The countdown to Thanksgiving begins. Just 5 days to go. Therefore, for the next few days, we’ll publish some posts related to Thanksgiving and Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson’s third cousin, twice removed – at her request).
If Charles Dickens is thought to be “the man who invented Christmas,” then surely Emmett Lee Dickinson is considered “the man who invented Thanksgiving.” You can read some of our past and current plog (poetry blog) posts HERE (including this one), and more about the connection between the holiday and the poet can be found HERE (toward the bottom of the page) and HERE (see the post dated December 26).
This Thanksgiving many people will sit down to the dinner table to enjoy the multi-layered flavors of turducken, a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey.
Turducken, a form of engastration where one animal is stuffed inside the gastric passage of another, was first developed by Austin Dickinson. In the mid-1800s, he created “venibearrel,” a traditional dish at the Dickinson’s Thanksgiving dinner table. “Venibearrel” is deboned squirrel meat stuffed into a roast of bear meat wrapped in venison.
These layered and overstuffed meat dishes inspired Emmett Lee Dickinson to create a similar dish – but with desserts. For Thanksgiving, Dickinson invented the pumpkin "piecakie," cookies stuffed into a pumpkin pie baked inside a cake.
Dickinson’s concept of piecakie survives today, but many people just bake piecakens, pies inside of cakes without the cookies.
Below: A vintage postcard shows the popularity of Dickinson's creation of the "piecakie."