Happy Thanksgiving to you! In the wake of this frantic election season, this is a good time to reflect on the blessings of our democracy and our constitutional system of government. In the spirit of the presidency and thankfulness, I have three ideas for your homeschool this post-election Thanksgiving week (the third one involves pie and a recipe).
1. Read George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation to your children
George Washington was the first president to declare a national day of Thanksgiving--in 1789, the year the Constitution was ratified. His words remind us of what the country had--and still has--to be thankful for. Washington was especially thankful "for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted."
Establishing the Constitution was no easy task. We had just fought a bloody war with Britain to gain independence. The first constitution--the Articles of Confederation--was a disaster. And there were many who opposed the Constitution, which is now the world's oldest. We should be thankful that ours is a government of laws, not of men.
2. Watch Donald Trump and Barack Obama's press remarks following their first meeting
Many countries around the globe do not enjoy peaceful transitions of power between rulers. It is nothing short of a miracle that we do enjoy this in the United States. Regardless of whether your candidate won, all Americans should be thankful for the peaceful transition of power. It shows that our country is safe and secure.
3. Bake Mamie Eisenhower's Pumpkin Pie
When I think of Mamie Eisenhower's pumpkin pie, I think of prosperity. Mamie Eisenhower was first lady in the 1950s, a time of economic boom preceded by a period of depression and war. In the 1950s, Americans were cooking, celebrating, and consuming. Magazines wanted to know all of the details of Mamie's domestic life, including what was on her Thanksgiving table.
Mamie's pumpkin pie even uses gelatin, the popular postwar thickening agent. I made Mamie's pie with my kids this week, and we had a great time. Consider bringing Mamie's pie to your Thanksgiving Day gathering. May it remind you to be thankful for our country's prosperity. Enjoy!
Mamie Eisenhower's Pumpkin Pie
3 beaten egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
21/2 cups cooks pumpkin (canned is fine)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 stiffly beaten egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
One (baked) pie shell
Combine egg yolks, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, salt and spices. Cook in double boiler until thick, stirring constantly. Soak gelatin in cold water, stir into hot mixture. Chill until partly set. Beat egg whites, add granulated sugar, and beat stiff. Fold into pumpkin/gelatin mixture. Pour into pie shell and chill until set. Garnish with whipped cream.