Amherst experts recently weighed in on two of the biggest topics that surround Thanksgiving: uncomfortable conversation and leftovers.
Lawrence Douglas, James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, penned a satirical piece for The Guardian, advising Thanksgiving celebrants on how to avoid politics over dinner. He ruled against serving “peach-mint” jelly, urging “maybe for just this year, to stick with the cranberry sauce. Similarly, under no circumstances should you consider swapping the traditional turkey main course for chicken Kiev.”
Meanwhile, The Conversation published an essay by Samantha Presnal ’11, Center for Humanistic Inquiry fellow and visiting lecturer in French, about how leftovers became the culinary rage in France at the turn of the 20th Century.
“In 19th-century France, leftovers were a way of life for the lower classes … but by the turn of the 20th century, it had become hip to whip something up with the remains from last night’s meal,” she wrote. “In 1882, France’s new republican government passed legislation mandating education for all children ages 6 to 13. Many public schoolchildren came from the lower and lower-middle classes, and educators designed home economics lessons with this in mind … the publishing industry pounced on this potential market.”
“By turning leftovers into an art form, early home cooking magazines inspired a modern generation of home cooks to be creative and think critically about cooking. And they left their legacy to us and our leftovers,” she wrote.