American Elephants


Did You Ever Wonder How They Harvest Cranberries? by The Elephant's Child
November 14, 2012, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Heartwarming, YouTube | Tags: , ,

I never knew how this was done. I knew there were bogs, but never saw one. We grow a lot of cranberries here is Washington state too. Are cranberries native to America? Turkeys are. I believe Ben Franklin famously wanted to make the turkey our national bird, but the bald eagle won.

I love learning how the things that end up in my house, whether groceries or other stuff, is grown or made.  Thanksgiving is nearly here. Buy extra cranberries and put them in the freezer.

CRANBERRY ORANGE RELISH

 2 cups fresh cranberries
1 large orange
¾ cup sugar, or to taste
Peel orange, save peel. Remove seeds and as much of
the white pith as you can. Put cranberries, orange and peel
through food processor or coarse meat grinder,
mix well and refrigerate.



Be Thankful! by American Elephant
November 24, 2011, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Freedom, History, Religion | Tags: ,

first-thanksgiving-2

I am thankful for the health and well-being of my family and loved ones.

I am thankful that I am alive, happy, and retain all my necessary organs and appendages.

I am thankful that I am blessed to live in the United States of America — truly the greatest nation on Earth — where we still remain free.

I am thankful for the Pilgrims, the colonists, our founding fathers, and thankful that I know liberal revisionist history is codswallop.

I am thankful that after progressives took full control of the elected branches, the American people threw them back out again as soon as humanly possible in the biggest electoral landslide in 75 years.

I am thankful that I am blessed with everything I need: food, drink, warmth, heat, light, clothing and healthcare, and many comforts above and beyond that which I require.

I am deeply thankful for my neighbors; good people and good friends who are facing very difficult times.

I am thankful for our armed forces who keep us safe at great peril and sacrifice.

I am thankful for the wisdom I gain every day from others.

I am thankful for all of our readers.

I am thankful for fresh apple cider, thick socks and down pillows.

I am thankful that I have more blessings than I can count here.

And I am thankful that there is a God in Heaven who loves us, and has blessed each and every one of us, no matter our circumstances, in different ways, and blessed us all in the same way, through His Son, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, to whom I am thankful for everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Ah, The Warm Memories of Family Gathered for Thanksgiving: by The Elephant's Child
November 26, 2009, 3:42 am
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Entertainment, Humor, Politics | Tags: , ,


(h/t: Kathryn Jean Lopez)



Be Thankful! by American Elephant
November 27, 2008, 9:29 am
Filed under: Iraq, Religion | Tags: ,

first-thanksgiving-2

I am thankful for the health and well-being of my family and loved ones.

I am thankful that I am alive, happy, and retain all my necessary organs and appendages.

I am thankful that I am blessed to live in the United States of America — truly the greatest nation on Earth — where we still remain free.

I am thankful for the Pilgrims, the colonists, our founding fathers, and thankful that I know liberal revisionist history is codswollop.

I am thankful that my Congressman, Dave Reichert, won, and that Al Franken may yet fail to steal a senate seat in Minnesota.

I am thankful that I am blessed with everything I need: food, drink, warmth, heat, light, clothing and healthcare, and many comforts above and beyond that which I require.

I am deeply thankful for my neighbors; good people and good friends who are facing very difficult times.

I am thankful for our armed forces who keep us safe at great peril and sacrifice. And I am so thankful and happy that they have prevailed and won the war in Iraq, and achieved great victories in Afghanistan.

It is highly out of fashion at present, but I am still very thankful for President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

I am thankful for the wisdom I gain every day from others.

I am thankful for all of our readers.

I am thankful for fresh apple cider, thick socks and down pillows.

I am thankful that I have more blessings than I can count here.

And I am thankful that there is a God in Heaven who loves us, and has blessed each and every one of us, no matter our circumstances, which we would all realize if only we would take the time to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Save Our National Holidays! by The Elephant's Child

In this politically correct age, there are those who want to insist that Europeans conducted some kind of “genocide” on the Native Americans.  This is nonsense.  As are most of the stories we learned in grade school when we cut out feathers and pilgrim hats from construction paper.

The pilgrims wore bright colors according to what dyes they could obtain. The Native Americans had been decimated by disease long before the Pilgrims arrived.  The story about “smallpox blankets” is bogus.  And neither Native Americans nor Europeans had the slightest notion of carrying diseases.  If you remember some history, you would note that plagues and diseases were thought to be brought by God, or spread by witches, who also made cows miscarry and deformed babies to be born, and caused floods and storms as well.  It was a while yet before we discovered inoculation, and then we inoculated the Native Americans too.

Charles C. Mann’s book 1491 linked in the post below, is an excellent introduction to recent scholarship that has altered what we know, or thought we knew, about the history of the Americas. A new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques have come to previously unheard of conclusions.

Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively ‘landscaped’ by human beings.

The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids.

In 1401 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe.

There is a “Dances With Wolves” mindset that needs a good dose of serious corrective reading.  Back when that movie was fairly recent, there was a debate going on on talk radio about the propriety of a new beer labelled with the name of a famous Native American chief. There was the general problem of alcoholism on Indian Reservations, and the disrespect for the memory of the chief.  A woman called in and spoke knowledgably about the Sioux and the chief, and went on at some length. The host eventually inquired if she was a member of one of the Sioux tribes.  She replied, “Well, not in this life.”

I’m not sure what it is about contemporary society, but some people are anxious to spoil all our holidays.  There are the Christmas scrooges who detest the gift-buying, those who hate the merchandising and the grouches who didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas when they were kids. The Thanksgiving spoilers are animal-rights activists; vegetarians (some of whom settle for tofurkey) and the historical and religious ignoramuses.  They already spoiled Columbus Day, President’s Day and are working on the rest.  There’s no point in sitting in modern America, demanding that the past somehow be made more politically correct.  History is what actually happened.  It doesn’t change, only our understanding of it changes.

Pay them no mind.



A Day of Thanksgiving, Then and Now. by The Elephant's Child
November 26, 2008, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Education, History, Religion | Tags: , , ,

On March 22, 1621, an official Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to negotiate with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement.  At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had reluctantly brought along as an interpreter.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli.  About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity.  Whole villages had been depopulated—indeed, the foreigners ahead now occupied one of the empty sites.  It was all he could do to hold together the remnants of his people.  Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west.  Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them.

Desperate threats require desperate countermeasures.  In a gamble, Massasoit intended to abandon, even reverse, a long-standing policy.  Europeans had been visiting New England for at least a century.  Shorter than the natives, oddly dressed, and often unbearably dirty, the pallid foreigners had peculiar blue eyes that peeped out of the masks of bristly, animal-like hair that encased their faces.  They were irritatingly garrulous, prone to fits of chicanery, and often surprisingly incompetent at what seemed to Indians like basic tasks.  But they also made useful and beautiful goods—copper kettles, glittering colored glass, and steel knives and hatchets—unlike anything else in New England.  Moreover, they would exchange these valuable items for cheap furs of the sort used by Indians as blankets.  It was like happening upon a dingy kiosk that would swap fancy electronic goods for customers’ used socks—almost anyone would be willing to overlook the shopkeeper’s peculiarities.

This is how author Charles C. Mann describes the first contact between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, in his fascinating book 1491, which alters our view of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.  He goes on to say: “British fishing vessels may have reached Newfoundland as early as the 1480s and areas to the south soon after.  In 1501, just nine years after Columbus’s first voyage, the Portugese adventurer Gaspar Corte-Real abducted fifty-odd Indians from Maine.  Examining the captives, Corte-Real found to his astonishment that two were wearing items from Venice: a broken sword and two silver rings.”

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they tended to view Europeans with disdain as soon as they got to know them.  The Huron in Ontario, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.”  Europeans, Indians told other Indians, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain smelly. (the British and French, many of whom had not taken a bath in their entire lives, were amazed by the Indian interest in personal cleanliness.)…The Micmac in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia scoffed at the notion of European superiority.  If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants all trying to settle somewhere else?

The Wall Street Journal has two editorials that it has been publishing on this day ever since 1961 : “The Desolate Wilderness”, and And the Fair Land.” This year they have another piece by Ira Stoll on the first national Thanksgiving holiday, “A Day of Thanksgiving”, on Thursday, Dec. 18, 1777.  You will want to read all three.

We wish you and yours a most Happy Thanksgiving.  We all have much to be thankful for.



The sky is dark, there blows a storm, the soup is hot, the fire is warm. by The Elephant's Child
November 24, 2008, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Entertainment, Health Care | Tags: , ,

Thanksgiving week, and the mind turns to menus and food preparation.  A soup added to a turkey dinner might be too much for many appetites, but I offer it up as accompaniment for the leftovers.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

5 Cups chicken stock (1 large can+ 1 can condensed)

1 Cup chopped onions

3/4 Cup white part of scallions or chopped shallots

2 Cups light cream (half & half)

salt and pepper to taste (use white pepper)

In a large kettle combine squash, chicken stock, onion and scallion or shallots.  Simmer until squash is tender.  Pureé mixture in small batches in a blender.  Add cream, reheat but do not boil.  Thicken slightly with cornstarch dissolved in water. Serve, garnished with finely chopped green part of scallions or with chopped chives.




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