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  • First Thanksgiving Dinner

    A letter written by one of the Pilgrims mentions that they served venison (wild deer) and wild fowl - probably turkey, duck and goose. Rabbit would also have been served. Other traditional items served at an English feast Would have included cornbread and pudding. Cheese was a tasty treat. Vegetables would have included corn, onions and pumpkin. They did NOT eat corn on the cob at the time, The corn was only suitable for dishes and meal. Fish was usually not served at great feasts because it was too "common", but there might have been some lobster or cod.

    Note that the first Thanksgiving would not have had sweet desserts, and there was no popcorn at the time. Feasters were usually too stuffed by the end of the meal to think about eating anything else!

    As you might imagine when cooking for 150+ people, the meal was not high on intricate cooking. However, the food was very tasty, as both the English and the Native Americans knew about how to plan for large parties. There were no forks at the time - just knives and spoons, at plates were usually wooden. Here are some suggestions for recipes with a 1600's flair. Note that the early Pilgrims did NOT have pigs so anything involving ham or bacon would be inappropriate. Also note that cranberry was not introduced until many years later.

    Cornbread - admired by both the English and Native Americans
    English Cheese Pie - cheese was important to the English
    Venison - five deer were brought by the Native Americans
    Wild Turkey - Native Americans and English alike enjoyed this meal
    Garlic and Onions - staples of the diet
    Pumpkin Pudding - there wasn't pumpkin pie at the time
    Indian Pudding - can be served as a warm or cold dessert

    Click here for these and more original Thanksgiving recipes


    Page Last Updated: Nov 22, 2018 (08:51:48)
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