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The Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower were not the first to celebrate Thanksgiving in the New World. Several groups before them had done similar things.


But the Plymouth Rock Thanksgiving is the one we model our celebration after; for one thing, it included turkey:


Governor William Bradford sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks, geese, and turkey.7 The warriors brought five deer. The feast probably consisted of the following items (constructed from original sources and historical research by the Plimoth Plantation):




Seethed [boiled] Lobster

Roasted Goose

Boiled Turkey

Fricase of Coney (rabbit)

Pudding of Indian Corn Meal with dried Whortleberries (blueberries)

Seethed Cod

Roasted Duck

Stewed Pumpkin

Roasted Venison with Mustard Sauce

Savory Pudding of Hominy

Fruit and Holland Cheese




4. What -- no green bean casserole, no cranberries, and no sweet potatoes? Well, I guess stewed pumpkin would taste a bit like sweet potatoes! It would be fun -- and expensive (with lobster) to duplicate this menu, but I think most of us would rather have our family favorites.


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