Traditions- While not related to eating or drinking it is important to touch on the role of traditions. Every family has some tradition whether it is a serious one or something fun. Having these traditions allows us to enjoy the time with those we have and later remember times spent with those we lost. For instance, my father and I watch Planes Trains and Automobiles and laugh at it like it was our first time seeing it. Typically we can catch a version on TV and this year we were able to introduce my son to that tradition. Whatever your tradition is, enjoy it to its fullest.
Turkey Size- Nothing says Thanksgiving like a Turkey and nothing displays gluttony like the size of the bird. The turkey as centerpiece for this meal is as much a microcosm of America as anything else. Though the years our turkeys have become bigger, fatter and juicier. In the case of the turducken, our turkeys are even stuffed with other birds. According to an article by Mother Jones, our turkeys have more than doubled since the 1930's in weight. Say what you want about GMO's, corporations and the like, but I consider that progress. I hope I live long enough to see the day where we can stuff a piglet inside a turkey for some bacon stuffed Thanksgiving goodness.
Alcohol Laws- Speaking of the 1930's another way in which we are blessed is in the availability of alcohol for this holiday. While prohibition has long passed it still is important to remember there was a 13 year period where people were relatively sober on holidays with their families. Prohibition has long passed, but some of it's remnants still remain in our society and are gradually being taken away. Between draconian blue laws, quirky distribution laws and other restrictions on sales, we are starting to see a lessening in restrictions throughout the states leading to greater beer availability for all.
Beer Choices- Not as far back as the 1930's but in the 70's it was common to identify oneself as a Miler Guy or a Bud Guy. Like today, these were the two largest brewers and most popular options. There were some local options that would compete for shelf space in every region, but these were just local versions of the same yellow, flavorless American lagers. I guess people did not know much better, but just imagine that a trip to the beer store meant deciding which one of 4 or 5 yellow beers was going to make it into your fridge. To look at the wealth of options we have today where not only is there a cornucopia of brands, but beers custom tailored for each season shows us how far we have come.
So today as you carve into your jumbo sized bird and pop the tops on a plethora of craft beer options, remember how good we truly have things. Think back to the prior eras of beer deprived and choice starved people before us.