Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving numbers

In 1863 President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday celebrated on the last Thursday in November. FDR modified the date to the fourth Thursday in November, to leave more time for shopping.

Mention Thanksgiving, and like the 1621 Pilgrims, we think of food. Americans made 7.2 billion pounds of turkey, 690 million pounds of cranberries, 1.6 billion pounds of sweet potatoes, 1 billion pounds of pumpkins, and 294 million pounds of tart cherries. On second thought, it could be we need that extra time for digestion.

The magic number for safety is 165 degrees - both turkey and stuffing - although some food experts say 170 degrees is best for thigh meat. And global warming might be helpful this time of year, if unusually warm days help save the economy by encouraging more shoppers to venture out and open their wallets. It makes one wonder who the turkeys really are.

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