We’re starting to get ready for Turkey Day around here, busily stuffing the fridge and doing strategic cooking planning. It will just be 4 adults and 2 kids, but we’ll still cook the whole shebang. We decided on a mostly native foods menu this year, with turkey, bread stuffing, cornbread, wild rice, green beans, peas & pearl onions, cranberry sauce, apple pie and pumpkin pie. Lots to give thanks for.
I got a little book for the kids about Thanksgiving, but what a hard decision. There were many to choose from at the local chain bookstore, but most of them are either too cartoony, or don’t seem to be telling a story even remotely close to the real history. The one I chose seems to be trying to tell most of the bits that would be comprehensible to young children, without the religious persecution, Manifest Destiny, King Philip’s War, native peoples ravaged by smallpox, etc.
I did find a cool website about The First Thanksgiving, as part of my research into my latest burning question: Puritans vs. Pilgrims. I thought that they wouldn’t be called Pilgrims until they left Europe, and that they were called Puritans in England.
Turns out in England the initial Protestant splinter group was called Puritans, which then split further into an even more radical reformist group called Separatists who sailed on the Mayflower, then in early Plymouth they were First Comers, then Forefathers and then Pilgrims.
I also learned that the first settlers were heavily indentured for many years by merchant investors, and that they had already moved to the Netherlands more than 10 years before sailing from Southampton, England. There is no evidence that the Pilgrims landed on any rock in what was later named Plymouth.
Anyway, now I need to find a little ritual with the kids to help them remember what they are thankful for. Any suggestions?