A Bountiful Harvest is A Reason To Celebrate at the Kings County Museum

A Bountiful Harvest is A Reason To Celebrate at the Kings County Museum
Submitted

As the fall season approaches and the fruit and vegetables of the bountiful Annapolis Valley appear in abundance in roadside stalls, we are reminded of the reasons we have to be thankful for living in such a special place. A celebration of the harvest in the fall began among Indigenous peoples long before the arrival of European settlers. Indeed a history of the history of the celebration of “Thanksgiving” can fill pages! Now a national civic holiday, generally celebrated on the second Monday of October, it is a chance to give thanks for the foods of the harvest, such as turkey, squash, and pumpkin, and to spend time with family and friends.

In “Our Heritage Hearth: Exploring the Roots of Valley Cooking,” an exhibit showing from October to December at the Kings County Museum in Kentville, one can “step back in time” and see traditional gardening tools, implements used in preserving fruits and vegetables for the long protracted winters, and recipes saved and passed from generation to generation.

For example, from the Olympic Cookbook (Olympic Chapter I.O.D.E., Kentville, 1930), we learn a recipe from Mrs G. W. Williamson for “Green Pea Bisque:”

“Cook two pounds of fresh green peas until very tender. Then add 4 cups milk to the peas, which have been rubbed through a sieve. Thicken with a little flour. Just before the soup comes to a boil, add salt, cayenne to taste and a large tablespoon of butter. Boil up once and serve immediately.”

Produce can be inspiring in other ways as well. From observing the growth of the humble bean comes this poem written by Gordon Hansford, a well-know Wolfville lad, in his best-selling book of poetry Verses From the Valley:

The Bean

I think that I have never seen
A poem lovely as a bean,
A bean, so rounded on both ends
A bean, which in the middle bends.
A bean, when baking in a pot
Gives out good smells, when it gets hot.
A bean, when planted in the ground
And watered, doth forthwith abound
With pods of green or pods of yellow.
So crisp to bite, to taste, so mellow.
When dry, it rattles in the pod.
The food of men, the gift of God.
I think that I have never seen
A poem lovely as a bean.

However you choose to spend your fall and Thanksgiving, we hope you find time to give thanks for the wonders of nature found all around us in our beautiful Annapolis Valley.