Created by Black
Red loves Thanksgiving, turkey, and TV dinners, but last year she never expected that they would somehow be connected (thanks to Black!) to a history lesson. This year, even though it will be a more "normal" Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to rerun the column, while Red can't help but wonder if Black still prefers sushi over turkey …

Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I know it can't be avoided, but I feel bad that Mom's spending Thanksgiving alone, but given the coronavirus it can't be helped.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Unfortunately, there are many people in that situation this year. Myself included.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Please. You only "do" Thanksgiving because it's expected of you. Unlike Mom, you don't even want me to make you a Thanksgiving dinner care package.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Not a fan of turkey – but did you know that TV dinners were created because of Thanksgiving?



Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Sorry, but you can't convince me that someone thought lonely people would want to sit in front of their TVs eating Thanksgiving dinner. Or are you going to tell me it's related to all those televised football games?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Neither. Swanson, the frozen food company, had greatly overestimated demand for Thanksgiving turkeys in 1953, and in desperation put out a call for ideas to its employees. A salesman suggested they turn the turkeys into frozen dinners using three-compartment aluminum-foil trays similar to what airlines used for in-flight food service.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I used to love TV dinners as a kid! My favorite was the fried chicken. But as long as there were mashed potatoes, I was happy. Although, I remember them having four compartments – a meat, two veggies, and dessert. Usually apple cobbler.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


They added desserts in 1960. But, admit it, you loved that the different foods did not touch each other. And, I bet you ate the food one compartment at a time.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Of course, I did. But does it really matter why I loved them? And since you've become a TV dinner expert, what inspired them to call them "TV" dinners?


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Marketing. Frozen meals was not a new idea, it just never gained traction. But, this was 1953 – television was a new phenomenon. So, tying the two together was brilliant and TV dinners quickly became a huge market.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


That's an understatement as I remember eating them a lot growing up.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


It was a major convenience for women – whether or not they held a job outside the home. Although, eating dinner in front of the television may have contributed to the decline of family meals together. But that is another topic altogether.


Red's Head Red assets.rebelmouse.io


Well, Thanksgiving's supposed to be celebrated with family. And with a big turkey!


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


This year Thanksgiving will be different. And, I plan to celebrate with sushi.

P.S. – Black loves to do research, and while looking for an image of Swanson TV dinners, came across this wonderful television ad from 1955 for Swanson TV dinners. Boy, how times have changed.

Photo by chameleoneye for iStock


red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

At the risk of Black coming up with another potato analogy, for me, Chanukah's all about potato latkes. The childhood memories of our dad grating pounds and pounds of potatoes to the point where I'm not sure I could see our kitchen table to many decades later my eldest daughter taste-tasting latkes from an assortment of places. (I love to cook, but latkes are a lot of work.)

Of course, the lighting of the menorah is also such a special part of the holiday celebration, whether the electric menorah that my parents had where you would "twist" each light bulb as the nights progressed or the more traditional menorah with candles that my daughters and I light each year (and never leave unattended).


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I never cease to be amazed by the miracle of Chanukah (regardless of whether you spell it Chanukah or Hanukkah, or some other variation) and how the oil that was only supposed to last one day instead lasted for eight days. It is as if your cellphone indicated it is at 12% but lasts eight days. Or, if the gas gauge in your car indicates you have 25 miles left, but you are able to drive 200 miles. Sometimes things happen that defy logic, and that is where faith takes over. And a belief in something bigger than all of us.

Tomorrow is the start of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, which celebrates hope and miracles – and who could not use hope and miracles?

Happy Chanukah!

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Almost everyone likes Thanksgiving, but of course, Black's not one of them. First, she's not a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving food and only has one thing she likes, unlike most of us who'd be hard-pressed to narrow it down to one favorite. And then there's the "forced" sense of celebration. She remembers the best part of Thanksgiving when we were growing up in New York wasn't the table laden with food, but having lots of relatives busy "arguing" with each other, but that tradition ended too soon for Black. (Red, who's definitely into conflict avoidance, is glad it did.)

Black's consistent in that she also dislikes celebrating her birthday, and this year it falls on Thanksgiving. All of which creates a bit of a challenge for Red, who loves to celebrate both. So, what's Red to do? Well, believe it or not, in "RED & BLACK … A Birthday Turkey", Black's potato analogy may provide a clue.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Violence at Home #SignalForHelp

"This is probably the best thing I've seen come along in the 48 years I've been a patrol officer."Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert Acciardo


red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

Thanks for sending the link to the article about the teenager who was rescued because she used a hand signal she learned on TikTok! I had already seen the story on the news over the weekend and immediately spoke to the girls about it.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I am guessing they already knew about it, but it is those of us who are not on TikTok that need to know about it. It is one of those rare times when I think social media is valuable and, in this case, can be lifesaving.


red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

As the mother of two girls, my first instinct was to make the girls heads-up in case, G-d forbid, they ever find themselves in a situation where they can't call for help or draw too much attention to themselves. Although I guess that could happen to us, too.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I understand, but if the person seeing the signal has no idea what it means, then it is worthless. Everyone needs to watch this video. The signal is easy to do – and easy to remember.


red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io


The girl in the story was so lucky as although she was "trapped" in a car, a passing motorist knew what the signal was. Although it seems that the police in the area weren't familiar with it.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


At the risk of repeating myself, that is why everyone needs to watch this video. And, although it was initially developed by the Canadian's Women's Foundation for women facing domestic abuse, the very simple hand signal (with the palm facing out, tuck the thumb into the palm, then cover the thumb with four fingers) can be used by anyone to discreetly ask for help or show they are in distress.


red head red head assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, I give it another hand signal … a big ole thumbs up!