You’re probably going to be offended by this (Especially if you are a pumpkin pie fan). But the truth must be shared to the masses. And that truth is this: pumpkin pie was a compromise. Pumpkin pie made it into our Thanksgiving tradition only as a measure of last resort. It’s not what was meant to be.
“You had one job to do!”
It all began at the first Thanksgiving. Thaddeus Green and his family will not show up on any list of the Mayflower passengers in any history book or a museum. There is a reason for that. Thaddeus was the most hated man in the New World. You see it was Green’s singular task to make sure the boat had chocolate on it. Instead, the night before the Puritans sailed to the New World and said goodbye to the sin and debauchery of merry Old England, Green decided to have one last evening of sin and debauchery. Green was much more committed to the sin and debauchery than the loading of the chocolate.
“There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.”
So, when the Pilgrims got to Plymouth and unloaded, there was no chocolate. No chocolate for pie, for cake, for smores, and cookies. The Pilgrims were devastated. So, when Thanksgiving rolled around, they had to improvise. And that’s how we got pumpkin pie. They also decided to use pumpkin as a compromise with other things like pumpkin bread for chocolate cake, pumpkin spice latte for hot chocolate, etc. There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.
The Pilgrims were so mad at Green and his family, they wouldn’t let them sit at the large banquet table for that first Thanksgiving. Instead, they had to sit at a small table that was half as high as the rest. When the Native American Chief inquired about the strange family that was being shamed at the small table, William Bradford replied, “They are the reason we only have pumpkin pie for desert.”
The Chief pondered this for a moment, called for his bow, and fired an arrow through the heart of Green. The Chief really had his heart set on chocolate pie. The Pilgrims cheered the death of Green but immediately sent a boat back to England to get chocolate before the next Thanksgiving. That boat sank and Native/Pilgrim relations were never the same.
So, when you reach for the pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, remember it was a compromise. It is a lesser pie. Be sure to offer a chocolate or pecan pie as an alternative. Or make sure none of your guests are packing a bow.
Carry on, Citizens!
photo credit: pumpkin pie via photopin (license)
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