Thanking Abraham Lincoln for Thanksgiving Day
Tax collectors toast your choice of alcoholic beverages

A few more Turkey Day 2013 food and tax tidbits

I don't believe in going overboard with food on Thanksgiving Day.

It's just the hubby, my mom and me sitting down at our table later today for a small roasted turkey breast, gravy, cornbread stuffing (made by me using my grandmother's recipe), fresh Brussels' sprouts, biscuits, cranberry sauce, ancho chili relish and for dessert pumpkin (baked by the hubby) and pecan (baked by Blue Bonnet Cafe) pies.

By Friday night, all the food should be gone. OK, maybe we'll still have some pie left. Or maybe not.

I do, however, believe in overindulging on Thanksgiving-related blog posts!

Actually, I was planning to be content with the Abe Lincoln, father of Thanksgiving, post that went up earlier today.

Then while surfing the Internet as the hubby prepared his traditional pie, I ran across a couple of items I just had to share.

First, the financial one.

Tallying Turkey Day dinner's cost: The American Farm Bureau Federation's 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.04.

The good news for 2013 diners: That's a 44-cent price decrease from the 2012 average of $49.48.


"This year we can be thankful that Thanksgiving Dinner, a special meal many of us look forward to all year, will not take a bigger bite out of our wallets," said John Anderson, AFBF's deputy chief economist, in a statement about the 2013 Turkey Day dinner price survey. "Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings. Slightly higher turkey production for much of the year coupled with an increase in birds in cold storage may be responsible for the moderate price decrease our shoppers reported."

Food taxes, too? There's no mention by AFBF if food taxes are included in the calculations. A few states do tax grocery items.

The Federation of Tax Administrators' 2013 data shows that 10 states -- Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia -- and/or local jurisdictions within those states tax at least some food items.

Tennessee's sales tax on food and food ingredients is the highest. But at least on July 1, it dropped from 5.25 percent to 5 percent. That's something that Volunteer State residents will be thankful for today.

Canned jellied cranberry sauceThanksgiving food traditions: I must now admit something that will leave culinary snobs aghast. I like -- no I love -- canned jellied cranberry sauce.

I confessed this preference years ago in my cranberry thanks post. I appreciate other, fancier cranberry concoctions with my turkey, too. But I still must also have a slice of the old canned standby on my plate.

My plebeian palate is not alone.'s Food & Think blog reports that Americans consume more than 5 million gallons of jellied cranberry sauce (that's Ocean Spray's official name for its canned condiment) every holiday season.

There are 200 berries per large can, so that comes to 4 million pounds of cranberries. (I'm taking Food & Think's word for the calculations!)

We canned cranberry aficionados can be thankful for Marcus L. Urann. He was a lawyer, who at the turn of the 20th century left his legal career to buy a cranberry bog.

In 1912 Urann realized that fresh cranberries were available in North America for only two months of the year, from their harvest in mid-September until around mid-November. Urann decided to do something about this small window for the fruit he was growing.

He settled on canning, which he knew would make the berry a year-round product. "Urann's idea to can and juice cranberries in 1912 created a market that cranberry growers had never seen before," says Food & Think.

And the rest, as the old saying goes, is food and Thanksgiving dinner history.

Today, Mr. Urann, I say thank you!

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