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Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie Hardcover – October 11, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Curtin and Oliver trace the history of America's favorite day of food and football, from the earliest Puritan celebrations of thanksgiving to Lincoln's declaration of a national holiday in 1863 to the Macy's parade. Alas, the book fails to shake the cold whiff of a museum brochure; the narrative section's tone is about as energetic as an encyclopedia entry. Happily, more than half the book is devoted to recipes, and Curtin (Plimoth Plantation's food historian) and Oliver (publisher of Food History News) come to life as they explore the social history of food, past and present. More than 80 recipes are drawn from different eras, regions and traditions—from Indian pudding to flan, from traditional roast turkey to Cuban turkey "rellenos con moros," with a couple of gelatin salads—"Golden Glow" and "Cranberry"—certain to evoke baby-boomer nostalgia. Instructions are family-friendly and accessible, augmented by history and anecdote. The genuine historical engravings and illustrations are a treat, but the photographs of contemporary re-enactors of Native Americans and colonists strike a false note. Ultimately, the book works better as a souvenir of a visit to the Plimoth Plantation than it does as a stand-alone volume. (Oct. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"… after years of research, culinary historian Kathleen Curtin … sets the record straight about what was really eaten on the shores of Plymouth, Mass., in 1621. This engrossing new cookbook traces the history and evolution of Thanksgiving across four centuries and includes more than 80 recipes, each of which tells a story." —Christian Science Monitor

"… a charming and informative book …" —Newsday

"Giving Thanks …is a treasure trove of holiday lore, images and recipes that will be cherished year after year when Thanksgiving rolls around … this book by Plimoth Plantation food historian Kathleen Curtin and Food History News publisher Sandra L. Oliver is not only the definitive Thanksgiving cookbook, it is a detailed and fascinating account of the origins and meaning of the quintessential American holiday."—About.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition (2nd printing) edition (October 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400080576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080571
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I loved "Giving Thanks". It is not only a comprehensive history of Thanksgiving and collection of everyone's favorite recipes (and then some), it is also a beautifully written feel-good book. Somehow the authors have managed to capture the love, spirit of connection and gratitude for life that surrounds this holiday and make it readily accessible to even this solitary reader. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fun book. The book has great trivia and history, and a great variety of the old traditional recipes. But along with that, are the recipes created by the different cultures of our "Melting Pot", who adapted their own wonderful tastes and flavors to their Thanksgiving celebration. This year, my family is going use only recipes in this cookbook to make a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.
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Format: Hardcover
A fantastic book to read! The recipes we tried were outstanding-easy to read directions & the history behind each dish was a treat to read. I am looking forward to using these recipes at our Thanksgiving this year.
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Format: Hardcover
As someone who loves to cook and is fascinated by early american history, I was extremely pleased by the content of this book. It is not merely a cookbook but a history book as well. This book can be enjoyed by children and adults equally.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful! Curtin and Oliver put together a unique collection of exquisite and easy to follow recipes. The history behind the national holiday is also explained with interesting details and complements nicely the culinary section. Whether the reader wants to learn more about the tradition or wants to impress friends and family at the dinner table, this is the book to read!

Giving Thanks. A book to have and a book to give!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is full of wonderful recipes for down home cooking! The details about the history and heritage in the book our wonderfully detailed as well. A "must have" for the collection of everyone who loves to cook, or is just starting out. Also a great way to teach your family about Thanksgivings past. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
The Massachusetts Plimoth Plantation, a historical recreation of Plymouth in the time of the early pilgrims, has always been the definitive source on American Thanksgiving history and customs.

In this new work, which is part historical guidebook and part cookbook, Plimoth Plantation Food Historian Kathleen Curtin and co-author Sandra Oliver have created the definitive work on this quintessential American holiday. The authors joyfully dispel many myths surrounding that first harvest celebration and bring to light many new historical details and anecdotes that really bring that first Thanksgiving to life.

The recipes are great, and the authors have even included some ethnic twists on typical Thanksgiving fare. You'll even discover how Miami Cubans have 'Cubanized' the traditional American turkey with black beans and rice. Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie is a great holiday gift idea.

If you're going to the in-laws or a friend's house for Thanksgiving this year, instead of bringing that same old "dish to share," order this book and bring it along. It makes a great gift that will get your hosts and all of the partygoers into the Thanksgiving spirit. And on Thanksgiving, who really needs Aunt Edna's green bean casserole anyway? At our house, there's always PLENTY of food to go around!

If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, give a copy to yourself. The recipes here will inspire you, and your guests will really be blown away by the food.

Also recommended: Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban
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