Happy Thanksgiving to all the Natures’ Heritage visitors! This is considered the busiest food time of the year and one of the busiest for me personally, especially in the Watkins/Summit Group world. With so many fine spices and extracts to prepare all the traditional Thanksgiving Day feasts and goodies with, it is truly a delightful time of year. The Watkins seasonal extracts and flavorings are a great treat–be sure and check out The Recipe Express” tab for a few favorites of mine, including snickerdoodles.
Of course turkey and pumpkin pie steal the show on Thanksgiving, but how did that come to be–a little dedicated library research leads the way–
Turkeys, as in wild turkeys, are native to the Eastern United States and Northern Mexico, being thought to be first domesticated by the Aztecs in Mexico. Related to pheasants, turkeys are the only breed of poultry native to the western hemisphere. They can run up to 25 miles an hour and fly for very short distances up to 55 miles an hour. In the early days, 1500 years or more ago, turkeys were as prized for their feathers as their meat, the feathers also used for insulating blankets and robes. Today’s domesticated turkeys are not capable of such flights or speed and are usually double the weight of their wild counterparts.
Pumpkin pie, not in the form we know it today, was originally made by early colonists, by cutting off the tops of pumpkins, removing the seeds and filling the shells with milk, honey and spices. The pumpkins were then baked over hot ashes. The term “pie crust” is thought to be from the time of the Revoluntionary War. Prior to that pie crusts were called “coffins”, which held the various fillings and were not eaten.
Amelia Simmons, in her 1796 “American Cookery” cookbook, is credited with one of the first versions of what we think of as traditional pumpkin pie, when she created a “pompkin” pudding, where she baked the pumpkin in crusts similar to today’s pumpkin pies. And the rest we know is history!
Sometimes pecan pie is also served at Thanksgiving. It is thought to have originated in New Orleans in the 1600s when the Native Americans showed the pecans to the French in the area.
If you are a pie aficianado National Pie Day is January 23rd each year. Apple pie still rules the day as #1, but pumpkin pie is a close second.