In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim’s fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.
The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770’s) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.
In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
Mashed Potato Casserole
6 medium potatoes, peeled & quartered 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, melted ½ cup French fried onions
1 cup Daisy Brand sour cream 2 tablespoons cooked bacon pieces
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 1½ quart casserole dish.
Place potatoes in a 3-qt saucepan; cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes. Put back in pan on burner for 1 minute, shaking the pan until the potatoes are dry. Mash the potatoes with potato masher or mixer. Add the butter, sour cream, cheese, chives and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Mash or stir until mixed well.
Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish. Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until hot. Remove from oven and sprinkle with onions and cooked bacon pieces. Return the dish to the oven and cook for an addition 5 minutes.