While our 21st century Thanksgiving feast may bear little resemblance to a 1621 celebration or to the meal popularly referred to as the First Thanksgiving, it's fortunate that we don't have to travel back in time to learn about the traditions that are at the root of today’s holiday. In fact, we only have to travel about 45 minutes south of Boston to Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, MA, to find what is often called the birthplace of our national Thanksgiving celebration.
Plimoth Plantation’s 17th-century English village is a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims along the shore of Plymouth Harbor. In the Village, set in the year is 1627, just seven years after the arrival of Mayflower, you’ll find modest timber-framed houses furnished with reproductions of the types of objects that the Pilgrims owned, aromatic kitchen gardens, and heritage breeds livestock. “Townspeople” - costumed role players - tell you about their lives in Plymouth Colony, and daily activities re-create life in 1627.
Curious to know what a “first” Thanksgiving would have looked like, we spoke with Kathleen M. Wall, culinary historian at Plimoth Plantation, for some insights and recipes.
Do you find yourself drawing a complete blank as a new year of school lunches and snacks is upon us? If you’re like me, the quest is two-fold – sending food to school my son will enjoy AND preparing something that’s good for his growing body.
Here are some tips on planning and preparing healthy school snacks and lunches that are crowd pleasers at my house:
The back-to-school season is filled with anticipation, excitement and stress—for kids and parents. There are new clothes and school supplies to buy, lunches and snacks to plan, and classes to prepare for (no easy task after summer slump). If you're worried that you'll never get it all done, stop, take a deep breath and check out our Back-to-School Guide, which is packed with simple tips and advice to help take the edge off. If your kid is going to school for the first time, we've got a list of books that help with the transition to kindergarten. Need name tags? We know about some super-cool ones. We also have plenty of meal posts, like our favorite meal planning apps, healthy lunch ideas and sensory savvy snacks so kids can make it through the school day. And we have an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway going on with multiple prizes worth more than $2,000 in total. We hope our Back-to-School Guide helps your family make it through the madness, sanity intact.
Strawberries? Raspberries? Blueberries? Our family debate over which is the best berry may never be resolved, but that just may be because each time one of these berries is in season, it’s hard not to declare it the best. Our favorite this time of year? It’s the blueberry, by far.
Blueberries just may be the easiest fruit to pick, prepare and serve. No peeling, no pitting, no coring, no cutting. Apparently, they have few natural pests other than birds, so much is grown pesticide-free.
A few picking tips:
Select plump berries that are light gray-blue in color. White- and green-colored blueberries don’t ripen after they are picked, although those that have turned purple or blue may.
Blueberries hang on the bushes in bunches, and the easiest and fastest way to pick them is hold your bucket under the branch in one hand and with your other hand, cup a ripe bunch and gently rub them with your fingers. Ripe berries will drop into the bucket, while unripe ones remain attached to the bush.
Always call ahead to be sure the farm is open for picking
Bring your own buckets as they are not always provided
Be protected - sunscreen, hat, and clothes that can withstand some blueberry stains
The Pick-Your-Own blueberry season begins early July and continues through late August or early September. We’ve rounded up some farms in the Boston area which are beginning to open up for blueberry picking. Scroll to the end to find a recipe for our favorite blueberry breakfast/dessert/anytime snack - the classic blueberry buckle.
Even if you're not much of a prankster (usually a prank would be the last thing I'd think of to do), April Fool's Day is a chance to show your kids that you really do have a sense of humor. I've found 10 pranks that are not dangerous, mean-spirited or complicated. They're just lots of fun and are sure to get your kids (or you) laughing. And that's a good thing.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara and Audrey