by Chrysa Smith

One of the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving is not having to do it like the Pilgrims. I mean, there are so many aspects of their celebration that I just find–well, distasteful.
Take for one, the menu. Waterfowl, Wild Turkeys, Venison? I, for one, like my turkeys tame and long dead–preferably decapitated by the nice folks at Shady Brook Farms or the butchers of Butterball. I could skip the Waterfowl and Venison and head right onto the second course. I fully realize that they didn’t have the luxury of heading to the local Wegman’s for all of their culinary needs. Too bad–because those poor female Pilgrims would have loved to pick up some prepared side dishes rather than having to make everything from scratch. And then had to cook outdoors in a huge firepit–the pre-cursor to the modern day Weber.
No multiple burners, no microwaves, no warming trays, no tv to keep you company while you prep the meal. It’s downright barbaric. And I’ve got to believe these women either froze while cooking outdoors on the east coast in November, or they caught on fire from flying cinders from open firepits. Maybe both. Regardless, I’m sure their scent was clearly Yankee Wood Fire, which by the way, they couldn’t rid themselves of till laundry day—in just a few short months. Thank God for the beer.
As if that weren’t enough, have you seen the menfolk? Did they remove those stovepipe hats during the meal? Was their hair clean and coiffed? And did they wear something a bit more manly than those poofy collared shirts and cinched wastelines? They sat with their guests—bare-chested Indians with feather headdresses all at a makeshift table with dirt floor. Where was one to tuck their napkin? Thank God for the beer.
Ah, well, I protest too much. At the end of the day it was the kinship, fellowship, sharing of bread and wine that was more important than the menu, the dress code or the cooking method—the same as it should be today.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.