debunking the myth of Thanksgiving

:mad:There’s nothing that raises my ire like the subject of revisionist history in the way school children are taught fake fairy tales to explain the discovery of America and the first Thanksgiving to name a couple. Since today is Thanksgiving day, I’d like to bitch about the inconsistencies in the historical corrective account of what really took place or for that matter didn’t in 1621 between the Pilgrims and Indians. According to Howard Zinn and the real historical account, the first Thanksgiving was a result of a women’s magazine’s attempt to sell fall food stuffs like pecan pie filling and cornbread stuffing mix. Abraham Lincoln liked the idea so much he declared a national holiday after much pressure from Sarah Josepha Hale, a writer at Harper’s Bazaar. The extent of the relationship between the Pilgrim colonists and the Native “Indians” was the spread of smallpox which helped decimate the local native population and more massacres as villages were burned and squaws were raped. That was the way it happened for most but there were some colonists who became indentured slaves for the Indians as they adopted their ways in efforts to secure a meal and avoid freezing. Don’t believe the BS about Squanto and the way he helped the Pilgrims. He knew English so well because he was kidnapped by the colonists and later returned to a village that had been decimated and deserted by smallpox. He played the Pilgrims against his own people and died a traitor.

What’s my favorite thanksgiving dish? Too weird.

Did the poll get placed in the wrong thread, or something?

I’m going to go with Kirkland brand fresh turkey.

Mashed Idaho potatoes, just like the pilgrims ate.

Minute Maid Sour Grapes.

If Butterball Turkeys were around back then, all that raping and Smallpox death wouldn’t have happened, so I voted Butterball.

Cite for the Smallpox part: “the Butterball brand has been formally recognized since 1940”, and “Leslie Collier developed a freeze-drying method to produce a more heat stable smallpox vaccine in the late 1940s.”.

I knew everything you posted already so I don’t think it is a big secret especially on this board. I could quibble about some of the details but the basic idea is right so I won’t bother. What I am wondering though is why you are so hard on one group of people because of the diseases they spread? They didn’t even know what caused the big diseases that wiped out the natives back then (hint: black rat urine from rats that escaped from ships was a big one).

The white settlers of that era got supremely lucky. They started showing up all along the Eastern seaboard only to find that 90%+ of the natives had recently died and many settlements were abandoned and ready for someone else to move in. Talk about convenient. It was hardly an untamed wilderness. It was more like a Las Vegas subdivision after the recent mortgage crisis. Everybody is gone so just pick what you want and move in.

Of course there was slavery, indentured servitude, and atrocities all around. That is what people did back then in both Europe and among most of the Native American tribes. Life was hard. They were basically living in the aftermath of an apocalypse that they couldn’t understand and had no way to control.

The modern concept of Thanksgiving was popularized over 200 years after the Plymouth Colony but I don’t see that as a problem. According to records, they really did have a feast that included the remaining Native Americans in the area and the surviving white settlers. A bigger travesty in my mind is that they also had one at Jamestown well before the Plymouth Colony because harvest feasts are common all over the world. Northerners struck that one off of the popular record after the Civil War and moved the focus of early American history to New England instead of the southern states like Virginia even though Jamestown predates the Plymouth Colony. Smooth marketing yankees.

I recall reading that Lincoln proclaimed two thanksgivings: one for the Pilgrims and one to celebrate the victory at Gettysburg.

Oh, and as for your poll choices: none of the above.

Sure, there were atrocities four hundred years ago. But there’s no excuse for opening a can to get tart red glop when you can take a bag of cranberries, a cup of sugar, a little orange juice, and make something wonderful in 15 minutes.

I was trying to be reasonable in my earlier post but now you hit below the belt. Cranberries are nasty in their native state much like some people’s mothers. You can’t fix that with simple sugar and orange juice. Ocean Spray made a miracle on par with Jesus turning water into wine when they invented their canned cranberry sauce. Sure, it looks mass produced and alien (because it is) but it is also the only way to make cranberries palatable.

Foodies don’t like that because they always like tracing foods back to the raw ingredients and improving on those but this is the one case where it simply cannot be done. Let’s face facts and not deny simple reality, you cannot improve on canned Ocean Spray cranberry sauce no matter how hard you try. I thought it was a stand-alone dessert for years before people told me it was supposed to go with turkey.

Every year we have the same old turkey, the same stuffing, same mashed potatoes, the same old gravy, the same green bean casserole, same dinner rolls and the same old, same old pumpkin pie. So boring, so predictable, and I love every bit of it.

None of the above. My Thanksgiving dinner, which I’m eating alone right this moment, is Garofalo farfalle pasta and Johnsonville Italian sausage in Bertolli alfredo sauce.

Exactly what I was going to say. And the reason is because of the company that surrounds the meal: My loving extended family.

To everyone who likes flavor in food, your comments are on par with nonsense like “legitimate rape.” Actually, there simply is no excuse for the violation of one’s taste buds for sauce that comes with can marks on it.

So, milk in a bar: bad. Glop in a can: good. Gotcha.

:dubious: It tastes like the damn can.

My GF’s co-worker from Rhode Island has been going back home there every weekend and bringing us treasures that just can’t be found around here. All summer it was the most delicious corn on the cob we’d ever tasted. Now we just had the freshest, most flavorful cranberries made into awesome zingy chunky real sauce. Never had better. For produce, Rhode Island f***in rules.

But how else do you know where to slice it?!

I’m not very fond of celebrating the Puritans, because A) they weren’t exactly tolerant themselves, and B) I find the Anglican religion which persecuted them to be much more attractive than their dour Calvinism.

I prefer Pepperidge Farm to Stove-Top, but that was the closest.

I just finished reading Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday by James W. Baker, former director of research at Plimoth Plantation. I found it most enlightening. Very scholarly, but accessible.

I did learn that a wave of patriotism at the 1876 Centennial led to a general anti-immigration feeling, that caused much more of a focus on Thanksgiving as a “holiday” as opposed to an observance, and indoctrinating schoolchildren in the Pilgrim/Turkey/friendly Indian themes we now know, what Baker calls the “infantilization” of the holiday.