Robin Anish: Just a little Turkey Day trivia — and a great soup

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Did you know mature turkeys have upward of 3,500 feathers?

Wild turkeys are capable of flying at 55 mph?

At night, they fly up into trees for shelter. Domesticated turkeys can't fly because they are too plump.

Thomas Jefferson thought Thanksgiving was ridiculous? President Jefferson refused to recognize the day because he believed in the separation of church and state. Since Thanksgiving involved prayer, he thought making it a national holiday would violate the First Amendment.

"Jingle Bells" was originally a Thanksgiving song? James Pierpont composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving at his Boston Sunday School. It became so popular that it was sung straight through to Christmas.

Over 32 million people begin Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving? FDR could be credited with creating "Black Friday"? To help boost retail sales during the Depression, President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up one week to give consumers seven additional days to shop for Christmas. So many people balked about the change that it was moved back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1941. Thanksgivings between those years are referred to as "Franksgivings."

The tradition of breaking the wishbone and making a wish began with the ancient Romans thousands of years ago? The Romans broke chicken wishbones, which they believed were good luck. The tradition eventually made its way over to America with the


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The first frozen Swanson TV dinner was invented because of Thanksgiving? In 1953, a worker at Swanson ordered too many frozen turkeys, a whopping 260 tons. So, a clever employee came up with the idea to cook turkey dinners and package them in aluminum trays, and the rest is history. In the first year of production, the company sold 10 million turkey TV tray dinners.

Thanksgiving Eve is one of the five most popular pizza sales days of the year? Given the Thanksgiving feast I'll be eating the next day, I won't be ordering pizza the night before. As tempting as a pizza loaded with pepperoni and extra cheese is, I'll save my splurge for the next day and go for something a bit lighter like this easy-to-make Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup.



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2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casing removed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large carrots,diced

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1 large potato, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed, roughly chopped

2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and brown, stirring to break into smaller pieces, until no longer pink inside. Drain excess fat. Add onion, carrots and potato. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Garnish with grated Parmesan. A little torn fresh basil on top makes a delicious finish to the soup. Serve with crusty bread.


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