It’s the beginning of November, and you know what that means. In a few weeks, you’ll be going home to eat. And most likely, EAT A LOT of really good food. Of course, you’ll also be thinking about everything you’re grateful for and how best to give back to your community.
That’s what Thanksgiving is all about – celebrating and being thankful for the bounty of food and love around us. Despite being a land of plenty, people in America still struggle with hunger on a daily basis; 1 in 6 people in the United States experience difficulty getting food.
FoodToEat is founded on the principle of giving back to the community, and we want to give you – our loyal customers – an even bigger role in helping us achieve this. Starting November, we’ll be taking the 10 cent fee we charge restaurants from every order you place and donating it directly to The Food Bank for NYC to help feed the hungry. With just 20 cents (that’s only 2 orders from your favorite restaurant!), you can provide a meal to a person in need.
This isn’t just a November Thanksgiving special either. Our community keeps us afloat and we’ll keep this policy in place as a small token of appreciation for all the support. We’re committed to sustainability – for our vendors, our consumers, and ultimately, our community at large.
So keep ordering from your favorite places. You’ll be helping to feed others at the same time.
Thanks again for your support.
At America Eats Tavern in Washington D.C., Chef Jose Andres has cooked up a unique Thanksgiving menu meant to explore the historical origins of classic American dishes in collaboration with the National Archives. Though Chef Andres grew up in Spain, he appreciates the traditional aspects of Thanksgiving, particularly oyster ice cream, which he notes was a favorite of Mark Twain’s.
For his Thanksgiving menu this year many guests will start off with oyster ice cream. The dish is made by gently heating oysters and cream, similar to the way you would prepare an oyster stew. Andres says “you will get that cream, with the beautiful oyster salty, briny flavor.” After freezing the cream, a savory ice cream can be served and topped with a single raw oyster on the half-shell.
Oysters have long held an important tradition in American cuisine. During the 18th and 19th centuries New York City was filled with oysters, sold by peddlers on street corners and at huge open markets. In fact, oysters and other shellfish were among the first items to be sold by New York street food vendors.
At Chef Andres’ new restaurant he serves up American food with “historic roots”, gaining inspirations from Chef Amelia Simmons. Simmons wrote what is widely believed to be America’s first cookbook, American Cookery, written in 1798. This book was the first cookbook to depart from strictly English styles of cooking, with the author’s own take on recipes. Some of the recipes Chef Andres finds most inspirational are a “pompkin” pudding, an early form of pumpkin pie, as well as a simple cranberry tart recipe.
At Andres’ Thanksgiving he won’t be serving turkey but instead a baby roasted pig. Andres notes that “traditions are there to be kept. But also traditions are there to be created. So I don’t want to feel guilty, but sometimes, it’s not only honoring the tradition of turkey but bringing new foods and items to the Thanksgiving menu.”
This year President Obama will offer his presidential pardon to two robust turkeys this year, in keeping with tradition of the presidents before him. The two turkeys this year were chosen from over 100 candidates as the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Liberty, a 19-week-old, 45-pound turkey won the honors, and similarly sized Peace won as the alternate. The two turkeys originally hail from Willmar, Minnesota, and will be driven out to Mount Vernon Estates and Gardens where they will be displayed to visitors until January 6th.
The announcement will officially be made from the Rose Garden, on the 64th anniversary of the national Thanksgiving presentation. The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey was formalized by President George H. W. Bush in 1989, but it had been practiced for many years beforehand. According to the White House website, Twenty-two turkeys have been pardoned so far and the tradition dates back to 1873 under Grant’s presidency when a Rhode Island man named Horace Vose we given responsibility for selecting the “noblest gobbler in all that little state” for the President’s Thanksgiving dinner.
In 1947, the National Turkey Federation took the responsibility of supplying turkey to the Presidents, and delivered a 47-pound turkey for Christmas. The same year the White House began a ceremony for receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden, though the turkeys in this ceremony usually ended up being dinner. As to when the first turkey was pardoned, the facts remain unclear. Some say turkeys were spared while Lincoln was president, after his son begged him to write a pardon for the bird meant to be their Christmas dinner.
In 1963, President Kennedy sent the National Turkey Federation’s turkey gift back to the farm where it was raised, saying “We’ll just let this one grow.” Around the time of the Nixon administration, the President began sending the annual turkey to a petting farm after the traditional receiving ceremony. Finally in 1989, President George H. W. Bush offered the first official pardon, announcing the bird had “been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”
President Obama has already pardoned two turkeys, though he admitted that 2009’s Courage came dangerously close to the White House table. He later noted that “Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson actually ate their turkeys. You can’t fault them for that; that’s a good looking bird.”
According to the National Restaurant Association, approximately 14 million Americans will dine in restaurants on Thanksgiving, and 16 million Americans will order takeout to help add to their Thanksgiving meal. The survey was administered to about 1,000 adult Americans, and backed up by decades of economic analysis of dining behavior on this holiday.
The reasons for dining out are numerous, but this group of 16 million Americans only constitutes about six percent of the population. The majority of Americans will still be dining at their own homes on Thanksgiving, while a slightly smaller group will be dining at someone else’s home. An even smaller group of three percent is not planning any special meal at all for the holiday.
While there are many reasons for dining out on Thanksgiving, many Americans might have noticed the increased cost in food, an average Thanksgiving meal may cost 13% more this year than last year. Others simply don’t have the ability to cook because they are traveling, prefer going to restaurants over dining at home on special occasions, are going out because whoever is hosting them prefers not to cook, or they simply do not have sufficient space to host a large Thanksgiving event. Among those who are ordering take-out for all of their meal or simply to supplement it, convenience is the chief reason for doing so.
Whatever option you may choose for Thanksgiving this year, rest assured that your favorite restaurants will be able to ease some of the burden if you’re the one left cooking.