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Thanksgiving Started with Corn

Thanksgiving Started with Corn

Plymouth, Massachusetts

RTF Thanksgiving Part 4 of 5: Corn was a mainstay of the Pilgrim lifestyle and survival in their new land. They grew it in good weather and milled it for use during harsh winters.  The Grist Mill in Plymouth is a true monument to the importance of corn. Our RoadTripFlavors-style feast features Cornbread Muffins in honor of the first Thanksgiving.



Mapping the Day

At Plymouth Rock, another grade school history lesson came to life.  We gazed down at the monument rock and out to the vast seas.  Imagine leaving your homeland in search of a new place free of persecution. It is a common theme in human history, still playing out even today.

So the Pilgrims found Plymouth.  Once they arrived, their battles did not end.  They struggled to find ways to survive harsh weather, interact with new neighbors and learn to grow their own food. Openness to help, their bravery and tenacity sustained them.  And once things were finally good and there was a bountiful harvest (perhaps to be considered the birth child of our locally grown and organic food movement), it was shared with their new neighbors who had helped them.  They sat down at the table and feasted on a meal together.


Plymouth Rock  Plymouth Massachusetts


Local Story

The Rock was great, but lunch and a walk through an adjacent park was even better. We dined on thick and creamy clam chowder and a wonderful clam risotto.  Then we walked along the park with Town Brook running through it.  We followed a path to the Grist Mill.  The water-powered corn grinding mill was originally built in 1636 by the Pilgrims. A reproduction was completed in 1970 using many salvaged original parts.  But the importance of corn in the Pilgrim lifestyle is still honored today.  The reproduction mill grinds organic corn into freshly ground cornmeal two times per week.



Plymouth Walk


View from the Table

A bountiful corn harvest was the key to the original Thanksgiving meal. That’s why our RTF Twist on a traditional Thanksgiving meal includes Cornbread Muffins.  We add diced jalapeños to the mixture before baking, but that is certainly optional.  Smoked Turkey with BBQ Sauce and Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins.  Celebrate Thanksgiving with family, friends and good food!


This is Part 4 of RTF Thanksgiving recipes.  Here’s the full

RTF Thanksgiving Menu


Smoked Turkey with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Roasted Vegetables

  • Sweet-Hot-Kissed Roasted Carrots
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Beets with Vinaigrette and Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Oven-Fired Onion Rings

Jalapeño Cornbread (see recipe below)

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins



Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins



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