TAMWORTH, N.H. - In the 19th century, Thanksgiving wasn't celebrated with thawed frozen turkeys, canned cranberry sauce, and desserts from a box. The bird was freshly butchered and plucked before roasting on a spit. Sound good? If you're hankering for a chance to relive New England's Thanksgiving roots, here's your chance as the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm is holding its Historic Thanksgiving on Saturday.
Women reenactors, clad in 1830s style clothing from white day caps to one-piece dresses and aprons, will take to the hearth to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving celebration from the time before football. Visitors can watch as a simple cranberry sauce is prepared by picking the berries clean, covering them with brown sugar, lemon zest, and water, and cooking for a bit. Stuffing will not come from a bag but be made from scratch with day-old homemade wheat bread and seasoned with sage, salt, pepper, other spices, and cream.
During the three-hour session, visitors will get a chance to help pluck turkeys or grind spices using old-fashioned mortars and pestles. The whole meal will be prepared with period kitchen equipment: tin kitchen reflector oven, cast-iron pans, wrought iron crane to allow pots to swing in and out of the fire, and bone- and wooden-handled utensils.
Take home a recipe or two and try them on the Viking stainless. Then curl up in front of the HDTV and enjoy.
Historic Thanksgiving, Nov. 10, Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm, 58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, N.H. 800-686-6117. remickmuseum.org. Free, sample plate is $3. 1-4 p.m. Directions: Tamworth is about 120 miles or more than 2 hours from Boston. Take Interstate 95 north to New Hampshire, then exit 4 for Route 16/Spaulding Turnpike. From Route 16, turn left onto Route 25 in West Ossipee. Go about 2 1/2 miles and turn right onto Route 113. Continue about 2 1/2 miles to an intersection where signs will point left to the business district. Turn left into Tamworth Village. The museum is on the right at the end of the village.