After getting dressed for the day, I made a typical 17th century breakfast, which for Native Americans was something called nasaump. (The colonists ate stewed pumpkin—which they called “pompion”—at almost every meal, but the traveler who recorded the recipe also noted that it “provokes urine.” Given that I would be using a chamber pot I bought on Amazon for the weekend, I decided to go for the Wampanoag dish.) Plus, it seemed like a good idea to acknowledge the experiences of people who weren’t characters in The Crucible.
Anyway, nausamp is basically polenta made with blueberries. The fine folks who operate Plimoth Plantation, a historical museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, sent me some grits made with a reproduction 1636 grist mill so that it would be as historically accurate as possible. As I ate the strange, tasteless porridge, I began to sweat profusely, despite it being winter in New York. I felt like I was wearing the entire inventory of a Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, because I basically was.