“Not what we say about our blessings. But how we use them, that is the true measure of Thanksgiving.”
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we pause to count our blessings. So as we all take our place at the dinner table, let’s not forget what we are thankful for. The freedom and opportunity afforded to us for achievement in America are of course on that list.
For most of us, that means time with family, great food, and a chance to reflect on what we’re thankful for from the past year. When I look back on this year, I can’t help but be thankful for some amazing blessings in my life.
But, for time’s sake, I will share one incredible blessing that has crossed my path in my new journey, and that is living and being a part of the Bristol Village Community. Nowhere else could I live and thrive with the most unique, loving, and giving neighbors than within our Village.
Okay, so as Lucy would so eloquently say to Charlie Brown…let’s talk Turkey!
Why do Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day?
I’m sure you’ve been asking that question for decades!
Pilgrim Edward Winslow wrote a letter about that now-famous meal in 1621 which mentioned a turkey hunt before the dinner.
Another theory says the choice of turkey was inspired by Queen Elizabeth I who was eating dinner when she heard that Spanish ships had sunk on their way to attack England.
She was so thrilled with the news she ordered another goose be served. Some claim early US settler’s roasted turkeys as they were inspired by her actions.
Others say that as wild turkeys are native to North America, they were a natural choice for early settlers.
The history of the Thanksgiving turkey is a bit of a mystery. Nobody knows exactly how this particular bird earned a place of honor at the table each November, but historians have a few different theories.
Thanks to letters and records kept by early American settlers, we know that when the colonists sat down to dine with the Wampanoag Indians, beef and fowl were on the menu. This historical meal would later become known as the first Thanksgiving.
Although historians cannot say for sure which types of fowl were served up that day, a letter written by Edward Winslow mentions a turkey hunting trip before the meal.
The wild turkey is a native bird of North America. As a result, Benjamin Franklin claimed this made the turkey a more suitable national bird for the United States than the bald eagle..
Not everyone agreed with Franklin, however, and the bald eagle became the national emblem for the United States in 1782. The bald eagle may be America’s bird 364 days a year, but the turkey has one day all to itself — Thanksgiving.
When we sit down with our families for Thanksgiving dinner, most of us will probably gorge ourselves on the same traditional Thanksgiving menu, with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie taking up the most real estate on our plates. How did these dishes become the national “what you eat on Thanksgiving” options, though?
Why turkey as opposed to those other proteins? Well, not only was turkey relatively affordable and widely available, but just one bird could feed the entire table, and could roast in the oven for hours unattended, leaving you free to do other things like read, nap, hang out, and watch football.
Regardless of whether you’re on Team White Meat or Team Dark Meat, now you know that turkey was indeed a part of the very first Thanksgiving dinner. And while many of the other early main dishes no longer make appearances in the traditional spread, turkey has endured. And thank goodness for that, because bringing a leftover waterfowl sandwich to work on Monday just doesn’t sound quite as appetizing. Yuk!
Join the discussion this Thanksgiving and let us know what you are grateful for. Sometimes it is just this simple…Give, and give thanks!
As always, I am…the thankful Boomer Explorer.