Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Megan Jones

Thanksgiving is here! A time to get together with family and friends and gather around a table and eat a plethora of food. Today, let’s learn the history of Thanksgiving and some amazing side dish recipes to add to your feast! Most of all we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Origin of Thanksgiving

Before the recipes begin, let’s learn the origin of thanksgiving and why it is a holiday. For this I relied heavily on the information found from the Smithsonian Magazine, that if you have the time I would encourage you to read. But it comes down to a history we have all heard but may have missed some important details. Pilgrims, who were (separatists from Holland, the term pilgrim was not used until centuries later) sailed on the mayflower to Plymouth Rock (present day Provincetown Harbor). They came to the United States for religious persecution from English authorities. When they arrived, half of their initial fleet had perished due to malnourishment and this continued as when they arrived as the Pilgrims were unfamiliar with the land. They survived by eating corn in abandoned farms and raiding villages for street food. 

In the spring of 1621, they met Squanto (Tisquantum) who had previously been kidnapped and sold throughout European countries but had made his way back home. He taught the separatists how to fish, hunt, and plant corn. Due to Squanto’s background with Europeans he was an interpreter between the English and the Wampanoag confederacy. 

However, the pilgrims did not invent Thanksgiving. New England tribes already had autumn harvest feasts long before the pilgrims arrived.  In 1621, William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, decided to have a Plymouth harvest feast of thanksgiving and invited Massasoit, the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag Federation to join the Pilgrims. Massasoit came with approximately 90 warriors and brought food to add to the feast, including venison, lobster, fish, wild fowl, clams, oysters, eel, corn, squash and maple syrup (very different than the foods we see around our table today). The feast lasted three days and it is believed that it was a harmonious ceremony. 

However, the peace would not last. Less than a decade later, the pilgrims would enslave and kill native tribes that would last centuries, decimating a native population. 

What does that mean for us today? 

I believe the important point to takeaway is to understand the holiday and to learn the true origin. I believe Thanksgiving is still a day to gather around a table with loved ones and do just as the name suggests, give thanks. Tying it to our current world, giving thanks for our health, for being able to gather around a table and hold hands with our friends and family, something that we haven’t been able to do in a while. It is a time to enjoy good food with good company and be thankful for the blessings that this year has brought.

Now that we have learned a brief history of thanksgiving let’s get into the recipes to bring to this year’s feast! 


Cornbread is an amazing side dish to make! Check out these recipes below. Additionally, for any of our keto-friendly folks, we have a recipe for you too!

Cornbread Recipe:

Keto Cornbread Recipe:

Smooth Cranberry Sauce

In my family it is tradition to have canned Cranberry sauce, and it is by far my favorite side dish. If you are looking to go the extra mile and make your own check out the recipe below!

Jellied Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad

Looking to add a green to your table, check out this delicious Brussel sprout salad!

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad

Three Sisters Stew

This is a native American dish that would make a wonderful side to your meal. Why is it called the three sisters? The three main ingredients are corn, squash, and beans. These crops can grow close together and overlap. The corn grows, the beans grow around the corn stock and the squash grows on the ground and can protect the roots.

Three Sisters Stew Recipe

Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie consists of two recipes. I have made it for years and it is a family favorite! Take the cinnamon graham cracker crust from Bobby Flay’s recipe and make it with the filling of all recipes. Pair it whips homemade whip cream, and it is unstoppable!

Bobby Flay: Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Filling Recipe

We wish you a wonderful time with your family and friends! Have a very wonderful Thanksgiving!


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