Here’s a little Thanksgiving trivia for your holiday conversation.

Ben Franklin wanted the turkey instead of the bald eagle to be the representative bird of America.

More than 200 cranberries are required to make a single can of cranberry jelly.

Sarah Josepha Hale championed for many years for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. She also wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

If a cranberry bounces, it is sweet enough to be harvested.

About 7% of shoppers wait until the day before Thanksgiving to shop for groceries.

John F. Kennedy was the first president to pardon a turkey.

The average eater at Thanksgiving dinner will consume 4,500 calories.

The world’s most expensive Thanksgiving dinner goes for $150,000 at New York City’s Old Homestead Steakhouse.

About 46 million turkeys and 50 million pumpkin pies will be consumed Thursday.

The first Thanksgiving lasted three days.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day inaugural parade featured animals from the Central Park Zoo but no balloons.

Only male turkeys gobble.

Feel free to share this information, but don’t be surprised if there’s a big lull in the conversation once the food is served.

Among the best benefits of hosting Thanksgiving are the leftovers. Our dad always told my sister Sue and me to take all the leftover turkey we wanted but to leave the ham. We just smiled and ignored him.

Turkey is probably the easiest Thanksgiving leftover to make good use of later. Tetrazzini, pot pie, white chili, turkey salad, enchiladas, wraps, turkey and noodles — just about any recipe calling for cooked chicken.

The turkey nachos are a welcome change of pace for after the holiday. Top with your favorite toppings. This recipe is adapted from

My husband, Chris, celebrated his birthday Sunday, so I’m sharing his favorite cake in his honor. This is the cake That Joplin Woman always baked for his birthday.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy eating.

Leftover turkey nachos

Tortilla chips

2 cups cooked turkey, cut into cubes or shredded

1 (5-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 to 1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup pepper jack cheese

Spread evenly enough tortilla chjps to cover bottom of baking pan. Combine remaining ingredients except cheeses; spread evenly over chips. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil or bake at 450 degrees until cheese melts.

Orange cake


1 yellow cake mix

1 large package orange Jell-O

2/3 cup boiling water

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon orange extract

4 eggs, well beaten


2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup melted butter

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water; let cool. Mix in remaining cake ingredients and pour into sprayed 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. While cake is still hot, poke holes over entire cake. Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over cake.

Yields 12 servings.

Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.

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Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.