Myth: Popcorn and the First Thanksgiving
The meal was a rude one looked upon with the dainty eyes and languid appetites of to-day, but to those sturdy and heroic men and women it was a veritable feast, and at its close Quadequina with an amiable smile nodded to one of his attendants, who produced and poured upon the table something like a bushel of popped corn, – a dainty hitherto unseen and unknown by most of the Pilgrims. All tasted, and John Howland hastily gathering up a portion upon a wooden plate carried it up to the Common house for the delectation of the women, that is to say, for Elizabeth Tilley, whose firm young teeth craunched it with much gusto.
-Jane G. Austen, Standish of Standish (1889)p. 281.
- 1889 is not 1621
- A novel is not a good source of history.
- The image of Elizabeth Tilley’s ‘firm young teeth’ is rather haunting, and not in a good way.
- Popcorn is a variety of corn that wasn’t found on the Eastern Seaboard in the 17th century.
- A good story is hard to kill.
- In 1982 Jack Prelutsky’s It’s Thanksgiving collection of children’s poems includes…..
The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven
by Jack Prelutsky
The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air.
It knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.
It stuck to the walls and the windows.
It totally coated the floor.
There was turkey attached to the ceiling
where there’d never been turkey before.
It blanketed every appliance.
It smeared every saucer and bowl.
There wasn’t a way I could stop it.
That turkey was out of control.
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure
and thought with chagrin as I mopped
that I’d never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn’t been popped.
In the last several years there have been a number Youtube videos and blogposts accounts of the popcorn popping out of the turkey theme….popcorn and Thanksgiving, popcorn popping out of turkey – MYTH