Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Friendly House families have a great Thanksgiving, thanks to WPI fraternity!!!

The Friendly House on Wall Street – a busy, giving place during the holidays!  photos: Elio Daci

The students give out food packages at the Friendly House … Go, WPI, go!!!!!

Story submitted by Elio Daci

It’s Thanksgiving Day! Most families look forward to spending time with their family over a warm, delicious Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for many of our neighbors. Between heating costs, paying bills and other expenses, many people do not have the luxury of providing a holiday meal to their families.

There is a common misconception of what
those who are unable to feed their families look like. The vast majority of the people who seek help feeding their families are not people who you see on the street corner. Many who need help feeding their families are our neighbors who work multiple jobs simply to make ends meet – the men and women who have to make tough decisions every day, such as whether to pay for heating or food.

These are the people who work hard, but cannot provide a full Thanksgiving meal to their families.

Luckily, we live in a community that is dedicated to helping alleviate this pressure for our neighbors. Over the past month, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, has worked with the Worcester County Sheriff’s office and the Friendly House of Worcester to make sure families who are struggling have a Thanksgiving meal. Our just completed food drive is part of an ongoing partnership that dates back 21 years! Over the course of this partnership, more than 2.3 million pounds of food have been collected for the Friendly House!

“Although most of us are only in Worcester for four years for college, we definitely become a part of the community,” says Elio Daci, the External Vice President of Lambda Chi Alpha at WPI. “We all want to make sure we leave this city a better place than we found it, and this is just one way we do that.”

A large portion of donations for the food drive actually comes from the fraternity’s major bag drop event. More than 10,000 bags are distributed to homes across Worcester and Shrewsbury, asking for residents to fill them with non-perishable food items. The following week, all of the donations are picked up.

“It is very rewarding to see all the
donations on people’s door steps, especially after you’ve spent so much time distributing the bags,”said Aaron Pepin, a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha. The fraternity prides itself on its ability to give back to Worcester, and this tradition will continue as long as the need exists. The work these young men do in the community is perfectly captured by Elio Daci: “We might not be changing the world, but we are definitely making a difference for a lot of families, and that is what it’s all about. That’s what makes it all worth it.”

A few of the “brothers” carry the Thanksgiving groceries for a young mom.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jett’s wearing the little Pilgrim hat Rose “colored” and cut out for him yesterday. … Did you know Jett’s “breed” – “mountain feist” –  a mix of terrier, coyote and what have you – is an American dog, almost as old as America? They’re mentioned in texts written during the Civil War. They’re found  in Appalachia, bred for squirrel-huntin’. Jett’s originally from Kentucky.

Wag that upside-down curly-q tail, ‘lil Pilgrim!   pics:R.T.

Another terrific column by Deb Young: Pets and the holidays/winter season

Lilac, 11/21: She’s all gussied up for the holiday! Go, lil’ girl, go!!

Cece and ceramic turkey.

Jett: Who gives a shit? pics:R.T.

Thanksgiving is Thursday! We repost this Deb Y. column for all the cool cats and zipiddy-doo-dogs out there! Remember: Cherish the “babies”!

 – R.T.

By Deb Young

The winter season brings many occasions to celebrate and enjoy the snowy

However, it is also a time for heightened pet safety with the introduction
of seasonal plants, foods and cold weather products.

Various forms including baking chocolate Chocolate contains caffeine-like
substances, and in some forms, a high amount of fat as well. Depending on
the amount ingested, chocolate can potentially cause vomiting, increased
thirst and urination, diarrhea, hyperactivity, elevated heart rate and
seizures – and can even be lethal in large enough doses.

Preservative for the tree may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can
upset the stomach. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria,
which can also lead to vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.

While decorations aren’t directly toxic, ribbon and tinsel can cause
gastrointestinal blockage that can be life-threatening to pets. Ornaments
can be broken or swallowed whole.

Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies and Poinsettia can be particularly harmful to your
pet. Eating Holly could produce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. If
a dog or cat eats Mistletoe, gastrointestinal upset and possibly even
cardiovascular problems could result.

Pets should not be given holiday leftovers and garbage should be kept in an
area inaccessible to animals. Poultry bones can splinter and cause damage or
blockage in the gastrointestinal tract. Spicy or fatty foods can cause
stomach upset and could possibly lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
Additionally, moldy or spoiled foods could produce food poisoning, tremors
or seizures.

Ingestions of grapes and raisins have been associated with acute kidney
failure in dogs. Some dogs initially develop vomiting and begin drinking
large amounts of water, then subsequently develop diarrhea and
life-threatening kidney failure.

Antifreeze products containing ethylene glycol are highly toxic and can
produce life-threatening kidney damage, even in small amounts. For example,
just one tablespoon of 50-50 diluted antifreeze can be lethal to a 10-pound
cat, and as little as 4 ounces in a 20-pound dog could be fatal. Many
windshield washer products contain methanol, which if ingested can cause
drooling, vomiting, drunkenness and severe central nervous system
depression. Ice melt products may contain ingredients that can be very
irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract, and could also
potentially result in more severe effects including depression, weakness,
disorientation, low blood pressure, cardiac problems, seizures, coma and
even death depending on the type of ice melt and circumstances of exposure.

A few more things to remember:

Keep your pets warm and indoors. As always cats should stay inside. Since
cats left outdoors may stay warm in car wheel wells or under hoods, you
should awake any sleeping animals by rapping on your car hood before
starting the engine.

Trips outside should remain short during the winter months. While dogs need
outdoor exercise, lengthy walks can prove harmful especially when wind chill
is a factor.

Dogs should remain leashed and supervised when outdoors throughout the year.
However in the winter do not bring them near bodies of water even if they
appear frozen.

Shorthaired dogs and clipped breeds should be dressed in protective

Wipe off your dog’s foot pads and stomach fur after returning from the

Outdoor shelters for pets should be dry, secure from wind and only large
enough for them to stand up, turn around and lie down. The shelter floor
should also be elevated from ground level and have dry bedding. A steady
water supply should be provided in plastic bowls and checked on so that it
does not freeze.

Pets that spend a greater amount of time outdoors also require more food.

Keeping the family pet safe during the holidays is simple if you plan ahead.

Unique finds at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop! …

… located at 1329 Main St., Worcester … (Webster Square area – at the corner of Main and Henshaw streets)


and every day until 7 p.m.

Shop here early for your holiday finds! – pics:R.T.









Rosalie, last week …Unique Finds also sells tee shirts, jackets, coats and boots …(not this tee, though)



Be there! …Cece…Joey, always in style!


Too too!



Cece food dish and toy on Rose…

Cece on Rose…

Mommy, you’re the bees knees!
Chef Joey will be doing up Thanksgiving!

Thanksgivings past by Chef Joey:






For your holiday meal try switching out animal products for these heart-healthy, yummy alternatives! – R.T.


Sylvie Guillem Vegan Ad_FINAL.ai

The France we’ve all tasted!

ICT_Yum Yums-edited
France is in our thoughts this holiday season … . Chef Joey makes this classic French “pie” known throughout the world – a culinary ambassador, if ever there was one!


Text, photos and recipe by Chef Joey

Who doesn’t like Quiche? Here is a quick and easy recipe. It is an inexpensive meal to make – you can feed up to eight people for under $10. 

The joy of Quiche is you can add virtually anything to it! Traditional “Quiche Lorraine” has ham and cheese – other popular additions are broccoli, chicken, spinach, cooked potatoes – the list goes on.

Vintage Peugeot truck parked in front of a bakery in France.

The Spanish have their own version called a Tortilla made with onions and potatoes. Bottom line is it is delicious, inexpensive and quick, if you use a frozen pie shell or pre-made crust that are less expensive to make (sadly) these days than homemade. But I will still include a crust recipe.

Quiche Pie Crust

2 cups flour

2 sticks butter


¼ cup cold water

Mix the flour and butter in a food processor or cut the butter into the flour until granular.

Slowly add the butter and form a ball. 

Roll it out to the size of your pie plate that is oiled and floured. 

Pinch the edges to form a crust.


6 eggs, beaten

1 cup shredded cheese (Mozzarella/Swiss/cheddar, whatever you like)

Sprinkle the bottom of the pie shell with ½ the cheese.

Mix the rest with the beaten eggs and pour into the shell. 

That’s the base! Add mushrooms, broccoli, carrots whatever you want and bake 30 Minutes at 375 – maybe 400 depending on your oven. Do a knife test in the center to make sure the quiche is cooked! 

Serve with a tasty salad and … Voila! It’s lunch time!

No turkey bones for Fido Thanksgiving day!

Double trouble!

Thanksgiving should be a time spent with friends and family  – not at your local emergency animal hospital.

Veterinarians say they typically see a significant uptick in cases during the holiday season. The most common problems include:

gastrointestinal irritations with vomiting and diarrhea

pancreatitis from eating fatty foods

an increase in animals struck by vehicles

It’s unfortunate because many of the cases are preventable. By taking some basic precautions, pet owners can ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving for all members of the family.

Tips to keep pets safe:

Don’t give your dog bones from your holiday turkey or ham. These can get lodged in the throat, which may cause choking or pierce the esophagus. Bones can also splinter and cause the intestinal track to become perforated.

Foods high in fat content can cause pancreatitis, so avoid feeding table scraps.

Also, make sure to seal garbage bags and place them in a tightly covered container to prevent your pets from getting into them.

Many foods used in holiday cooking are not safe for animals:

Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.

Make sure friends and family aren’t sneaking treats to your pets.

Be especially vigilant about xylitol, a sweetener  found in sugar-free gums, cookies and candies. The substance, which is extremely toxic to pets, is also used for baking and can even be found in some brands of peanut butter.

If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, get to an emergency animal hospital as quickly as possible.

As guests and deliveries come and go, there’s an increased opportunity for pets to slip out the door unnoticed. Try to keep pets inside, and make sure ID tags and microchip information are up to date. This greatly increases the chances of a successful reunion.

The holidays can be stressful for everyone – including pets. If your cat or dog starts showing signs of illness or distress, be sure to take them to your family veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital right away.

The changing meaning of Thanksgiving

By Gordon Davis

Like everything else, Thanksgiving changes; nothing on Earth stays the same forever.

The traditional history of Thanksgiving is that of the English Pilgrims migrating to America and landing at Plymouth on December 11, 1621. During that winter the Pilgrims or Puritans lost 46 of their party of 102. The others would have perished, too, if the Native Indians did not have pity on them. They provided the Puritans with corn and other food stuffs.  With the help of the Native Indians, the Puritans learned to farm and had a bountiful harvest in 1622. There was a celebration of bounty that Fall.

In 1676 Thanksgiving changed. Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a Thanksgiving for the victory over the “heathen” Indians. This was the end of the King Phillip War in which the town of Quinsigamond, now know as Worcester, was burned to the ground. The Colonialists from Massachusetts and Connecticut killed most of the Native Indian children at Turner Falls in Massachusetts.

The Revolutionary War found Thanksgiving changing once again. This time in October 1777 there was celebration of the Colonialists’ victory over the Imperialist British at the Battle of Saratoga. All 13 Colonies participated.

George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1789. Abraham Lincoln set the last Thursday of November as the date of celebration for the good fortune of the American Civil War. It was proclaimed to be a legal holiday in 1941 by Congress as the United States was entering World War II.

Besides the traditional and sometimes religious celebrations there is a new meaning: the Day of Mourning for the Native Indians who died due to imperialism and colonialism. This view of Thanksgiving is gaining acceptance, especially among the young.

When I think of Thanksgiving this year I think of my two friends Claire  and Scott Schaefer Duffy who have taken a vow of poverty. They live on less than $6,000 a year. Although they have their wants, as we all do, they live a good life. They make do by not living extravagantly and by socialization of needs. Essentially, they do without or they share resources with others.

Today might be the time for all of us to do the same. Conspicuous consumption has led to the development of a world economy that creates poverty, war, disruptions and the destructive forces of global warming and climate changes. There is a need to reduce our standard of living. Some of us will have to share a car or get on a bus. We will have to eat more locally grown food. We will have to share our work.

The point of no return might have already been passed in terms of climate change. When the ice of the polar caps melts, the temperature of the oceans will increase more rapidly than most of us can image.

This Thanksgiving I will be thankful to all of the people who have rejected the temptations of the profit-driven economy and conspicuous spending to live a life where human resources are more valuable than that which glitters. I am thankful for having a family and friends.

I will be thankful for being able to still write these words.