Authentic Thanksgiving Menu

How about making a memory your children will not soon forget this Thanksgiving?!?!  Create an authentic Thanksgiving feast!  Here’s how:

Make your Thanksgiving meal as authentic as possible by cooking outside as much as possible and eating outside by a campfire.

Table Decorations:

Take folding table and chairs outside and place by a campfire.

Use the votive candles made in the Art section of this resource to place on the table.  Use the Thankful Tree found in the Bible Idea section as the centerpiece.  Use the Thanksgiving Placemats ideas found in the Art section of this resource.  Make a pinecone turkey while outside and while lunch is cooking.  Your children can scour the yard for a large pinecone.  Cut out feather shapes from colorful construction paper.  Cut out a red turkey head-template included.  Before lunch begins, have each person write one thing he/she is thankful for.  Go around the table and read these just before saying the blessing right before the meal.



Wild Turkey

Grilled corn on the cob

Grilled sweet potatoes

Corn Bread

Pumpkin Pudding or Pumpkin Pie

Indian Pudding

Popcorn popped right over the campfire.  (Use Jiffy Pop or the directions below)


Use the directions contained in this resource to create Pilgrim and Indian costumes for your family to wear during your Thanksgiving meal.



“Wild” Turkey

1 bone-in turkey breast
8 oz honey Dijon salad dressing

The salad dressing gathers together many of the spices the settlers would have used. The turkey breast should be under 2 pounds. Place turkey in a large resealable plastic bag; add salad dressing. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.

Drain and discard marinade. Grill turkey, covered, over indirect medium heat for 45-55 minutes or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.


Grilled Corn on the Cob:

Soak the cobs by placing in a pot of cold water for approximately 20 minutes. Be sure the ears are completely covered with water. This will provide extra moisture for cooking and will steam the corn kernels inside the aluminum foil.

Preheat the grill to a medium temperature (350 degrees F).

Remove the corn from the water and shake off any excess water.

Place each cob on a square of aluminum foil.  Brush the kernels with olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper. Roll the aluminum foil around each ear of corn and close it up by twisting the ends.

Place the prepare ears of corn on a medium heat grill, rotating the     corn every so often.

Allow the corn to slowly continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with butter

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Wash your sweet potatoes and rub with vegetable oil.  Pierce each one with a fork several times.  Wrap each in aluminum foil.  Grill over medium hot coals for 1 hour or until tender.  Turn halfway.  Remove from grill and unwrap.  Top with butter, cinnamon and/or brownsugar.

Corn Bread


4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt

Put the water into a saucepan and add in the cornmeal, Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1/2 hour until it thickens.

Now mix together the flour and salt, and stir it into the cornmeal mix. When well mixed, take 1/2 cup portions and place on a cookie sheet to form little domes, flattened on top. Put into a 350F oven for 15 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out, turn the bread-domes over and cook for another 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Pudding


1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 eggs
2 cups bread or cake crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup raisins

Mix ingredients together. Divide among 4 greased custard cups. Place in pan of boiling water, to the middle of the custard cups. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Cool and remove from dishes. Reheat and serve.

Pumpkin Pie – Paula Deen’s version

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional

1 piece pre-made pie dough

Whipped cream, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

Deen, Paula. “Pumpkin Pie.” Recipe. Food Network.  Retrieved October 2010.   <;

Indian Pudding

2 cups milk
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup unsulphured molasses, warmed
4 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
grated peel of 1/2 small lemon
1/2 cup raisins
sweetened whipped cream or sweet wine for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat milk with cornmeal. Whisk from time to time until thick. Heat molasses and butter, and whisk in sugar.

Gradually beat hot cornmeal mixture into beaten egg. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel and raisins. Place in 8-inch-diameter glass baking dish or ceramic mixing bowl. Bake for 1 hours, or until top is rounded and set. Serve hot with toppings of whipped cream or sweet wine, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Popcorn-popped over a campfire

The easiest way to make campfire popcorn is with an 18-inch square piece of aluminum foil. Place two teaspoons of cooking oil and four teaspoons of popcorn in the middle of the foil. Then make a tent by bringing two opposite corners together and folding them over three times, and then bring the other two corners together and roll them so the tent is sealed. Make sure there’s enough room for the corn to pop. Next, poke a campfire fork or a stick through at the top, and set the foil pack into the coals until a kernel pops. Then you can shake the pack over the coals until popping is complete. Add melted butter and salt if you prefer.



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