According to the History Channel, the first Thanksgiving included lots and lots of meat, not very many vegetables and a great deal of seafood. The pilgrims had no cakes or pies and shared their meal with at least 90 Native Americans. This Thanksgiving lasted a week where the two groups came together to celebrate festival-style (The only way to go as far as I'm concerned. Every holiday, including birthdays, should last at least a week.) The men hunted fowl, lobsters, seals, and swans, all of which were on the menu. The food was consumed with their hands because they did not have utensils. What you got to eat was determined by your social status, which also determined where you sat at the table. People were not served individually; servers put the food on the table when it was done and GASP, people did not sample everything on the table like we do today, but ate what was closest to them. A great deal of the food was spicy, as the pilgrims roasted and dried their foods after seasoning them with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, and dried fruit, etc. While the colonists ate three meals a day with the biggest being at noon (it was not uncommon to eat what you had for dinner for breakfast), the Indians ate when they were hungry and tended to have pots all about them stewing throughout the day. Much unlike today, "Thanksgiving" was a one time meal. Hard to believe considering the die hard gluttonous once a year Thursday that now encompasses us. However, the raison d'être was the same: they were grateful. I like that part the best.
Honestly, I am not a fan of the Thanksgiving meal, as we've never really celebrated it at my house. Despite mom being an excellent cook, our family traveled to relatives' houses until I went to college, then I traveled to friends' houses that is until this year. For the first time since I was in high school, I will be home for Thanksgiving. I have no idea what is on the menu, only what is not and that is green bean casserole, which is the only thing I really like. I've declared this week "green bean casserole" week so I can try every recipe I can find to see which one I like best. I am open to suggestions. I don't need anything but a small platter of this fantastic casserole and I'm good to go. I happily will leave everything else on the table to the rest of the dinner guests. Stay tuned for the results of my experiments.
I am thankful I will not be traveling this year. I do not have to worry about what I should bring as a gift, how to behave, will his parents like me, what I should wear, spilling gravy all over the kitchen, my skirt, & the fridge, breaking his mother's pitcher, being on time, not bringing enough wine because I was falsely informed, having to rescue some one cornered by the crazy aunt and her son, or not being able to say thank you enough to the Rosenbaum's for yet another wonderful meal (I definitely miss Mrs. R's pineapple stuffing. Yum!) & I won't have to worry about missing the holiday completely because I don't have my own car (true story that isn't funny) or next to whom I have to sit or if I'll get lost on the way to "Uncle" Tim's and lastly, I won't have to worry about the boy I've been dating for roughly three weeks calling me to tell me he and his ex-fiancée are getting back together (luckily, I anticipated this so I was ok with it).
This year, all I have to do is show up. What a wonderful feeling.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO
(original artwork by cupcake)