Thanksgiving Tuesday: The First Thanksgiving


Close call, but Thanksgiving Tuesday is finally posted. This is one of those weeks, and this has been one of those days. One of my busiest weeks of the year, and my computer craps out. Oy. And typing on a tablet or netbook certainly takes getting used to.

Anyway, I was thinking about changing up my usual Thanksgiving dinner by paying homage to the first one, the one the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag celebrated in 1621. According to the Smithsonian Institution, only 2 documents survive that describe that first Thanksgiving. According to them, dinner almost definitely consisted of wild fowl, corn in the form of bread and porridge, and venison. They also likely had squash, pumpkins, beans, eels, and shellfish. Was there turkey? Possibly, but it would have been wild turkey. It’s more likely they had goose, duck, swan, and passenger pigeon. White potatoes and sweet potatoes had not come to the country yet, so they weren’t on the menu. Neither were cranberries, now considered a symbol of Thanksgiving.

I think I’ll find another way to honor the first Thanksgiving. I’m kind of adventurous when it comes to food. I have eaten smoked octopus and chocolate-covered crickets and ants, after all. And I’ve eaten venison, goose, and duck. I can imagine eating wild turkey. And the vegetables wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m thinking I’d pass on the passenger pigeons and swan. So I’d certainly have plenty to eat. I just don’t think I’d be able to do without the cranberries and turkey. They had their traditions, and I have mine.

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