November 23, 2004

Useful perspective

Useful perspective from Gregg Easterbrooks Tuesday Morning Quarterback column:

TMQ suggests this menu for your own personal Throwback Thanksgiving:

Wild turkey, shot with a musket and hand-plucked.

Dried maize; no corn-on-the-cob.

Ample, overflowing servings of lobster. (The Pilgrims considered lobster tasteless and complained in their diaries of having to eat it so often.)

Seal meat.

Hard apple cider. (Till the early 1800s or so, hard cider was in rural North America considered the only totally safe beverage, because the alcohol killed waterborne pathogens; children often drank diluted hard cider and went through the day slightly tipsy.)

For desert: plums, grapes and stewed pumpkin. (There is no chance the Pilgrims ate pie at the first Thanksgiving, because they had no refined sugar. Until the 1800s, most Americans rarely tasted anything containing refined sugar.)

As you dig into your turkey, stuffing and pecan pie, washed down with a $10 bottle of wine superior in quality to any wine available to the 17th-century kings of France, remember how hard your ancestors worked, and how they sacrificed, in the dream that someday their descendants would be warm, well-fed and secure against nature. Considering that your forebears just a century ago had an average lifespan of 46 years and often shivered during winters while eating mostly salt-preserved food, try to get through turkey day without complaining about anything, okay?

Posted by Ideofact at November 23, 2004 01:11 PM