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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Did Pilgrim's Eat Popcorn?

[Go to catnipoflife for a special Thanksgiving blessing!]
The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth
by Jennie A. Brownscombe. (1914)
A mythologized painting showing
Plymouth settlers feasting with Plains Indians.
Embrace the Past...
With the coming of Thanksgiving comes a special time to embrace the past. The feast of which we are most familiar took place when the Pilgrims arrived and the Wampanoag Indians gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. This was a time of autumn celebration and that's right, it took place in the 17th century!
Within the history of Thanksgiving lies nuggets of trivia that nudge at the heart and tickle the funny bone. 
Did you know...
  • Turkey may not have been the main meat that filled the guests' bellies at the first feast?
  • George Washington declared Thanksgiving to be a February holiday?
  • Fledgling colonists lacked butter and wheat flour for baking, thus no pumpkin pie?
  • Whether mashed or roasted, white or sweet, potatoes had no place at the first Thanksgiving?
  • While cranberries were plentiful, in wasn't until 50 years later that sauces and relishes were made with the tart orbs?
  • "Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday" (History of Thanksgiving. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 9:52, November 20, 2012, from http://www.history.comhttp://www.history.com/videos/history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday.)
What about corn? 
So far there has been no mention of corn: roasted, boiled or popped. While corn and kidney beans were staples of the Pilgrim's diet, is it possible there was no corn gracing the table of that first Thanksgiving feast? If it was present, i.e., Indian corn, it presented itself in a form much different from that which we are familiar today. From this, a thought is interjected:
Popcorn is prevalent today as one of America’s favorite snacks but. . .
Did Pilgrim's Eat Popcorn?
Some believe to this day
Popcorn was a “parched” treat
Brought by the Indians
A banquet of harvest tradition
Surpasses any myth of yore
Hearty, bountiful plenty
Did grace every table galore
Venison, goose, duck, and eel
Beckoned the most squeamish lad
Time of rejoicing and feasting
Meant only the best to be had
A cornucopia of fruits
Berries, grapes, apples, and plums
Competed with homegrown veggies
Squash, peas, beans, even white corn
There were no potatoes
Pumpkin pie hadn’t been invented
Bread puddings, milk, and honey
Left no appetite unattended
Indeed more beer than water
Quenched the harshest of thirsts
With gin and wine not far behind
Unbeknownst which came first
But what about the popcorn?
Were pilgrims the early munchers
Of that salty, puffed corn treat
Or was someone else the launcher?
Not until over a century later
Did sweet yellow corn none the least
Become the corn that traditionally “popped”
As part of a Thanksgiving feast

©2012 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults
Empower the Present...
Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday in the United States.
©iStockphoto.com/Olga Lyubkina


Thanksgiving Day: A Holiday Feast


A cornucopia of fruits, nuts, and veggies,
Turkey, trimmings, cakes, and pies,
More than anyone could possibly ask,
Instead of a treat, becomes our demise.
Family and friends prepare favorite recipes
Bringing various homemade dishes to explore.
Gluttons for punishment, a natural instinct,
Lead us back for more and more.
Thirst quenched and bellies stuffed to the gills,
Rocking chair conversation not too deep.
Is it the rocking motion or the turkey
That finally puts us all to sleep?
Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Gratitude
 A cornucopia of thoughtfulness and gratitude,
Thanks from the heart, as well as the lips,
More blessings than anyone could ask
Comes with all the trimmings this day equips.
Family and friends unite in fellowship
Granting praise for all the gifts of the year.
A candle is lit and with prayerful hands
The true meaning of Thanksgiving is clear.
©2009 Remembering
Sharla Lee Shults
Enrich the Future...
This day is a day of celebration not only for the blessings of today but for blessings to be extended into tomorrow's tomorrows. Take a moment to count your blessings but most importantly ask yourself how you can bless someone else. Perhaps something as simple as a smile could brighten someone's day. Whatever it is, take the time to bring blessings into the world around you, one moment, one day, one person at a time. The future is in your hands!

There will be many empty seats at tables across our nation this Thanksgiving as war still rages overseas. Thousands of brave young men and women in uniform are fighting two wars on foreign shores. Remember them: Our troops, soldiers, men and women, who are away from home and the ones they love for the greater good of our nation.
Support our Troops: Support America!

 May they be blessed this day, every day, and be reunited with loved ones in the days ahead.

[Did you go to catnipoflife for a special Thanksgiving blessing? Be sure to watch the video!] 
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  1. Thank you for this lovely Thanksgiving post. I think I'll pop some corn this evening to snack on this Thanksgiving Eve!
    Best wishes to you and your family.

  2. Sharla, I enjoyed reading about the history of the first Thanksgiving. I guess we'll never know for sure about the popcorn.


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