TheCulinaryGeek / Creative Commons

For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn't be the same without pie. Despite stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing, we all manage to save a little room for pie.

If you are turkey-averse, turkeyphobic or just bored with the bird, fear not. We've got some other main dish ideas for you.

"What I think is cool is to put a center roast on the table that comes from the woods itself: something wild, something home-hunted, like venison," Amy Thielen, Minnesotan and author of The New Midwestern Table, tells All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro. Deer, says Thielen, is "one of those secret underground proteins in the American meat-eating story."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Raouf Mama is a beloved storyteller by children and adults familiar with his books Why Goats Smell Bad and Why Monkeys Live in TreesHis love of storytelling stems from a long and honorable oral tradition that goes back to the ancient empire of Mali, when people preserved the lessons of life in memory instead of on the written page.

Raouf says we each have a story of belonging and identity. He uses his stories to entertain, comfort, and most of all as a tool to enlighten students.

Alma Dzib-Goodin / Flickr

Tonight the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets face off in game one of the 2015 World Series. A lot has changed in the 29 years since either of these clubs won the Series: a tenfold increase in the average player's salary, the commercialization of fantasy baseball, and four new expansion teams. And 'America's pastime,' has become increasingly multi-cultural with players coming from around the world.

Leyda Quast / WNPR

More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country. 

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Pumpkins line farm stands and garden centers along with mums and corn stalks this time of year. Soon, that age-old tradition of pumpkin carving will happen, but did you know the first Jack-o’-Lantern was actually a turnip?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Raouf Mama is a beloved storyteller by children and adults familiar with his books Why Goats Smell Bad and Why Monkeys Live in TreesHis love of storytelling stems from a long and honorable oral tradition that goes back to the ancient empire of Mali, when people preserved the lessons of life in memory instead of on the written page.

Raouf says we each have a story of belonging and identity. He uses his stories to entertain, comfort, and most of all as a tool to enlighten students.

What Makes a Good Flag Design?

Jul 21, 2015
UNIDO / Creative Commons

Think about the Connecticut state flag. Could you draw it from memory? What does it mean? Did you know that the three grapevines in the seal represent the state's three oldest settlements?

Friday night marked the start of Passover, when Jews around the world tell the story of Exodus. That story, with its radical message of freedom, has resonated with African-Americans since the days of slavery.

More than 40 years ago, these two communities wove their stories together for a new Passover ritual — the Freedom Seder.

Hindu Holi Festival Brings Spring Colors to Waterbury

Mar 13, 2015
John Humphrey / WNPR

Washington Park was still covered in snow this past Sunday, but that did not deter festival-goers from gathering to celebrate Holi, the Hindu spring festival, and the start of their new year.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, which, according to tradition, portends another six weeks of winter.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's just unthinkable to me that "Why Can't It Be Christmas Time All Year" is not a classic, and a staple of holiday music. But it's not. In fact, you've probably never heard of it or Rosie Thomas, who recorded it. And that helps explain why it has been 20 years since any song became a mainstream hit. "All I Want For Christmas Is You", released by Mariah Carey in 1994, did what is now impossible - it survived its first season, and became a song that is played every year during the holidays, and performed by other people. It got a big boost, of course, from the movie "Love Actually", but that's not the only reason it stuck around. But 20 years is a long time to go without another success in that department.

Several years ago, I wrote a sports Christmas story. It was about a greedy basketball superstar who, imbued with Yuletide cheer, helps save his small-market franchise.

A big-time producer wanted to make a TV movie out of it. So off I went to Hollywood to turn my story into a script and thereby, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, make a killing.

Let me tell you: It's hard to write a Christmas story about sport.

Reading, Pa., is one of the poorest cities in the country. So when a shabby-looking, 50-foot Christmas tree went up in the middle of the city's downtown around Thanksgiving, many saw it as a metaphor for the city's troubles.

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On the menu... How to make superb steak with velvety peppercorn sauce... the perfect affordable holiday Bordeaux... Spiked Coquito and egg nog... how one of the best food magazine editors learned to correct all her mistakes (and you can, too)... plus holiday gift ideas for food-lovers...

Marta Crowe / Creative Commons

Last week, while discussing some of classical music’s great Christmas works, I casually mentioned that I might want to extend the conversation to the pop music side.

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

More and more Americans are passing on gluten — some for medical reasons, most by choice. Others are adopting diets that exclude meat, or insisting on the kinds of unprocessed foods that early man would have hunted and gathered.

All of this is a challenge to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Institute for Community Research

The patchwork of Connecticut is one of incredible intricacy and texture, stitched together by the stories of the people that have come to call our small state home. The Hudson family of Bristol has one such story.

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The day after Thanksgiving is not only the biggest leftover eating spree of the year; movie theaters are as packed as our stomachs are. To catch our list of what's playing now and what's coming for the holidays, listen to our conversation with Arnold Gorlick, founder of Madison Art Cinemas in Madison, Conn.

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Here’s our Thanksgiving recipe kit to help make your holiday feast the best it can be. You’ll find here all the delicious dishes, ideas for leftovers, and recommended wines and cocktails we’ve been giving you for more than a month on The Food Schmooze®. 

The Mad Dash to the Manchester Road Race

Oct 30, 2014
Simon Thalmann/flickr creative commons

It’s a minute before the starting gun sounds, when that familiar P.A. announcer’s voice rings forth: “It’s Thanksgiving Day in Manchester, where else would you rather be?” That’s an easy one. If I had any smarts I’d be home in my sweats and bathrobe, prepping “Mr. Tom Butterball” and watching the pre-race antics on Fox-61. Instead, I’m packed into a wave of restive humanity, a scene right out of Times Square on New Year’s Eve; pressed-up against two girls dressed like Pilgrims and a rather large framed gentleman who’s testing the limits of “span” on his Spandex running suit. I applaud him. At least he’s out here!

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The musician Christy Moore said Ireland could never have the equivalent of a folk revival because it never let its traditions lapse. And that's very true. The are probably other places in the world as deeply attached to their traditional music, but I don't know where they are.

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe / Creative Commons

As Ukrainian Christmas celebrations get underway, the recent political protests in Kiev have been on the forefront of some people's minds this holiday season.

On-going rallies have been held at Independence Square in Kiev in opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych's stand with Russia. Protesters want their former Soviet-country to sign an economic deal with the European Union.

It's 2014 in Australia, New Zealand and other places on the "other side" of the international date line.

So we want to wish everyone a happy new year.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There are some holiday songs that should banned. I'm sorry, Burl Ives, but there's really no reason for anybody to have to hear "Holly Jolly Christmas" ever again.

And Little Drummer Boy? There's almost no way to describe the sinking feeling that tune gives me. Except, well, to call it a sinking feeling. On the other hand, I don't mind Mariah Carey singing "All I Want for Christmas Is You," but my producers are pretty much coming though the glass of the control booth at me for saying that.

Jo Christian Oterhals/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired December 22, 2011.  

Join Faith for one of our favorite shows on the joys of the holiday season, from family and friends to presents and donations to those in need. In this busy life, we'll pause to appreciate Christmas.

The Connecticut Historical Society, 1995.36.1583

"For Muriel Armstrong From Santa" These words are written on a child’s easel blackboard sitting next to a tree decorated with tinsel, beads, glass ornaments and even an American flag. Other presents, including dolls, a sewing set, Bradley’s Toy Village, and “Denslow’s One Ring Circus and Other Stories” surround the tree. This black and white photograph captures the Christmas morning scene for a comfortable Connecticut family about 100 years ago.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today we're talking about the afterlife of characters from classic Christmas stories. What happened, in later years, to Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" or Susan Walker from "Miracle of 34th Street" or Charlie Brown or Clara from "The Nutcracker?"