The Original Thanksgiving Menu
Today's American Thanksgiving menus have little in common with the feast that started it all back in the 1600s.
The meat that was mentioned was "wild fowl". Historians believe this could have been anything from wild turkey to duck. There would have been corn as it was cultivated by the Wampanoags and would have been readily available. It is also likely that pumpkin and winter squash would have been served as vegetables. Other items that may have graced that first Thanksgiving table were:
- Seafood like lobster, oysters, eel, clams
- Fish both salt water and fresh water types
- Dried blueberries and other wild berries
Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving menus have gone through a lot of changes over the years. Following are some menus that are sure to fit your idea of the perfect Thanksgiving.
A Victorian Thanksgiving Menu
Victorians loved a party and Thanksgiving fit that bill quite nicely. The Thanksgiving menu in the Victorian household was likely to be an extravagant series of courses served for hours. Since most people in the 21st century would prefer to be able to walk away from the table here is a menu that is based a Victorian Menu of the mid 1880s.
- Oyster Bisque
- Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing
- Giblet Gravy
- Mashed Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Glazed Turnips
- Pickled Beets
- Whole berry cranberry sauce
- Pumpkin Pie (the recipe on Libby's Pumpkin is still the best!)
- Mince Pie
- Whipped Cream, lightly sweetened
- Coffee, Tea, Punch
Be sure to decorate your table with a variety of fruit and nuts tumbling out of a basket to complete the Victorian ambiance.
Vegetarian/ Vegan Thanksgiving Menus
There is no reason to forgo Thanksgiving if you are a vegetarian. There are plenty of ways to enjoy all of the Thanksgiving goodness while giving the turkey a break.
- Vegetarian Italian Wedding Soup
- Pumpkin Ravioli with Hazelnut Cream Sauce
- Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pistachio
- Pumpkin Pie
- Gingerbread with whipped cream
More Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Menus:
Family Favorite Thanksgiving Menu
This is the menu that many people remember from their childhoods. Seems like there are variations and additions to it all over the country but the basic menu remains the same.
If you want to change it up a little try some different side dishes.
If you were a kid in the 50s, 60s, or 70s you may remember this one.
- Sage Stuffing
- Giblet Gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
- Green bean casserole
- Celery and carrot sticks
- Cranberry sauce
- Jello Salad
- Pumpkin Pie
A Sophisticated Menu
Sometimes you are not in a time of your life when you gather at the table with generations of relatives. There are times that Thanksgiving is smaller, lower key, and depending on your circumstances, more upscale. This menu is perfect for a quiet, but delicious, Thanksgiving.
Don't Forget to Give Thanks
Of course the best thing about Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the food. It is, after all, the time of year when the whole country stops and remembers how much we are blessed. It is a wonderful world despite what we hear on the news.
Each year that you can gather with family and friends is one more year to be thankful for.