Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving education and a lot of rambling

I thought it would suit the big day coming up if I just recalled a few flashes of Thanksgivings past. I can't say that I've ever love-loved Thanksgiving until adulthood (okay, maybe a bit later) because I always thought it was just the holiday blocking the entrance of the better holiday: Christmas. Not to say I skipped being grateful all those years because of course I have always been very grateful for lots of stuff. I am also appreciative of the first settlers of this great country for being able to till the ground and make a livelihood despite the hardships...though I am a bit confused about the actual First Thanksgiving because the elementary school version always seemed like an animated children's story to me. It probably doesn't help that I picture snippets from Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving with Snoopy at the head of the long table either. So to help me and maybe somebody else, I did some research just a second ago and I realized some new things about Thanksgiving that you too may not have known.

  • Thanksgiving lasted a week or so, with lots of meals indoors and out.
  • They ate deer, duck, squash, cabbage, onions and corn.
  • They had singing, dancing, shooting, blinds man's bluff!
  • The Wampanoag tribe was who the Pilgrims dined with. Squanto was from that tribe.
So how cool are those things!? Who came up with turkey? Who came up with cranberry sauce? Pies? Changing from the week of meals to just one meal the size of one week's worth? There is more to this story we don't know. Who came up with the other half of the feast? I always thought Thanksgiving should have been Taco Bar and Hot Fudge Sundaes or something more interesting than potatoes, gravy,and somewhat unsettling mincemeat and browned banana cream pies. Now at least I can feel solace that my mental rejection of those foods is not a dis to our friendly pilgrim friends and their efforts with the fertile earth. As a pleasant sidenote, I do like stuffing-turkey-cranberry sauce-cheese sandwiches.

Back to my message. I really like Thanksgiving. It is a peaceful, reflective time of thankfulness preceding the rush of Christmas season. And Garfield's Thanksgiving is a must. It is a classic, so try to see that if you can. What else...before I make anyone else cry with this meaningful Thanksgiving Gratitude post I better sign off.

What is your thought on Thanksgiving 2008? Any traditions/foods that make the season for you? Anyone actually use a cornucopia?


stephanie said...

My mom has decided that I am the one to make the green bean casserole that no one eats. This has been my assignment for the last several Thanksgivings even when I protest and offer to bring wheat thins instead.
I am thankful for the education I have received on the first Thanksgiving. way to go Erin!

T said...

I always wanted a cornucopia to decorate with... but no, we don't have one. Thanks for the good tid-bits of information :)

and Steph - really, EVERYONE would prefer wheat thins wouldn't they? How can you be thankful for green bean casserole? (although I'm sure yours is just as tasty as it can possibly be...)

rut said...

I've grown to love cranberry sauce in my advancing age. I always avoided it like the plague when I was a boy.

How sad that we don't know how it really was during that week of Thanksgiving. And with each generation of history books, it changes to fit the culture of the day.

I'm inclined to think that we actually have kept the tradition of a week-long celebration alive, with Wed, Thu, and Fri days that most folks take off.

Sher said...

Getting together with family is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Having lots of different kinds of pies to eat is great too.

Terry and Melissa Rees said...

You would think my son would make it through the night with all that fat, but alas, he does not! He still eats twice during the night. I think he's shooting for worlds fattest man!

Megz said...

I thought everyone created their own breaded cornucopias stuffed with the fruits of their labors. Maybe that's just me and Martha Stewart though.
That was some great research on Thanksgiving. Wasn't anything on TV last night?

Nikki said...

Nope, I have never used a cornucopia and probably never will. I will say that the Charlie Brown Christmas specials was all it took to get me excited for the chow down! Have a good one!

Karen said...

At Thanksgiving Point you can actually have a 'traditional' Thanksgiving dinner. But to tell you the truth it didn't really sound so good. Maybe that's why we added all the other yummy stuff! Great research - you were right on with everything I heard on the news. Last year I made each little kiddie their own cornucopia. Use the fruit cereal, but make rice kripie treats, then put it in a pointy sugar cone. Enjoy your holiday!

cold cocoa said...


cold cocoa said...

That last comment was from Anika referring to those yummy treats Karen made. They do sound fun!

LC said...

Hey, you must have read the same book we did! The piligims were surprised to see 90 Indians show up to their party. The Indians helped out by hunting deer to bring to the feast. They also had lobster and shellfish? I'll stick with turkey.
I recently acquired a taste for cranberry sauce too.

Hayley said...

No cornucopia for me. Thanksgiving to me is the food, Macey's Day parade, and family!