And they elected John Carver as their first governor.


   This comes from www.littlebirdiesecrets.blogspot.com .  A little something to embellish your Thanksgiving holiday table.

Remember those leaves from my "Give Thanks" Thanksgiving banner and bunting yesterday? I used my leftover supplies (burlap, too!) to finish off my Thanksgiving table place settings with easy place cards and napkin rings. I mean really easy. Here's how to throw together a few before your Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Wreath Place Cards & Napkin Ring Tutorial


*Simple leaves cut from patterned paper (by hand or with your Silhouette machine--see below)

*Coordinating buttons

*3" circle wreath cut from card stock

*Kraft card stock for place cards

*Paper cutter

*Glue Dots or other strong glue

*Pop-up adhesive dots

*Sewing machine and coordinating thread (optional)

*Scraps of burlap or other fabric

*Hemp twine or linen thread

1. Gather your favorite fall patterned papers and cut simple leaf shapes out. I used about 20-25 per place card. You can definitely cut these by hand, but to make it faster I used my Silhouette cutting machine. To do this I made a sheet in Photoshop with a strip of some of my favorite digital papers and printed it. Then I drew a very simple leaf shape in the Silhouette software.

I duplicated the leaves in the software and arranged them on the strips of paper. Then I cut them out. Easy peasy, not to mention fast and cheap!

I cut several sheets worth (and used many of them for the fall leaves bunting in this post), then used the leftovers for my place cards.

2. Fold leaves in half lengthwise to give them depth. I also sewed down the center of a few of them with my sewing machine for some interest.

3. Start building your wreath by attaching a left to your paper circle with Glue Dots or other adhesive.

Overlap leaves so none of the paper wreath is showing.

Occasionally pop up a leaf with a pop-up adhesive dot.

Continue around the wreath until full.

4. Adhere a few coordinating buttons around the wreath using Glue Dots.

5. Print your guests' names on card stock. Cut place cards to 3" x 5.25", with the name showing in the center between 3" and 4" down. I used the CK Woodbine Swashes font for the names, and the Damask Dings1 font for the leaf (just to keep it simple and in line with my fall wreath).

Fold the cards in half. The name will be toward the top of the card.

6. Add a couple of pop-up adhesive dots to the bottom half of the wreath.

Attach to the card so the name is showing through the center of the wreath.

Arrange place cards on table or plates for a splash of color. You can also use the inside for guests to write something they're thankful for--I love when projects do double duty.

Now for the napkin ring. I used the burlap scraps from the Thanksgiving banner, a button, and some hemp twine. Wrap a 3" strip around your napkin, tie with a piece of hemp twine, and tie a button on top. I know, seriously easy. And you use up scraps. And it coordinates with your banner and place cards! You're welcome. :)

Hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Bring on the good eats!