Black Friday with a Fiesta Turkey Casserole

*Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often at 4am, or earlier, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Black Friday is not actually a holiday, but some non-retail employers give their employees the day off, increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time.

Black Friday as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where it was associated with a financial crisis in 1869 in the United States. The earliest known reference to “Black Friday” to refer to shopping on the day after Thanksgiving was made in a public relations newsletter from 1961 that is clear on the negative implications of the name and its origin in Philadelphia:

For downtown merchants throughout the nation, the biggest shopping days normally are the two following Thanksgiving Day. Resulting traffic jams are an irksome problem to the police and, in Philadelphia, it became customary for officers to refer to the post-Thanksgiving days as Black Friday and Black Saturday. Hardly a stimulus for good business, the problem was discussed by the merchants with their Deputy City Representative, Abe S. Rosen, one of the country’s most experienced municipal PR executives. He recommended adoption of a positive approach which would convert Black Friday and Black Saturday to Big Friday and Big Saturday.

The attempt to rename Black Friday was unsuccessful, and its continued use is shown in a 1966 publication on the day’s significance in Philadelphia:

JANUARY 1966 – “Black Friday” is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. “Black Friday” officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.

The term Black Friday began to get wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, both datelined Philadelphia. The first reference is in an article entitled “Army vs. Navy: A Dimming Splendor,” in The New York Times:

Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it “Black Friday” – that day each year between Thanksgiving Day and the Army–Navy Game. It is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.

When you get back from shopping try this simple turkey casserole recipe. You can use some of your leftover turkey or purchase a pound of ground turkey anytime. 

Fiesta Turkey Casserole

1 lb. Ground turkey
small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Vinegar
2 tsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Cumin
½ red pepper
16 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
¼ c. water
16 oz jar salsa (mild, medium or hot)
Four 6” corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 tsp. Dried oregano
¾ c. cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Saute ground turkey with onion and garlic until crumbly and browned; drain well. Stir in vinegar, chili powder, oregano, cumin and red pepper. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add black beans and water, mix well. Remove from heat. Spread 2 tablespoons salsa in a 2-quart baking dish. Layer half of the tortilla strips, turkey mixture and remaining salsa. Repeat layers. Bake covered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese has melted.

NOTE: If using leftover turkey, just combine it in a skillet with onion & garlic and 1 tablespoon of oil until heated through. Then continue with the rest of the instructions.

So what are you doing on Black Friday?

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping)

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