Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Celebrations

The First Thanksgiving lasted for three days.  The Native Americans had come a long way and weren't just going to pick up and go home the first night.

The Native Americans introduced us to popcorn, first throwing it into the fire with the children chasing it as it popped, later on they figured out a way to control it by putting it in containers of sand and then heating them until the corn popped.  Sorry, it didn't come with butter!

A recreation of the Plymouth settlement after the first year

Turkeys are not very bright animals, they easily panic and can become trampled in a farm situation.  Out in the wild, they have limited flying ability and their poults (babies) if they become wet will die. 

It is most likely that roast duck was served, not turkey.  Mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce were not yet invented.  George Washington actually made Thanksgiving a formal holiday, but in February.  It was Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that declared that Thanksgiving be celebrated in November

Thanksgiving is a real holiday in the United States as it is not based in pagan or religious culture.  The Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower really suffered and would not have survived if not for the Native Americans and their help.  They taught them how to hunt, plant seeds and fertilize their crops, helped them build real homes, not just lean to's.

A great book to read to your children or grandchildren

Sometimes we forget why the Pilgrims came to America, to escape religious persecution, they wanted to be able to practice according to their own beliefs, but the celebration of the First Thanksgiving was a celebration of survival not religion.

A more modern Thanksgiving feast

I am not having Thanksgiving, we are gathering at my son's home, but I do bring part of the meal each year.  My mother's table always included items like candied sweet potatoes, rutabaga and brussel sprouts.  Well, we all know these are acquired tastes and some of us never like them and the children don't even want to taste them, just the names turn them off.

Mashed Rutabaga with Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Candied Sweet Potatoes

So, this year I am going to depart with tradition and possibly make pies and homemade rolls but I have to make the candied sweet potatoes.  I can already taste them!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


meemsnyc said...

This is a great post. I love Thanksgiving. Pies sound great.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl this was a great post : )
Canadians have reached back as far as
1578 with a feast of thanks in Newfoundland by Martian Frobisher .. Canada was not born then of course but it is interesting to know it all started in our area .. the official Thanksgiving holiday was in 1957, the second Monday in October.
We don't have as many traditional dishes that you do .. and wow .. they do look yummy ! But having it in October just makes my favorite month of the year all the better ? wink wink : )
Love the pictures girl !
Joy : )
PS I especially chuckled over the popcorn story !

Balisha said...

Thankyou for taking us through Thanksgiving Days of old. I love the veggies that you named...we will have brussel sprouts. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Balisha

Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, This is all most interesting and although I knew some of the details, you have included here several points that I had not realised about Thanksgiving.

I wish you and your family a most happy time!!

Carolyn Gail said...

Wonderful traditions that we all enjoy and treasure at Thanksgiving and its great that you remind us of how it all began. I've already had one celebration with my daughter and granddaughter who came to visit from North Carolina and I'm about to have one on Thanksgiving Day at my eldest daughter's home.

I can't imagine Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes either, Eileen, or corn pudding, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Meemsync,

I only make pies a few times a year. I am not thrilled with cutting up all of those apples and rolling the crust. But, once I'm done, it is always rewarding to taste them.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joy, I had no idea that Canada celebrated Thanksgiving until I saw it on your post in October. I need to learn more about this.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha,

Brussel Sprouts are sort of a joke in our family. Some like them and some do not even want to hear that I am bringing them. I do like them when they are fresh, not that bitter taste when they are harvested later than in November.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank you Edith,

As a child I knew very little about the history of Thanksgiving. The teachers told us only about Pilgrims and Indians.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Have a great time on Thanksgiving with your family Carolyn.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

This was very interesting. I don't think I knew that Thanksgiving was originally in February.
My mom makes a few dishes that are mostly for her and my dad and uncle. Something about the yams that no one else will eat them.
We lucked out and are on salad duty for Thanksgiving. I look forward the side dishes as much or more than the turkey.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine,

Yams and Sweet Potatoes have always been a confusion for me. I know they are different but having had both, I really do not notice much difference in the taste.


Karen said...

Eileen, any dish you would bring to pass would be excellent, of that I have no doubt! I have to confess I've never tried brussel sprouts or candied yams (or even cranberries?!) I should really branch out a little, don't you think?

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Thank you for the story which you illustrated so well! I am drooling! I love sweet potatoes!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Very interesting. That would be a wonderful book to share with children. That platter of turkey and trimmings looks to pretty to tear into. LOL!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your son and family!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,I did make the Brussel Sprouts today ala Martha Stewart, carmelized. We'll see if they recognize them!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Tatyana, the only way I like sweet potatoes is candied, not the way I should be eating them!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona, the book is a great read for children to give them some realistic facts.

We have a small family, but I am so lucky that they are close by.


Jim Groble said...

Eileen, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for your comments. jim

p3chandan said...

We also have Thanksgiving feast but its more a religious thing about giving thanks to our Creator for every little thing that we are thankful in life but its not a national holiday. Its held just as and when you feel like having the feast with family n friends or neighbours. Love all your Thanksgiving spreads looking so delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi p3chandan,

I think for some Americans it is also a religious feast. I was at a luncheon the other day where each of us was asked what we were thankful for in our lives. It adds a little more meaning than just a turkey dinner.



What a cool post. Hope you had a wonderful day today.

Mary Anne said...

Beautiful post Eileen. Food looked wonderful and made me hungary all over again!