Colleen Patrick-Goudreau wrote a bit about the history of Thanksgiving.
She wrote that the “traditional” meal Americans tend to eat that’s centered around a roasted dead turkey, bread stuffing, and pumpkin pie is less based on historical facts and more based on one woman’s recipes in a popular magazine:
“Much of what informs our consciousness about this holiday is myth – a romanticized notion rather than informed facts, which, by the way, is fine. It’s fine to use myth to create our rituals and traditions. The point I want to make is that when we eat turkeys and pumpkin pie and cranberries on Thanksgiving, if we think we’re being true to some sacred tradition based on a real event, we’re not. We serve what we serve because that’s what we were taught, that’s what we’ve enjoyed, and that’s what we’ve always known. Our desire to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, something older than ourselves is greater than any desire to perfectly replicate the original source of our tradition. Does that make sense? We can have whatever we want at Thanksgiving, but let’s not justify the use of something like dead turkeys at Thanksgiving with any kind of rational explanation or historical reference. It’s just not there.”
You can (and should) read the entire article here >>