Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...In retrospect

Just so you don't think me ungrateful, I decided to take down my rather miserable post earlier this morning, which sounded a little like The "before" Scrooge, instead of the "after" Scrooge. and focus on the holiday we just had before going full steam into the holiday we are now entering.

Here is a little Thanksgiving trivia for you:

The Pilgrims' Menu

Foods That May Have Been on the Menu

Seafood: Cod, Eel, Clams, Lobster
Wild Fowl: Wild Turkey, Goose, Duck, Crane, Swan, Partridge, Eagles
Meat: Venison, Seal
Grain: Wheat Flour, Indian Corn
Vegetables: Pumpkin, Peas, Beans, Onions, Lettuce, Radishes, Carrots
Fruit: Plums, Grapes
Nuts: Walnuts, Chestnuts, Acorns
Herbs and Seasonings: Olive Oil, Liverwort, Leeks, Dried Currants, Parsnips

What Was Not on the Menu

Surprisingly, the following foods, all considered staples of the modern Thanksgiving meal, didn't appear on the pilgrims' first feast table:

Ham: There is no evidence that the colonists had butchered a pig by this time, though they had brought pigs with them from England.
Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes: These were not common.
Corn on the Cob: Corn was kept dried out at this time of year.
Cranberry Sauce: The colonists had cranberries but no sugar at this time.
Pumpkin Pie: It's not a recipe that exists at this point, though the pilgrims had recipes for stewed pumpkin.
Chicken/Eggs: We know that the colonists brought hens with them from England, but it's unknown how many they had left at this point or whether the hens were still laying.
Milk: No cows had been aboard the Mayflower, though it's possible that the colonists used goat milk to make cheese.

Source: Kathleen Curtin, Food Historian at Plimoth Plantation.

And...a typical Thanksgiving table today:

Not that any of these things matter, it's still kind of interesting, I think.

For Thanksgiving at out house, we had a nice meal with our own family and a friend of ours from Haiti, and another from Peru. It was lovely! We had turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, rolls & jam, peas, corn, green beans, sweet potato casserole, spinach salad, and cheese and crackers and spinach/artichoke dip for appetizers.

We had a larger extension of our family and friends come and eat desert with us at our house, and the desserts included Pumpkin Pie, apple crisp, banana cream pie, pecan pie, buttermilk pie with berries, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream as the toppers, as well as some other desserts I can't remember.

We had a really nice sort of fireside afterward where we all sat around and took a few minutes to talk about what we are most grateful for. There weren't many dry eyes after that one. All in all, it was a wonderful day!

I want to go on record as saying that I know I am extremely blessed and spoiled, and that I'm sure there are many things I take for granted every day of my life.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving, if you live in the States, and if not, I hope you can take a moment to reflect on your blessings, wherever you might find yourself!

It has helped me to pull out of a silly slump on more than one occasion in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

( it comes... Merry Christmas!)


poshfairies said...

Lila thanks for this insight into
Thanksgiving. We don't celebrate it here in Australia and maybe we should. I took your advise, and reflected at mine and my families blessings, you just don't relise how fortunate you are compared to others unless you stop and think about it.
Take care

a little bit biased said...

Lila, I saw your other post and tried to comment because I could totally relate to a lot of what you said, but something happened and the comment wouldn't take so I decided I didn't want to retype the whole thing. But, I'm glad to see you're on to more positive things now :) Thanks for the interesting facts about Thanksgiving. Have a great day!

Terri said...

This is my first visit to your blog. I'll have to do some catch-up reading. I think I stumbled onto your blog through Material Girls' blog--I think. Love your fabric and pattern designs.

Anyway, I have to ask, are you related to the Tueller families in Cache Valley?

Pat said...

Lila, you are great at anything you do. I wish I had become you when I grew up. I turned to the way, way older and not so smart model.