Thursday, November 15, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

What do you think the pilgrims ate at that first Thanksgiving Dinner way back in the 1600”s? Do you think they had turkey like we do today. We know that lobster, goose, duck, seal, eel, and cod were plentiful during this time. It is entirely possible that these items were on that first Thanksgiving table. Historians don’t really know for sure. They do know that wild fowl and deer meat were on the menu.

According to one story, the Queen of England was celebrating a harvest festival with roast goose when she was told that the Spanish had sunk their boat while on their way to attack England. The story says that the Queen was so happy she ordered a second goose to be cooked to continue the celebration. This began the tradition for serving goose at the fall harvest festival. When the pilgrims arrived in America they discovered that wild turkeys were much more readily available than geese were. So the tradition quickly became to serve a turkey on this holiday.

Another story says that they ate turkey because it was available. One turkey could feed more people that several chickens. Besides that they needed to keep the chickens for their eggs. They didn’t want to eat the cows because they needed the milk. And how many quail do you think it would take to feed a large crowd. Turkeys were big, they would feed a lot of people, and they had no other use than to be eaten. Also, the turkey was easier to hunt than geese.

Today we celebrate what has come to be know as Turkey Day because the turkey is such an important part of this holiday meal. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole have all become so common that we think the meal can not be complete without them. Oh and let’s not forget the cranberry sauce.

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