Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mayflower and Pilgrim Meal

In preparation for Thanksgiving we enjoy reading books about the pilgrims and in past years have had a Mayflower meal as a fun way to get a glimpse of what the pilgrims might have experienced when traveling to a New World. The idea of this came from Doorposts and at some point my goal is to do this on a larger scale, dressing up and inviting friends to join in the fun. This weekend we invited my parents and my Grandpa.

This year for our Mayflower we crowded into Missy and Seppy's bedroom which is our smallest room and pulled the shade to make it dark. While ocean sounds played in the background I read portions from the book ...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. I really enjoy the "....If You" series of books. We had a meal consisting of hard tack, salted beef (beef jerky) and a bit of beer to drink as that is what they would have drank. The kids turn up their noses at this but it is fun to think of how different things were when the thought was that milk and water were not good for drinking. We even had the baby "Oceanus" on our ship and he would not stop crying which made me realize how crazy I would go in close quarters with all of the noises and smells around. My Dad is great at playing along and pretended to get seasick. :) As we "approached land" I opened the shade and we left our "ship".

Now onto the Plymouth Meal around the dinning room table. Tank opened with reading Psalm 100 and John read a Thanksgiving Prayer from The Valley of Vision, a collection of puritan prayers. I really enjoy reading through them as they are not to be taken lightly and are so adoring of our Lord. I know more times than I'd like to admit I get in a rut or am in a hurry to pray that I am not truly expressing my heart to the Lord. This is not flippant or dumbed down in any way.

O My God, Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness, for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Our meal consisted of squash, skillet corn, crab cakes and broiled cod and perch. Next year my Mom and I said we'll plan farther in advance so we can include foods like crab legs and I think I'll include some type of a stew which the Indians might have made seeing as John and I aren't big fish eaters (unless it is breaded). George loves fish so he was in his element.

Dessert was not authentic this year but in the past I have made Indian Pudding which tastes very much like pumpkin pie but without a crust. In reading up on dishes that the pilgrims might have fixed I found that any type of squash was called a pompion. On the Plimouth Plantation website they have a note about cooking pumpkin from a book written by a traveler to New England in the 1600's and the last line I found so amusing and I guess pumpkins produce gas??...

But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew'd enough, it will look like bak'd Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh: It provokes Urine extreamly and is very windy.

We all enjoyed ourselves although some of us may have still been hungry. My Grandpa thanked me for the meal saying it was unusual but nice.


Kidcraze said...

LOVE it!
What great ideas and experiences for your children.
I'm sure they will always remember these times fondly.

Nichole said...

You are so very creative! I love the poem that you posted...it puts into words what my heart wants to express! Thanks for sharing!

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