We have been learning a lot about the Pilgrims this month (again, with the Well-Educated Heart rotation). It has been so fun, especially since we have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower.
On Friday last week, we spent the day re-enacting the Pilgrim time period. We had a mini feast of Johnnycakes, Stewed Pompion (Pumpkin), Succotash, Indian Pudding, and Apple Cider.
We also wrote letters to England with our feather quill pens. While we were in Nauvoo over the summer, we got this goose feather quill and some ink, to use for school activities. And then a couple weeks ago when we were visiting a cemetery, Porter found a wild turkey feather (we saw some wild turkeys running around so we knew it was from them). I cut the tip of the feather to make it into a quill dip pen. We were able to use both feathers for pretending to write letters to England.
And then we practiced our embroidery/ cross stitch sampler skills (using plastic canvas as training tools… the pilgrims wouldn’t have had that. 🙂
I love doing reenactment activities like this with my kids. It’s a lot of work, but we all really enjoy it.
I pulled this image from one of the video clips. This is when we couldn’t stop laughing about “the windy” as my kids lovingly refer to it. This is one of the recipes that I found online and cooked up for our feast. (spoiler alert, it wasn’t our favorite)
STEWED POMPION (PUMPKIN): AN ANCIENT NEW ENGLAND STANDING DISH
“This is a delicious recipe for pumpkin, known as “pompions” to English people in the 17th century (as were all squash.) It is one of the earliest written recipes from New England, from a book written by John Josselyn, a traveler to New England in the 1600’s. (John Josselyn, Two Voyages to New England.)
John Josselyn called this recipe a “standing dish” suggesting that this sort of pumpkin dish was eaten everyday or even at every meal. He called it “ancient” because English housewives had cooked this recipe in New England for a long time. Josselyn also says at the end of this recipe that this food provokes urine and is very windy (causes gas)!
“The Ancient New England standing dish. But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew’d enough, it will look like bak’d Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh: It provokes Urine extreamly and is very windy.””