“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men out fowling so that we might, after a more special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labors.”
So begins Edward Winslow’s account of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621. Waterfowl and venison were on the menu, as well as clams, eels, corn bread, leeks, watercress and other salad herbs. There was no pumpkin pie — wild plums and dried berries were dessert. Pumpkin pie made its way onto the bill of fare by the second Thanksgiving celebration.
Turkey, the traditional Thanksgiving main dish, originally was a wild bird of Mexico and Central America. Early Spanish explorers took some birds back to Europe where eventually a few made their way to Turkey and were domesticated. Later explorers returning to North America brought some of the fowl back with them, and because the birds had come from Turkey, so they were called.
Arizona is home to three subspecies of wild turkey; Merriam’s Wild Turkey being the one most common in Rim Country. Benjamin Franklin objected to the eagle being the symbol of America, which, he wrote, was a bird “of bad moral character” and instead proposed the wild turkey. He would be glad to know that the wild turkey is now the state bird of Alabama, Massachusetts and South Carolina.
More food for thought — the oldest prepared food is believed to be a form of pancake, no doubt cooked minus the pan. When corn flakes were first invented, they were meant to be eaten dry. The Kellogg brothers once sold their breakfast cereal by mail order. Peanut butter was created by a St. Louis doctor to improve the protein intake of his patients. Peanut butter isn’t just for kids — half the people who eat it are grownups (myself included).
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
Make your reservations early for the Senior Center Thanksgiving Dinner to be held Nov. 27 in the Center Dining Room, 514 W. Main St. The menu will consist of turkey with dressing, glazed yams, green bean casserole, whole wheat roll, beverage, and of course, pumpkin pie for dessert. Reservations may be made by calling (928) 474-4876 or stopping in the Center lobby from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. The Center will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28.
The Rim Country Coalition meets the fourth Friday of each month at 1 p.m. in the Payson Senior Center. Coalition members present or provide information to community groups on medication management, substance abuse and depression/suicide risk for seniors. They also participate in community events, promote health and wellness in older adults, advocate for older adult issues and concerns, promote community connections for seniors and support other community prevention programs. For more information about the coalition, contact Dee Redfield, Rim Country Coalition Coordinator, at (928) 970-1298.
Three free workshops on Family Caregiver Training are scheduled from noon to 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21; noon to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10 and 2 pm. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Senior Center. Training is available to unpaid family caregivers who are caring for someone age 60 or older or someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or a related dementia of any age. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call (480) 325-4901. The training is made possible through a partnership with Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens and funded by the Department of Economic Security Division of Aging and Adult Services.
The Senior Thrift Store will be closed Nov. 28, but will open for shopping Nov. 29 and 30. Check it out for Christmas bargains. If you feel lucky, roll the dice on Friday — odd numbers give you a 25 percent discount on purchases; even numbers, 50 percent off.
The American eagle, the Thanksgiving turkey —
May the one give us peace in all our states
And the other a piece for all our plates.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!