As most of us enjoy a sumptuous feast at our own Thanksgiving tables, interpreters at Jamestown Settlement near Williamsburg, Va., re-create a 17th-century feast.
"Foods and Feasts in 17th Century Virginia," featured today through Saturday, looks at the 17th-century diet in America's first permanent English settlement. Although Thanksgiving was not celebrated in the Jamestown Settlement, colonists were busy at this time of year preparing and preserving harvested crops and freshly butchered meats. At the re-created James Fort, hogs will be butchered and parts used to prepare delicate pastries, and there will be demonstrations of food preservation as well as open-hearth and fire-pit cooking.
The Powhatan Indians who lived in the area at that time did feast in the autumn, and at the settlement's Powhatan Indian village interpreters will be roasting game birds and making stews over open fires. Aboard the replica ship the Susan Constant, visitors can help unload food from the ship's hold and help prepare the daily rations. All foods prepared at the settlement will be for demonstration purposes, but a traditional Thanksgiving meal is available at the Jamestown Settlement Cafe, located next to the museum.
The museum, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is on state Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. Admission is $9 for adults; $4.25 for ages 6 to 12. Call (804) 229-1607.