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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

For Nourishment of the Soul

Thanksgiving in Fall River, 1872

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

We sat at three separate tables, each providin’ more food than I had seen since my arrival.

As always, Mrs. O’Leary said the prayer.

“O Lord our God, thanks for providin’ meat and drink for the nourishment of our worn and tired bodies, made weak from our hard work. Give us Thy blessin’s so that we may be comforted and sustained. We give thanks that we don’t hunger and thirst for food and drink, and that it’s on our table today, and that we have our health, Amen.”

Suddenly Mary rose up, causin’ quite a clatter. “I got somethin’ to say.”

She cleared her throat. “God, Watch over the children of Ireland, scattered around the world. May the little ones be mothered, as they should be, and all of us raised up from the deeps, Amen.”

After a pause, and without unity, we managed to say, ‘amen.’ Mary plopped down into her chair, tucked her soiled linen into her collar, and dug into the food.

We enjoyed hunter’s pie, very much like the stew that Mother made when we were children, only the spices were more pungent. It consisted of the best end of a neck of mutton that was trimmed of any fat, smoked tongue, alternately layered with potatoes, onions, and mixed herbs, baked in an earthenware pie dish. The top layer of potatoes was neatly scalloped around the edges and carefully glazed with eggs. On each table was a pigeon pie that Mrs. O’Leary personally prepared, a half a loaf of soda bread, and steamed apple puddin’.

Sarah Hodgdon, November 1872, Fall River, MA

Excerpt: The Angels' Lament Etched in Granite Historical Fiction Series, Book Two


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