It’s hard to believe, given the association of Thanksgiving with feasting and making merry with family and friends, but Thanksgiving actually grew out of a European tradition of taking days to fast and pray and humble one’s self before God that was carried on by English immigrants to the new colonies (particularly by the Puritans, who observed the practice multiple times a year). There is actually no evidence that the traditional Pilgrim-Indian turkey feast we grew up re-enacting in primary school pageants ever took place, though we do know that in the beginning the Plymouth Rock colony did maintain friendly relation (and the Natives probably saved their bacon more than once – a fine payback we gave to them).

It’s especially hard to believe given the association of Thanksgiving with the day after and the orgy of consumer indulgence that takes place on Black Friday.

I’ve been working on a very traditional Thanksgiving food for the potluck our cooperative houses are having this evening – red beans and rice. It’s-a-spicy!