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Thanksgiving Myths and Cooking the Turkey Tips

Posted on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 @ 08:49 PM

The Thanksgiving Holiday is almost upon us. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, full of good food and friends. Every year we have quite a big group. I think the count this year will be over 14 people. As I think about thanksgiving, its hard not to think about the Pilgrims. So I decided to do a little web search and see what came up that I might share with you. At the End of this I will give you some useful information on how to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.

On the  History News Network, I came across Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving

Here are a portion of that article...

Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving

By Rick Shenkman

MYTH # 1

The Pilgrims Held the First Thanksgiving

To see what the first Thanksgiving was like you have to go to: Texas. Texans claim the first Thanksgiving in America actually took place in little San Elizario, a community near El Paso, in 1598 -- twenty-three years before the Pilgrims' festival. For several years they have staged a reenactment of the event that culminated in the Thanksgiving celebration: the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Onate on the banks of the Rio Grande. De Onate is said to have held a big Thanksgiving festival after leading hundreds of settlers on a grueling 350-mile long trek across the Mexican desert.

Then again, you may want to go to Virginia.. At the Berkeley Plantation on the James River they claim the first Thanksgiving in America was held there on December 4th, 1619....two years before the Pilgrims' festival....and every year since 1958 they have reenacted the event. In their view it's not the Mayflower we should remember, it's the Margaret, the little ship which brought 38 English settlers to the plantation in 1619. The story is that the settlers had been ordered by the London company that sponsored them to commemorate the ship's arrival with an annual day of Thanksgiving. Hardly anybody outside Virginia has ever heard of this Thanksgiving, but in 1963 President Kennedy officially recognized the plantation's claim.

MYTH # 2

Thanksgiving Was About Family

If by Thanksgiving, you have in mind the Pilgrim festival, forget about it being a family holiday. Put away your Norman Rockwell paintings. Turn off Bing Crosby. Thanksgiving was a multicultural community event. If it had been about family, the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them.

MYTH # 3

Thanksgiving Was About Religion

No it wasn't. Paraphrasing the answer provided above, if Thanksgiving had been about religion, the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event. Indeed, what we think of as Thanksgiving was really a harvest festival. Actual "Thanksgivings" were religious affairs; everybody spent the day praying. Incidentally, these Pilgrim Thanksgivings occurred at different times of the year, not just in November.

MYTH # 4

The Pilgrims Ate Turkey

What did the Pilgrims eat at their Thanksgiving festival? They didn't have corn on the cob, apples, pears, potatoes or even cranberries. No one knows if they had turkey, although they were used to eating turkey. The only food we know they had for sure was deer. 11(And they didn't eat with a fork; they didn't have forks back then.)

So how did we get the idea that you have turkey and cranberry and such on Thanksgiving? It was because the Victorians prepared Thanksgiving that way. And they're the ones who made Thanksgiving a national holiday, beginning in 1863, when Abe Lincoln issued his presidential Thanksgiving proclamations...two of them: one to celebrate Thanksgiving in August, a second one in November. Before Lincoln Americans outside New England did not usually celebrate the holiday. (The Pilgrims, incidentally, didn't become part of the holiday until late in the nineteenth century. Until then, Thanksgiving was simply a day of thanks, not a day to remember the Pilgrims.)

MYTH # 5

The Pilgrims Landed on Plymouth Rock

According to historian George Willison, who devoted his life to the subject, the story about the rock is all malarkey, a public relations stunt pulled off by townsfolk to attract attention. What Willison found out is that the Plymouth Rock legend rests entirely on the dubious testimony of Thomas Faunce, a ninety-five year old man, who told the story more than a century after the Mayflower landed. Unfortunately, not too many people ever heard how we came by the story of Plymouth Rock. Willison's book came out at the end of World War II and Americans had more on their minds than Pilgrims then. So we've all just gone merrily along repeating the same old story as if it's true when it's not. And anyway, the Pilgrims didn't land in Plymouth first. They first made landfall at Provincetown. Of course, the people of Plymouth stick by hoary tradition. Tour guides insist that Plymouth Rock is THE rock.

MYTH # 6

Pilgrims Lived in Log Cabins

No Pilgrim ever lived in a log cabin. The log cabin did not appear in America until late in the seventeenth century, when it was introduced by Germans and Swedes. The very term "log cabin" cannot be found in print until the 1770s. Log cabins were virtually unknown in England at the time the Pilgrims arrived in America. So what kind of dwellings did the Pilgrims inhabit? As you can see if you visit Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims lived in wood clapboard houses made from sawed lumber.

MYTH # 7

Pilgrims Dressed in Black

Not only did they not dress in black, they did not wear those funny buckles, weird shoes, or black steeple hats. So how did we get the idea of the buckles? Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker explains that in the nineteenth century, when the popular image of the Pilgrims was formed, buckles served as a kind of emblem of quaintness. That's the reason illustrators gave Santa buckles. Even the blunderbuss, with which Pilgrims are identified, was a symbol of quaintness. The blunderbuss was mainly used to control crowds. It wasn't a hunting rifle. But it looks out of date and fits the Pilgrim stereotype. 

How Long to Cook the Turkey

At my House, we always wonder how long to cook the turkey. Here is some very useful information on how to Cook a Turkey...

Consumer Information From USDA
Slightly Revised November 1998

Turkey Basics: Safe Cooking

Turkeys Are Cooking Faster Than Before

But "timing's NOT everything." Recommended cooking techniques must also be followed. A meat thermometer should be used to ensure a sufficient internal temperature has been reached to destroy bacteria and prevent foodborne illness -- as well as to prevent overcooking.

Many variables can affect the roasting time of the whole bird:

  • A partially frozen bird requires longer cooking.
  • Dark roasting pans cook faster than shiny metals.
  • The depth and size of the pan can reduce heat circulation to all areas of the bird.
  • The use of a foil tent for the entire time can slow cooking.
  • Use of the roasting pan's lid speeds cooking.
  • An oven cooking bag can accelerate cooking time.
  • A stuffed bird takes longer to cook.
  • Oven may heat food unevenly.
  • Calibration of the oven's thermostat may be inaccurate.
  • The rack position can have an effect on even cooking and heat circulation.
  • A turkey or its pan may be too large for the oven, thus blocking heat circulation.


1. Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 °F. Preheating is not necessary.

2. Be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Times are based on fresh or completely thawed frozen birds at a refrigerator temperature of 40 °F or below.

3. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep.

Optional steps:

  • Tuck wing tips back under shoulders of bird (called "akimbo").
  • Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the pan.
  • In the beginning, a tent of aluminum foil may be placed loosely over the breast of the turkey for the first 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then removed for browning. Or, a tent of foil may be placed over the turkey after the turkey has reached the desired golden brown.

4. If a meat thermometer is not available, cook stuffing in a casserole. Mix ingredients just before stuffing a turkey; stuff loosely. Additional time is required for the turkey and stuffing to reach a safe internal temperature (see chart below).

5. For safety and doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer.

The temperature must reach 180 °F in the thigh of a whole turkey (center of the stuffing should reach 165 °F) before removing it from the oven. Cook a turkey breast to 170 °F.

6. Juices should be clear. In the absence of a meat thermometer, pierce an unstuffed turkey with a fork in several places; juices should be clear with no trace of pink.

7. Let the bird stand 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.



  • 4 to 6 lb breast.....1 1/2 to 2 1/4 hrs
  • 6 to 8 lb breast...2 1/4 to 3 1/4 hrs
  • 8 to 12 lbs................2 3/4 to 3 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs..............3 to 3 3/4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs........3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs........4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs..............4 1/2 to 5 hrs


  • 8 to 12 lbs...............3 to 3 1/2 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs..............3 1/2 to 4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs..............4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs........4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs........4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hrs


For Further Information Contact:
FSIS Food Safety Education and Communications Staff
Meat and Poultry Hotline:

  • 1-800-535-4555 (Tollfree Nationwide)
  • (202) 720-3333 (Washington, DC area)
  • 1-800-256-7072 (TDD/TTY)

Food Safety and Inspection Service,
Food Safety Education & Communications Staff
(202) 720-7943; Fax (202) 720-9063

USDA Food Safety Publications

What To Do When All Else Fails Cooking The Turkey

 Butterball is the nations largest turkey producer. They have run a hotline for many years. Where you can call and get help. They are very good.

Turkey Talk-Line®

E-mail talkline@butterball.com now
Call: 1-800-BUTTERBALL
Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CST (Central Standard Time)

Michael Corey

Founder & CEO, Ntirety


My Personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey

Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety


Database Administration As A Service@ is a registered trademark of Ntirety, Inc.







Posted Michael Corey,

Founder & CEO, Ntirety



www.ntirety.com Database Administration As A Service / Remote - Blogged

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My Impression of SQLPeople SQLInspire NYC 2011 event

Posted on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 06:44 PM

SQLpeople was truly Unique and inspiring 

For over 20 years I have been very active in the Technology community. At this point in time I thought I had seen it all. Yet an event comes along like no other SQLPeople in New Your City.

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This event was all about the people. To quote the  SQLPeople site 

SQLPeople is about inspiring database professionals to challenge “Why?” with “Why not?”

It’s about the context of what has been done, understanding what can be done, and focusing the vision for what will be done.

It’s about thinking and engineering, imagination and innovation. Most of all, it’s about community.

The event accomplished this and a lot more. I came away from the event thinking about a lot of things in a completely different way. I am not surprised by this fact as I got to know the many people active behind the scenes. People like Matt Velic, Brian Moran, Andy Leonard, Melissa Demsak and Robert Perl to name a few. They really care and that carries through the whole event. They have created a sense of community. A community I am proud to be part of.

As I sat through the Many presentations...

Telecommuting and the Virtual Office: Making the Case to Convince your Boss, Robert Perl

SQL Someday, Thomas Larock

Navigating the New Job Market, Michael Coles

Professional Services 2.0, Brian Moran

Finding Balance, Steve Jones

Big Data, BI, Big Deal!, Andrew Brust 

DBA to CEO, Myself.

Each one of the presenters were excellent and more importantly made you think. The Master of Ceremonies was Andy Leonard and he was able to bring it all together. Add to the fact that everyone there was giving up a saturday made this a very special event. 

My hat goes off to the Vendors who help sponsor this event. 

Redgate Logo





Link to Redgate

Embarcadero logo



Link to Embarcadero

Confio Logo




Link to Confio

I for one will be watching for more great things from SQLPeople. An event like no other. 


Michael Corey

Founder & CEO, Ntirety


My Personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey

Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety


Database Administration As A Service@ is a registered trademark of Ntirety, Inc.

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Calling All SQL Server Professionals -SQL Server 2012

Posted on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 @ 05:55 PM


Microsoft has created a really fun event for the launch of SQL server 2012. Read Below...

SQL Server 2012 is the most important release ever of SQL Server with its’ mission critical, breakthrough insight and cloud on your terms features. Do your part to bring the SQL Server 2012 roadshows to your city and get on stage with Microsoft! This March, Microsoft is teaming with PASS to bring you the SQL Server 2012 Special Ops Tour – a cross-country roadshowthat will take us to 12 cities across America. This is your tour, and we want to highlight you –the SQL Serveroperative, your company, and the great work you are doing through opportunities to be featured on our media channels, stage time at roadshow events, and exclusive networking session.

Here is a really neat video on the event...

Special OPS TOur



So Take the Time to Vote......












Calling All Database Administrators - SQL OPS DBA Contest

In the coming weeks, you'll have the opportunity to enter a high-profile contest where we'll identify 12 SQL Professionals with the best solutions on SQL Server 2012. Winners will enjoy the Tour spotlight, the accolades of fellow agents, and more. So get ready to share your killer SQL Server 2012 skills.

So Keep Checking back at the site for more details...



Michael Corey

Founder & CEO, Ntirety


My Personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey

Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety


Database Administration As A Service@ is a registered trademark of Ntirety, Inc.

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