We tend to associate childhood memories with holidays and summer vacations. Adults keep looking for those desserts, but chefs today are reinterpreting that nostalgia.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means pumpkin pie. For many, it might be the only time we eat veggies in a dessert. In the US’s deep south, sweet potato pie is a favorite. We also know about zucchini bread and carrot cake, as well, but talented chefs are branching out.
This wonderful family holiday is celebrated by Americans around the world, no matter where they live. It's the time for families to get together and share a delicious feast. The day often includes watching football on TV and planning for “Black Friday” shopping deals!
It is a genuine family holiday and many of us have touching or hilarious stories about Thanksgivings past.
MyHeritage invites you to share your funny stories for the chance to win a one-year PremiumPlus membership. Simply comment on this post or post comments on our Facebook wall or, if you can fit it into 140 characters, tweet them @myheritage. The winning story will be announced on Friday.
Since I can’t participate in the competition as I'm part of the MyHeritage team, here’s my hilarious holiday story.
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot."
This is a classic playground rhyme learned by every British school child. It marks an important event that took place 407 years ago today. But what's it all about?
Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night and Fireworks night) is celebrated in Great Britain on November 5. It commemorates the failed plot to assassinate King James I on November 5, 1605 at the official state opening of Parliament. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords, killing the King and all the dignitaries present.
Guy was arrested following a 'tip to the authorities while guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder that had been smuggled into the House of Lords. He, along with his fellow co-conspirators, was executed.
Why do we love Halloween? Is it the costumes? The candy?
Are you ready for Halloween?
According to a recent US National Retail Federation survey, a record 170 million Americans plan to spend $8 billion on Halloween, for costumes, candy and decorations.
English professor Eric Wilson of Wake Forest University says we love the holiday for deeper reasons than just a night of fun, especially during economic difficulties.
Escapism from hard times is part of this. He says that, on Halloween, we can pretend to be someone else, and not focus on worries or regrets.
Celebrating the enchanted is another part of this and takes people’s minds off their “limitations and mortality.”
National Hispanic Heritage Month, in the US, celebrates the culture and traditions of Americans with roots in Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It is observed from September 15 through October 15.
First observed as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, it was expanded in 1988 to cover the 30-day period.
Some 14% of the US population – more than 42.7 million Americans – have an Hispanic origin, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is considered the largest ethnic minority in the country.
Tens of millions of Hispanics emigrated from Spain. Some came directly to the US and countries south, some first went to the Philippines or the Caribbean Islands and then arrived here. Spain was in the Caribbean and Mexico long before the English were in what would become the US. The state of New Mexico was settled by the Spanish in 1598, and they were in Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1565.
Tracing your Hispanic heritage may not lead directly back to Spain, but may go from the US to many other places, including Europe, Africa and even Eastern Europe. There may be many surprises along the way.
The 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, from September 29-October 6, will be celebrated in the US as groups - some on college campuses - read passages from the American Library Association’s top banned and challenged books.
Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania) will hold a literary flash mob read-out at 1pm on Monday, October 1, near the library.
Among the books on the list: To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter, Beloved, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm and many others.
Many of them illustrate relationships between families (conventional or not) and among family or group members. Today, most seem rather tame and quite ordinary but, when first published, the topics, characters and story lines were considered controversial.
Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the US. The legal holiday has been celebrated for more than 100 years and came out of the labor movement. It is a tribute to contributions made by workers.
To many, however, the three-day weekend is the last blast of summer, with many communities’ schools opening on the day after.
For more on the holiday, look at the Department of Labor's Labor Day 2012 page, with videos, resources and more.
Although more than a century old, the actual founder of the day is not certain. Some believe that the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Peter J. McGuire, who was also a founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to suggest a day to honor workers. Others believe that a machinist, Matthew Maguire – we don’t know if he was related to Peter - founded the day.
What’s your most memorable 4th of July family memory?
We may celebrate at a lake, at the beach, in a backyard or at a neighborhood park. It’s always a day for family and friends to gather. No matter what was going on in other parts of the world (see newspaper article from 1940 below), this holiday was celebrated to remind us of the freedoms we enjoyed at home.
My grandparents owned a large property with some 80 summer rental cottages, about two hours north of New York City. Many of the same families returned year after year, and we became a close group as we grew up together.
My grandmother organized the two main summer events: 4th of July at the season's opening, and the Labor Day festivities in early September, signaling the end of our carefree summer, returning to the city and getting ready for school.
In the faux Tudor “big house,” Grandma's big country kitchen sported a black cast iron stove, the source of everything delicious! Every year, she produced buckets of the most delicious coleslaw, potato and macaroni salads.
Last week we asked you to send in your best fatherly advice. We wanted to hear the advice you have given your children, or advice your father has given you.
We received lots of great pearls of wisdom and in honor of Father's Day we wanted to share our favorite ones with you.
- Frances Lynch: My father always said "look after the pennies and the pounds will mind themselves". So true!
- Debbie Baldwin: "A friend is like a dollar in your pocket."
- Diana N Gary Dinsick: "When in doubt do the right thing."
- Ali Eltigani Mahmoud: "Don't make friends with money."
- Susan Yeatman: "Don’t let anyone make you do something that you don’t want to do."
- A Phakade Mchunu: Our Dad said "Manners and honesty are your passport to success."
- Nancy Mendes: My father taught me what family truly is and not to be selfish. RIP Albert Henry Smith
- Lillian Heron: Dad used to say "Never think anyone is more important than you and never think anyone is beneath you. Treat everyone as your equal and most important - be yourself".
- Barbara Pettard: My father taught me by example: honor, trust, honesty & truth!
- Prisca Campbell: "Never let the gas tank fall below half empty". I still hear my Dad's voice in my head whenever I look at the gas gauge.
- Geraldine Barker: Ever the entrepreneur his advice: "Always buy land because God isn't making it anymore".
Fathers are known as the bastions of advice, the go-to address for pearls of wisdom. They know what to say - in every situation - whether asked for an opinion or not!
Many of our life decisions and character traits are shaped by our fathers' advice.
As we approach Father's Day - Sunday, June 17 - we'd like you to share the best advice your father gave you or that you, as a father, have given to your own children.
Tell us in comments below or on our Facebook wall. Our favorite will receive a 1 year PremiumPlus MyHeritage subscription.
Let's use Father's Day to collect the best in paternal wisdom, to share with everyone.
Happy Father's Day!