The history of the holiday meal tells us that turkey was always the centerpiece, but other courses have since disappeared. Today, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes any number of dishes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
Even though they didn’t have much sugar, the Pilgrims did use many spices . They had salt at the table, and they loved cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pepper. They liked onions, leeks, and strawberry leaves as well as watercress and yarrow. They also used herbs with unusual names like liverwort.
So what did the Pilgrims eat and drink while on their journey to the New World? They most likely had dried meat and fish, cheese, dried fruit, biscuits, grains, flour, and dried beans and peas. When their water supply became unfit to drink , the Pilgrims drank beer.
Indian corn was part of almost every meal in Plymouth Colony. Along with Indian corn, the Pilgrims also grew some beans, pumpkins, wheat, barley, oats and peas in their fields. In the gardens near their houses, women grew many different kinds of herbs and vegetables, like parsley, lettuce, spinach, carrots and turnips.
First Thanksgiving Meal Turkey. Fruits and Vegetables. Fish and Shellfish. Potatoes. Pumpkin Pie. Who Attended the First Thanksgiving ?
What killed so many people so quickly? The symptoms were a yellowing of the skin, pain and cramping, and profuse bleeding, especially from the nose. A recent analysis concludes the culprit was a disease called leptospirosis, caused by leptospira bacteria. Spread by rat urine.
What the Pilgrims Really Ate At Thanksgiving Turkey, of course, was served (and has been the main entrée for almost 400 years). However, it was wild, not domestic, that the Pilgrims and Indians consumed. Fish. Bread, especially sourdough bread, which the Pilgrims called “Cheate Bread.” Cornbread was made from hominy. Corn. Vegetables. Dessert? Cutlery.
What animals did the Pilgrims bring on Mayflower in 1620? Pilgrim accounts mention that two dogs ( a spaniel and a mastiff) were brought on the 1620 Mayflower voyage. A reference in a 1623 letter leads Museum historians to believe that there were probably goats, pigs and chickens on Mayflower as well.
“What the pilgrims drank was fermented apple juice , or what we call hard cider . And that’s because it was something they were used to drinking back in England. Cider was very, very popular in Europe and they were lucky – several varieties of apples are native to America,” said Pearce.
Tomatoes were a fringe garden plant, grown mainly in the south. His mother told him they were poison : “Even the hogs will not eat them.”
There are only two surviving documents that reference the original Thanksgiving harvest meal . They describe a feast of freshly killed deer, assorted wildfowl, a bounty of cod and bass, and flint, a native variety of corn harvested by the Native Americans, which was eaten as corn bread and porridge.
Sailing for more than two months across 3,000 miles of open ocean, the 102 passengers of the Mayflower —including three pregnant women and more than a dozen children—were squeezed below decks in crowded, cold and damp conditions, suffering crippling bouts of seasickness, and surviving on meager rations of hardtack
Activities that the Pilgrim children engaged in for fun included word games, riddles, blowing bubbles and playing with toys, such as marbles, stilts, hoops and tops. Adults also took part in some games and dances during celebrations. Pilgrim children did not play as much as today’s children.
Many of the Pilgrims were members of a Puritan sect known as the Separatists. They believed that membership in the Church of England violated the biblical precepts for true Christians , and they had to break away and form independent congregations that adhered more strictly to divine requirements.
The houses built by the first English settlers in America were small single room homes . Many of these homes were “wattle and daub” homes . They had wooden frames which were filled in with sticks. The holes were then filled in with a sticky “daub” made from clay, mud, and grass.