A few Thanksgiving-related items:
- To go “cold turkey”: to stop an addictive habit suddenly and completely. To be contrasted with a gradual cessation or weaning.
There are differing opinions on the origin of the term. One theory is that the term derives from the cold, clammy feel of the skin during withdrawal, like a turkey that has been refrigerated. Along the same lines, the term may refer to the goosebumps and cold sweats that abstaining addicts may suffer from.
Another theory is that the term derives from a combination of “cold”: in the sense of “straightforward” or “matter-of-fact”, as in “the cold, hard truth”, and “talking turkey”, meaning to speak plainly. Proponents of this theory refer to the fact that the term was used before it was applied to withdrawals from drug addiction.
- John Lennon wrote a song called “Cold Turkey”, which was performed by the Plastic Ono Band. The song was first performed on September 13, 1969 in Toronto, and appeared on an album called “Live Peace in Toronto 1969”. The song’s lyrics are definitely not about a Thanksgiving dinner leftover.
- When cooking turkey, it shouldn’t be cold. Butterball has a “Turkey Calculator” that will tell you how big a turkey to buy, how long to thaw it, and how long to cook it, based on the number of guests.
- “Did you know that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving at the beginning of October and yet Americans celebrate their Thanksgiving at the end of November? That means we must have invented it, because we celebrate it first. Did you? It’s a fact.” – “It’s a Canadian Fact”, SCTV.
Cold turkey or hot, enjoy your Thanksgiving.
Fall arrived this year on Monday September 23. On that date, the plane of the earth’s equator passed through the centre of the sun. The Earth’s axis is not tilted towards or away from the sun: equinox. Simply put, colder days and longer nights ahead.
“Equinox” comes from the Latin word “aequinoctium, or “equal nights”. On equinox, we have darkness and light for approximately 12 hours each. (There are some variations, depending on geography and physics.)
The onset of fall signals the onset of pumpkin spice time. Although I am not a fan of the mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice in anything other than a pumpkin pie, it appears that the spice mix has found its way into just about everything. Lattes are an obvious example. However, it is now found in Spam. At the liquor store, you can find pumpkin spice beer, whisky (“Nose: Perfect subtle sweet pumpkin pie combined with a barrel oak scent to create a very pleasing aroma. Taste: Pumpkin and whisky at the forefront with the spice becoming more predominant later in the taste sequence. A nice whisky/pumpkin finish.”), and Baileys (“aromas and flavours of nutmeg, pumpkin, vanilla pie crust and coffee”).
In Canadian courts, pumpkin spice has made a few recent appearances. In R. v. King, 2019 ONCJ 366, the accused was charged with communicating with a person under 16 for the purposes of committing an unlawful sexual act. The admitted facts were that the accused, aged 52, chatted online with a police detective posing as a 14 year old girl. The accused arranged to meet with the “girl”, and arrived in his vehicle with “a flannelette blanket, a purple vibrator, some baby wipes and the pumpkin spice latte” that the “girl” requested. As summarized by the court, “”the defendant drove over 200 kilometres with tools of seduction at hand and pumpkin spice latte at the ready.”
Pumpkin spice latte also figured in a very different type of case. In Bernstein v. Peoples Trust Company, 2019 ONSC 2867, the issue was the certification of a class action involving a claim of improperly charged fees on “payment cards”. The Defendant argued that the payment card was not a gift card because it did not create an entitlement to purchase any specific item, and was merely a cash replacement. In the Applicant’s Factum, which the judge agreed with, the Applicant argued that the card entitled the holder to make purchases. It was akin to a gift card. “… the holder of a Starbucks card does not have a specific entitlement to be sold a pumpkin-spice latte in July, only a general entitlement to the products that the coffee chain offers at a particular time.”
Enjoy the season/seasoning.