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Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023
Good morning to you!

Turkey. Stuffing. Green bean casserole. Hot rolls. Cranberry sauce. Mashed potatoes. Those are the foods that often grace our dining table on Thanksgiving day, along with one other customary staple — gravy.

Yes, gravy. The wonderful potato topper made from the juices of meats running naturally during cooking and often thickened with corn starch for added texture. Mmmm. Mmmm.

Gravy is sometimes colored and flavored with gravy salt or gravy browning or ready-made cubes and powders. Canned and instant gravies are even available. I don’t really care, as long as there is gravy.

Gravy is the Shamrock Shake of our household. It only comes out once per year, and I always look forward to it.

Some of you may recall the 1951 Looney Toons classic cartoon called “Chow Hound” featuring a dog who bullies a cat for meat. When the cat brings the dog steak, the dog replies each time, “What, no gravy?” If you are a gravy lover, take 1:23 and check it out.

A few decades ago, Jolene and I were at a community festival that had a princess competition for young girls. It was cute and innocent, unlike the uncomfortable glamour events so often seen today. The girls were tested with a few simple questions on stage by the host. One was asked, “What’s your favorite food?” She turned her head to the side, grinned ear to ear, and quietly said, “Gravy.” Kids are so honest.

With all this love for gravy, one has to wonder how it became involved with a locomotive as a term for a source of income that generates abundant money with little effort. Yes, the gravy train. Not the dog food. The term “gravy train” apparently has roots to the 1920s when railroad men invented the phrase to describe a run that provided good pay and little work. The words made their way into general speech, meaning to have a cushy job that pays well, or, more commonly, to be prosperous. Easy living, you might say.

Well, if there is one day that should be easy, it’s Thanksgiving. Maybe not during the prep work for the person cooking (Jolene) or the clean-up time for the person doing the dishes (me), but the rest of the day is meant for relaxing.

And that, my friends, is a well-deserved gravy train. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Today will be a milder day, and no travel issues are expected for Thanksgiving. Temperatures cool into the weekend. We could see some light snow in Iowa Saturday night into Sunday.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
521 W. Hutchings St.,
Winterset, IA 50273
Spectacularly remodeled 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home. Located on a large lot with 2 car detached garage. Spacious beautifully updated eat in kitchen with appliances that stay, open floor plan with windows overlooking the huge back yard.
See More Homes For Sale

Tasters Club 2023 named Grey Goose the world's best vodka. The French company partnered with Paris Hilton to popularize the brand as the classic martini's best chance to thrive. Popsugar revealed that Costco's Kirkland Signature vodka is made in the same region of France as Grey Goose with much the same methodology.

EATS (end animal trade suppression) is a bill attached to the Farm Bill. It would overturn California's strict animal welfare bill, Prop 12. It is described even by animal welfare compliant companies such as Niman Ranch as "a poison pill to an essential bill."

Fine dining on turkey day? Ruth's Chris, Fleming's, Proudfoot & Bird, Mulberry Street Tavern and AJ's at Prairie Meadows are all open for business, with big birds.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Holiday week shopping in central Iowa: What grocery stores, malls are open (or closed) on Thanksgiving

DES MOINES, Iowa — If you're looking for last-minute items for Thanksgiving or planning your Black Friday shopping, here's a list of stores in central Iowa that are open – or closed – for the holiday and Black Friday hours of some of the most popular shopping centers in the metro. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Unconditional love: Des Moines couple fostered dozens of Black girls

DES MOINES, Iowa — Linda Harrell and her husband, Richard, raised two children of their own, but when they got a call in 1990 that there were two young girls in a Des Moines homeless shelter with nowhere to go, they jumped into action. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Des Moines City Council reviews list of recommendations to improve policing

The report from 21CP Solutions proposes a community-review board for DMPD, something mayor-elect Connie Boesen has fought for throughout her campaign. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Weekly fuel prices
The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 6 cents, averaging $2.97 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices fell 6 cents from last week’s price and are down 43 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.30, down 5 cents from last week’s price.
Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 7 cents this week with a statewide average of $4.17. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $5.00 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 11 cents lower than the national average of $4.28.
Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.
Propane prices held steady with a statewide average of $1.54 per gallon.
Home heating oil prices fell 2 cents, with a statewide average of $3.47 per gallon
Natural gas prices fell 30 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.89/MMbtu
Tips for saving energy on the road or at home are available at energy.gov and fueleconomy.gov.


Birthdays and notables!

Once again I was sending birthday wishes to people who celebrated in September. Happy belated birthday to Carolyn LeWarne, who celebrated yesterday!

These celebrities were born on this date: Scarlett Johansson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Kind, Mads Mikkelsen, Mark Ruffalo, Hailey Bieber, Lawrence Gowan, Mariel Hemingway, Chris Fryar, Jamie Campbell Bower, Alden Ehrenreich, Candice Glover, Dacre Montgomery, Mackenzie Lintz

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

How do you know your dentist is an investigative reporter? THEY WANT THE WHOLE TOOTH! Or, The dentist checks the pulp in your teeth and gives an accurate report, never indulging in "pulp fiction"! - Carolyn Rogers. Or, He drills down to file a report! - Rex Post. Or, Because her wears GUM shoes. - William Snyder. Or, She gets to the root of the problem! - Brendan Comito

Today's riddle

What does an author do if his dog starts eating his manuscript?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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