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Tag Archive | "Thanksgiving"

City Impact community turkey giveaway


This Thanksgiving “turkey” advertised the community turkey
giveaway Monday at City Impact of Cedar Springs.
Photo from City Impact Facebook page.

On Monday, November 24, City Impact gave out 163 turkey dinners with all the fixin’s to anyone who wanted one. They did it through donations of the community residents and businesses.

“We are blown away by the love, the support and the “let’s do this” together factor of Cedar Springs,” they posted on their Facebook page. “We cannot begin to express our thanks!” 

They are thankful to the countless people who strolled in with a grocery bag or a trunkful or an armful of groceries to be a part of this drive-thru Thanksgiving-GIVE. 

“We are so blessed and so thankful! Happy Happy Thanksgiving. 2020 sure has been different but today felt filled with love and hope, because of you, and you and you,” they said.

#bettertogether #loveactivated

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Traffic fatalities stay the same during Thanksgiving weekend 


The Michigan State Police (MSP) announced that preliminary reports indicate 11 people lost their lives in 10 separate traffic crashes during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the same as during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend which resulted in 11 fatalities from 11 traffic crashes. 

Out of the 10 deadly crashes this year: 

• Restraints were not used in three crashes and unknown use in three. 

• Alcohol use was a known factor in two of the deadly crashes. 

• One involved an off-road vehicle where a helmet was not worn. 

• Two victims were pedestrians. 

 “These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. today [November 26],” said Spl/F/Lt. Jim Flegel, State Services Bureau. “The preliminary numbers show the same number of fatalities from this holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drive while impaired, always use proper restraints, and to make responsible driving decisions.” 

The 2018 Thanksgiving holiday weekend ran from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. 

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today, Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories, Canadian provinces, and the Virgin Islands. Operation C.A.R.E. also includes participation from police agencies affiliated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as well. 

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Rockford band marches in Macy’s parade


The Rockford High School Marching Band performing “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” in front of Macy’s Department Store in New York during the annual Thanksgiving parade. Courtesy photo.

The Rockford High School drum line in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Courtesy photo.

From the Rockford Squire

Thanksgiving 2017 was a day to remember for the Rockford High School Marching Band as the 308 member ensemble performed in the national spotlight in the 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Over 1,000 family members and friends of the band joined 40 chaperones to witness this once in a lifetime event.

The band had a grand send off for the Thanksgiving week as hundreds of fans lined the road leading from the school with signs, fireworks and words of encouragement. After over 12 hours on the seven coach busses, the group arrived at their destination to begin their whirlwind week of activities. History and arts were mixed as the students took in the historical sights of New York including the 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Broadway show “Wicked” and the Rockette’s Holiday Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. 

Prior to the parade, the band performed a concert in Central Park and showcased for a large audience their 2017 state championship music from their show “TAO.” In addition, the listeners treated them to the Motown favorite “I Want You Back” by the Jackson-5, “Armed Forces on Parade” and the school’s fight song.

To prepare for their parade, the band had to travel two hours outside of New York City to Connecticut for rehearsal to put the finishing touches on their day in the national spotlight.

Thanksgiving morning came early with a 3:00 a.m. call time to head to Herald Square for their run through of their special performance of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in front of the iconic Macy’s store for broadcast by NBC. Following breakfast, the group headed to Central Park to line up for the 2.5-mile parade, which began at 9:00 a.m. and concluded at noon. They capped off the day with a celebratory dinner/dance cruise of the New York harbor with family and friends, where they were able to witness the NY skyline and Statue of Liberty lit up again the dark night sky.

The band thanks everyone for their support and encouragement that made this trip a reality.

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The Cedar Trails Giving Project


csps-ct-gifts

Mr. Avink, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Tiffany

What a great giving project this year. We had money and gift cards coming in since Thanksgiving. We even heard stories of kids doing chores and emptying their piggy bank to help these kids in need.

Because of this generosity, we were able to help 2 separate families this year, right from our own community. Each family has two kids, and we were even able to buy something little for the parents as well. YOU made a difference in these family’s live. Thank you so much for your generosity and giving hearts this holiday.

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Gas Prices drop as motorists gear up for Thanksgiving travel 


 

National average gas price on Thanksgiving projected to be third lowest in 11 years 

n-gas-prices-thankshistMotorists preparing to travel for Thanksgiving have something to be thankful for: falling gas prices. According to GasBuddy, prices in 44 of the 50 U.S. states are lower than a week ago, coming just in time for when millions of Americans will be hitting the road.

GasBuddy projects the national average gas price this Thanksgiving will be the third lowest in over a decade at $2.11 per gallon. Average prices have only been lower for Thanksgiving in 2015 ($2.05) and 2008 ($1.81). Monday’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.14, some 65 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving merely two years ago ($2.79).

In Cedar Springs, gas was $2.11 Tuesday.

“Over the Thanksgiving travel period, Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27, motorists will be collectively spending nearly $1.7 billion less at the gas pump than the five-year average,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “This year will go down as the first in over a decade that no state—not even traditionally pricey Hawaii or California—has seen its average daily price breach $3 per gallon. We can thank global oil production that continues to outpace rising demand for the low prices.”

Consumers are taking advantage. According to GasBuddy’s 2016 Thanksgiving Travel survey, 52 percent of those traveling this year will be on the road for at least 4 hours; 20 percent of which will be driving 10-plus hours.

The survey also found that “running out of gas” is the third biggest fear when it comes to being on the road for the holidays this year, ranked behind 1) sitting in traffic and 2) needing to use the restroom but unsure where/when the next one will be available.

Additionally, travelers are on a mission. Fifty-five percent said they only make stops when absolutely necessary. When they do make stops, gas prices and location are the top deciding factors, followed by the cleanliness of the gas station convenience store.

“Travelers will be journeying a long distance this year. It is evident that consumers are looking to save time and make quick stops that can fulfill all their needs from affordable fuel, to clean restrooms, to good food,” said Michael DiLorenzo, vice president of marketing at GasBuddy. “The newly redesigned GasBuddy app is made to help with this journey. With enhanced search filters and station ratings, travelers will now be able to quickly and easily find what they want right in the palm of their hands

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Thanksgiving and wild game go together


Gourmet Gone Wild executive chef Dan Nelson begins to pluck feathers from a wild turkey. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Gourmet Gone Wild executive chef Dan Nelson begins to pluck feathers from a wild turkey. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A wild turkey is shown in fall in Michigan. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A wild turkey is shown in fall in Michigan. Photo from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Reports of the first Thanksgiving dinner indicate that the Pilgrims and indigenous peoples certainly feasted on venison and wild fowl, but whether that fowl was wild turkey is a matter of conjecture.

Though wild turkeys were known to exist in the area and have been mentioned as hunters’ quarry in other accounts of early American life, it is just as likely the fowl at that celebratory feast were ducks, geese, swans and/or the now extinct passenger pigeons.

In any case, wild game was certainly at the center of the first Thanksgiving.

Though domesticated turkey has assumed the role of main course in the intervening years, wild game – often venison – is on the menu at many homes during Thanksgiving – and why not? Thanksgiving occurs during deer hunting season.

Wild game offers challenges for cooks. For the most part, it has less fat than domesticated meat and the fat is located differently in the body. Cooks must refine their techniques to get the most out of wild game.

That’s the view of Dan Nelson, a restaurant chef, who also serves as the main man in the kitchen at Gourmet Gone Wild events in Michigan.

Gourmet Gone Wild is an outreach program sponsored by several entities, including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The program highlights to young professionals and families, in urban to suburban environments, the health benefits of eating wild game, while also emphasizing its connection to environmental stewardship, sustainability and conservation.

Nelson, a 35-year-old lifelong sportsman/cook, says overcooking is the biggest mistake most beginners make when tackling game.

“Wild game is not as fatty as domesticated meat and most of the fat that’s stored in wild game is in quick-access areas,” said Nelson, who puts on a dozen Gourmet Gone Wild events each year. “The intermuscular fat we see in beef and pork is fat that is long-term storage. Quick-access fat is just below the skin and the centerline—close to the backbone and within the gut. Those are all fats that game animals can turn to on a daily basis as a constant energy source.

“In processing, you remove most of that fat from the game itself. That means you either have to put fat back into it or cook it in ways that accommodate that lack of fat.”

Nelson said he prefers to accommodate and that means serving most wild game rare.

“Every degree of temperature you add to the muscle causes muscle fibers to constrict,” Nelson said. “When a steak hits the grill you see the steak constrict – the muscle fibers pull in reaction to the heat. That’s why a hamburger gets smaller when you cook it.

“All that constriction drives fluid out of the meat. That’s why I have a very accurate meat thermometer. I don’t like to go a degree past where I need to go. If I’m looking to cook something rare or mid-rare, I know the exact temperature I want to go to.”

Although rare is the option for dark meats, wild turkey – which has both white and dark meat – offers a different complexity.

“Wild turkey is something that should be cooked more well-done because of the possible pathogens that are found in poultry,” Nelson said. “That only changes the temperature, but it doesn’t change the fact that you don’t want to go over the temperature you’re aiming for.”

What is that temperature?

For white meat, shoot for 165 degrees, for dark meat, 180 degrees, Nelson said. You want to cook the dark meat (i.e., the drumsticks) longer because the meat is tougher.

“Wild turkey is extremely difficult to roast,” Nelson said. “To make use of the skin, you have to pluck it very thoroughly and clean it very thoroughly. And with toms, that readily accessible fat is in the sponge and it’s not delicious at all.

“Wild turkey lends itself to being cooked in pieces. You can cook the legs and the wings/breast separately. And I would cook the breast separate from everything else – it’s helpful to have them in the same pan so you have the juices to make gravy, but have them cut up in such a way as you can remove pieces as they reach ideal temperature. You want to bake it in a way in which you’re starting the dark meat first. Don’t overcook it.”

Another key to wild turkey is to slice it thin, across the grain, Nelson said.

“Wild turkey breast is extremely low in fat and has extremely long grain to it. There’s just no fat to keep your mouth moist while chewing,” Nelson said. “Eliminating the length of chew is the most crucial part of having delicious wild turkey breast.”

Cooks preparing waterfowl should either cook in a manner that preserves moisture or add fat.

“There’s no better fat than goose or dabbling ducks,” Nelson said. “That’s liquid gold. Way too many hunters are breasting their birds and not taking advantage of the rest of it.

“Besides a lot of valuable meat on the carcass, there’s a lot of extremely valuable fat on the carcass. Either marinate with it or add it to stock. And if you’re sauteing, that would be the fat you would use in the pan.”

Any game should “rest” after it’s out of the oven before it’s served, Nelson said.

“Every piece of meat you cook you should rest for about as long as it took you to cook it,” Nelson said. “If there is still built up heat and you didn’t let it rest, that tension that is in there is going to squeeze all the moisture out. Make a little tin foil hut and let it sit there – the top of the oven is going to be warm because you’ve had your oven on.”

That’s especially true for venison, Nelson said.

“If you’re eating something that has venison fat in it, it coagulates as soon as you put it in your mouth,” he said. “It’s not that it tastes terrible, it’s just that it coats your mouth. After it’s sliced, hit it with some heat to raise the temperature of the fat. Take a platter of meat, pop it in a high-temperature oven for a couple of minutes to warm the fat up, and warm the serving platter up to hold the heat.

“And serve a good red wine with it,” he said. “That’ll cut the fat out of your mouth right away, too. The bolder, the more tannic your red wines, the better they are at cutting the fat.”

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Smells of Thanksgiving


 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Thanksgiving turkey smells stimulate stomach growls. Smell has a major impact for organism nature niche living and survival. Flowering plants release odors that attract pollinators that ensure plant species survive. An unintended byproduct is survival of people depending on plants. If insects did not smell the plant and pollination did not occur, the plant would not produce seeds or fruit people require.

We should offer thanksgiving for the insects that pollinate and provide for the continued production of plants. Insects taste a plant with feet (tarsi) to make sure it is the appropriate species to lay eggs on so offspring have a suitable plant to feed on when eggs hatch.

Mammals depend on senses for survival also, but few have the exacting smell and taste of insects because they are generalist feeders, unlike many insects that require very specific feeding requirements. It is to the benefit for mammals that smells do not need to be in a direct unimpeded line to catch attention. Odor molecules drift around obstacles like trees walls or other barriers to make it to animal noses. We can smell a turkey roasting from a neighboring room because molecules work their way around corners. Our sense of sight and that of wild animals depends on a direct line of light. If there was no odor working their way around corners to the living room, we would not know a turkey was baking in the kitchen based on sight. Light traveling in straight lines does not bend around corners.

Most mammals have a much keener sense of smell than people. Moles smell their way to worms in the darkness underground and do not depend on sight for their next meal. A great many mammals are nocturnal and depend on smell more than sight. Coyotes have a sense of smell tremendously more sensitive than anything we experience. Moisture is important to help with odor reception. Dogs lick their nose and it helps. Licking our nose does not help but having moisture inside our nostrils is important. Smells are more easily noticed in humid weather than in dry air.

When looking for wild raspberries or a dead animal to eat, bears and coyotes have a great advantage over us. Once drawn close by smell, they can use sight to zero in on the food. Molecules from the berries or the smell of a dead animal drift and make it possible for a mammal to work its way toward the greater concentration of molecules until the object is in sight.

People depend on sight to a greater degree than smell. That probably is not the case for many mammals. The use of the two senses together provide increased survival value. Add the sense of sound and it offers another aid to survival success and challenges. I was walking in an aspen forest with thigh high bracken ferns where I could not see or smell a deer bedded ahead of me. It stayed hidden until I was about ten feet from it. It was listening to my approach and rose in front of me like a giant scaring me half to death. It bounded into a thick conifer forest before I recovered from heart stopping startle.

Had I walked to its side, it might have remained quiet, still, hidden, and unnoticed to my sense of smell or sight.

Like insects, our sense of taste requires physical contact. Touching with our hands does not work for our sense of taste. Touching cannot be used to decide we do not want that taste in our mouth. Insects can touch with feet and decide not to place that taste in their mouth. Feeling objects has its own advantages we can use to evaluate food in the grocery or woods based on it how feels.

Smell gives us pleasure and/or disgust. It is important in reproduction for most species. It drives success and failure for many species. For now, simply enjoy the pleasure of Thanksgiving dinner and a full stomach.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Small business Saturday | Nov 26


 

The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting Small Business Saturday on November 26, two days after Thanksgiving.

Small business Saturday was created to help drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. When you shop locally, you help support your family, friends and neighbors.

While out doing your holiday shopping, be sure to stop in to local businesses in Cedar Springs to see what they have to offer! Click here to Check out the Chamber’s ad for more info.

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Living in gratitude


Father Lam T. Le, Pastor

St. John Paul II Parish

3110 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs

 

November reminds us of that the great civil holiday in the United States of America—Thanksgiving. If you attend Church on that Thursday morning with a Catholic community, chances are you will hear Luke 17:11-19:

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met [him]. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” 

Let’s reflect upon the importance of the gift of healing for these ten lepers.

Leprosy is a terrible illness for those who lived before and during the time of Jesus:  According to Mosaic law, those who were inflicted with this illness were declared unclean by the priest, and they were prevented from encountering others so as not to make them unclean (Lev. 13:45, 46; Deut 5:2). Jesus, in the Gospel today, not only healed the ten lepers but also instructed them to “Go show yourselves to the priests” (Lk 17: 14). Jesus made this command so that the priests could declare them clean and thus not only would physical healing be complete, but their emotional well-being would also be restored.

Sadly, only one person returned to thank Jesus and that led the Lord to say, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” (Lk 17: 17-18). Jesus called the Samaritan leper who returned to give him thanks “this foreigner” as a reminder for us of the mutual animosity between Jews and Samaritans. From the Jews’ point of view, the Samaritans were “the illegitimate” siblings and were unclean. Samaritans, considered to be unclean by Jews, constructed their own place of worship, a temple on Mt. Gerizim, erected in the fourth century B.C. Jesus highlights the thankfulness of the cleansed Samaritan leper as an example to His contemporaries and to all of us as well: the characteristic of being people of God is not whether we are born as a Jew or Samaritan, but it is in living a life of gratitude to God who heals all of our spiritual leprosy, namely sin which damages our relationship with God and with one another.

So, on Thanksgiving, don’t forget to gather in Churches or houses of prayer to show gratitude to the Lord for the many gifts, especially for healing of our spiritual leprosy by the Blood of Christ poured out on the Cross.

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Friendsgiving Celebrates Friendship and Giving


CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently this year; instead of the traditional gathering and feast, the teachers and students celebrated “Friendsgiving.” On that day, everyone contributed to making Stone Soup and Friendship Bread. Every student brought in a different ingredient. Each delicious ingredient could only be shared by a particular individual; however, when the ingredients were put together, they became a huge pot of delicious soup or a yummy loaf of bread. Friendship is a wonderful combination of individuality and working togetherness. At the end of the day when the meal was prepared, the students and teachers came together once again and celebrated “Friendsgiving” with a friendship banquet, sharing the soup and bread.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

CTA kindergarten and first grade students shared their Friendsgiving meal.

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