The Secret Sponsors of Thanksgiving

I hope that you and yours had a happy turkey day. That everyone around your table got along, that no politics were discussed, that your Aunt brought her traditional sweet potato casserole with the pecan crunch on top and that no children spilled anything on your mother’s heirloom tablecloth that she insists on using, but then holds her breath through the whole meal as gravy and cranberry are dipped upon it.

Our Thanksgiving was small with my sisters staying in Washington, too busy with work to make the drive. My father invited his cousin Rose and her brother and a friend. Although all my cousins, their many children and my Aunt and Uncle were right next door, so we had a great time visiting with them, walking dogs back and forth between the houses, as children who just learned to ride their bikes rode on the farm road free of any cars or tractors to run them onto the verge.

I had made my Thanksgiving meal contributions at home before we got here. I want to report that my crust less pumpkin pie was a huge failure. Since I have made it many times before I am not sure what was off about it. I will attempt it again and update the recipe if I figure out what went wrong.

My father made all the fattening things that make Thanksgiving so happy, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. If you asked most Americans who the sponsor of Thanksgiving is, I would venture they would say Butterball or the Turkey Producers of America. Watching my father cook I would say that the secret sponsor of Thanksgiving was Land O’Lakes or the butter producers of America.

My father’s only butter measurement is sticks. “How many sticks of butter should go in the mashed potatoes?” “Should I put just a stick of butter in the green beans?”

Between the butter in pie crusts and pie filling, the butter unnecessarily rubbed on turkey skin (hint, the skin is all fat already, no extra fat needed for it to brown, just high enough heat), the butter in casseroles, vegetables and potatoes and lastly the butter on the table to be slathered on rolls, biscuits and bread I think that butter is the star of the meal.

Really the turkey is just bigger and flashier, but the butter is stealthier in its omnipresence. I am sure that I consumed more butter today than I have in the last three months combined and I only had one small serving of everything, except bread or pies with crusts, just my really poor crust-less pumpkin.

If you ever wonder about conspiracy theories consider this, Thanksgiving is really promoted behind the scenes by big butter business. I would not be surprised if Dick Cheney was the majority stake holder in Butter Inc. Christmas cookies are right around the corner and make my words, Hot Buttered Rum promotions are coming.

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