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Colonial America (1492-1765)
Thanksgiving
The Pilgrims' Real Thanksgiving Menu



The Pilgrims' Real Thanksgiving Menu
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.75

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    herring, individually, traditional, mince, nutmeg, venison, original, phrase, interesting, cinnamon, expect, boring, kinds, custard, amount, simple
     content words:    Most Popular Way, Cook Award


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The Pilgrims' Real Thanksgiving Menu
By Colleen Messina
  

1     If you popped into a time machine and set the dial for 1621, with any luck you would arrive at the first Thanksgiving dinner. You might expect to see Pilgrims and Indians eating turkey, cranberries, and of course, pumpkin pie. The traditional picture of the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving is interesting, but sadly, it's not true. Learning about the original thanksgiving gives us new reasons to be thankful.
 
2     What do you think of first when you think of Thanksgiving? The turkey! The Pilgrims had turkey, but they also served other meat, including venison, or deer. They had different kinds of wild fowl, too, like ducks, geese, and even swans. Meat had to cook for hours on a spit over a fire. Roasting won the Most Popular Way to Cook Award in the 17th century since no one had an oven. Someone had the important but boring job of sitting by the spit and making sure that the meat cooked evenly. Aren't you thankful for ovens?
 
3     Another menu item that the Pilgrims served was seafood. They ate cod, bass, herring, bluefish, and lots of eels. Clams, lobsters, mussels, and oysters were probably part of dinner, too. Unfortunately, they didn't have butter for their seafood, and catching all those lobsters and fish was a lot of work. Aren't you thankful for canned tuna fish and butter?

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