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.
(and...here it comes... Merry Christmas!)