I’m Really Tired Of Hearing About It.


It seems that since before Halloween there is one theme that we haven’t been able to escape. You hear about it on the radio, you see commercials for it on television, the web, Facebook, and even Twitter. I remember back in the “old days” when we never heard the term mentioned. We wouldn’t have known what it was even if we were told about it.  The inescapable term I am referring to is “Black Friday.”

Black Friday
Black Friday Deals | Image by

The commercials for “Black Friday” sales started before November even began. For a sale named after one single day it is irritating to have it stretched out for the whole month of November right up to the big push for Christmas shopping sales.  I have always wondered when it started and whether it meant the same thing it represents today.

Gould & Fisk
Jay Gould & James Fisk Black Friday Scandal | Image by

My first search went to the old standby Wikipedia and here is the explanation they published: “For centuries, the adjective ‘black’ has been applied to days upon which calamities occurred. Many events have been described as ‘Black Friday,” although the most significant such event in American History was the Panic of 1869, which occurred when financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk took advantage with their connections with the Grant Administration in an attempt to corner the gold market. When President Grant learned of this manipulation, he ordered the Treasury to release a large supply of gold, which halted the run and caused prices to dropped eighteen percent. Fortunes were made and lost in a single day, and the President’s own brother-in-law, Abel Corbin, was ruined.” The stock market crashed as a result and stock prices fell a devastating twenty percent.

Lincoln & Thanksgiving Day
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation | Image by

Believe it or not, it was Abraham Lincoln who designated Thanksgiving Day as a US holiday. He picked the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. According to “In 1939, during the Great Depression, Thanksgiving happened to fall during the fifth week of November. Retailers warned that they go bankrupt because the holiday shopping season was too short. They petitioned President Franklin D. Roosevelt to move the Thanksgiving Holiday up to the fourth Thursday.” As it turned out, the change was made too late for that year which seriously hurt sales. Again quoting “Unfortunately, by this time it was late October. Most people had already made their plans. Some were so upset that they called the holiday ‘Franksgiving’ instead. Only 32 states followed FDR’s move. It took until 1941 for congress to pass the law making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November no matter what.”

It seems that many people in the 1950s took advantage of the Thursday holiday by calling in sick Friday so they could have the long 4-day weekend. Many businesses gave employees the Friday off knowing there would be serious absenteeism if they were told to work. But how did “Black Friday” become the day after Thanksgiving? Back to for this “In 1966, the Black Friday name became famous in print. That’s when a story appeared in an ad in the American Philatelist, a stamp collectors’ magazine. The Philadelphia Police Department used the name to describe the traffic jams and crowding in the downtown stores.

In The Black
In The Black Or In The Red | Image by

There is one more explanation given for calling it Black Friday and that is from the economics of a business. Businesses are often in the red (not making a profit) until the Friday after Thanksgiving when shoppers spend much more money than at any other time of the year. It does not matter how it came about. All that matters to the business is that people spend enough money and all that matters to the customers is that the feel the got a good deal for their money. I’m not even going to discuss “Cyber Monday” because it usually lasts only a week. Happy shopping!

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can email me at: [email protected].


A Special Whiskey for a Thanksgiving Cocktail: Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon & the Old Pal


It’s here – my most favorite time of year! We get to surround ourselves with loved ones, think about all the things we are grateful for, and eat our weight in mashed potatoes! Wheeee! What more could you want? Well, booze of course, duh. Don’t worry your sweet potato head about it. I gotchoo, boo.

I always tend to think this special occasion is deserving of a special cocktail. I mean, what kind of cocktail blogger would I be if I didn’t think you should go big or go home for your signature Turkey Day cocktail?! Let’s bring in the big guns…

Just look at that sexy mofo. Beautiful Art Deco cuts and curves and swerves, and inside that beauty is an exquisite high rye bourbon blend of aged reserves to match. Style & substance – my favorite combo. Swoon-worthy on many levels.

As of last Monday – the birthdate of legendary “King of the Bootleggers,” George Remus – the American distilling powerhouse, MGP Ingredients has added a limited release, premium bourbon, Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon to its expanding spirits portfolio. MGP, a historic 170-year-old distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, (that I was lucky enough to visit recently!) is known for producing quality juice for some of the top whiskey brands in the country. They have only recently dipped their toes into producing their own line of products. And they’re taking their time to get it right. For their first reserve bourbon, the talented distillery team at MGP has chosen to use high rye bourbons from 2005 and 2006 to create a spicy, complex whiskey that will have you wondering if it’s an aged rye or unusual bourbon. Perfect for an Old Pal cocktail!

A close relative of the Negroni and Boulevardier, as it’s usually made with equal parts spirit, Campari and vermouth, the Old Pal, unfortunately, is often forgotten about. It was first published in 1922 – at the height of George Remus’ fame – in Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails written by Harry MacElhone of the famed Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. I can’t help but think that if old George Remus actually drank (that’s right, he was a teetotaler!), this might be one of his favorite cocktails!

Aside from wanting to share this oft forgotten about cocktail, I also want to note how the Old Pal is the PERFECT spirit forward cocktail that you’ll need to whet your whistle with before that bird comes out, during the feast and after, with dessert. Remus Reserve holds up to the bold personality of Campari, and the blend of dry vermouth makes it less sweet than a Boulevardier. Upping the amount of whiskey versus using equal parts makes this cocktail really let the whiskey shine. So, grab that special bottle and make this classic cocktail for a memorable day of thanks, indeed!

Old Pal
1 1/2 oz Rye or Bourbon – Remus Repeal Reserve recommended!
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
Garnish: Lemon Peel

Place all ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

Remus Repeal Reserve will be available in select markets across the country, rolled out in a series of events leading up to Repeal Day, December 5, commemorating the end of Prohibition.














The post A Special Whiskey for a Thanksgiving Cocktail: Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon & the Old Pal appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

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Dinners Given to Military Families

Military ThanksgivingEUGENE, Ore. — One hundred military families got thanksgiving meals this Wednesday morning at an Albertsons in Eugene. The store on 18th Ave. donated the money from its Turkey Bucks campaign to support those who serve America and the loved ones they leave behind.

Sandy Giles’s husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan for the holiday season and their 25th anniversary, which is in December. While Giles will have to celebrate without him, she says she’s glad she won’t feel so alone now.

“It’s real comforting you know, because he’s not here. So, it’s nice to get together with people who realize what’s going on and it’s just an honor, really an honor to be here and be recognized for being military,” says Giles.

Each meal included a turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and sparkling cider.

Police Increase DUII Patrols

Eugene PoliceEUGENE, Ore. — In an effort to protect the community against impaired drivers, the Eugene Police Department will put saturation patrols on the road and search out those driving under the influence.

Drivers who suspect dangerous or possible DUII drivers are encouraged to call 911 to support the effort.

The targeted DUII enforcement effort is designed to make things safer for people driving for the Thanksgiving holiday. Eugene Police say they’re encouraging everyone to celebrate responsibly to keep everyone safe during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Weekend Winery Events


Turkey isn’t the only thing to celebrate during Thanksgiving! This upcoming weekend is one of the best times of the year to go explore all of our local wineries! Nearly every winery is open for tasting, and many have special events. In lieu of my usual review, I wanted to share some exciting events going on near us.

3 Turkey wine illustration

No matter where you decide to head this weekend to go tasting, you will find some amazing examples of the great wines coming out of our vineyards. Here are a few must hit spots from all over Oregon!

Airlie Winery

A little bit North…

  • Airlie Winery: With over 12 different wines to choose from, Airlie Vineyards has a fantastic selection of wines to try. They will also be offering case discounts and delicious food. Open from 12 – 5 pm on Friday (11/28), Saturday (11/29), and Sunday (11/30).  Location: 15305 Dunn Forest Rd, Monmouth, OR 97361 Contact: (503) 838-6013
  • Benton Lane Winery: Known for excellent estate grown Pinot noir and Pinot gris, Benton Lane is a must try. Open Friday (11/28) and Saturday (11/29) from 12 -5 pm. Live music from 1 – 4 pm. On Sunday (11/30), wood fired oven pizza will be available as well. Location: 23924 Territorial Hwy, Monroe, OR 97456        Contact: (541) 847-5792
  • Tyee Wine Cellars: This winery’s 2012 Estate grown Pinot noir was just voted #1 wine in Oregon by Portland Monthly – a must try! Open from 12 – 5 pm the 28th, 29th, and 30th. Location: 26335 Greenberry Rd, Corvallis, OR 97333 Contact: (541) 753-8754
  • Brigadoon Vineyards: This family run winery is producing some excellent Pinot blanc and Pinot noir. This weekend they will be open the 28th, 29th, and 30th with daily food and wine pairings. Live music on Saturday. Location: 25166 Ferguson Rd, Junction City, OR 97448 Contact: (541) 998-8708
Jonathan Oberlander at his urban winery

Closer to Home…

  • J.Scott Cellars: An urban winery in the heart of Eugene, J.Scott Cellars produces high quality wines with grapes sourced mostly from Southern Oregon. Open the 28th, 29th, and 30th from 1 – 9 pm. They will feature a guest winery each day (Gerardie Cellars on Saturday and Camp Creek Cellars on Sunday). Local food carts and live music. Location: 520 Commercial St #G Eugene, OR 97402
  • Oregon Wine Lab: What a great addition to Eugene’s growing wine community! This place has wines from a few different local wine makers, live music, and local food carts. Open on the 28th from 12 – 10pm, the 29th from 12 – 8 pm, and the 30th from 12 – 6 pm. Check it out! Location: 488 Lincoln St, Eugene, OR 97401
    Contact: (458) 201-7413
  • Sylvan Ridge Winery: This winery is a staple of the Eugene area. They have been in operation for over 32 years and produce some fantastic varietals. The tasting room will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12 – 5 pm. Live music from 1:30 – 4 pm. Location: 27012 Briggs Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97405
    Contact: (541) 345-1945
  • Noble Estate Winery: This winery is hidden in the hills right outside of Eugene. They produce some fantastic wines at great prices. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they will be featuring live music, chocolate tastings, and will be providing a donation bin for Bags of Love (a local foundation that provides necessities to children in need). What a great time! Location: 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd, Eugene, OR 97402
Abacela Vineyards

Just a tad South…

  • Del Rio Vineyards and Winery: Southern Oregon has some great varietals coming out of it, and Del Rio is leading the way. I loved their 2012 Chardonnay and look forward to trying more varietals! This weekend they will be selling mystery cases (while supplies last!) and premiering their 2012 Syrah. They will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 – 5 pm. Location: 52 N River Rd, Gold Hill, OR 97525 Contact: (541) 855-2062
  • Brandborg Winery: Nestled in Elkton, Brandborg produces some very nice wines. They make everything from Pinot noir to Cabernet franc. What variety! This weekend they will be open from Friday to Sunday from 11 – 5 pm. Check it out! Location: 345 1st St, Elkton, OR 97436 Contact: (541) 584-2870
  • Abacela: If you haven’t been to Abacela yet – you owe yourself a visit. Located just outside of Roseburg, it has a fantastic view and wines to match. They will be having a special event this weekend offering wine tasting, tapas, and a signature wine glass for $15. Location: 12500 Lookingglass Rd, Roseburg, OR 97471
    Contact: (541) 679-6642
  • Quady North: This winery is truly living the dream. They started their vineyard in 2006, and have acres of many big red varietals (Like Syrah and Cabernet franc!). I highly recommend trying the 2013 Pistoleta – it is one of my favorite finds. Friday (11/28) and Saturday (11/29) the tasting room will be open from 11 – 7 pm. Wine maker Herb Quady will be making an appearance as well! Location: 255 E California St, Jacksonville, OR 97530 Contact: (541) 702-2123


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to go and explore our amazing wineries located throughout Oregon. Whether you head up north for some cold climate Pinot Noir or down south for some big red varietals, this is the weekend to do it. Go out and see what fantastic finds are out there! Cheers!

Growing Up Italian: Giving Many Grazie


Thanksgiving if the holiday that made me a better person. It made me more aware that there are so many reasons to be grateful, and I need to celebrate each one of them.

Mille Grazie!( A thousand thank you)

282574_3992988218608_817038196_n Holiday table at my house

Growing up I never celebrated this special day, but lately, due to the fact that a lot of Americans make Italy their final living destination, it is more and more common to see some traditions from the New Continent getting established like  “trick or treaters” for Halloween or  a full traditional Thanksgiving menu offered in restaurants all over the boot shaped peninsula.

In my own journeys, I discovered a common denominator to food gatherings over the world: most of the time a celebration brings together the ancestral human need to be grateful for something, and the primordial need to eat to survive.

It doesn’t matter if I’m in Oregon, giving Thanks on the anniversary of the Pilgrims celebration for their first harvest in 1621, or in Italy giving Grazie just because we love food and good company!  Sharing a communal table with the people who enhance my life making it special  is the true meaning of Thanksgiving for me. By the same token, who said giving Grazie (or Thanks) has to happen only once a year?

Unlike Christmas with its trees, presents and wants and needs, Thanksgiving is more of a “stop and think” holiday. It’s a day that goes really through my heart and my mind.

I hosted many dinners to celebrate my being grateful for something. Growing older makes me appreciate more each birthday for instance. Some people didn’t get even to get as old as me. More wrinkles bring less doubts, while an older body, they say, often carries a younger spirit. With the clock ticking away, a reminder of my own mortality, I must find a greater purpose. For this opportunity too, I AM grateful.

“GIVE OUT WHAT YOU MOST WANT TO COME BACK” a friend once told me.

One doesn’t necessarily have to give away money to be generous. I give away my time and my talents, my food. These days where everyone is over-occupied, when fast food has replaced a sit down family lunch, I discovered that the simple gesture of taking time to bake an Artisanal loaf of bread is extremely welcome. It creates ripples of goodwill, and it does “come back” in other forms like an unexpected bucket of garden produce, or a book or flowers. This is also Thanksgiving to me. For all of this too, I AM grateful.

10519731_10152493555808581_3437067438979375105_n This sticker is hanging on my refrigerator, constant reminder to GIVE

Just recently, as you know, I lost my only immediate aunt. Her whole life was a statement to the importance of being generous. Feeding the lesser fortunate, helping a friend in need, hosting a huge family gathering…. She was all that and more, and her absence was felt, indeed.

In my twenties I wasn’t exactly sure of what my role in life would be. I was profoundly envious of the ones who did.  I knew however, that growing older without having seen the world would not be an option. Will Smith says: “If you want something go get it. Period”. Easier said than  done, but I wanted to give it a try.  I decided to grow BOLDER while getting OLDER.

A little dose of selfishness was necessary to make it through the tough times. The reward- in my case- was the fact that I got to go through a new path. Make new friends and be more understanding, compassionate, and appreciative of life in general. The journey of self discovery  was challenging, but once I found me, I must say, I’m pretty happy with what I see.

Being totally alone in a foreign country, I found my passion, the key to my inner happiness and emotional balance.  It wasn’t were I had been looking all along: it wasn’t through fancy clothes or strolling on exotic beaches. It was through food. Simple, earthy, traditional food from my childhood cooked with love for the ones I care about.

I still like all the good things life has to offer: exotic and fancy travels, new shoes and clothes, of course. I just know what I can do and don’t feel deprived if I don’t get to have any. Another reason, for me, TO BE grateful.

In conclusion, it’s up to you on how you want to give Thanks this week. I’m sure you, like me, have plenty of reasons to be grateful.  Everyone deserves a little celebration. Make it  BOLD, or Italic :)…just never regular!!

Of the many Thanksgivings parties I threw over the years, the dinners that seem to be better perceived are the ones where I cook a sort of fusion between traditional Italian and conservative American. The recipe I chose for today belongs to this category.

From my grateful heart to your house, today, I’m thanking you for reading this. Make it a special one!! Until next time, Mangia! and Ciao!

Serves 4

DSCF4537 Stuffed Turkey Breast, my way :)


  • 1 turkey breast (about 2 1/2 lbs) ask your butcher to debone it and butterfly it for you
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 shallot , minced
  • 3 baby Bella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 oz sausage
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/3 C dry cranberries
  • 1/4 C chopped pecans
  • 1/2 C Marsala wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Frittata, RECIPE follows


In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the minced shallot and cook on low heat until soft.

Add the mushroom and cook until they release their own water. Add some salt.

Once the mushrooms have cooked add the sausage, breaking it down with a spoon.

When the sausage starts to brown, add the diced apple, the cranberries and the pecans.

Cover with a lid and keep cooking on med-low heat while adding the Marsala.

Cook, covered, until the Marsala has been absorbed and the mixture is dry.


Dry fruit, sausage and apples. Ohh so good!

Set aside to cool while you prepare the Frittata.



  • 2 T butter
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 T panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg, a pinch
  • 2 T grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1/4 C finely minced herbs (I used Parsley, thyme, and sage)
  • 1/3 C milk


DSCF4531 Herb and cheese frittata. It adds an extra layer of richness to the turkey roll.


Mix all the ingredients except for the butter, set aside

In a non stick (possibly) fry pan (8″), melt 2 T butter

When it’s warm pour the egg mix and make sure it takes the shape of the pan.

Cook until the bottom starts to detach and the top gets opaque. Flip it, you can use a lid to help you. Finish cooking.

Alternatively, after cooking the frittata on the bottom, place the pan under a broiler to brown the top.


Pre-heat oven to 450F

Roll out the turkey breast, skin side down.

Place the frittata on top, and add the apple mix.

Roll the breast like a jelly roll, with the longer side facing you.

Secure the log using food graded kitchen twine, like you would do with any roasts.


I promise it will taste as good as it looks.

Place in a 9×13 oven proof pan coated with some oil.

Sprinkle the meat with salt and Olive oil.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

Let rest for a few minutes so the juices will re-distribute. Slice, serve, Mangia, Enjoy!!

DSCF4540 Love food by the slice [/gn_box]

Whiteaker Thanksgiving Turkeys Delivered

THANKSGIVINGEUGENE, Ore. — Lane Community College got a big delivery in time for the Thanksgiving holiday–1,500 pounds of turkey.

LCC is getting ready for the 26th annual Whiteaker Free Community Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Culinary arts students will prepare the turkeys that will feed more than 2,200 homeless and less fortunate men, women, and children.

“We definitely learn how to fabricate a turkey which is quite interesting to carve it all up and make sure there is no waste and that we’re using everything possible because these turkeys are donated from business around the community so it’s just a wonderful event to be a part of,” said LCC culinary student Lavonn Wical.

The free dinner is held at the Whiteaker Community Headstart Center on North Grand. It happens from from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Man accused of burglarizing church late Thanksgiving night

A Corvallis man was arrested for allegedly burglarizing a church late on Thanksgiving or early Friday morning.

Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Hardison grew suspicious when he happened upon a man wheeling a cart full of audio-visual equipment down the street at 1:30 Friday morning.

The cart of electronic equipment, valued at at least $10,000, was labeled First Presbyterian Church. The man, Joshua John Leroy Reith, 33, of Corvallis, was a probationer who had been released from jail earlier in the month on theft and drug possession convictions.

Deputy Hardison stopped Reith while he was walking east on Northwest Fifth Street near Tyler Avenue, about a half-mile away from the church, according to the Hardison’s probable-cause affidavit, which was filed in court. During a search, Hardison found Reith allegedly in possession of a snort tube that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Investigators believe that Reith was caught shortly after the alleged burglary and was on his way home or to someone else’s residence with the stolen property, according to Sgt. Randy Hiner of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Reith pleaded not guilty in Benton County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon to charges of first-degree aggravated theft, second-degree burglary and possession of methamphetamine.

The district attorney’s office listed three aggravating factors in the theft charge: Reith has persistent involvement in property crimes, is accused of stealing from a church during the Thanksgiving holiday and is on felony probation.