The Thanksgiving holiday was last Thursday. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Dave and I celebrated the holiday too. Cooking a Thanksgiving feast in the Wilderness took special planning. When we received our resupply about three weeks ago, it contained special food we set aside just for Thanksgiving.
This food was specially prepared to. It was dehydrated. This means that the water was dried out of it. Long before our expedition began, I spent weeks dehydrating vegetables. To dehydrate the vegetables, I washed them, cut them up in thin slices, and spread them out onto special trays. Then I put the trays into our food dehydrator and turned it on. The dehydrator works by blowing warm air over the vegetable. It takes a long time– several days. You can tell that the vegetables are done when they are crispy. They shrink too. A friend of ours has continued to dehydrate food for us. She dehydrated the vegetables we ate for Thanksgiving.
Would you like to know what was on our menu? Here it is:
rose hip tea
Our meal was a combination of things that were grown nearby and Thanksgiving favorites. The potatoes and squash came from a friend’s farm. The apples came from another friend’s tree. There are three foods on this list that actually grow right in the Boundary Waters. What do you think those are?
If you guessed wild rice, cranberries, and rose hips, you were correct. We didn’t actually gather the wild rice and cranberries though. They were purchased at the grocery store. The wild rice that was purchased came from Minnesota. It was harvested nearby.
Wild rice grows in many lakes in the Boundary Waters. It grows in shallow water, often near shore. Wild rice plants look like tall grasses growing in the water. Wild rice has been and still is a sacred food for the Native Americans of this region– the Anishinaabe.
Cranberries grow in many bogs in the Boundary Waters. The cranberry plants grow close to the ground and have tart little berries growing on them. I hunted for cranberries in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, but I didn’t have any luck.
I did find some rose hips. Wild roses grow in the Boundary Waters. The flowers are long gone, but the plants are easy to find. They have long woody stems with small thorns. The rose hips look like red berries at the top of the plant. Rose hips are high in vitamin C. I cut up the rose hips and removed their seeds before pouring hot water over them. The tea tasted sweet.
Our Thanksgiving feast was delicious. We don’t have much variety in our diet, so all these different foods were extra special to us. It took us several hours to prepare. We used the wood stove in our tent to boil a lot of water. Most of the foods had to soak in hot water to rehydrate. We baked the cornbread under our stove, while the wild rice simmered in a pot of hot water on top. The meal was worth all the hard work. Dave and I are thankful for this good food, each other, our friends and family, and this wonderful wild place we are traveling in.
Student Response Worksheets