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Thanksgiving Recipes and Resources - Fact, Fiction, Fun and a First Beer Fest

Updated on November 13, 2014

Make of Thanksgiving What You Will

Modern Thanksgiving is held in the Western Hemisphere in at least two nations: Canada (October) and USA (November). Before this modern version of the holiday was declared, it was celebrated by Spanish settlers and Native American Nations according to their own many-centuried traditions. Other cultures also hold a long tradition of giving thanks for the harvest, for rain, and for a number of other things necessary in life. An official holiday puts a logo on it.

American Thanksgiving history is very interesting in that it is often taught incorrectly in K-12. It was initially not happy, there were no black-clad "pilgrims' (the term was adopted in 1840) and there was no pumpkin pie - pumpkin squash puddings were good, though. This is all clear from the diary of one of the first male settlers, preserved in Plimouth Plantation Museum in Plymouth today.

The solemn black clothing of the settlers was invented by early image manipulators in an 1840 magazine and news ads in the Easter US to make us all think that these were people more holy and good. There was no flour for pie crusts and, in fact, there was no food at first, just beer.

Thanksgiving Brew


Beer Fest

The first Thanksgiving had a deficit of food among colorfully-clad poor white folks that called themselves saints. They did have big barrels of beer the men had brewed and brought abroad their ship. Shot turkeys and other supplies were kept in a locked area of the village by Governor Bradford. Thus, the First Thanksgiving would have been a drinking holiday, but was saved by Indigenous Peoples.

A single Native American man was invited, and by custom, he brought 90 of his village members along and they all brought food. The settlers' women cooked with their native friends. However, the beer worked a problem and drinking among the whites got out of hand, with wild gunfire into the air and days later, bloodshed following.

The first Canadian-inspired Thanksgiving seems more pleasant, a ceremony on board the ship Judith before successful landing at Countess of Warwick Island (Robert Ruby, in An Unknown Shore) in August 1578 by Martin Frobisher amid extended search for the Northwest Passage. It was an English prayer service, considered a first Thanksgiving in the New World. Many accounts list the shores of Newfoundland for the ceremony, but the respected Mr. Ruby is adamant that the evidence is otherwise.

Religious Holiday

Declared a religious national holiday sometime between 1859 and 1879, it was put on a Monday and more declared secular in 1908.

In 1957, Thanksgiving officially became the second Monday in October, " a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed" (data from York University, Toronto) -- Churches celebrate the Monday holiday tradition, but the day is one for secular celebrations as well. Not all Canadian provinces celebrate the holiday in the same ways, according to several accounts.

In the 21st Century, we can make our own family traditions for Thanksgiving and take the best parts of the Canadian and later American festivities. We needn't ruin the holiday by overemphasizing the bad starts, but we need to tell the kids the truth at some point.

Please enjoy all the offerings below, while I start off with some unique holiday soup recipes you might enjoy this year.

A Saint Called "Remember"

Duck Broth

Turkey is not the only poultry available for Thanksgiving meals. Other options are duck, pheasant, goose, quail, and others. This Duck Broth is light and a perfect balance for a heavy turkey dinner as a first or second course.

Serves 2-4, depending on size of bowls. This can be a small course, served in a cup.


  • 18 oz vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp ground red pepper
  • 3 - 5 pieces lemon grass
  • 1 Tbsp orange blossom honey
  • 2 duck leg quarters, skinned or 1 duck breast, halved


  • Pour stock into a pot and boil.
  • Add all of remaining items except duck and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat;  add duck and cook on both sides until fat melts and meat begins to brown.  
  • Remove duck heat and let ir rest for 5 minutes. Nexr, cut duck into serving pieces.
  • Pour broth into serving bowls and add duck.

Light Carrot Soup

 Serves 4- 6


  • 2 Cups sliced raw carrots
  • 8 oz vegetable stock
  • 1/3 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2.5 Cups milk substitute - rice milk or soy milk
  • 3 oz cream cheese, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Cilantro


  • Boil carrots briefly in stock. Reduce to simmer and add sugar and cilantro, sitr, and cook until tender.
  • Sauté onions in oil add flour and make a roux. Then add milk substitute an cookand stir untilthick.
  • Pour 1/4 of the hot mixutre into a bowl containing cream chese, stir, and pot back into the skilelt.


Buttermilk Soup

This is another good option for Thanksgiving meals and seems to go well with harvest plant and animal crops.

Serves 6-8


  • 4 Cups Buttlemilk
  • 1 Tbsp each milk and flour
  • 1/2 Cup raisins
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • Sugar to individual taste
  • 1 Cup whipping cream


  • In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour and milk.
  • Put buttermilk in a large pot and place over medium heat nd rasie to the boil.
  • Add flour-milk mixture, stir until blended, and add all remaining items.
  • Cook until raisns are soft and runt off heat.
  • Serve with sugar and whipped cream


Thanksgiving Resources

The following groups of links provide a number of free, public domain Thanksgiving Coloring Pages that you print and share with others, unbounded by copyrights; gifts, histories and points of view, and many good recipes for this Thanksgiving Holiday season in America and Canada, as well as in other parts of the world among different peoples.

Monument to Plymouth Settlers

National Day of Mourning for Native Americans Replaces Thanksgiving


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thank for your comment! I look forward to reading you new Hubs.

    • FolliediVetro profile image

      Lily 5 years ago from Malta

      Hi Patty,I'm Italian,I love style and tradition.I'm glad to be in contact with you, you are very welcome !

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Oh this is such a rich hub! I love how you pulled this all together. Duck broth is new to me. I might just have to try that one!

    • profile image

      lyricsingray 8 years ago

      I agree, I learned a lot here today too. I just wish we celebrated Thanksgiving as big as you do in America, thank you, Kimberly

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @Storytellersrus - So you went and left us, did you? LOL. The American "first Thanksgiving" occurred after a Spanish Thanksgiving on American soil in the 1500s and 10,000 years after the First Native American Thanksgiving. Popcorn? Likely not, except for Charlie Brown, but maybe. Popping corn at beer-drinking English might have made a good joke.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I learned lots in this hub-- but where is the popcorn? Is that also a myth? I was taught that Thanksgiving celebrates the founding of America based on the pilgrims. None of my relatives were there at the time. They had already gone home to Norway, haha.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @feb... - I must find that diary page in the Internet again, Know it's there somewhere.

      @RGraf - I like it in soup and biscuits, but not to drink.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I have never heard of buttermilk soup. I'll have to give that one a try.

      Thanks for all the wonderful info.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      Wow..what a shocking truth of Thanksgiving history, I really appreciate you for sharing the story and all the recipes seem ..yummmy..! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for the comments! Lots of others are also writing Hubs about Thanksgiving this week. I too am having a good time reading. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      What a fine Hub. Thanks very much also for the recipes and the history lesson. Your writing and graphics are the best. Don White

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for the hub about Thanksgiving and all the yummy recipes. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Quite Interesting thanks Patty

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      skye2day - Have you seen the poster that says the most visible people get mowed down first? It may be true sometimes, because you put yourself out there, LOL. Thanks for the high praise and I will take a look at your work.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Hello Patty, I have seen your name all over hub pages. You are quite the talk of the town lady.It is all good. I have been wanting to visit, so I made it. Yeah. I have been having loads of fun at hub pages. It is a wonderful place to be. I really enjoyed this hub. You are a delight and extremely blessed. Thank You for giving your heart.

      I would love if in your spare moments (tee he) you stop by for a visit at my hubs. I would be honored. I think you might favor the Spiritual hubs. Hugs You have a glorious day. I look forward to a couple of newbie delights on Thanksgiving day.. cheriooo..for now, Patti

      Yep that is Patti with an I

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Paradise7 - I think the especially young children will not understand or think it was funny anyway. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Zsuzsy Bee! - Happy Thanksgiving to you this weekend! I can just see your ducks running away from the cooking pot now to tow the line. Have fun!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      The duck broth looks good...yum, I think that would be a great addition to our thanksgiving meal and could very well become one of our traditions.

      I keep telling my ducks in the barn that if they do not behave they will be Duck a l'orange, now I can treated them with become broth too. They will tow the line from now on I'm sure, Thanks for another great hub

      hope you're well

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      You really put it all together, here. As for telling the little kids about beer and lack of pie crust for the pumpkin pie, I'm in a neutral corner. I liked this hub a lot and know many people will enjoy it. Good luck on your challenge! And Happy Thanksgiving!