Thanksgiving is a holiday stemming back to American Colonial Day when a day of thanks was set aside when the English settlers of Plymouth, Massachusetts joined with the Indians to share a feast made of the food they harvested after their first and very difficult year in the colony. It became an official nationally observed holiday in 1863 during the Civil War to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. In earlier days it was held in January, February or March. But no matter when, it has always been a day for all the people of the United States of America to join together as one and celebrate our beginnings, our nationality and our union.
For a truly traditional fare, we visit Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, Virigina where they begin their colonial Holiday celebrations starting at Thanksgiving through Christmas with food, drink, events, traditions and decorations.
Joining in the holiday festivities at any of the colonial restoration villages throughout the United States is an exciting and wonderful thing to do with your family and friends. Not only does it give you a rich sense of those who who have come before and built this country for us, but you will be able to bring home traditions to incorporate into your family’s holidays.
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern
Sherried Crab Stew
Roast Turkey with herb-sausage dressing
cider glazed sweet potatoes
mincemeat and pumpkin pies
Sweet Potato Muffins
Here is one very easy colonial recipe you can add to your menu that will probably become an annual Thanksgiving favorite.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup fresh cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/4 chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1/4 cup of raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins (or insert paper liners). Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and mix well. Blend in sweet potatoes. Separately, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture, alternately with milk. Do not overmix.
Fold in nuts. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
This muffin recipe comes from Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Williamsburg.