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KPBS Midday Edition Thanksgiving special

The two national Thanksgiving turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, are photographed before a pardoning ceremony at the White House on Monday.
Andrew Harnik
/
AP
The two national Thanksgiving turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, are photographed before a pardoning ceremony at the White House.

In this KPBS Midday Edition Thanksgiving special, we talk to San Diego Chef Brad Wise about what to do with your leftover turkey, how to make the best mashed potatoes and shares some Thanksgiving meal budgeting tips.

Then, Joely Proudfit, director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos, talks about some of the biggest fallacies about Thanksgiving.

Next, from a simple "thank you" to writing a list of the things you are grateful for, we hear about how gratitude is powerful and uplifting to our well-being, and KPBS listeners share what they are thankful for this year.

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Finally, KPBS staff share some holiday traditions, favorite foods and recipes.

Inflation Thanksgiving

As inflation stretches food budgets to the breaking point, some San Diego supermarkets are giving customers a break and offering Thanksgiving staples at bargain prices this year. By shopping around you can find turkeys as low as 69 cents per pound, boxed stuffing at 99 cents and pumpkin pies for $5. But overall, there’s no getting around the fact that holiday meals will be more expensive this year. So now is the time for tips on how to cut costs without having to cut corners on taste or festivities.

Brad Wise, executive chef and owner of Trust Restaurant Group, joins us to talk about Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.

The True History of Thanksgiving

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The United States has championed itself as a light of liberty in the world, while simultaneously downplaying the dark history of its foundation. Is it possible to hold on to American traditions, like Thanksgiving, while being honest about the harm American forebears did to the native people?

"I think we can begin to teach the true history of thanksgiving. Not the Thanksgiving myth shared in our society and education system," Cal State San Marcos American Indian Studies professor and Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, Joely Proudfit said.

Gratitude

As we prepare to give thanks this year, we wanted to explore more about gratitude, what it means and how it affects our lives.

Michael McCullough, a professor of psychology and director of the Center for Research on Experimental Evolutionary Psychology at UC San Diego has spent a lot of time researching gratitude and its impact on our well-being.

McCullough said when he started studying gratitude 25 years ago there was no psychological research on the subject at all. In an early study, McCullough and his colleagues conducted a study where they asked people to write down three to five things that they were grateful for, either every day for two weeks or once a week for 10 weeks. When participants did the exercise, McCullough said, they saw boosts in well-being.

"They reported that they had more positive emotions on a daily basis, that they had less negative emotion, that they were more satisfied with their lives overall and even that they had more energy that they could get through their day with more zest," McCullough said. "And a number of experiments since then have confirmed it, that, gratitude is really good for psychological well-being particularly on that positive side of joy and happiness and energy."

What Are You Grateful For?

Whether you spend all day cooking, watching football or something entirely different, the Thanksgiving tradition of sharing a meal with family and friends is also a time when many of us reflect on what we’re thankful for. We asked the KPBS audience to share what or who you are grateful for this year.

Steve Savage, a semi-retired agricultural scientist who lives in Vista, wanted to express thanks to the farmers and ranchers responsible for growing the food we eat.

"Thank you for what you do and the risks you take, and the innovations that that you spin into your business. And just for hanging in there and giving us such a great food supply in the U.S.," he said.

Maria Elena Smith, who lives in Rancho San Diego, is thankful that her husband, who is battling brain cancer, is still alive.

"My husband is a very optimistic man, and that is one of the things that our primary care physician has attributed to his survival," she said. "I'm really thankful that I still have him with us. I love him very much. He's my best friend. We've been together since 1979 and he's my soul mate."

Lynne lives in Oceanside and said she's more than grateful on Thanksgiving. When she wakes up she tries to say three things she's grateful for for every day.

"Nothing is perfect in life. There are always challenges, no matter what. I studied The Stoics, and I don't know if people are familiar with The Stoics, but I brought the philosophy into my life recently, and one of the quotes is, 'The obstacle is the way.' And it is so true when you stop and think about it, because there's always a way through the obstacle. Some way, somehow, over, under, around, through. There's always an answer on the other side," she said.

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