The 614ortyPlatter – Thanksgiving Timbre

Buckeye Donuts has become a Thanksgiving tradition for us

This year of 2020 hasn’t been a cornucopia year for things to be thankful for for many people, with the COVID pandemic and the often imperfect response to it by world leaders casting a huge shadow over this period.

Thanksgiving itself has recently seen new levels of examination ever since Abraham Lincoln declared it a holiday in 1863, and the subsequent levels of mythology that have been built up since. Like most things, the history is a lot more complex – this recently published USA Today article provides a nice in depth look at the events surrounding the gathering which inspired the holiday.    

And while we will not meet up with our family like we usually do due to the rise in COVID cases, this is still a day to express thanks, and I thought I’d do that a little bit of that here.

  •     We are thankful that none of our immediate family members have had a brush with COVID.
  •     We are thankful that those we know who have had a brush with COVID have recovered, with the further hope that they do not have any long-term complications.
  •     We are thankful that, despite some tough moments, we have been able to get through our own pandemic-related struggles, and we have grown and are growing stronger because of it.
  •     We are thankful for all the hard work people in the teaching, restaurant, hospitality, retail, medical and any other occupational fields who are facing these challenging and unprecedented times brought on by the pandemic.
  •     – We are thankful for all our human interactions this year, from a night around fire pit with family and friends, to a quick smile and hello from our neighbors, and even some unexpected friendships from places I never thought I would be and from folks I would\’ve never pegged as such in the first place.
  •     – And we are thankful for you taking the time to check out this little piece of the vast World Wide Web with us.

And now, without further adieu, a little gift for your Thanksgiving festivities this week – a little holiday-themed playlist to accompany you during your meal prep (playlist embedded at the end of this post.)

1) “Thanksgiving Theme” – Vince Guaraldi Trio: Unlike the Peanuts “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” Halloween-themed cartoon, which was relegated to Apple TV this year, the general public will have a chance to view this holiday tradition (as well as “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) on PBS channels as well as Apple TV.   We will give a nod to that tradition here as well, and we’ll do it with some popcorn and some buttered toast close at hand

2) “Venison Woods” – As noted above, the mythology surrounding Thanksgiving has grown substantially since the holiday’s founding during the Civil War. Much debate has surfaced as to whether turkey was actually eaten at that first gathering, but most certainly venison would’ve been on the menu courtesy of the Wampanoag tribe. This game meat is represented by this atmospheric tune by South Australia’s Scarlet Ives, who has plugging away on that country’s indie rock circuit since the early 2010s.

3) “Turkey Chase” – Bob Dylan: representing the more commonly found protein on U.S. tables nowadays is this soundtrack selection from the Sam Peckinpah film “Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.” Released in 1973, the movie also featured the acting chops of this famed singer/songwriter, who played the role of Alias.

4) “Stuffing Funk” – DJ Flux & Dafonic: the idea of stuffing is said to go back to the Romans, but in modern context it most likely emerged from the pre-Civil War slavery days from a dish called kush, as noted in this article. Here, the Czech-based DJ Flux and Dafonic represent this meal staple, bringing a bouncy electro beat to the festivities.

5) “I Can’t Be With You” – The Cranberries: there seems to be three camps when it comes to cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving: those who like the canned version, those who like the homemade versions, and those who don’t care for it at all (my wife and I fall into the second and third categories, respectively.) This tune from The Cranberries, off their 1994 release “No Need To Argue”, reflects the reality for many this year of COVID, but the song’s lyrics (“‘Cause you\’re not here, you’re not here/Baby, I can’t be with you/’Cause you’re not here, you’re not here/Baby, still in love with you”) might represent the love we still have for family and friends from long distance.

6) “Yams” – Jackie McLean: off the 1963 “Vertigo” album, “Yams” finds the famed alto saxophonist (one of the few men to be inducted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame the year of their death) rounding into form just two months before his seminal “One Step Beyond” release. While yams have a history going back for centuries, the modern Thanksgiving variation with marshmallows came into vogue during World War I, where a marshmallow company developed a cookbook to encourage home bakers to use their product more regularly in their home cooking.

7) “Mashed Potatoes” – Rufus Thomas: The cultivation and eating of potatoes actually dates back thousands of years to the native tribes of the Andes Mountains in South America; however, it wasn’t until 1700s when the idea of mashing these tubers came into the public conscience.  Here famed R&B singer Rufus Thomas takes the ricer to the rhythm and stomps out this catchy tune off his 1963 album “Walking The Dog.”

8) “Gravy Boat” – Bob’s Burgers (Megan Mulally, John Roberts): Who says you can’t have burgers on Thanksgiving? Especially when it’s the animated Bob’s Burgers, a cult favorite for many. And most people know there are very few things on the main dinner plate that wouldn’t be enhanced by a splash (or three) of some savory gravy.

9) “Pumpkin Pie” – This Thanksgiving dessert staple is represented by actress/singer Piper Madison. Receiving her big break on Nickelodeon’s “100 Things To Do Before High School”, the now 18-year-old Madison released her first single, a sweet, contemplative that is far more promising for a longer-term music career than your average teeny-bop pop concoction.

10) “Food Coma” – Dinner Time Jazz: To be honest, I can’t find a darn thing about the composers of this light jazz ditty that closes out our Thanksgiving holiday festivities.  But when your stuffed to the rafters and growing more and more drowsy from the Tryptophan overload, I suppose it really doesn’t matter.

May your Thanksgiving holiday be a tasty one…and safe for all your family and friends.

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