Monday, November 12, 2012

So You Want an Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner? Try These Ten.

{We’ve been serious around here for too long. Let’s lighten up a bit today. Okay?}

We tend to romanticize, don’t we? Especially during our favorite holidays. We like to decorate with pumpkins and Indian corn, read colorful picture books to our children about the first Thanksgiving, mix French-fried onions into our green beans, and sip our Cranberry Sierra Mist while porcelain Pilgrim girls smile at us.
If your menu is like most of the country’s, it probably includes turkey, gravy, potatoes, a hot vegetable like green beans or corn, and some type of dinner roll or homemade bread. Sounds good to me! But how authentic is it?

I’m not minimizing the incredible sacrifice of the Pilgrims. I love the history, and I am always awed by their courage and their faith in God. It’s just interesting how our traditions can vary from the original event, or at least what little we know about it.

Consider these ten probabilities for what the Pilgrims really ate – and didn’t eat – at the first Thanksgiving.

  1. Venison. It is believed that the Indians brought five deer to contribute to the meal. So, that’s not bad. At least it’s still a land animal.
  2. Clams. Do you think the Pilgrims rolled up their pant legs before they waded in?
  3. Lobster. I bet the price wasn’t so high then.
  4. Eel. Yummo. I’ll just hop over to my local Kroger for a slab of fresh eel. I did find a recipe for eel sauce on, but I’m pretty sure the Pilgrims didn’t have teriyaki.
  5. Swan. Seriously.
  6. Indian corn. I thought it was just for decoration.
  7. Acorns. Just like Piglet.
  8. Water from the nearby stream. This is just for fun, so please ~ PLEASE ~ don’t drink water from the creek out back.
  9. Leave out the sugar. Most likely the Pilgrims didn’t have any. So much for Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie.
  10. No milk for the kiddos. Can’t have milk without cows. Bummer. 
I found the following articles online while researching my suspicions. As with everything on the internet, take it with a grain of salt. Yeah, I think the Pilgrims had salt. J

Bon appétit!

Now how many more things can you be thankful for? BTW, if anyone actually prepares eel, let me know. I’d love to feature your recipes and photos on the blog!

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  1. I love this posting ( and the history ) Will pin it on Pinterest :-)

    1. Thanks! So cool that you love it, all the way from Holland! I love the story of the Pilgrims and what they endured for religious freedom. What is taught there about the Pilgrims?

  2. Interesting - thanks! However, I think we'll do a study on what the pilgrims probably ate and then go ahead and eat what they probably didn't. :)

  3. Interesting. When the kids complain that they don't like {fill-in-the-blank} at Thanksgiving, I'll pull this out and share what the pilgrims ate and threated to serve that... Kidding, of course. {Sort of...} Haha. Seriously, though, it does make one extra grateful that we have sweet potato casserole instead of eel!

    1. Sounds like a plan, and I'm not kidding! :) Yes, lots to be thankful for -- butter, sugar, potatoes, green beans, turkeys already butchered.... Thanks, Alana.

  4. I know they ate a lot better(healthier) than we did. I am so spoiled. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

    1. Janine, you look like you're as thin as a Pilgrim, but I know I'm waaay too spoiled! :)

  5. I love this!!!! I'll have to admit - I'm glad I have never been served clams on Thanksgiving before. haha!! I don't like them...and they don't like me. But I'd definitely go for some venison. Definitely that! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Agreed on the clams, Rosilind. But I don't think I'm with you on the venison. It's not bad, just not thanksgiving-y. Thanks for the link-up!


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