Pumpkin pie was off the beaten path at first Thanksgiving

Please help me settle a debate I've been having with my husband about pumpkin pie. He insists pumpkin pies have been around since the first Thanksgiving going back to the pilgrim days. That doesn't seem right to me. Is he full of happy horse hockey?

— M.F., Jacksonville

We normally steer clear of marital spats, but given the fact your hubby is a charter member of the SYA Foundation, we take delight in stepping into the fray to report your significant other has egg on his face.

That would be the egg you use in making a pumpkin pie, because you are correct, M.F.

Back in 1621, when the pilgrims gathered for their first dinner to give thanks, the only food they had for sure during that lean period was corn, water fowl and venison, according to the Smithsonian magazine.

Pumpkins are native to our continent, but they were not used in pies during that period. The folks in their funny hats apparently ate their pumpkins boiled, something that would be a bit bland to the pumpkin pie aficionados at SYA.

Recipes for pumpkin pie started popping up in 1670 in cookbooks back in jolly old England but none were published in New England until 1796, according to our research.

Another native ingredient that likely was not on that 1621 table was turkey, the Smithsonian reports. However, stuffed turkeys have been a favorite main dish for Thanksgiving for the past century.

Of course, Thanksgiving also has to include cranberries, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy.

We hope you and yours enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this year.

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