Thanksgiving And Bake Friday! - My Cooking Journey Blog at - 290208

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Thanksgiving and Bake Friday! 
Nov. 20, 2012 2:10 pm 
Updated: Dec. 4, 2012 7:57 pm
This morning I saw on TV some people were camping out to be the first in line when an electronics store opens up Thanksgiving night.  They said they were not missing out on family time because they brought their entire family to camp out in front of the big box store with them for 5 days, and some for even 10 days!!   That's definitely not like the family camping trips I remember.

Is it really worth it to save a few bucks on the latest and greatest i-whatever that will be out-of-date 6 months from now?  Is it worth risking getting sick camping out in the cold and rain or getting trampled by other shoppers in a frenzy for that ONE giant screen TV that is on sale for $50?

What happened to "Be Thankful For What We have?"

Christmas keeps creeping up earlier and earlier overshadowing Thanksgiving.   A few years back in mid-September 2008 when we evacuated for Hurricane Ike, we went to Dillards to buy some clothes.  The store was already putting up Christmas trees and decorations IN MID-SEPTEMBER!

This year some popular local shopping centers and surrounding streets in Houston put up Christmas lights and started playing Christmas music the weekend before Halloween!  That is too early!  Even our mayor commented about how it was too early for Christmas lights and received quite a backlash from the local business community.

What happened to Thanksgiving?  What happened to being thankful for what we have?  What happened to taking one holiday at a time?  Where's the respect?  It's time to Respect the Bird!!!

What is Respect the Bird?  It is a movement to take back Thanksgiving.

Doug Matthews tells us in this video:
 "After all, from the very beginning Thanksgiving has been an American holiday about being thankful about what we have—the big things in life, family, friendships, memories, good health—not about crazy stuff on sale. Lets enjoy Thanksgiving instead of letting Christmas Occupy Thanksgiving."- Doug Matthews, Community Member and Leader of the Respect the Bird movement

Here's a link to Doug's blog that started this movement last year.<

Are we alone?  No, even the Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon Respect The Bird.   See Monday's comic strip.<

What can we do?

First, take the pledge to Respect the Bird this Thanksgiving at:

Secondly, give thanks for what you have on Thanksgiving!  Why not enjoy a meal with family and friends instead of camping out in the cold and rain waiting for a bargain you may not get.

Next, instead of celebrating Black Friday and getting trampled in a big box store for one of only 4 TVs on sale, spend some time with family and kids in the kitchen and celebrate Bake Friday!  You can make some great memories as well as some tasty treats.  Then the baked goods can be given as Christmas gifts!  They are always appreciated and won't break the bank.

Lastly, After Thanksgiving and Bake Friday, support businesses that Respect the Bird and do NOT open on Thanksgiving!   Vote with your dollars!

Thanksgiving doesn't have to be overwhelming.  Here are some tasty and easy recipes to help you have the Best Thanksgiving Ever!

Moist and Savory Stuffing

Swanson Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Campbell's Green Casserole


Here are some delicious recipes I tried and liked and recommend trying on Bake Friday!  They also make great gifts.

Pumpkin Bread I

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

In case all those gorgeous food pictures distracted you, please remember to:
1)  Give Thanks for everything you have
2) Take the pledge to Respect the Bird at and spend time with family and friends on Thanksgiving
3) Celebrate Bake Friday instead of Black Friday!
4) Support those businesses who do Respect the Bird!

I'd like to hear how you are going to Respect the Bird and celebrate Thanksgiving this year!  Are you celebrating Bake Friday?



I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with 

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on My Creative Cooking Journey. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Occasional Cooker.

Nov. 20, 2012 2:27 pm
Great Blog :) We were shopping last weekend and the store started playing Christmas music, my hubby pitched a fit! We left the store without buying anything. lol! At least it isn't constant or I'd never get any shopping done! I love your orange bowl where did you find that?
Nov. 20, 2012 2:43 pm
Hi Rae! Thanks for stopping by. I have heard Christmas music in stores for the past month. By the time Christmas actually gets here I'm going to be tired of it. I have had that set of orange bowls forever, I don't know how many years. I think my Mom gave them to us so I don't know where she had gotten them. Thanks for asking.
Nov. 20, 2012 5:27 pm
Great blog and beautiful pics, OC! LOVE the concept of 'bake Friday'! If I'm not out of it from all of the Thanksgiving festivities, I may have to participate in that...Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)
Nov. 20, 2012 5:29 pm
Bake Friday! I like it!
Nov. 20, 2012 5:32 pm
Bake Friday is a great idea! How about baking this delicious bread for turkey sandwiches?;wt=savory%20stuffing%20bread&amp;rt=r&amp;origin=Home%20Page
Nov. 20, 2012 5:44 pm
Christina, I loved your planned menu! It makes me want to go to your house for Thanksgiving. This blog is kind like singing to the choir. However, I saw the bake Friday idea on the and thought it was a great idea. Maybe you can delegate the baking on Friday and just supervise and be taste tester. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Nov. 20, 2012 5:45 pm
traditions change. i grew up not knowing i was "respecting a bird", heck i just wanted to eat the fat fowl. i respect the bird by gnawing it, eating some pie and watching some football. but, that is how i roll on bird-day. to each their own. my daughters will get up and lay waste to a store in the early hours...a tradition. who cares, no sin. enjoy your holiday as you wish. but i certainly agree with christmas music being played to early...why isn't it played more often, except updated by new artists? i love the new-wave bands versions of the holiday classics. no they won't make me forget the old versions...just another take on them. if a rock doesn't move it won't evolves. respect the bird? sure...and pass the mashed potatos.
Nov. 20, 2012 5:45 pm
KGora! Doesn't Bake Friday sound fun! It will make for great pictures on AR on Saturday.
Nov. 20, 2012 5:48 pm
hazelnut, I think that is a great idea to bake bread for turkey sandwiches. Those are my favorite leftovers. However, I couldn't get that link to work. Is this the bread recipe?
Nov. 20, 2012 5:52 pm
GDerr, thanks for stopping by! Everyone has their holiday traditions. It gets frustrating for stores to keep opening earlier and intruding on family time. Also, it's frustrating to see Christmas trees in department stores in September. Have a happy holiday and I hope your team wins!
Nov. 20, 2012 6:12 pm
Catchy name Bake Friday. A great way for family fun but there are two places you wont find me on Black Friday... in the mall or the kitchen.
Nov. 20, 2012 6:17 pm
Hi Marie C. Thanks for stopping by. I can understand after cooking all day or days for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday!
Nov. 20, 2012 6:27 pm
I enjoyed reading yur blog.I agree that Christmas music in September is awful.I live in Canada so our Thanksgiving is over,what irks me the most is that they start decorating for Christmas before Veterans Day,to me that is disrespectful to Veterans.Hope you and yours has a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
Nov. 20, 2012 6:29 pm
Also the picture of the dog is beautiful,looks just like my dog,except my dog is a black lab.
Nov. 20, 2012 6:35 pm
My son lives in Houston. He just moved there in June after college graduation to start his first job. He bought a house and already put up his Christmas lights because he's excited to be celebrating his first Christmas in his own place. I don't think it's disrespectful, he's just enthusiastic! He'll be here with his sister for Thanksgiving and we won't be shopping on Black Friday. We'll all be here enjoying a quiet day enjoying each other...and the leftovers!
Nov. 20, 2012 6:41 pm
Great blog, and I love the definition of Black Friday on the pic! Have you ever noticed how few Thanksgiving items there are in the stores? We go from one mega holiday (Halloween) to another (Christmas) with very little about being thankful in between. Hubby says, and I agree, that it's because most people *aren't* thankful for what they have; they think they deserve it....and more! With all the commercialism of Christmas, people have lost sight of the real holiday, and the fact that it's not just one day a year. Even here, posts asking what gifts were received are posted almost immediately, and some are very blunt in complaining about what they got! I'm not sure how that meshes with the true meaning of Christmas. Sad.
Nov. 20, 2012 6:56 pm
Love the idea of Bake Friday!! Living in a foreign country makes Black Friday impossible, and since I love baking more than's the perfect fit:)
Nov. 20, 2012 6:59 pm
Yes things seem to move way to fast these days...but I am an old traditionalist. We dont put any holidays ahead of the other. Life is to short not to take in all that you have and enjoy the moments given to you..they will leave us so fast. Family is charished in my house...what a blessed feeling to be in there presense and enjoy their company. I also believe in GOD and its sad that when Christmas comes most forget the real meaning. So I hope everyone has a very , very Happy Thanksgiving with their families sharing lots of love , good food and truly being thankful for what you have!
Nov. 20, 2012 7:00 pm
Hi manella, of all people veterans deserve our respect.
Nov. 20, 2012 7:02 pm
TSP, I'm so happy that your son is excited about his new place. You can't be upset with someone so enthusiastic. Congrats to him on the new job and new place.
Nov. 20, 2012 7:06 pm
Sugarnspice, it does seem that we go from Halloween to Christmas and Veterans Day and Thanksgiving take a backseat. It is all about attitude, isn't it. Be thankful for everything but people forget and take it for granted or think they deserve it. Anyway Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 20, 2012 7:10 pm
Yeah, GFgirl, I'm glad Bake Friday fits for you. Do they celebrate Thanksgiving there?
Nov. 20, 2012 7:13 pm
CliffG, I need a "Like " button like on Facebook. That was very well said. Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Nov. 20, 2012 7:16 pm
manella, the Avatar photo is of our yellow lab, Rosie. She is is our fur kid and helps to keep us grounded.
Nov. 20, 2012 8:17 pm
Bake Friday! You're the new Respect the Bird. They will be coining your phrase next year. And those pics certainly did distract me. I bet the DH would like some of those choc. chip cookies. He could care less about any other type of dessert, but loves his choc. chip cookies. Yeah, his taste is so discerning that he just prefers Walmart bakery soft cookies. Blech... Great job on the blog OC, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Been thinking of you and your Mom.
Nov. 21, 2012 2:21 am
MB, I support Respect The Bird. I'm not the new one. No one could replace Doug. had the Bake Friday idea on their web site. I letting people know about it. Thank you.
Nov. 21, 2012 4:35 am
Black Friday is our tradition of "Soup Day". We host it every year for friends and family that cant get together on Thanksgiving with us. We make two to three huge pots of soup that everyone helps prepare. Everyone brings a veg or two and we split the leftovers. Lots of fun and I prefer the crowded, boisterous kitchen WAY more than a crowed store any day of the year! It's FUN FRIDAY here! :)
Nov. 21, 2012 6:55 am
WFDM, I love that idea. That sounds like great fun and a wonderful way to use leftovers and probably healthier than Bake Friday.
Nov. 21, 2012 4:37 pm
Nice blog and pictures, too, OC! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I may join you in spirit on Bake Friday!
Nov. 21, 2012 5:34 pm
Thanks for stopping by Bibi! I thought Bake Friday was a great idea. However, now that WFDM mentioned her Soup Day I really like that idea.
Nov. 22, 2012 7:12 am
I am thankful for coming across this blog today! I went to a Black Friday event once several yrs ago & will never go again!! In fact, I make it a point to stay at home or at least No Shopping throughout the weekend following Thanksgiving. Besides, Why would I want to be a part of that madness & stress after cooking all day the day before? We like to have Movie Friday or Crafts Friday... Let Thanksgiving settle a bit before jumping into the Christmas spirit. We like enjoying life one holiday at a time and are also against the constant commercialization of Christmas! Thanks again for your blog! I am now on my way to pledge to Respect the Bird!!
Nov. 22, 2012 8:11 am
What a terrific blog! I could not agree with you more about the too early Christmas? merchandising. I do NOT participate in the frenzy one bit. I am in my pj's in Turkey Day prep mode and I am happy as a clam at high tide :) PS The day after TDAY is always "Flake Friday" for us. We will laze around the house and enjoy some of the wonderful leftovers from today. Happy Thanksgiving kid!
Nov. 23, 2012 5:06 pm
Hi dunnscorner! Yeah! One more pledge to respect the bird! I have never tried shopping on Black Friday. I try to stay as far away from the malls as possible. The news said that the parking lots of a couple of local malls were 100% full. I'm sure the merchants are happy but I don't want to be a part of that chaos. We got together with family today that could not make it yesterday. We had a great time.
Nov. 23, 2012 5:08 pm
Hi Mauigirl, that sounds like a great way to prep and I like your idea of "Flake Friday." We had extended family stop by and visit. To me that was much more enjoyable than fighting the crowds. Thanks for stopping by on your "Flake Friday."
Nov. 28, 2012 8:14 am
I whole heartedly agree that "Christmas fanaticism" has gone too far. I remember watching the local yard and garden store putting up the Christmas tree displays after Halloween, as it should be. Now I see them go up in stores as soon as the Back To School sales end. It cheapens the season in my opinion. After having our senses overloaded by the countless Christmas themed commercials and store displays for up to 3 months before the big day, most of are just glad it's over on the 26th. It saps the magic right out of it. I don't decorate my house for Christmas until Decemember and sometimes don't even get a tree ready until the week of. I understand exterior decorating the weekend of Thanksgiving especially if the weather is nice, but decorating before Halloween is outrageous unless you have such a large display it takes 3 months to set up. I really like the idea of Bake Friday. I have never participated in the hysteria and will never subject myself to it in the future. This year, my mother, my boyfriend's mother & sisters and I went to a production of A Christmas Carol. What a perfect way to kick of the Christmas season :) If the play is reprised next year, I'll move Bake Friday to Saturday. Thanks for sharing!!
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Occasional Cooker

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About Me
I am a working woman married to a wonderful man for over 20 years and mom to a yellow labrador retriever named Rosie. I took up cooking later in life to try to help my family to eat healthier.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook foods with lots of flavor which sometimes means spicy but not necessarily. I also like to use marinades to add flavor. We like Asian, Cajun, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Southern dishes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Growing up the kids generally did not participate in the cooking. My father did much of the cooking. Therefore, it was a lot of meat and potatoes. He made some excellent Texas style BBQ such as brisket and barbecue chicken.
My cooking triumphs
I consider it a triumph if I can make a recipe healthier and delicious so my husband does not realize it is healthy. Some triumphs include my "Kickin' Turkey Burgers, Asian Lettuce Wraps, and Braised Balsamic Chicken from this site.
My cooking tragedies
I have made several attempts to make desserts, such as cake, healthier and have not had as much luck with many of these. Whole cakes have gone in the trash after only one serving.
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