The Scout Report, November 23, 2011 | Volume 17, Number 47
What did happen at the first Thanksgiving?
Revisiting the feast
Plymouth Rock: More Than A Homely Boulder
Thanksgiving History: Plimoth Plantation
The Food Timeline: Thanksgiving Food History
Nature: My Life as A Turkey
What exactly did happen on the first Thanksgiving? What did the Pilgrims and Wampanoag say to each other? How did they interact? Perhaps most importantly, what did they eat? As Americans gather to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, these are but a few of the questions that curious folks might be asking at the dinner table. Well, the folks at Plimoth Plantation have been looking into such matters as of late, and they have come to a few conclusions regarding the bounty served at this historic first Thanksgiving in 1621. To begin, there were no forks, no cranberry sauce, no apple pie, and no pumpkin. The beverage of choice? Water. Many of the dishes probably contained deer heart, liver, and lung. Commenting in a recent Boston Globe article about the Thanksgiving, Plimoth Plantation's Kathleen Wall noted that the feast lasted three entire days. Food historian Alexandra Pocknett remarked that the natives would have most likely contributed stews, soups, and succotash, which consists of corn, beans, and squash. It is also likely that the activities around this feast included an intense version of football (think 45 on 45, rather than 11 on 11) and some stoolball, which is an archaic English sport akin to cricket. Even with information provided by several eyewitness accounts, there remain many more questions than answers about this rather historic event. [KMG]
The first link will take visitors to a recent news article from the Boston Globe about the research conducted by Plimoth Plantation staffers into the food of the first Thanksgiving. The second link leads to a nice meditation on Thanksgiving and Plymouth Rock from John Yemma, the editor of the Christian Science Monitor. The third link will whisk users away to a very thorough site on the history of Thanksgiving, provided courtesy of Plimoth Plantation. The fourth link leads to a fun instructional film from 1951 designed to teach young people about Thanksgiving dining etiquette. The fifth link leads to a thorough timeline of Thanksgiving culinary history, courtesy of the Food Timeline website. Finally, the last link leads to a recent Nature episode, My Life as A Turkey, which chronicles a man’s remarkable experience raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.