Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucky Break for Me.......Thanksgiving Menu Made Easy

Time is sneaking up on me as far as trying to come up with my menu for our Thanksgiving feast next week. I caught a lucky break though because when I was returning my library books this book jumped into my hands. I plan on using my recipes from this book. I think I will be ordering this book from Amazon also. It really is a great book. In the beginning it tells some of the history of our American Thanksgiving. In 1621 "The First Thanksgiving", the English colonists and the Wampanoag Indians did share a meal together. However it was not the same meal we traditionally serve today. The only written record of the celebration mentions just two food items- Deer and Wildfowl-and doesn't give a hint about what else was eaten or how the food was prepared or served. Some sources such as European paintings and drawings and some period cookbooks, artifacts, oral histories and journal entries have suggested that there could have been small turkeys, and possibly bread stuffing with onions, chestnuts and garden herbs. They probably did eat cranberries because they grew in the wild, but there was no sugar to sweeten them. The sweet potato was not known to the Wampanoag at the time, nor was the white potato. There were pumpkins and squash, but no pies made as we know them today.
One single eyewitness account of the 1621 harvest survives, in a letter written by colonist Edward Winslow to a friend. This letter reveals that they most likely ate deer.
This book, called "giving thanks" by Kathleen Curtin and Sandra L. Oliver and Plimoth Plantation, has a lot of interesting information in it, and if you can find it at your local library I hope you take a look. The History Channel also has had a few good shows about our Holiday. I think most of us just enjoy the day off from work to be with our families, and if we are fortunate enough..... to be able to share some good old fashioned fattening food. Probably one of the best meals of the year in my family, because the stuffing cooked in the bird is just better, and we only cook turkey one day a year. My problem comes from cooking tooooo much, and this year, since we are only having immediate family, I really need to watch it.

My side of the family ate different desserts than my husbands side of the family. Pecan pie was always served, as was mincemeat and blackberry, apple and cherry. My Dad wasn't very fond of turkey or pumpkin pie, but we still had them. Did you know there are 500 calories in one piece of pecan pie? I used to love that pie until I heard that.

This book also has a recipe for Sweet Potato Pie that sounds really good, and I may try it after a week or so when we have eaten all the ones that my family likes. One of our grocery stores has a signature cranberry orange relish that is really tasty and I am pretty sure the one in this book is similar to it. If some on these new recipes I try turns out good , I may have to revive my Recipe Blog with them. That poor blog has been very inactive for a long time.


Rudee said...

It all sounds very tasty. I love turkey, but it's a pain most of the time, and I don't know why. It's really pretty simple, isn't it? And cheap. I should make it more often. I love hot turkey sandwiches on the day after Thanksgiving. Yum.

I'm sending you my cranberry waldorf salad recipe. I think you'll like it. It's very low fat and relatively healthy.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Brenda,

Have to look for that book soon. Looks interesting. We usually stick to pumpkin pie, and sometimes a pumpkin cheesecake. Got to check out your recipe blog, soon. Been so darn busy here, and Greg will be here this morning, daughter and family on Monday. Greg is treating Eileen and me to lunch in town today. Oh, and my three kids got together and got me a fabulous new laptop for my birthday! It came early and I was totally surprised. They spoil me. It's still in the box though, so Greg will have to set it up with my new Verizon wireless gizmo, which will make me high speed, finally! Woo Hoo1

Have a great weekend!


The Bug said...

Mmm - this is making me look forward to next week. We're going to NC to be with our families. My dad's wife is an EXCELLENT high fat cook, so it should all be delicious...

Patty said...

What ever pie you decide on hope it turns out great.

Gramma Ann said...

I don't cook anymore, if I can get out of it. I'm retired, remember. LOL... Enjoy the family and fun.

Sandy said...

Interesting post and now that things have settled down here, I can make my library trips again, may check out the book.

I don't like pumpkin pie and whenever we would go to my aunt's house (as kids) at Thanksgiving she always made one mincemeat pie. I didn't love it but liked it enough to have a piece. Thinking back though, I probably wouldn't enjoy it now. My mom always made an awesome applesauce cake which I might have to do this year because it sounds good.

Our Thanksgiving will be real quiet and uneventful (which is great) as I've seen all the kids and families a lot recently and I told them feel free to make other plans, ha.

Mike said he will cook a small turkey and John will do side dishes. I'm off the hook.

Myra said...

Mmmmm.... Thanks Giving Dinner!!! Missed out on the this year for our October celebration... Dang!!!

The trick to the big meal these days is keep it simple, or have everyone attending contribute to the meal... and the men do the dishes!!! lol!

Have a good one Brenda! 8-)

Mary Anne Gruen said...

My sister-in-law is in charge of Thanksgiving. Which is good news since I'm a terrible turkey chef. LOL

Hope you have a Great Thanksgiving!

Patty said...

I try to keep things very simple. Never try a new recipe for a holiday dinner, always try it out a month ahead to make sure it's something we might like.

Clifford 1994 to 2009

Clifford   1994 to 2009
The Best Dog Ever