My favorite holiday is approaching fast. The gathering of friends and family to give thanks makes me look forward to Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. My current work in progress has had me doing a lot of research of American communities in the 1600’s, which as we all know is when the first Thanksgiving occurred—a three day feast of thankfulness hosted by the Pilgrims and a local tribe of Wampanoag.
Although my family, and many others, goes for the ‘traditional’ turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, the first one is thought to have consisted of lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squash, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese.
Due to the size and abundance of wild turkeys, the turkey became a Thanksgiving mainstay by the time President Lincoln issued his proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November as a national Thanksgiving holiday. Some historians claim Lincoln was also the first president to official pardon a turkey (his son’s pet turkey).
During my recent research, I’ve discovered during the time of the first Thanksgiving, families usually ate two meals a day, morning and mid-afternoon, and certain religions forbid any work on the Sabbath including preparing meals. If there were no leftovers, the families fasted. Utensils were not overly plentiful. Families often had only a few spoons they shared, and most eating was done with their fingers.
A few turkey facts:
The average turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds.
The heaviest turkey recorded was 86 pounds.
A mature turkey has approximately 3,500 feathers.
Turkey is the most popular ‘leftover’ food.
My husband and I belong to the National Wild Turkey Federation and attend their events regularly. Our
We all know Thanksgiving is followed by black Friday. I’ve been there done that, and will never do it again. It’s just not my cup of tea. I much prefer to stay home reflecting upon the wonderful gathering we’d experienced the day before.
I’m thankful for the life I live every day, but relish the one day I can celebrate the fact we live in a wonderful country, our freedom, our right to worship God, our family, friends, and all the obvious, bountiful, and even sometimes taken for granted things.
Blessings to each and every one of you during this wonderful holiday.