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Thanksgiving Answers

Vocabulary in Conversation

Nadia: Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?

Sarah: As children, we learn that Thanksgiving is a holiday of cooperation and survival. We read stories of how the pilgrims left England because of religious persecution and came to the New World in search of a place where they could live peacefully and practice their religion. They arrived in a place called Plymouth Rock and established a settlement there. At first they had many problems. They weren't able to live off the land here because everything was so new to them. They didn't know how to hunt the animals, and they didn't know which plants were edible. We learn that the Wampanoag Indians taught them how to survive and feed themselves. Out of gratitude, the English colonists invited the Indians to a huge feast to thank them for their help.

Nadia: Do you think the stories are true?

Sarah: Well, I think there is probably some truth to them, but they have probably been a little simplified. I am sure the arrival at Plymouth Rock was far more complicated and confused than our legends suggest. In recent years, there has been some controversy over certain holidays such as Thanksgiving and Columbus Day. It has been suggested that our memories of the past might have been cleaned up a little to make us feel better about our history.

Nadia: Well, at least it is a nice story. I like the idea of a holiday which commemorates the colonists and the Indians working together... even if it isn't totally based in fact.

Sarah: I do too. And it's also great to have a holiday where you take the time to get together with your family and make traditional foods like roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Nadia: I have never had any of those dishes.

Sarah: Well then why don't you spend Thanksgiving with us. My grandmother makes the best pumpkin pie in the country.

Nadia: Sounds great!

Vocabulary in a Recipe

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs, beaten to blend

For filling:
Using a whisk, mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, sour cream and eggs.

For crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the first 3 ingredients. Stir in the cream until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 13-inch (33cm) circle. Transfer the dough to 9-inch (23cm) pie pan. Cut away the extra dough leaving 1 inch (2cm) hanging over the edge. Fold the overhang under. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Bake about 20 minutes until light brown. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (160°C).

Pour in filling. Bake about 55 minutes. Cool on rack.

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