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thanksgiving

Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

Traditionally, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year.
 
State health department officials are urging Michiganders who attended large Thanksgiving gatherings to follow a few steps to avoid potentially spreading COVID-19.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

For many, Thanksgiving is stressful in a typical year. This year add in economic uncertainty, political conflict and a surging COVID-19 pandemic.

A lot will be missing about Thanksgiving this year. It's a holiday that's celebrated on a bedrock of bringing family and friends, near and far, together for a big meal and lots of catching up, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges: "As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with people you live with."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

By any gauge, 2020 has been a difficult year. But the residents of Sanford can claim they’ve had it tougher than many.

Back in May, many lost their homes as floodwaters swept through the Midland County town.

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
Rido / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we check in with the director of Michigan’s department of Health and Human Services in light of the new COVID-19 orders going into effect Wednesday. We'll also hear about how Native Americans in nineteenth century Michigan were at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights in the state. Plus, a conversation about how to have awkward conversations surrounding your Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof).

a pumpkin pie on a table
Unsplash

Planning a Thanksgiving celebration isn’t usually a simple task—but this year, it’s bound to be particularly complicated. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Michigan, health officials warn that even small holiday gatherings pose risks.

It’s hard to know how to celebrate. Do you brave the cold and see family from a safe distance outdoors? Host a virtual dinner? Load up on turkey and take a long, tryptophan-induced nap? 

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

Once again, for this week of Thanksgiving, a U.S. president "pardoned" turkeys.

"Butter, I hereby grant you a full and complete pardon," President Trump said, continuing the tradition and addressing a turkey named Butter. "Full and complete."

Trump said Butter's companion, Bread, will also be spared.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the past year, to reconnect with family and friends, and to express gratitude for the all that is good in our lives.

But more importantly, Thanksgiving is a time to eat.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Yikes!

So what do you offer your guests to drink?

“You'll see a lot of guides of what wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. And there's no right answer, right? Because the Thanksgiving table is so diverse, there's so many different food items on it, you're never going to have a perfect pairing. So cocktails can be a different way to go,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said.

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Though it’s still *technically* still fall until December 21, our fall bracket has come to close. There are many things that feel so quintessentially autumn, so we asked our listeners to vote on their favorite fall essentials. And boy did you guys answer. 

Kate Wells

Thousands of home-bound people across the state had their turkey and pie (or apple crisp for the diabetics) dropped off at their door today. It’s one of the busiest times of year for Meals on Wheels, whose average recipient is about 75, female, and lives alone. “But they’re fiercely independent,” says Beth Adams, director of Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels. 

A Michigan State Police file photo.
Michigan State Police

If you're planning to hit the road this Thanksgiving, be ready for some extra traffic.

According to AAA Michigan, more than 1.6 million of the state's residents will travel 50 miles or more for a turkey dinner.

AAA says that's a 3.5% increase from last year. It's also the most travelers since 2007.

Along with more traffic, drivers can also expect to see a bigger police presence throughout the state.

Baking baklava cheesecake, a fusion of east and west

Nov 22, 2017
Amanda Saab / AmandasPlate.com

Thanksgiving is now less than a day away. For all you last-minute bakers out there with nothing to make, Amanda Saab has you covered.

She’s a No Kid Hungry food blogger, founder of Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor, and was the first Muslim woman featured on the TV show MasterChef.

The new America the Great Cookbook includes Saab’s Baklava Cheesecake recipe – it’s what she bakes for the people she loves, like her husband Hussein and their 3-month-old daughter Hannah.

Stateside recently visited Saab’s kitchen in New Boston where her baklava cheesecake was in the works. We brought back the audio postcard above. Take a listen. Step by step, you’ll learn how to make the dessert.

A Healthier Michigan / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings tomorrow, they’re continuing a Michigan tradition that goes back further than many of us can remember. How and when did this tradition of Thanksgiving football get started?

Mark Harvey, the state archivist at the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to recount the history of the Thanksgiving game.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

A Christian organization dedicated to helping the homeless served more than 2,000 people a free Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.

The group, Mel Trotter Ministries, got more volunteers than it could use.  Volunteer coordinator Paula Seales says a week ago, she had 756 volunteers signed up to help serve the free dinner in downtown Grand Rapids.  By Thursday, it was close to 900.  She had to put some people on a waiting list and turn some people away.

“My phone was just constantly ringing," says Seales.  "'Can I volunteer? I want to be a part of this. It’s so wonderful.”

Drawing of a Thanksgiving dinner on a table at the Mel Trotter Thanksgiving dinner.
Mel Trotter Ministry

Homeless, elderly and poor people in several cities in Michigan are being given a reason to be grateful on Thanksgiving.

The Detroit Rescue Mission is serving free food to homeless people and others in need at different locations in and around the city.

While the ministry has been around for 107 years, it has been doing Thanksgiving dinners for over 20 years.

Barbara Willis, the Chief Operating Officer for the Detroit Rescue Mission, said these dinners make a big difference to the homeless in the community.

a Thanksgiving table with pumpkin pie
Element 5 Digital / Unsplash


The holidays can be a happy time, but gathering family members around the Thanksgiving table can also resurrect tensions and old resentments.

Blue Water Bridge
K.l.macke/Flickr

Canadian workers for the Blue Water Bridge went on strike this week.

The 45 employees, who all work on the Canadian side of the bridge, are picketing due to contract disputes.

Jocelyn Hall, a media contact with the Michigan Department of Transportation, said the strike could make holiday travel difficult.

“As a contingency plan, a staff of non-unionized employees are filling in those roles and that capacity to keep traffic flowing,” Hall said.

Hall says if there is any traffic backup, it would more than likely be on the Canadian side of the bridge.

Michael J. Carden / public domain

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport once again is working with the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan to welcome returning military service members and veterans on the day before Thanksgiving.

Grand Rapids airport volunteers, therapy dogs and members of the troop-supporting motorcycle organization will participate Wednesday in "Operation Handshake."

As in the past, they’ll staff both concourses throughout the day and thank active and retired soldiers and sailors for their service.

Juan Flores

Anyone who’s ever been stuck on campus for Thanksgiving knows it’s kind of depressing.

“Just seeing everybody leaving with their luggage, and you’re left behind, you know it’s going to be a long weekend,” says Denise Cruz, a senior at Michigan State University.  “And it does make you feel a bit out of place. Like you have nowhere to go.”

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

As we draw near to the annual Thanksgiving feast, those whose menus include turkey may find themselves tempted to pay more for a bird advertised with some special buzz words.

But Detroit News Finance Editor Brian J. O’Connor tells us not to be fooled by the marketing.

According to O’Connor, there are a number of labels that ultimately don’t mean anything.

“Things like young, hormone-free and cage-free, for example, are completely meaningless,” he says.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Michigan Radio's senior news analyst, Jack Lessenberry gives an update on the debate over Syrian refugees coming to Michigan, a new initiative to clean up blighted Detroit homes and how restaurants across the state are offering a free Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. 


Many local MIchigan restaurants give back to their communities by providing free meals on Thanksgiving.
Satya Murthy / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Many family-owned businesses across the state provide free turkey meals to local patrons to help give back to their communities. Michigan Radio spoke with a few owners of these restaurants and created a map to make note of the rest. 

Maureen Abood with a copy of her cookbook, "Rose Water & Orange Blossoms"
Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

The Thanksgiving feast is at hand.

­If you’re a guest this year, you might be wondering what you can bring to the table.

East Lansing food writer Maureen Abood has some suggestions for one of her favorite holiday meals.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Many holiday shoppers will be hunting for bargains in their pajamas.

A new report says nearly half of all holiday presents will be bought online this year.

Pat Huddleston is a Michigan State University professor who specializes in consumer behavior. She expects 56% of holiday shoppers will buy gifts online this year, buying 44% of their presents via the web.

By comparison, online shopping amounts to roughly 12% of retail sales annually.

The Parade Company / via city of Detroit

Things might be a little tighter than usual at Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade this year.

The parade will take its usual route down Woodward Avenue. But there will be several “pinch points” due to ongoing construction for the M-1 rail project.

City spokesman John Roach says that means parade-watching will be restricted in some areas.

For their United States of Thanksgiving story, the New York Times picked German potato salad as the recipe that evoked Michigan.

Priscilla Massie of Allegan contributed the recipe. She's the author of Walnut Pickles and Watermelon Cake: A Century of Michigan Cooking.

Massie felt that German potato salad was a Michigan dish, as 22% of Michiganders have German ancestry. In addition, she notes that the potato was a food staple for pioneers and is still a big crop within the state.

Massie says that the foods one chooses for Thanksgiving is a reflection of family heritage. In her case, the German potato salad recipe she contributed to the New York Times is a recipe that came through generations of her family.

Massie stresses the importance of food, saying that it is one of the things held in common by everyone. Massie says that you can go anywhere in the world and talk about food with someone, as food ties everyone together.

Listen to our conversation with Massie below.


David Haines / Flickr

In recent weeks it has been impossible to go on Facebook without encountering many posts from groups trying to convince retailers to resist the urge to open on Thanksgiving Day.

More retailers are doing just that. K-Mart, for instance, opens at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and will remain open 42 straight hours.

Among groups trying to push back against this growing trend is the group "Take Back Thanksgiving."

Its founder Annie Zirkel joined us today. Listen to our conversation with Zirkel below.


A potato salad says "Michigan" to the New York Times.
Megan Myers / Flickr

As you plan your Thanksgiving meal, what is the one dish that represents your family? Maybe it’s one that's been handed down through generations.

The New York Times recently ran a piece that highlighted a recipe collection called The United States of Thanksgiving. Each recipe, the authors wrote, evoked each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The recipe that evoked Michigan, according to the Times, was German potato salad.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes Black Friday – one of the largest shopping days of the year.

Many stores begin Black Friday by opening their doors to shoppers at the crack of dawn, and even more have begun to open to shoppers on Thanksgiving Day itself.

To examine what goes into this shopping mania, we talked to University of Michigan marketing professors Scott Rick and Aradhna Krishna.

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