Monday, April 11, 2011

Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners

By Tanya Fox

Sometimes a book’s title is so intriguing it draws the reader into the pages immediately. Such is the case with a recent donation to the children’s collection of the Clarke called Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners written by Lucille Recht Penner and published by Scholastic, Inc. (1991). Chapter titles reveal more of the delights found in the book and include “Bugs for Dinner,” “We All Scream for Pudding,”  and “Don’t Throw Your Bones on the Floor.” 

Eating the Plates describes what the passage across the ocean was like for the pilgrims. It relates historical information on the daily life of the pilgrims. The book explains the hardships the pilgrims faced on the trip and after their arrival.  Can you imagine a journey of many weeks with no means of bathing? How about eating moldy or bug infested food? Imagine the difficulties of building shelters from scratch as the cold weather arrived. Do you know what a betty lamp is? How about a burgoo? Or a lug pole? And of course, what does the title mean? Eating the Plates will answer these questions and many others.

A nice addition to the book is a small collection of recipes found at the end of the book. Try your culinary talents by preparing fresh corn soup, red pickled eggs, whole baked pumpkin stuffed with apples, or bearberry jelly. 

Though the book is written for children, adults will find it interesting, too. Visit the Clarke Historical Library and find Eating the Plates as well as other wonderful, fun, unusual, and intriguing books.