Ever thought about what the first Thanksgiving was like while reflecting upon your own family holiday memories? Curious about the who, what, where, how and when?
Well, legend has it that the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Having first landed in 1620, the English colonists, aka the Pilgrims, experienced a very brutal New England winter. With most suffering and dying from illness and malnutrition.
However, with the substantial help of the Wampanoag Native Americans. The Pilgrims that survived learned how to grow corn, extract sap from maple trees. Catch fish and shellfish, and avoid poisonous vegetation.
Both groups came together for 3 days, celebrating the survival of the Pilgrims. Along with the bounty of the autumn harvest, thanks to the agricultural skills of the Wampanoag Native Americans.
One might say that the English colonists (Pilgrims) were the first “immigrant” arrivals to the “New World”.
In any case, the 1621 Thanksgiving bounty. It’s reported, included venison, fish, geese, ducks, turkeys, corn, root vegetables, cranberries, stews and, of course, beer.
Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 1863, that Thanksgiving became an official national holiday.
In the midst of a civil war and for obvious reasons, President Abraham Lincoln authorized a proclamation. Declaring the fourth Thursday in November as a day of national thanksgiving and prayer.
So, with the advent of Fall, as the Thanksgiving aromas begin to tease the senses. Memories of joyous family celebrations begin to pulsate in the heads of many Americans.
Aromas genuinely engineer memories, particularly around holiday time.
What makes thanksgiving amazing
Imagine cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, allspice and sage as the principal aromatic players in the preparation of any delectable Thanksgiving extravaganza.
And on tables across America, the supporting caste includes sugar, butter, oil, root vegetables, perhaps a string bean casserole, and a sinfully delicious macaroni and cheese.
All your food items not typically listed on your healthy eating lists…but, at this time of year, who cares!
And, oh my goodness, we mustn’t forget about dessert.
Just think about the variety, pumpkin, sweet potato, and traditional apple pies along with apple spice cake, pumpkin bread, and banana pudding.
Dancing in my head are visions of apple dumpling, blueberry and/or peach cobbler, not to mention a host of ethnic goodies, depending on your family heritage, tantalizing your mental taste buds as well.
And the list goes on…
Of course, those family memories often include the loquacious antics of our “Uncle Charlies”, “Aunt Mabels”, “Cousin Stuart”, and “Neighbor Bob” who usually fire up some, if not all, at the Thanksgiving dinner tables.
Thanksgiving is definitely a family affair, always prepared with loving intent, anxiety-ridden at times, but, for the most part, a dedicated family gathering of relatives, friends, and neighbors.
Yup, in the final analysis, Thanksgiving is one of those annual holidays that represents our paying grateful homage to good food, good people, and memorable family moments.
Have a great Holiday!