Gobble up this quiz
by Reginald Andah
There’s nothing like Thanksgiving. During what other time of year can you watch your relatives come together and bicker over nothing? What other meal do you spend hoping everyone finishes eating soon before someone starts reminiscing about the good ol’ days and brings up an embarrassing moment from the past (there’s always at least one relative who does)?
Did you know that those present at the first Thanksgiving didn’t have the benefit of tryptophan to make everyone fall asleep? The first Thanksgiving was a three-day harvest feast held in Massachusetts in 1621 with pilgrims and people from the Wampanoag tribe in attendance. Although wild turkeys were in the area, the Wampanoag guests arrived with the offering of five deer. Historians believe the deer were roasted over a fire and made into stew.
Now that you know a fact about the first Thanksgiving, try your luck on some more Turkey Day trivia.
1. What did Thanksgiving inspire?
A. The movie Soul Food
C. TV dinners
D. bad company
2. What side dish was first used as a medicinal product rather than a meal?
C. collard greens
3. What did people not do at early Thanksgivings that are now practically holiday traditions? (Hint: OK, this is a trick question. All the answers are correct … we’re looking for the best answer.)
A. feast their faces off
B. plan their Black Friday online purchases
C. talk with their mouths full
D. sit on the couch and watch football all day
4. Why do some Thanksgiving traditions, such as eating turkey or keeping out festive decorations, carry on through to Christmas?
A. We just want the holiday to last longer.
B. Blame it on the Revolutionary War.
C. Because it’s too cold outside to go get other food from the grocery store.
D. I don’t know. Americans do a lot of things that make no sense.
5. Which author was largely responsible for the establishment of Thanksgiving?
A. Stephanie Meyer
B. Harriet Beecher Stowe
C. Thomas Jefferson
D. Sarah Josepha Hale
6. Besides “Turkey Day,” what other nicknames are given to Thanksgiving?
B. Macy’s Day
D. All of the above
7. If you are of English ancestry, you may have a distant relative who participated in the first Thanksgiving. How many Americans are of English ancestry?
A. 1 million
B. 25.3 billion
C. 25.3 million
8. How many turkeys were raised in 2012 in preparation for Turkey Day?
A. 254 million
B. 40 million
C. 70 million
D. 300 thousand
9. Which founding father wanted the national bird of the United States to be a turkey instead of an eagle?
A. John Adams
B. George Washington
C. Thomas Jefferson
D. Benjamin Franklin
10. Which has the most protein? (This is not a trick question. Think of it as a way to compensate for question #3.)
D. a bodybuilder on steroids
1. C. Swanson started producing TV dinners in 1953 due to the massive amount of frozen leftover Thanksgiving turkeys. The first Swanson-brand TV dinner contained turkey, cornbread dressing, peas and sweet potatoes.
2. B. Native Americans discovered that cranberries first could be used a fabric dye and healing tool. It was also later discovered that it could prevent scurvy. (Don’t worry if you got this wrong. It wasn’t my first guess either.)
3. A. The best answer is A. Puritans used the day to focus more on praying than they did on feasting, shopping or watching football, which hadn’t been invented yet.
4. B. I bet this is one you didn’t know. Believe it or not, after the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed December 18 Thanksgiving in honor of the victory American troops had at the Battle of Saratoga.
5. D. Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (originally titled “Mary Had a Little Lamb and a Piece of Pumpkin Pie for Dessert), campaigned for about 20 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln took notice and she was able to convince him that the idea would help unify the country after the Civil War.
6. D. T-Day, as you may have guessed, stands for both “Turkey Day” and “Thanksgiving.” The nickname Macy’s Day is exclusive among New Yorkers, as it refers to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And Canadians sometimes call American Thanksgiving “Yanksgiving” to distinguish it from their own Thanksgiving. (And don’t roll your eyes and say, “Sheesh! Those Canadians!” We all have the right to celebrate in our own ways.)
7. C. Tell me you didn’t pick 657! No calculation is exact when dealing with population. Some of the approximately 25.3 million U.S. residents of English ancestry may be descendants of the colonists who participated in one of the first Thanksgivings.
8. A. 254 million turkeys were raised in 2012, a 2 percent increase from 2011. I hope this doesn’t offend the PETA too much, but our consumption of turkey is at an all-time high. Like my mom once said, “If you don’t like the taste, then don’t buy it to waste.”
9. D. In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin wrote that the eagle is of bad moral character. He believed the turkey was a much more respectable “Bird of Courage” as well as a true original American native. I know it may sound ridiculous, but before you judge, you may want to read the excerpt of his letter. Strangely, it makes sense.
10. B. The answer was, of course, turkey — the traditional main course for Thanksgiving. In equal amounts of all the meats mentioned in the choices, turkey contains the most protein. (And the bodybuilder on steroids would have the most muscles. And rage.)
10/10: You are going to be so full of turkey, you might start sounding like one.
9/10: Congratulations! Five minutes after the meal is over, you’ll pass out from all the tryptophan and not have to deal with your relatives’ boring conversations.
8/10: You’re going to be full, but probably still awake enough to listen to your family members bicker.
7/10: You’re so slow, you’ll be lucky to even get a turkey leg before your relatives eat the whole bird.
6/10 or less: You have to sit at the kiddie table.