Here's a little Thanksgiving fun fact for you...an Evansville, Indiana native is responsible for one of the most popular Thanksgiving foods we all enjoy each year.

Every Thanksgiving, the family gathers around a table full of turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese, deviled eggs, and so on. One of the most common foods that we consume on Thanksgiving is stuffing. Now, some folks like to go the homemade route when it comes to stuffing, but many prefer to go the easier and less time-consuming way by buying a box of stuffing from the store. Perhaps you didn't know that we have an Evansville, Indiana native to thank for that box of stuffing that we enjoy on Thanksgiving

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Evansville Native, Ruth Siems, Changed Thanksgiving for the Better

Ruth Siems was an Evansville native who graduated from Benjamin Bosse High School. After high school, she attended Purdue University. Siems graduated with a Home Economics degree and began her career back here in Evansville at General Foods. She was later transferred to a plant in New York. In 1971, she was working in research and development for General Foods and was a part of a team that was tasked with creating a product that would change the way we do Thanksgiving.

Siems and her team were tasked with creating an instant stuffing product. According to Purdue University,

The idea for instant stuffing followed the growing trend of convenience foods which began in the 1950s. Siems discovered that the size of the bread crumbs is critical in reproducing the texture and flavor of traditional stuffing, but in a pan on the stove in just a few minutes. The dried, seasoned crumbs — about the size of a pencil eraser — fluff up when rehydrated with boiling water and melted butter.

That discovery led to the creation of Stove Top Stuffing. Yes, the same stuffing that we still buy today for our holiday meals. Stove Top was first introduced to the country in 1972, and was eventually patented in 1975. Purdue University says something really fascinating about the patent. The name Ruth Siems was the first of four names on the patent documents. So, without this Evansville native, we might not have ever been introduced to Stove Top.

Ruth went on to work for General Foods (now Kraft) for 30 years, until she retired in 1985. According to Purdue University, she then settled down back in southern Indiana in Newburgh. Siems passed away at age 74 in 2005, but her contribution to creating a delicious Thanksgiving meal continues to be celebrated. So this year, whenever you are gathered around the table and enjoying Stove Top, impress your family and friends by telling them how one Evansville woman is credited with creating the very same food that everyone is enjoying.

(H/T- Purdue University)

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