Friday, October 9, 2009

If the Pilgrim Didn't Eat It

Image from Natural Home magazine's article on Harvest, Exchange, Celebrate Thanksgiving with Friends- a great article on how to share the bounty of the harvest at your celebration, including great, clean recipes.

I went surfing the internet to find motivation to maintain a clean Thanksgiving. I don't want to come back to the office on Monday hungover from sugar and alcohol, and itching my skin from indulging my allergies of dairy and gluten. So yea, I want to stick to a clean lifestyle, whether it's Thanksgiving or simply a Thursday.

And I began to think about what the original Thanksgiving dinner would have been, and how different it is from the feasts-of-plenty we may be fortunate enough to look forward to this weekend.

The original Thanksgiving feast was about as clean as you could get- maybe it was the fact that there were no trucks roaring across the country with pounds of sugar to sweeten their cranberries, or perhaps it was due to the fact that the concept of the pumpkin pie hadn't been mainstreamed yet. Cool whip wasn't around to top those slices of pie; and there is no evidence that they butchered a pig on the occasion.

Interestingly enough, it seems from this History TV article, and other information I ran across, the original menu was dairy (cow), egg and refined sugar-free. They had wheat flour in plenty, and so perhaps the celiacs in the small crowd should not have indulged in the bread, but there would have been corn bread for them anyhow.

Meat dishes ranged from wild fowl, to venison and even seafood. Seasonal vegetables like carrots, beets, peas, lettuces and radishes brought color to their table. (Note the absence of buttery or creamed corn).

Image from Supplemental Science's quick-list on how to have a healthy Thanksgiving.

Butter and cream cheese were not available; there had been no cows on the Mayflower. They would have opted for the lower-fat (and my fave) option of goat's milk cheese.

Desert would have been a light mix of fruit and nuts from the direct area. There were no buffets of multiple desserts to choose from (isn't there always an option or four for those who don't like pumpkin pie?)

So I have found my motivation- as I fill my plate (not heaping, and only once) this weekend I'll do so with whatever the pilgrims would have first placed on theirs.

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