The Minutes of Our Last Meeting | The Second Thanksgiving
The Village Square, Plymouth, Massachusetts
November 22, 1622 3pm, after a rousing game of Stool Ball
In Attendance: William, Edward, Massasoit, Squanto,
and many other villagers and members of the Wampanoag nation.
Transcribed in the journals of William Bradford
William – Our heavenly father, we thank ye for the food of plenty we are about to partake in to celebrate our bountiful second autumn harvest. We celebrate your many gifts to us. Thank you for our Wampanoag Indian friends, who have helped us tend the land and taught us ways to hunt for game. We hope to live in peace with them for many years to come. Amen.
Edward – Amen.
Massasoit and Squanto – …a…man?
William – Please, my friends sit. We learned a lot from you from last year’s harvest and our excited to share our gifts with you. Our women folk were more than happy to take the simple dishes you showed us and make them into wonderful culinary affairs.
Edward (serving them) – My goodly wife Hester made this from the sweet potatoes you taught us to grow.
William – Who knew they were edible? They look like the Devil’s codpiece.
Massasoit – Smells like the sweetness of the spirits.
Squanto – It is an honor to see something we have presented to you become such a-
(They both sample the dish and quickly go from delight to horror. They spit the food out.)
Massasoit – That is most overpowering.
Squanto – There must be something wrong with it. It has a strong sweet taste beyond the potatoes. White grubs have crawled into it.
William – Those are marshmallows.
Massasoit – Marshmallows?
Edward – It’s a candy. There’s also maple syrup in there.
Squanto – You took something that was naturally sweet and made it sweeter.
Edward – All the pilgrims are doing it, right William?
William – I think our taste buds might be a little more sophisticated than our savage friends.
Edward – If you don’t like the potatoes, you might like the turkey we prepared. I swear to you it is not sweet. Lance!
(Lance comes running up to the table with his arms singed and smoking. He plops down a small turkey onto the table.)
Massasoit – What has happened to this animal?
Lance – We took it and threw it into a cauldron of boiling hot lard! Cooks it right up and, boy, is it tasty! And dangerous! If I had kept my hands in there any longer, you’d be able to eat them, too!
Squanto – Too much lard upsets my stomach.
Edward – Hester, make a plate for our friends with the meat we prepared.
Massasoit – This looks more traditional.
Edward – Kept it in the kiln for four hours. Should be cooked all the way through. Used its own juices to marinate it.
Squanto – You did not disembowel the animal first. It looks like this bird ate another animal which ate another animal before it.
Edward - We call it turdeerken.
Massasoit – Thank you for inviting us. I am afraid we must go.
William – So soon?
Massasoit – We promised some other colonies we would stop by. You know how it is. Don’t want to get too full so early.
Edward – At least take this small satchel of food for your travels. In case you get hungry.
Squanto – What’s in it?
William – We call it ambrosia.
Edward – You can pick out the white grubs.