Wednesday, November 18, 2015


  The story of the Pilgrims has its origins in early 17th Century England. It was at that time, nearly four hundred years ago, when religious persecution was making it difficult for many people to practice their religions and live comfortably and safely in London and in the rural areas outside of London.   England, at that time, was a monarchy. Today, it is a Parliamentary Monarchy in which the Queen has no real power. At that time, however, the King had absolute power over all of the nation’s citizens and, as a result, could make the practice and observance of religion difficult. That is exactly what happened. Persecution ruled the day … especially if the religion you chose to practice was different from the “national religion.” England, at that time and today, as well, was and is primarily Protestant.
These persecuted individuals met frequently and, after a time, decided to seek permission to start a new life in “the colonies.” Remember, it was very early in the 17th Century and there was no America … certainly no states, as well. Once granted permission to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, these persecuted people, dubbed Pilgrims, began to make plans for their trip and the new life that awaited them far from England.

   The planning took some time, well over a year, but it eventually began to materialize. In their original plan, there were to be two boats, not one … the Mayflower and a much smaller boat, each to be filled with crew and with Pilgrims. In fact, the first attempted voyage did have two boats, but a leak in the smaller vessel forced both boats to return to London.
   They remained there briefly until it was time once again to embark on their dangerous, but exciting, voyage. One hundred and two Pilgrims and as many as twenty-five to thirty crew members sailed toward the Americas in 1620. As you might imagine, it was not an easy trip.
   That’s because the boat, while large, was constructed entirely of wood. There were limited sleeping quarters, little or no sanitation. And, because of the fear of fire, all food was eaten cold, not cooked. This, of course, led to illness in many of the Pilgrims. But, they persevered.

   In fact, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took sixty-six days, more than two months. And when the Mayflower finally reached land, it was not their intended destination. They had hoped to sail to northern Virginia. Instead, a storm pushed them off-course and they ended up much further north, in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts..
And that is where they stayed that first year … and for all the years that followed. It should be noted that the Pilgrims arrived in America ill-prepared for what they would face during the first winter. They did not bring food with them and did not know how to hunt, fish, farm or gather food for their survival. Fortunately for them, local Indians were friendly, not hostile and taught them the basic skills they would need to survive.
That, of course, led to the first Thanksgiving which took place in August … not in November.


Scince it’s Friday (woo hoo!) I thought we’d do something fun. These little turkeys (speaking of turkeys, did you see what mine did yesterday??) are perfect for school parties, family nights, and Thanksgiving place holders. At the end there’s an easy pilgrim hat as well. I don’t really know where this idea originated from- I made the turkeys as a kid as I’m sure many of you have and I’ve seen the little hats all over the internet. Both Turkey Day classics, so go have some fun!


Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
Candy Corn
Peanutbutter Cups
Chocolate frosting
Yellow Frosting
Optional: Red frosting
Optional: black sprinkles for eyes
*For these kinds of things I love to use the little pre-filled tubes of colored frosting you can buy in the baking isle. The chocolate is easy to make, and homemade actually works a little better because you can make it stiff. However for the colored details like yellow and red, these little tubes are great. It doesn’t really matter what they taste like and they last forever (which is both cool and disturbing at the same time.) I’m using store-bought tubes for everything here purely for convenience- works great!
First step: Grab a cookie. You don’t have to put frosting in there, but I like to because it holds in the candy corn a little better. Just give it a little squeeze of chocolate.

Then stuff in your candycorn. If you’re in some sort of candy corn shortage, you can cut off the white tips to use later for your beaks. I think the candy corn sticks in better with the tip so I leave it on. Go ahead and do all of the cookies through this step.

Next put a dab of frosting on the opposite end of the cookie and secure it to the “base”
cookie. It helps to place them next to a wall as they dry so they stay put.

While those are drying, unwrap your PB cups. Take a sharp knife and cut a sliver off of one end. (I don’t need to tell you what to do with the sliver, do I?) It helps to gently cut in a sawing motion so you don’t break the PB cup. (Although I wouldn’t have to tell you what to do with a broken one either, would I?) Cut it from the bottom like I show here:

Once those are ready, flip your cookies over, but you may find it’s easy to keep them next to the wall.  My frosting was a bit soft, so they needed the extra support.
Place a dab of frosting on the pb cup, and place it on the cookie like so:

Now those little guys will need heads, so glue a whopper on there with frosting as well. I put frosting on the side of the whopper that hits both the cookie and the PB cup. Wouldn’t want a turkey running around with its head cut off, would we??

While they’re still laying there, use a dab of frosting (I use yellow) and glue on the white tip of a candy corn for a beak. Put two yellow dots on for eyes, and for the black spots in the eyes you can use a dab of chocolate frosting, or a mini chocolate chip, or a little sprinkle like I’ve used. A sprinkle is really the perfect size if you have them.

Once the beak stays put you can flip them over and draw on some little yellow feet. If you have red frosting too (usually comes in a set with the tube of yellow) you can add a little gobble gobble. Or whatever that thing is called. What is it called? I’m too lazy to google. Extra giveaway entry for the first person who can tell me. Okay not really but I’ll think you’re awesome.

And there you go, cute as can be!

These make really cute place card holders too, for either a kid, or adult table! I just made little name tags with my Silhouette (what’s that you say? You’re bummed you didn’t win a Silhouette and you wish we’d give away another one? Okay how about this month? You didn’t hear that from me. Yes you did. Don’t tell. Do tell. Tell Everyone. Forget it) and then I popped them in there on toothpicks.
How cute is my little turkey family?

Stick one on each plate and everyone will say “Awwwwwwe….” If you have kids old enough to handle making them, it’s a fun project for them to be in charge of.

They’re also darling combined with pilgrim hats.

Those are just marshmallows dipped in chocolate and placed on a fudge strip cookie. Use yellow frosting to make the buckle.

Hope you enjoy these fun little things- Happy Friday!