The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621 with the Natives. The feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Natives and 53 Pilgrims, per a historian. The New England colonists continued this tradition annually known as a day celebrating “thanksgivings”—thanking God for the harvest, and blessings of victory or the end of a drought. Turkey was more abundant than chickens such that Ben Franklin wanted to make turkey the national bird instead of the Eagle. Turkey made its way onto the table over ham or game, with side dishes more known for comfort food such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cranberries.
Celebrate this year with this tradition and review the past year of blessings and a wonderful harvest as you feast your eyes on the meal on your table and your family around you.
It is now November, and the taste of the festive chewy, sour, tart and sweet craisins reminds you of Thanksgiving and its warmth and comfort with memories of a savory dinner and the fun and hectic day after burning it off on Friday before the month of December once again reminds you of winter time when these festive cranberries will once again hang as decorations around the house, for some who do. I used to boil them with sugar and wine, and the sound of these sour red berries popping at first made me laugh, as more people should do, and as fun foods, delight the senses with mirth when all should be at the end of a long year and winter season when we think of thanksgiving and gifts and the next year to follow. These berries–are they fruit, or mere decorations? I never knew as they hung with popcorn around people’s homes and at first taste I wasn’t sure what it was, or poured out of a can on the side with turkey and other appetizers. The more it’s there, the more the ideas flow–I like to replace chocolate chips with these dried craisins as they don’t melt in the bag, in the car, or in my hands where I may smear them on my clothes. Red, festive, delightful, and chewy–by themselves or munch in muffins, desserts or cookies, they’re just too much fun.