Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

The Thanksgiving issue of The News-Gazette reported that the American Farm Bureau says “a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will run the average American family $50.11 this week, up 70 cents from a year ago.”

One might wonder what a “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner consists of or what is an “average American family,” but this statement made me consider what our T-giving lunch cost.

American Farm Bureau
2015 Price
Miscellaneous ingredients
3.18
Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.
3.57
Whipping cream, 1/2 pint
1.94
Milk, 1 gallon whole
3.25
Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz.
3.20
1-pound relish tray (carrots and celery)
.79
Green peas, 1 lb.
1.52
Cubed stuffing, 14 oz.
2.61
16-pound turkey
23.04
Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.
2.29
Pie shells (2)
2.47
Rolls, 12
2.25
TOTAL
50.11






















List of ingredients looks reasonable …. Although I have no recollection of us ever having green peas for our holiday meal.  Here are the prices of our meal this year:

Our Meal
Price
Pumpkin pie
free
Cool Whip
.99
Green beans, 1 can Del Monte w/ potatoes
.59
Stove Top Stuffing, 1 box
.75
5-pound turkey breast
8.15
Onion soup mix, used to season turkey
.65
Cranberry sauce, 1 can
.99
Rolls, 4 (Sister Schubert)
1.00
TOTAL
13.12
















Our list is not as extensive as that of the Farm Bureau, but it was plenty for us.  We had a second meal Friday evening using leftover turkey, stuffing, and gravy, and finished off the last of the turkey with a delicious soup on Sunday.

White Chicken Chili
(from gooseberrypatch.com)

2 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 C. chicken broth
6 cans (15-1/2 oz.) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
3 cans (5-oz.) chicken drained
2 cans (4-oz.) diced green chiles
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 container (12-oz.) sour cream
3 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except sour cream and cheese. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until heated through. Shortly before serving, add sour cream and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

I reduced our soup and used roughly one-third the amount of ingredients.  I also used leftover broth from the cooked turkey on Thursday in addition to a can of broth.  I definitely suggest adding sour cream to the soup - it added a nice flavor.  I estimate our soup made 4 generous portions.

Here are some more comparisons from the American Farm Bureau.

1986
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
$28.74
$28.85
$29.64
$32.37
$36.78
$43.47
$50.11


~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.

Gas Prices
I couldn’t resist filling the tank on Saturday even though it was only down slightly over a fourth of a tank.  The price was $1.69/gallon … the lowest it has been since February 2008 – nearly 6 years!  The last time I paid under $2/gallon was 11 months ago.  It has dipped slightly below $2 a couple times since then, but I always missed that magical amount.  Prices were in the $3 range from January 2011 through September 2014.  I never paid $4, but it got close a couple times.  Let’s see how long this good fortune will last.  (source: "gas book" that is kept in the car)
 

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