Price for a Thanksgiving meal

Benjamin Frankin was disappointed that the bald eagle was chosen as the national mascot of our fledgling nation, telling his daughter that a wild turkey would have been a better choice, reports Saveur. In Franklin's time, recipes for roasting, pickling and stewing turkey were being published in cookbooks.

Serving your Thanksgiving dinner -- including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings -- this year will cost 4 percent less, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). AFBF's 24th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year's average of $44.61, and $28.74 in 1986. The cost of a 16-pound turkey, at $18.65 or roughly $1.16 per pound, reflects a decrease of 3 cents per pound, or a total of $.44 per turkey compared to 2008, but it is milk, at $2.86 per gallon (down 92 cents that is the largest contributor to the overall decrease in the cost of the 2009 Thanksgiving dinner.

Other items showing a price decrease this year are: a 1/2 pint of whipping cream, $1.55; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.08; a 1-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, 72 cents; and a 12-oz. package of fresh cranberries, $2.41.  A combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) also dropped in price, to $2.50.  Items that increased slightly (less than 5 percent) in price this year are: a 14-oz. package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.65; two 9-inch pie shells, $2.34; and a 30-oz. can of pumpkin pie mix, $2.45, while green peas and sweet potatoes, stayed the same in price at $1.58 for one pound and $3.12 for three pounds, respectively. 

The New York Times recently reprinted a fascinating article, which appeared in the newspaper on November 27, 1895, tracing the history of the Thanksgiving meal celebration. 

Enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with your family - priceless.