My husband is descended from a Mayflower Pilgrim on one side of his family.
Some of you may not know the history of the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts. For one thing, the Mayflower was supposed to land in Virginia where there was already an established English colony. Blown off course by storms, they ended up at Plymouth. The captain had tried to find a route south but found little inlets instead and winter was fast approaching, so he left them and took the Mayflower back to England. He didn’t want to be stuck there for the winter. So instead of being welcomed by English people and getting help building homes and obtaining food, the Mayflower’s passengers of men, women, and children were alone in the wilderness.
Half of them died because of the cold and illness. The rest survived because of the kindness of the Wampanoag people. They taught them how to hunt, fish, and plant crops. Their alliance with the Wampanoag tribe created a flourishing Plymouth. When they celebrated the harvest and thanked God, they share their feast with the Wampanoag.
What was on the table of the first Thanksgiving? People aren’t really sure. From the only two documents that survive from that time, we know they ate deer, wildfowl (ducks, geese, homing pigeons, etc., possibly not Turkey), cod, bass, and corn which they used for porridge and cornbread. This comes from the website https://food52.com/blog/20949-what-was-actually-served-at-the-first-thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in my family usually starts in the morning with watching the parades with the grandchildren, then watching children’s shows, while the chefs confer in the kitchen. We usually eat in the late afternoon. It’s a fact of house construction that you can see the tv in the living room from the dining room, so no one missed the football game.
Roast Turkey with stuffing
An extra bowl of stuffing
Mashed or Baked Potatoes
Pecan or Apple Pie for Dessert (I’m voting for the Pecan Pie!)
Wishing everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving, a great feast shared with family and friends! I am truly grateful.
Susan Hanniford Crowley