Thanksgiving has Certainly Changed

A Unique History

Thanksgiving is a day where you will be thoughtful and thankful as you enjoy the traditional turkey and trimmings that everyone has grown accustomed to.

Although some of those first recipes have been modernized or tweaked just a bit, the basis for each main and side dish remains the same, but where did some of the dishes that everyone loves actually come from?

If you grew up in a household during the fifties and sixties you probably ate some sort of green bean casserole. This Thanksgiving staple actually started in the Campbell’s Soup Company test kitchen when dedicated home economist, Dorcas Reilly, created and tested the now infamous green bean casserole in 1955.

Cranberries are as much a Thanksgiving Day staple as the Turkey itself, and if you were to trace the sweet and sour berry back to its origins, you would discover that they probably sat amongst the side dishes at that, “First Thanksgiving.”

In the Northeastern part of America the Native Americans used the wild growing berry for dying blankets, rugs and clothing, so it would be safe to say that cranberries were part of the Thanksgiving feast, which by the way originally lasted for three days and included dancing, singing, and of course, eating.

Another Thanksgiving must have menu item on every table would have to be the dressing. Southerners call it the aforementioned while those from the north eat stuffing on Thanksgiving while people from Pennsylvania gobble up, “Filling,” on the last Thursday in November.

No one knows for sure if the Pilgrims dished up a serving of stuffing alongside their lobster, oysters, and seafood, or some kind of wild bird such as dove, pheasant, or quail. Perhaps all over the above. Wild rice would have been served instead of mashed potatoes while pumpkin would have been eaten as a side dish and not made into a sweet pie.

Early Boston cookbooks are filled with oyster based stuffing made with or without dried or fresh breadcrumbs while the Mennonite mothers made their, “Filling,” out of stale bread and mashed potatoes that were left over from Thanksgiving. Perhaps the least used these days would be a mixture of both stale breast and mashed potatoes along with a pound or two of butter.

Thanksgiving is about great food, but don’t forget to take care of your teeth as well. You may be going on a health kick after the holidays, which is great for your body, but don’t forget to start your health kick off the right way and schedule an appointment with your dentist for a thorough checkup. Call Dr. Ringer today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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