One of my favorite ways to teach is to take a book and put it into action. Last Thanksgiving our family read Eating The Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners by Lucille Recht Penner. This book offers so many opportunities for learning.
You could simply read through this book each year at Thanksgiving, discussing the history with your kids. You could also take the information in it and recreate a pilgrim Thanksgiving dinner. That’s what we did last year.
I love the details the book gives about how the pilgrims lived. It goes far beyond your basic book on the pilgrims. For example, during the last few chapters we learned about the eating habits of the pilgrims. The book even concludes with a “Pilgrim Menu” that you can make.
To give you a glimpse into some of what we learned from this book please visit our Thanksgiving dinner last year.
We learned that most pilgrim families did not have silverware, plates, or bowls. The pilgrims used stale bread for plates. They put whatever soup, pudding, meat, etc. on their stale bread. At the end of the meal they would often dip the stale bread in the soup or pudding to soften it and then they would “eat their plates”.
We therefore ate our meal on bread plates and our soup out of bread bowls that I made. Corn soup is pictured in the bread bowl, above. The book includes authentic Pilgrim recipes. We enjoyed another recipe called Bannock Cakes. They are a simple biscuit-like cake made from stone ground cornmeal.
The pilgrims had many cranberries in their area they used to make a jelly. They called the jelly bearberries or bearbelly jelly because the bears liked the cranberries too. This jelly recipe is also included and oh my goodness it was so good!
- This is a great resource for your pilgrim studies!
- We had a wonderful time re-creating our Pilgrim dinner.
- There were so many other interesting things that we learned from this book.
- Authentic recipes.
- A pilgrim menu to make!
- The book is 128 pages in length.
- To purchase Eating The Plates click, HERE.
The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer
Jennifer is mom to 6 children, 2 boys and 4 girls, ages 14 down to 5. The Unsell family is in their 10th year of homeschooling and are a bit eclectic in their approach to schooling with a focus on unit studies and living books. You can find their family blog at Adventures in Unsell Land.