From: email@example.com< firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Nov 24, 1620
Subject: Holiday details and apology
Hello Squanto! How are you? I hope you enjoyed our gift of the picture frames.
Re: Halloween – On behalf of all ship-folk parents, please accept our apologies for the ‘ghosts’ and ‘pirates’ running through your camp at all hours that night a few weeks ago. We asked our kids to keep their ‘tricks’ inside our settlement, but you know those tweens! I’m sure that will be the last time they’ll ever bother you. I’m glad to know at least that if our little delinquents cost everybody some sleep, it happened on the night we set the clocks back.
As for the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday: please pass along our gratitude to your chief for letting us self-invite! We’re looking forward to three days of feasting, friendship, and informal winter survival training.
Just to let you know, some of our attendees have dietary preferences, allergies, etc. I don’t know if you’re the right one to talk to about this. Do you know who’s handling the menu? If you could drop a hint to the chef, we’d sure appreciate it!
First, if you’re planning to make us feel at home by serving traditional British cuisine, stop right there! Religious persecution from our tyrannical king made for better pamphlet copy – but the ungodly horror that drove us to risk a harrowing voyage across the sea was, seriously, the food. We didn’t spend two months traversing the Atlantic just to spread the gospel of mushy peas and blood pudding. So really, whatever you’d serve your typical guests at a holiday feast, that’d be great for our little get-together. We’re not a picky lot, except for the usual suspects listed below. (Note to self: choose your shipmates carefully!!)
Dietary restrictions, in no particular order:
Vegetarian options are requested for the Williams, Stanford and Bentley families. As far as I know the Bentley parents still eat whatever, but all six of their kids are “going through a phase”. Expect questions about whether things were “locally sourced” and “minimally processed”. (I know! I tried to explain!!) Does their diet allow milk & eggs? I couldn’t tell ya. Also: the eldest of the Stanford boys, Silas, won’t eat anything green.
Master Williams asks if you have any corn that wasn’t fertilized with fish. I explained that the practice makes for a bountiful harvest, but he says it’s “a taste thing”.
Does acorn flour have gluten? Six people have asked.
Goodwife Dougherty says she’s “avoiding dairy”. Just FYI. Also, is your cheese pasteurized? Again, I’m not sure if you’re the right one to ask.
Is your stuffing nut-free? Master Colton has two kids with tree nut allergies. Can we assume they’ll be okay with the menu? As long as the food will be prepared on equipment that isn’t also used to process soybeans, tree nuts, wheat or eggs, I’m guessing everything should be fine.
Master Gilmore has been trying something called “Paleo”. Do you know what he means?
Master Abramowitz requests “no lobster/crab”, “no bacon-wrapped ANYTHING”, and also “no farmed salmon” (?). He asked that I mention he’ll bring his own dishes.
Thanks again and see you Thursday! Can we bring anything? Rolls? Dessert?
p.s. We figure we’ll wrap up the feasting by six o’clock on the third day, since Master Walton is planning to open the general store for an early jump on holiday shopping. And remember to stick around for our (first annual) tree lighting ceremony! Please spread the word.
Image: reproduction by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris