Quick before the triptophan kicks In…

…pass me another slice of pumpkin pie, hon, its Thanksgiving here in America.

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Weir a c...

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Weir a copy is also located in the, United States Capitol rotunda, Washington, DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are lots of myths about Thanksgiving… like…

… the first Thanksgiving in America took place at Plymouth Colony in 1621. … Actually, there were Spanish and French celebrations of Thanksgiving in the New World long before the Pilgrim’s 1621 feast.  In 1565 Pedro Menendez de Aviles celebrated a mass of thanksgiving with native Americans near what is now St. Augustine Florida.

Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner (Photo credit: LonelyBob)

…the tryptophan in the turkey makes you want to curl up and take a nap after the big meal …  While turkey does contain L-tryptophan, you’d have to eat it on an empty stomach (and with out sides) before you got drowsy.

…Other foods contain as much or more tryptophan than turkey, … including chicken, … pork, and cheese. [About.com]

…The Pilgrims wore black and had buckles on their hats… If you were rich in the 17th century you could afford to wear black, but the Pilgrims? Not so much. They wore brown, green, beige, violet, gray, white, dark red and dark blue. And the buckle? That’s a 19th century artistic creation.

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Polymer Clay Magnet

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Polymer Clay Magnet (Photo credit: Jennie Ivins)

…Thanksgiving is an American tradition, and it has been celebrated every year since 1621… Nope. Although “National days of thanksgiving were held sporadically through the 18th century” [education.com] the traditional date of the last Thursday in November wasn’t established until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln made it a federal holiday. Even then the date was played with to boost the Christmas shopping season between 1939 and 1940. But by 1941 it was firmly planted on the fourth Thursday of November.

[Image courtesy: http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/interactives/thanksgiving-by-the-numbers]

[Image courtesy: History.com ]

… Everyone ate turkey and pumpkin pie at the 1621 Thanksgiving … turkey, maybe. A hunting party did go out to shoot fowl and it is likely that they bagged turkey as well as duck, goose and swan. But the protein on the table probably came courtesy the Wampanoag Native Americans in the form of venison (deer).  Although the Pilgrims would have had pumpkin it would not have been in pie form. The Pilgrims were very low on both sugar and flour, and they didn’t have a way to bake a pie.

…The original Thanksgiving took place in November, that’s why we celebrate it on the 4th Thursday of November now. … Actually the 1621 feast took place sometime between September 21 and November 11 and was three days long.

Having busted your Thanksgiving bubble… I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Now bring me some figgy pudding.



About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

3 responses to “Quick before the triptophan kicks In…

  • SidevieW

    I didn’t really believe the tryptophan thing until I drove the same 5 hour trip twice.Once with a turkey sandwich after about 3.5 hours and one without (eben though I had had a glass of wine with my meal) I was so dozey when I reached the end of the turkey drive (midday) and the other trip which ended at 10pm I was wide awake all the way.

    I really must remember – turkey to break a spell of insomnia

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