Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Preparing Food for the Journey

During one full week before the time set for us to leave home, mother and I worked from daylight until dark making ready the food, for it was no slight task to prepare enough to fill the stomachs of all our company.

It is true we would be housed and fed in Salem; but no one could say how the voyage might be prolonged, if the wind proved contrary, therefore did it behoove us to prepare for a long passage lest we suffer from hunger by the way.

We made nookick enough, as father said, for the Plymouth army, and of Indian corn meal and pumpkin bread, no less than twenty large loaves. We had a sweet pudding in a bag for each person, counting Sarah and me; Captain Standish had shot two wild ducks as his portion of the stores, and these had been roasted until they were of a most delicious brown shade, causing one's mouth to water when looking at them.

Father had cut up the salt and pickled fish until it could be stored in gourds, and John Alden caught lobsters enough to prevent our suffering from hunger during at least two days.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

We had two pumpkins freshly roasted, which would remain sweet a long while; the full half of a small cheese, a pat of butter as a luxury, and much else which I cannot well call to mind.


Front Matter

Why This Story was Written
The Leaking Speedwell
Searching for a Home
After the Storm
Wash Day
Finding the Corn
Attacked by the Savages
Building Houses
Miles Standish
The Sick People
The New Home
Master White and the Wolf
Inside of the House
A Chimney Without Bricks
Building the Fire
Master Bradford's Chimney
Scarcity of Food
A Timely Gift
The First Savage Visitor
Squanto's Story
Living in the Wilderness
The Friendly Indians
Grinding the Corn
A Visit From Massasoit
Massasoit's Promise
Massasoit's Visit Returned
The Big House Burned
The Mayflower Leaves Port
Setting the Table
What and How we Eat
Table Rules
A Pilgrim Goes Abroad
Making a Dugout
Governor Carver's Death
Bradford Chosen Governor
Farming in Plymouth
Cooking Indian Corn
The Wedding
Making Maple Syrup
Decorating the House
Trapping Wolves and Pigeons
Elder Brewster
The Visit to Massasoit
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
Making Clapboards
Cooking Pumpkins
A New Oven
Making Spoons and Dishes
The Fort and Meeting-House
The Harvest Festival
How to Play Stoolball
On Christmas Day
When the Fortune Arrived
Possibility of Another Famine
On Short Allowance
A Threatening Message
Pine Knots and Candles
Tallow From Bushes
Wicks for the Candle
Dipping the Candles
When James Runs Away
Evil-Minded Indians
Long Hours of Preaching
John Alden's Tubs
English Visitors
Visiting the Neighbors
Why More Fish are not Taken
How Wampum is Made
Ministering to Massasoit
The Plot Thwarted
The Captain's Indian
Ballots of Corn
Arrival of the Ann
Little James Comes to Port
The New Meeting-House
The Church Service
The Tithingmen
Master Winslow Brings Cows
A Real Oven
Butter and Cheese
Settlement at Wessagussett
The Village at Merrymount
The First School
Too Much Smoke
Schools Comforts
How Children Were Punished
New Villages
Making Ready for a Journey
Clothing for Salem
Food for the Journey
Before Sailing for Salem
Beginning the Journey
The Arrival at Salem
Sight-Seeking in Salem
Back to Plymouth