This year we celebrated Thanksgiving early, since Chad is scheduled to work for the next ten days straight, including the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Thankfully, my parents were flexible, and invited us out for a big meal yesterday. We decided to go traditional, and made a few menu choices to emulate our country's first Thanksgiving feast. We roasted our turkey outdoors on the grill, and okay, so the pilgrims probably didn't have top-of-the-line gas grills built into an outdoor kitchen like my parents, but we did put some mesquite wood chips in there to pretend we were smoking the food over a wood fire. And though I couldn't find any historical proof that there were any potatoes or breads served in that first Thanksgiving, we carb-lovers couldn't survive without our mashed potatoes, stuffing, and homemade rolls.
Chad, my dad, and the kids went over to my grandpa's pond that morning, and caught some bass to add authenticity to our feast (Mason has a fish in his shirt in the picture...Chad said he wouldn't hold it with his hands...oh, and at some point Mason ended up with a hook in the back of his head, which is all he remembers of the fishing experience). Chad put the fish on the grill, and we also grilled up some green beans and butternut squash. The only thing our traditional meal was missing was some venison (we should have taken our friend Tyler's offer to share the spoils of his last hunt...). We know that the first Thanksgiving dinner included fruit and berries, so my mom made her cranberry sauce from scratch, and we had a selection of fruit pies. Oh, there were nuts too...in the pecan pie. And we had pumpkin pie of course. We like our pie, okay? Six pies for 6 adults. I think that was sufficient. We enjoyed our meal outdoors, as I'm sure the Pilgrims and Indians did, and our 70-degree and sunny weather was most likely much more comfortable than theirs was. If only our feast hadn't attracted all the neighboring honey bees. At least the day only yielded one bee sting.
I don't think I've ever really taken the time before to think about what that first Thanksgiving meal was like. I just thought we ate turkey because it's a cheap and easy way to serve a big crowd. But we're actually keeping up a tradition that started hundreds of years ago with turkey, fish, fruit, berries, pumpkin and squash. And I really enjoyed celebrating the holiday just with our family, my parents, and my grandparents. I wish I had taken more pictures, as always. But even so, I think we made some lasting memories.