Thanksgiving Trivia

Before we steamroll into Christmas, this is certainly the time to reflect on the things that are most important of all.  I’m sure for most US Americans (as this is only an American holiday), myself included, at the top of that list is family.  I know a lot of people feel they are obligated to spend time with their “dysfunctional” family.  I’m fortunate to have raised a gaggle of funny, smart, crazy children, in a highly functioning family which I enjoy spending time with.  Missing this year will be my youngest Marine son, Kade, who is stationed in North Carolina, but the rest of us will be together for a late Thanksgiving dinner, Logan (the son in law) and Paige (the only grandchild) included.

After spending hours in the kitchen, and then hours cleaning up, I instituted a new holiday tradition once my kids were old enough to stand in front of a stove, which continues today.  I create the menu for the day, print recipes and assign a dish or menu item to each member.  We get to spend time together cooking, and of course laughing together, and the burden of providing a big elaborate meal is lifted from mom’s shoulders.  One of favorite ways to cook a turkey is deep fry!  Yum!  We set up the fryer in the shop and everyone hangs out there while it cooks.   Oh, the smell is mouth-watering!

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Another holiday tradition that we look forward to is gathering at our big dirt pile/shooting range for target practice.  The neighbors wisely keep their kids inside!

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As the title implies, here is my Thanksgiving Trivia, oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when scared.  Domestic turkeys are heavier and can’t run as fast (which is why we see the on our dinner table!).
  2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle (I’m glad someone shot that idea down!).
  3. Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving with Californians consuming the most.
  4. Neil Armstrong and Buss Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
  5. The heaviest turkey on record according to the Guinness Book of Records weighs 86 pounds.
  6. Female turkeys (called hens) do not gobble.
  7. The average Turkey for Thanksgiving meal weighs in at 15 pounds.
  8. Campbell’s Soup created the green bean casserole for the annual cookbook 50 years ago.  It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.

Enjoy your family or friends, your meal, and most of all, your day!

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The Best Way to Eat Stingray? Smoked, of Course.

When you have a newly minted 6 year old in tow, you go where they are sure to be entertained!   We visited the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores to see the otters, stingrays and turtles and to, of course, have our picture taken in the crab.

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Paige in the Crab Shell at the Aquarium

There was even a “petting zoo” where we could touch or pet the sting rays.  They were really very friendly….probably because they thought our fingers were worms or something as equally yummy.

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Stingray at North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores

The best food can always be enjoyed upon the recommendation of a local, so we asked the aquarium photographer for his favorite lunch time seafood restaurant.  He recommended The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City which was a short drive from Pine Knoll Shores,.

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The Ruddy Duck in Morehead City, NC

He also recommended that we choose the special of the day.  OK….the special on that particular day was the Smoked Stingray Reuben Sandwich.  I was the only one brave enough to put that recommendation into action and actually settled on the Reuben.   I was a little uncertain, however, the waiter told me that if I didn’t like it, he would eat it and I could get something else on the menu.  He was that sure I would enjoy it.

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Smoked Stingray Reuben

I couldn’t get my lunch companions to take a bite, but it was actually quite good!  If you are ever in Morehead City, NC, my recommendation for a great meal, right on Onslow Bay, is The Ruddy Duck…. make sure to order their daily special!

In retrospect, it is a little suspicious that the aquarium employee sent us to The Ruddy Duck, recommended the special, which also happened to be the stingray….