Friday, November 24, 2006

Too Much of A Good Thing.... Even Sweet Potatoes

I just ran up the stairs from dinner. We had leftovers from what we had taken to the H's for Thanksgiving. I'll get to Thanksgiving in a moment, but before that, I will have to remind everyone that there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. Even delicious sweet potato casserole. Half a plate is too much.

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, nad among the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty. ~Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation: D.B. Heath, ed. Applewood Books. Cambridge, 1986. p 82

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwelling against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs, abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fis, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (bud afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, INdian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports. ~William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation; S.E. Morison, ed. Knopf. N.Y., 1952. p 90
Because we no longer live in the states, we did not get the week off of school, and so had to do our literature and history on Thanksgiving. After I did that, though, my mom and I made Sweet Potato casserole. When I arrived home from my music lesson, we left for the H's. At first we were finishing preparing the food. Then Sarah, Caitlyn and I talked for a while. Philip, Caitlyn, and I started a game of Settlers of Catan (a game I highly recommend!). Later (after 2 lengthy interruptions), we finished the game, and Philip won. The first of the two interruptions was dinner. We all filled our plates with food (and my brother attempted to feed mashed potatoes to the floor - not really, he just dropped them on accident), and sat down various places around the living room and Dining room, and ate! I had a little bit of everything (except gravy and stuffing): Green Bean Casserole, Bread, Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Muffins, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole... Delicious!!! When we finished eating, we sat around the table talking for about a half an hour before returning to our Settlers game.
The second interruption was dessert! Mrs. H had made two pecan pies and two pumpkin pies. Mommy made a Norwegian apple pie that was delicious. There was also some Apple cobbler that I didn't have any of; as well as After Dinner Mints that we all watched Sarah devour (not! Sarah could take hours just to eat one of those. When she wants to, she mouse-nibbles at whatever she is eating).
After we finished our game, we stood around talking and playing around until we left.

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Speech:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.
They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

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