In a world of perfectly set Thanksgiving tables, there is an easier option for those who are traveling, have tight schedules or lack the culinary skills to pull off a full turkey dinner.
Restaurants are always a starting point, but may require reservations, and some popular ones are booked far in advance.
But, if smoked turkey sounds like an option, Redd’s Smokehouse BBQ at 109 N. Hanover St., can help. Owner Nick Mauldin said they’ve taken what they have learned from the catering side of the business and rolled it into a smoked turkey Thanksgiving dinner that customers can pick up on Wednesday and reheat on Thursday.
“I’ve done turkeys every way you can do it,” Mauldin said. “Smoked turkey is awesome.”
The turkey is quartered and applewood smoked for four hours in a process that helps it to retain moisture. It is then carved and placed, along with stuffing, into a pan or, as Mauldin called it, “a big pile of deliciousness.”
The 15-pound smoked turkeys come with stuffing and gravy with sides available at an additional cost. Orders for the dinners will be taken through Sunday at (717) 254-6419.
Redd’s also does catered events for business, work or family functions.
Grocery stores have also found ways to fill a niche for Thanksgiving dinners.
Andrea Karns of Karns Foods said the stores have been offering prepared meals for three years, and has seen repeat customers who are looking to make the most of their Thanksgiving schedule.
“It’s a true time saver,” she said.
At Karns, the meals come with either a turkey or a ham, and all the sides including mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, baked corn, filling and a pack of 12 snowflake dinner rolls.
“We have a traditional central Pennsylvania Thanksgiving dinner,” Karns said.
With the exception of the turkey or ham, the entire meal comes in oven-ready containers and takes about 35-45 minutes to heat to serving temperature.
Karns also offers options to buy a package with only the side dishes, as well as their handmade pies, including a mincemeat pie using mincemeat from Weaver’s of Wellsville.
“It’s like taking Grandma’s recipe and putting it into your Thanksgiving dinner without the work,” Karns said.
Customers may order the dinners online at karnsfoods.com or by calling their local store.
Though it’s too late to take the quick route for Thanksgiving dinner at Giant, it’s the right time to think ahead for Christmas dinners.
Samantha Krepps, public and community relations manager at Giant, said Thanksgiving orders had to be made by Nov. 12, and that stores will be taking Christmas dinner orders Dec. 1-16 for pick up Dec. 21-31.
“It saves people time, especially people who are traveling,” Krepps said.
Giant offers boneless turkey and boneless ham dinners with sides including mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and other options.
Dinners may be ordered online at giantfoodstores.com, by phone at 1-888-442-6812 or by visiting the deli department of a Giant grocery store.
Across its stores, Wegmans prepared Thanksgiving dinners for more than 30,000 families. The store offers three options, which may be ordered online at wegmans.com/catering or at the store.
Likewise, Weis Markets offers two options for its cooked turkey dinners, which can be ordered online at weismarkets.com or in stores.
For two local churches, the Thanksgiving meal is as much about feeding the heart as it is about feeding a person.
Rev. Daniel Dennis said the meal at Otterbein United Methodist Church, 647 Forge Rd., is open to all.
“No charge. It’s free. There’s no questions asked, you just come and eat,” he said.
Some of the people who come will be unable to afford their own Thanksgiving dinner, but others have a different need.
“It’s just people that need fellowship. Maybe their family is out of town and they don’t want to be alone,” Dennis said.
The inspiration for the dinner came a number of years ago after Dennis’ mother died. He prepared a Thanksgiving dinner for his father, but it was an experience they decided ought not to be repeated.
They discovered his father’s church had a Thanksgiving dinner, and tried that. Finding how enjoyable it was, Dennis started to think it might be something to bring back to Otterbein.
So, one shift of volunteers will cook the turkey dinner complete with everything that would normally be found on the typical Thanksgiving table. Another will serve the meal, and a third shift will take care of clean up.
The meal is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
“That gives our people time to go home and do their own Thanksgiving dinner, or watch football,” Dennis said.
Church members usually serve more than 200 meals, which includes takeout meals for those working at the Carlisle Police Department, the State Police at Carlisle, and Cumberland County Communications.
“We call and find out how many are working and send enough food to feed all who are working,” Dennis said.
The Thanksgiving meal at Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Simpson St., also started as a place for people who might otherwise be alone over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It was primarily a place where people can just be around other people to celebrate together,” Rev. Mark A. Allio said.
The number of people attending the meal varies, but last year 245 meals were served, Allio said. This year’s meal will be held from noon to 3 p.m. No reservations are necessary.
The congregation has been gathering nonperishable food items to use in the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and will start preparing the meal on Monday. They cook turkeys all day Monday and Tuesday, carve them up for serving, and store them until they are reheated on Thursday. Wednesday is the day all the side dishes are prepared.
Over its 11-year history, the meal has drawn some regulars who come year after year. Often, Thanksgiving is the only time the church sees them, and Allio is fine with that.
“The goal isn’t for people to become members of the church. It’s to bless the members of the community however we can,” he said.
By its final day of distribution Saturday morning Project SHARE anticipates it will have seen 1,100 families.
“Our goal is to provide them the normal round of healthy food and groceries that we would provide them during a normal distribution plus enough extra for a special Thanksgiving meal,” interim CEO Bob Weed said.
Joe Kloza, Project SHARE’s coordinator of education and community outreach, said the organization had been “blessed” by the community this year as individuals, congregations and businesses have conducted food drives or donated funds.
Giant Food Stores, for example, donated 250 turkeys and $5,000 each to Project SHARE, New Hope Ministries and Bethesda Mission.
This year, Project SHARE started a program in which people could donate funds to buy a turkey, sponsor a family’s dinner or sponsor meals for a number of families. Weed said the idea was to make more of a connection for people in the community who supported the organization.
The organization is still campaigning and anticipates receiving additional donations through the holidays that will help to replenish its shelves into the new year.
“This time of year people think more about helping with food because of the celebrations coming at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the needs are really 365 days a year,” Kloza said.
Though Project SHARE does not serve Thanksgiving dinner to its clients, it will hold its annual Holiday Dinner on Dec. 7 at the Carlisle Expo Center. Registration is being taken online, over the phone or during distribution.
“By having it at the Expo Center, we’ll be able to have one seating where everyone will be able to participate at the same time and be together and enjoy the fellowship of the holiday dinner together,” Weed said.
Project SHARE is also helping its guests learn what to do with their leftovers.
“Helping people understand there’s plenty you can do with leftovers that’s different enough that it’s delicious, but also helps you stretch your food budget is an important component of dealing with hunger and food insecurity,” Weed said.
To that end, Mission Impact Kitchen Coordinator Weston Petroski and his team of volunteers made turkey pot pie for clients to sample during distribution. Recipe cards for the pot pie, along with other food samples like shepherd’s pie, are handed out along with the ingredients to make the dish.
“The goal of that is to show our clients what to do with leftover turkey. We all battle that where we have turkey sandwiches for four or five days,” Petroski said.
With distributions on Friday and Saturday, more than 3,000 families were expected to receive all they need for a Thanksgiving dinner at the five locations of New Hope Ministries in Mechanicsburg, Lemoyne, Dover, Hanover, Dillsburg and New Oxford.
Program Director Sue Fornicola said the goal is to make sure families have “that little extra” for a Thanksgiving dinner, so that means not only the basics like a turkey, potatoes and vegetables but also desserts and snacks that will give them what they need to host others as well.
“They may be going through hard times, but we want to make it just a little brighter,” Fornicola said.
In addition to the donations that make such an effort possible, Fornicola said hundreds of volunteers were essential to offering meals to so many people, whether that is bagging potatoes ahead of the distribution or helping guests put groceries in the car the day of the event or anywhere in between.
And, when they are done with Thanksgiving, New Hope Ministries will start gearing up for its Christmas event.
“We will still be blessing all those families that we can with a Christmas meal,” Fornicola said.
WASHINGTON — Does money roll downhill?
In their drive to cut taxes, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are betting it does.
Behind their legislation is a theory long popular among conservatives: Slash taxes for corporations and rich people, who will then hire, invest and profit — and cause money to trickle into the pockets of ordinary Americans. The White House says the plan’s corporate tax cut alone would eventually raise average household incomes by $4,000 a year.
The tax plan’s “trickle-down” approach was popularized in the 1980s during the Reagan administration, though it dates back at least to a 1932 wisecrack by Will Rogers. And history shows it has a spotty record of delivering on its promises.
The Republicans’ latest version of the approach edged closer to the finish line Thursday when the House passed its form of the bill; the Senate is working on its own. Republicans hope to send final legislation to Trump by Christmas, though it’s unclear whether they can succeed by then.
Among the key planks in their legislation: Shrink the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. End or ease the inheritance tax on the wealthiest estates. Cut taxes on business partnerships. Offer a temporary tax cut on corporate profits held abroad. Repeal the alternative minimum tax on very high earners. And reduce personal income tax rates for many.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has found that the House tax plan would deliver an average tax cut of $360 for middle-income taxpayers in 2027. A far more generous bounty would go to the highest-earning 1 percent: An average tax cut of $62,000. For the top 0.1 percent, the gain would average $321,000.
And the income tax cuts for individuals would expire within the next decade. By contrast, Republican lawmakers say the tax cuts for corporations need to be permanent. The tax cuts would also add roughly $1.5 trillion to the federal debt.
Republicans argue that the corporate tax cuts, in particular, would unleash a boom that would speed annual economic growth to at least 3 percent consistently from the so-so 2 percent performance of recent years.
The thinking is that reducing corporate taxes would raise companies’ after-tax profits, thereby encouraging them to invest more. Investments in machines and technology would make employees more productive and empower them to command higher pay. The White House’s own study estimates that the corporate tax cut would eventually swell average U.S. household income by $4,000 a year.
“It will increase real wages, and it will increase them substantially,” says Arthur Laffer, an economist who advised President Ronald Reagan and now runs a consultancy. “It also will increase the number who get jobs.”
Laffer occupies a position of prominence in the history of trickle-down economics. In 1974, he famously sketched a diagram on a restaurant napkin to illustrate his belief that the government could cut taxes and, contrary to economic assumptions, end up producing more revenue, not less. Economic growth would accelerate, and income would slosh downhill from corporations and the wealthy to ordinary Americans.
Over the years, the concept — also known as supply-side economics — has frequently drawn ridicule.
“Voodoo economics” was the derisive term George H.W. Bush applied to it in his failed 1980 bid for the Republican presidential nomination against Ronald Reagan, a supply-side enthusiast.
The liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith in 1982 likened the trickle-down idea to horse manure: “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”
Will Rogers may deserve credit for coining the term in ridiculing President Herbert Hoover’s efforts to combat the Great Depression.
“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy,” Rogers wrote in his syndicated column in 1932. In fact, Rogers argued, money tends to trickle up — from the hands of the poor into the hands of the rich.
In the view of Carl Davis, research director at the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the track record for supply-side economics “is not particularly inspiring.”
In 1981, in the midst of a deep recession, President Reagan pushed through an aggressive tax cut. The economy did rebound strongly over the next few years. But economists have long given credit mainly to the Federal Reserve, which aggressively slashed interest rates. And the tax cuts increased federal deficits, eventually forcing Reagan and Congress to reverse course and raise taxes.
Bruce Bartlett, a former aide to tax-cut advocate Rep. Jack Kemp, says the ‘81 tax cut made sense: The top individual tax rate was 70 percent — far above the current 39.6 percent — and the economy, unlike the relatively healthy one today, had endured a long era of stagnation.
But Bartlett, an official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, has lost faith in tax cuts. In 1986, he notes, the United States slashed the corporate tax rate from 46 percent to 34 percent. Yet wages fell. Likewise, President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 produced one of the weakest economic expansions in American history: The Bush tax cuts were still in place when the economy sank into the Great Recession of 2007-09.
And Kansas has just finished a failed experiment in tax cutting. After Gov. Sam Brownback pushed through big tax cuts in 2012 and 2013, the payoff was underwhelming at best: Tax collections fell shy of expectations, triggering a budget crisis. In June, Kansas passed a big tax increase (over Brownback’s veto), leading Moody’s Investors Services to upgrade the outlook for the state’s credit rating.
Owen Zidar, an economist at the University of Chicago’s outlook for Booth School of Business, says his own research suggests that tax cuts are more effective when they target lower-income taxpayers, who are likelier than the rich to spend a tax-cut windfall.
In addition, Bartlett and other critics say, now is an especially inauspicious time for sharp tax cuts. The economy is enjoying the third-longest economic expansion on record and doesn’t need much help. Unemployment, at 4.1 percent, is extremely low, and many employers are already struggling to fill job openings. In a healthy economy, sharp tax cuts can also raise the risk of high inflation.
What’s more, corporations are recording healthy profits, enjoying low borrowing rates and sitting on a record $2.3 trillion in cash. If they want to make investments, most already can.
At a meeting of The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council this week, the moderator asked participating executives whether their companies would increase investment if the Republican tax plan became law. Few raised their hands — to the surprise and seeming consternation of Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, who was in attendance.
“Why aren’t the other hands up?” Cohn asked.
Cumberland County’s Veterans’ Affairs clinic is expected to move into a greatly expanded facility by the summer of 2018.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for the new VA clinic that will occupy a 25,000-square-foot space at 5070 Ritter Road in the Rossmoyne commercial development area in Upper Allen Township, replacing the current, and much smaller, clinic in Camp Hill.
“We’ve been telling people for a long time that we’ll be moving to a bigger and better space for our Camp Hill clinic, and now we’re finally at the finish line,” said Margaret Wilson, acting director of the VA Medical Center in Lebanon.
Like the current Camp Hill center, the new Upper Allen site will serve as a branch clinic for the Lebanon VA hospital, which is part of the federal Veterans’ Health Administration. But the new facility will be much more capable than the current one.
The new clinic is being built so that patients who need exams or consultation from multiple staff members can stay in one room — different caregivers will come to them, not the other way around, Wilson said.
The facility will also feature telemedicine, allowing specialists in Lebanon to connect remotely with patients in Upper Allen, Wilson said. A nurse at the clinic, for example, can use an electronically connected stethoscope to allow a cardiologist in Lebanon to listen to a patient’s heartbeat in real time.
The new facility is valued at $2.8 million, according to Lebanon VA Public Affairs Manager Doug Etter. The building was previously used as an office complex, but is being gut-renovated.
“If you were here a month ago, there were 100 little offices and conference rooms in here,” said Lowell Gates, founder of Linlo Properties. “We pulled everything out.”
Interior build-out of the new exam rooms and medical suites should begin next month and will hopefully be complete by the end of March, Gates said.
The VA will hold a 10-year lease from Linlo on the property, Etter said.
Local officials praised the VA’s commitment to a “bigger, more efficient” veterans’ health care center, as County Commissioner Vince DiFilippo put it. This is critically needed in Cumberland County, Commissioner Jim Hertzler said, with its high veteran population, estimated at over 20,000.
One of the most crucial parts of this service is getting the message out to veterans and convincing them to accept help, officials said.
“When I was at the Lebanon VA recently, one of their chief complaints was ‘we can’t get people who are eligible to come,’” state Sen. Mike Regan said. “They may not want to reach out for help.”
“We need to make sure they’re aware,” state Rep. Sheryl Delozier said. “Often times they’ll say ‘someone else needs it more than I do,’ when they actually really need it.”
Only about 30 percent of veterans who are eligible for VA care enroll, Etter said.
While VA centers elsewhere have come under scrutiny for poor care, the Lebanon network is considered one of the best, receiving four out of five stars in the 2016 VA report.
“These people are patient-focused, veteran-focused, and they get things done quickly,” Neil Delisanti, director of the county’s Veterans’ Affairs Department, said of the Lebanon staff. “You don’t read about the stuff that’s happening out in Phoenix here in Lebanon. Our local system is absolutely top-notch.”
The holiday season is almost here and The Sentinel is kicking it off with the biggest newspaper of the year.
Thursday’s paper will weigh in at more than 3 pounds and be packed with Black Friday deals from local and national retailers.
Here is what will be included:
20 flyers from national retailers including Target, Walmart and Kohl’s
A 12-page holiday gift guide showcasing great gift ideas from local retailers
A special 12-page Small Business Saturday section sponsored by the Downtown Carlisle Association that highlights the tremendous small businesses from communities across the county
All the local and national news and sports coverage that you have come to expect.
On top of the tremendous additions mentioned above, we are also working on our annual ThanksGIVEaway contest. One lucky winner among all Lee Enterprises newspapers will win $5,000. Locally, The Sentinel will award three $100 gift cards. Details of the contest will be included in special advertisements throughout the Thanksgiving Day edition.
If you are a digital-only subscriber to The Sentinel we would hate for you to miss out, so we will stock extra copies at local grocery and convenience stores that are open Thanksgiving Day.
If you are a print-only subscriber and haven’t signed up for digital access (included in your print subscription price), you may not realize what you are missing. Digital access allows you to connect to The Sentinel and your community anytime, anywhere with any device. Going to Grandma’s house for the holidays? No problem. We go with you on your phone, computer or tablet.
Activating your digital access is easy. Simply visit cumberlink.com/activate and follow the onscreen instructions.
This is an exciting time of the year and we’re thankful for the readers and businesses we serve. Best wishes from our family to yours for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Kim Kamowski is the interim publisher of The Sentinel