For Those About To Feast

I have about a half hour before I need to hit the kitchen in order to have dinner ready by 5pm. I made the Crème Brûlèe yesterday. I bought the culinary torch which I can’t wait to use and 6 ramekins. Note to Kitchen Kaboodle: could you just pony up the extra 3½¢ per item it would cost to get stickers that peel off easily rather than the crapshit you use so I have to spend a half hour scraping and goo-goning to get my new ramekins clean?

My mother-in-law was kind enough to clip an article for me from one of her magazines that tells a common version of the first thanksgiving story including happy pilgrims and Indians whooping it up with lots of sharing, caring, giving and general good cheer.

In return, I’ve clipped for her a few articles that tell a less common version of the story which is a little darker and shows a side of the pilgrims that is not so generous.

From Deconstructing the Myths of The First Thanksgiving

Myth: The First Thanksgiving occurred in 1621.

Fact: No one knows when the “first” thanksgiving occurred. People have been giving thanks for as long as people have existed. Indigenous nations all over the world have celebrations of the harvest that come from very old traditions; for Native peoples, thanksgiving comes not once a year, but every day, for all the gifts of life. To refer to the harvest feast of 1621 as The First Thanksgiving disappears Indian peoples in the eyes of non-Native children.

Quoted from: The Hidden History of Massachusetts

According to a single-paragraph account in the writings of one Pilgrim, a harvest feast did take place in Plymouth in 1621, probably in mid-October, but the Indians who attended were not even invited. Though it later became known as "Thanksgiving," the Pilgrims never called it that. And amidst the imagery of a picnic of interracial harmony is some of the most terrifying bloodshed in New World history.

From The Thanksgiving Myth

Jump 129 years to 1621, year of the supposed "first Thanksgiving." There is not much documentation of that event, but surviving Indians do not trust the myth. Natives were already dying like flies thanks to European-borne diseases. The Pequot tribe reportedly numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had reduced their population to 1,500 by 1637, when the first, officially proclaimed, all-Pilgrim "Thanksgiving" took place. At that feast, the whites of New England celebrated their massacre of the Pequots. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop's proclamation. Few Pequots survived.

To end on a lighter note from Addams Family Values:

[As an Indian, ad-libbing during a Thanksgiving play]
Wednesday: Wait, we can not break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you will play golf, and eat hot h'ors d'ourves. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller. And for all of these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

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