Gobble Til You Wobble

Kaley Scherrer, Staff Writer

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Thanksgiving is a time of year when people reflect on what they are thankful for and eat a large meal with family. Every year, people flock to the grocery stores to buy a large turkey, pumpkin pie, green beans, and all sorts of other Thanksgiving related foods. There are many components to this famous feast, yet most do not know why we eat what we eat on this holiday.


At the first Thanksgiving, which lasted three days, the foods that were included were not the exact same as the ones we eat today. According to historical documents that recorded the event, there was turkey, but it wasn’t the centerpiece. Many other birds were included as well as venison and seafood. Also present was corn from the Native Americans, and cornbread. A broth was made from what was left of the birds.


In the modern version of the feast we have today, turkey is the main focus, however, people don’t always have turkey. Some people replace it with vegetarian-friendly substitutes, and others simply don’t have it. Since turkey goes hand in hand with Thanksgiving, stuffing is also popular. Pilgrims most likely stuffed their birds with onions and herbs, but today it’s comprised of bread. Either way, stuffing is part of the feast because it’s one of the originals.

Another common dish is mashed potatoes, which was not included in the first Thanksgiving because potato crops weren’t around until later. Today, mashed potatoes paired with gravy is popular, and it started because Sarah Josepha Hale wrote many Thanksgiving recipes with mashed potatoes included in them. Yet another component of this spread is the green bean casserole. Once again, this item was not included in the first Thanksgiving, due to the unavailability of frozen green beans, but was invented by Dorcas Reilly, who was hired to create a recipe using Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. The final ingredient to today’s perfect Thanksgiving dinner is pumpkin pie. The pilgrims did not include this as part of their dessert, but research shows that they did use pumpkins and squash to make a dessert item. Eventually, someone invented pumpkin pie, most likely using the pilgrims’ pumpkin-y dessert as inspiration, and that is why we eat it today.


This family oriented holiday is celebrated all across America. It doesn’t matter what the meal includes, whether it be turkey or ham, pumpkin or apple pie, mashed potatoes or fried rice, Thanksgiving will always be about celebrating togetherness.