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Thanksgiving week. I can’t believe it. We have so much to be thankful. Family, friends, health, and time we have with each other. You have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving.
It is colder out this morning as the temperature is at 20 degrees at 10:00 AM high today of 36 with a low tonight of 21. Wind is calm and we have mostly sunny sky so that all helps. Stay warm. BUT no moisture for this week, so that will be good for all of you that are traveling.
How the First Thanksgiving Foods Differed From Today by Catherine Boeckmann
Questions that are asked, how did the turkey become all about Thanksgiving? What did the Pilgrims eat for their first Thanksgiving.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which has been continuously published since George Washington’s time, says it’s a bit of a mystery, but it helps if you know a little history about this all-American feast day.
No one knows if turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 but wild fowl was mentioned in accounts. The best existing account of the Pilgrims' harvest feast comes from colonist Edward Winslow, author of Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Winslow's first-hand account of the first Thanksgiving included no explicit mention of turkey. He does, however, mention the Pilgrims gathering "wild fowl" for the meal, although that could just as likely have meant ducks or geese. Turkeys are a possibility, but were not a common food in that time. We also know that the Wampanoag Native Americans brought five deer with them, so venison was on the menu. Also, seafood was plentiful and common at that time, including lobsters and clams.
Another account for the first Thanksgiving is from William Bradford is the governor Winslow . He described the autumn of 1621 as follows:
“And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.” So, he does mention wild turkeys, but not whether such birds were served at any Thanksgiving gathering.
How the First Thanksgiving Foods Differed From Today
We do know that many of the Thanksgiving dishes that we enjoy today were not served at the Plymouth feast. However, from Edward Winslow's account (above) we do know some of the foods enjoyed. The meal was probably quite meat-heavy, including:
Fowl (geese and duck)
Nuts (walnuts, chestnuts, beechnuts)
While native cranberries did grow wild at that time, there’s no record of them having been served with the meal (although they were a significant part of the Wampanoags' fall diet). Beans, pumpkins, squashes, and corn (served in the form of bread or porridge) were also part of the meal thanks to the Wampanoags, who were seasoned gardeners and employed the Three Sisters method for growing their main crops.
The colonists didn't have potatoes, butter, nor flour, so you can safely assume there weren't any mashed potatoes or pies. Potatoes (white or sweet) Bread stuffing (wheat flour was rare) Sugar Green bean casserole Pies
When Bradford's journals—lost for many years during the Siege of Boston in 1775—resurfaced and were reprinted in the 1850s, the idea of early colonists hunting wild turkeys caught the nation's imagination (even though he never specified that turkey was served at the Thanksgiving feast). Plus, wild turkeys were quite plentiful back then. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of a magazine called Godey’s Lady’s Book, would later present the turkey as the big bird at the head of the table and published many recipes. Hale campaigned for Thanksgiving Day to be recognized as a national holiday, writing numerous presidents. Finally, Abraham Lincoln took notice. After 1863, the year when President Lincoln made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday, turkeys began to land on dinner plates across the country.Every November since 1947, a “National Thanksgiving Turkey” has been presented to the U.S. President. Harry Truman got the first one. During an official ceremony in the Rose Garden, the president “pardons” the turkey, meaning its life is spared and it does not get eaten.
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/why-turkey-thanksgiving
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365
Hi! My name is Becky and I am a Master Gardener. I own Becky's Greenhouse in Dougherty, Iowa.