Hence the "thanks" to them that the settlers didn't starve. That's the "classic" story anyway. Probably bull$hit like nearly everything else in this life.
Apparently not. There's a terrific chapter on American food in Bill Bryson's 'Made in America'. Recommended.
As some of you know, she is Filipina but what you don't know is that she loves Polish food (and so do her relatives)!
My sis-in-law is a Filipina. Her cooking is absolutely fabulous. As fond as I am of Polish food, I can't help but suspect that your in-laws are being (typically) polite! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.