Thanksgiving with Pint-Sized Pilgrims

Thinking back over the years, I suspect I experienced Thanksgiving week with more little Pilgrims and Native Americans in paper hats and fringe than the average Miles Standish.

Each November classrooms at Hawthorne School learn about Plimoth Plantation, the native people in the surrounding area, and what is commonly dubbed “The First Thanksgiving”.

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, construction paper hats, headbands and various other accessories are cut and pasted together. Of course, other preparations are taking place, as well.

Depending on the age of the children and the time available, various foods such as cranberry sauce, pumpkin bread, etc. are prepared in the classroom and cooked in the teachers’ lounge in preparation for the classroom Thanksgiving feast. Walking into the lounge during that week is a treat with all those yummy aromas wafting around!

Having appointed myself as “photographer” for some of these classroom feasts, I clearly remember the last one I took photos at before I left Hawthorne. This particular classroom was a gregarious group of kids turned pilgrims and natives.

Let me set the scene for you. All the desks had been scooted to the edges of the classroom and a series of low tables were set in a long line in the center of the room. Along the sides of the tables small blue plastic chairs- 13 on each side to be exact- were neatly lined up.

The tables were covered with long sheets of bright orange “butcher paper”.  Pine cone centerpieces decorated the tabletops along with various crafted paper decorations. The lights in the classroom were turned off, allowing for a softer, natural light setting.

Next enter the children. Twenty-six youngsters decked in their paper hats, headbands and fringe politely found their way to the tables. The manners of these First Thanksgiving attendees were admirable and would have done their parents proud! They were darling.

Their bread, hand-churned butter and sauces had been carefully made earlier in the week and were strategically placed along the long table. But the piece de resistance of that feast was the large stockpot filled with Stone Soup.

Do you know about Stone Soup? According to Wikipedia, “Stone Soup” is an old folk story in which hungry strangers persuade the townspeople to give them food.

The Stone Soup served in the classroom that day was prepared by the students. After their teacher dropped a sterilized “stone” into the stockpot of water, each student contributed a can of broth, some vegetables or some seasoning to the pot. After simmering for several hours, the yummy concoction was ready to be served as the main course of the Thanksgiving feast.

I remember that the Stone Soup was a hit with the kids that day. Little pilgrims and natives scooped it up with zeal!

I ended up getting some great photos that afternoon. And it was fun to see the excitement of the kids as they ate their special menu celebrating the “First Thanksgiving”.

Before I leave for today, here are a couple of links you might find enjoyable. One is to an interactive site that teaches about Plimouth Plantation and the other is a recipe for Stone Soup.

Have fun with these links and know that I wish many blessings to you and your family on this Thanksgiving.

Cathie

 

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