Before Thanksgiving became a hellish showcase of hidden relatives, it was an elaborate meal after the harvest to give thanks. With that in mind, food preparation has come a long way since the 1600's. The following 9 Thanksgiving inventions hope to make the feast preparation a little bit smoother.
1. Frozen turkey stuffer
There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for your turkey to defrost before you can stuff its body cavity with stuffing. Don't worry this issue was solved way back in 1956 a patent for a "preparation of stuffed fowl" device.
Its premise is pretty straightforward.
"It has heretofore been recognized that, if poultry processors could market an already stuffed, frozen turkey, which could be taken directly from the freezer and placed in the oven, thus eliminating the need on the part of the cook or housewife for the difficult thawing, stuffing, sewing, and trussing steps, such product would have considerable sales appeal.”
2. Creamed corn extractor
Devised as late as 2001, the creamed corn extractor is actually a pretty good idea. Basically, the ear of corn is impaled on a drill bit attached to a variable speed reversible drill.
The drill is turned on, you slide the ear of corn into a tubular cutting cylinder and, hey presto. Recovered sheared off kernels and cream are all yours. Though you could always dispense with the cutting cylinder and use your teeth?
3. Turkey de-boner
With the patent filed in around 1958, this device attempts to provide a method of "removing the bones from an edible fowl in such a manner as to preserve substantially the entire outer skin of the fowl, whereby the fowl may be stuffed, pre-cooked and/or frozen preparatory to distribution in an attractive and convenient form to the ultimate user.”
Accordingly, other similar devices, according to the patent, will tend to require the skin to be removed or get damaged in such a way that the original Turkey appearance is lost.
An interesting concept but we tend to enjoy bones in our turkey.
4. Pie filling device
Here's an interesting yet amazing Thanksgiving invention. Filed in 1986, the pie filling device aims to fill the gap in the need for pie filling mid-bake.
“This device pertains to a pumping apparatus for the filling of pie shells with a fluid filling within a hot oven.”
According to the patent, log handled paddles are currently used to fill pie shells. To this end, so the inventor believes, "There is a need therefore for a device to hasten the loading or transfer of pie filling within pie shells in an oven.”
5. Pumpkin powder
Filed in 1897, this invention was to provide instant pumpkin powder to households around the U.S. "This invention has the object to place the edible substance of the pumpkin, squash, or sweet-potato upon the market in the form of a powder or meal which combines readily with water or milk and which is ready for use as an ingredient in making pies without requiring to be first cooked.”
Neat. Apparently at the time de-hydrated and powdered pumpkin did exist but it still needed to be cooked after rehydration. At least according to the inventor.
6. Roaster for chestnuts 'and the like'
Frankly, the name of this amazing Thanksgiving invention is pure genius. It truly deserves to have been a successful way back in the 30's when the patent was filed. Unless you haven't guessed this invention "relates to improvements in roasters especially adapted for use in roasting chestnuts and the like… ".
According to the inventor, the current process of roasting chestnuts (and the like) was far from efficient. Not to mention methods for recovering said roasted nuts.
7. Automatic mashed potato system
This invention had its patent field in 2007. Apparently, the inventor has had a tough time trying to make mashed potatoes at home. Or finding someone who has the right culinary skills to make it satisfactorily to their high standards.
"The conventional process of making mashed potatoes is very time-consuming ... the conventional process of making mashed potatoes results in an inconsistent product because of the various time constraints individuals encounter while attempting to prepare an entire meal. A further problem… of producing mashed potatoes is that they do not provide a flavorful end product that can be enjoyed.”
8. Fancy biscuit makers
This amazing Thanksgiving invention from around 1960 tries to solve the problem of making biscuits.
“This invention relates to a method of forming biscuits from a blanket of dough, and more particularly relates to such methods for forming biscuits which simulate in appearance rolls that are spirally wound.”
Not unique to the time, cinnamon rolls, and the like, are formed by spirally winding elongated strips of dough. This is, apparently, a very difficult process to produce commercially in large quantities. Hence the need for this device.
9. Apple gel maker and canner
According to this inventor from 1972, "Apple in conventional applesauce form has had such a long acceptance… that persons are oblivious to its shortcomings, namely, that unlike jellied cranberry sauce, applesauce cannot be served in the form of slices or other self-sustaining shapes cut from a can molded unit.”
So his solution was to produce a method of canning apple gel with 30-60% solid content. Plus it contains "a non-gelling gum as a can release agent to permit the contents of the can to be easily removed as an unbroken unit.”
So there you go. 9 amazing Thanksgiving inventions for things you never knew you needed. What would you have included? Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.