Nov. 24, 2020 - Black, White, and Shades of Grey; PILGRIM CANDLES
"I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them down to you." 1 Cor. 11:2
For those traveling tomorrow...an early edition....
I don't know what kids do for Thanksgiving in school these days but I grew up in the cool era of the 1960's where we made Pilgrim hats or Indian head bands (I know...First Nation head bands...I'm sorry, it just doesn't have the same ring to it.) I grew up making turkeys from your hand print and bringing in Indian Corn (is there another socially acceptable word for that?) and making pictures on construction paper with Elmer glue - the real stuff not that sissy glue stick stuff.
It was the time to dust off the fall leaf garland and find William Bradford and what I have always believed was his dear wife in miniature candle forms. You can't put out the one without the other. We're not for dividing families at this time of the year. I know that there are complete sets with Will and Becky, the little ones, and a turkey as big as the kids but we were poor or we burnt down the bird and the kiddos. I can't remember.
Upon further research I may have to revise my table setting this year. It appears that the first Thanksgiving was not celebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts but rather in Florida with the Spanish and the Timucuan people. It also lasted a week. We are heading to my youngest daughter's home this year. I'm sure she'll be thrilled with the extended stay and the following menu. I'm bringing out the floral shorts, the T and my boat shoes.
Instead of turkey, which was rare to find, they ate venison, duck medallions in a seasoned brown gravy paired with steamed carrots and broccolini, seafood - fish, mussels, lobster dipped in hot butter sauce, and their famous crab cakes lightly breaded with Toll House Butter Cracker crust slightly dusted with original Old Bay seasoning. Added to that was ground corn mush with sweet molasses (now don't be turning your nose up at that - my cows loved it) and fresh pumpkin bars with powdered sugar or a creamy white glaze, all kinds of local nuts and even those that come from trees, puddings and pies...oh my goodness...blueberry, raspberry, gooseberry (with feathers removed), and of course, apple with lattice strips on top and crow feet marks around the edges literally done with crows feet.
Sorry to burst your Thanksgiving bubble but no whipped white potatoes with grandma's dollop of sour cream and a half a pound of butter. It was probably turnips. White potatoes didn't arrive in the country until much later. Not even sweet potatoes? Nope. Put the casserole dish and the marshmallows away. Green bean casserole with dried onions? I am almost certain of it. They had green beans. They had onions. I think we can take the next level assumption. Thank you, Lord.
More importantly there was friendship and family and a spirit of true thankfulness to Creator God after a year of tragedy. Out of 102 passengers on the Mayflower, almost half of them died the first year. More would have if it weren't for the kindness of the Native People in the area.
I have a feeling that there will be many this year who will give thanks with an empty seat at the table. Recipes will frantically be recalled and written down, some without success (nobody can make those homemade hand rolled egg noodles like grandma did). Old stories revisited for a new generation to hopefully carry with them.
But my prayer is that our faith in a Sovereign God who is Good and who is Faithful even when things are hard will be shared around the table as well. Some may have to search hard to find Him but He's there - just like Will and Becky.