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Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday

By Diane Olson

Missouri Farm Bureau

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, seems to get lost in the shuffle. Fall events like Halloween and Thanksgiving have a short shelf life before stores bring out the Christmas goods.

Declaring Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday seems a no-brainer. What's not to like about it? There are no impossible gifts to find, presents to wrap, parties to attend, elaborate decorations to put up, or endless cards to mail. Many people enjoy a day, maybe two, away from work allowing a more relaxed schedule of rest, visiting, viewing television sports and parades, sleeping and eating. And eat we do!

Each year, the Missouri Farm Bureau, in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau, conducts a market basket survey to compare prices for items included in our annual Thanksgiving feast. To make these comparisons from year to year, pre-made items like cubed stuffing mix, pie shells and pumpkin pie mix are included. Your table will likely have something similar, but perhaps made from a favorite or secret family recipe.

This year's meal for 10 people rang in at $47.41, or $4.74 per person. The menu for the main course includes a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, celery and carrot sticks, cranberry sauce and rolls with real butter. A dessert of two pumpkin pies topped with whipped cream adds the crowning touch. Beverage offerings include a gallon of whole milk and coffee.

The price for the entire meal increased $4.89 cents over the 2010 cost of $42.52. Turkey prices averaged $1.21 per pound, up $0.15 over last year's cost of $1.06 per pound. Pumpkin pie mix (30-ounce can) increased $0.65 to $3.06. The three dairy items--milk, butter and whipping cream--each saw price jumps. A half-pint of whipping cream increased $0.48 to $1.91, a gallon of whole milk up $0.71 to $3.87, and a pound of butter rose $0.95 to $3.18.

The good news is Missouri prices were $1.79 lower than the national average of $49.20. Once again, Show-Me shoppers can be thankful for lower food prices than elsewhere in the nation.

This meal will easily feed 10 adults with leftovers. When utilized for additional meals, this significantly decreases the overall cost of your Thanksgiving Day meal. Feeding people for $4.74 per person sounds like a bargain to me. Of course, no labor and service charges apply.

Yes, I love Thanksgiving! It is a time for reflection, family gatherings, trying new recipes, overeating and being thankful that America's farmers work 24/7 year in and year out to provide food for our tables. Another good thing about Thanksgiving, it gets me closer to my next favorite holiday...Christmas. I've never met a holiday I couldn't enjoy.



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