AS we head into Thanksgiving I thought I'd share some of the menus I've found. The first was publishing in Good Housekeeping Magazine ©1898. Following the menu the author shares the recipes.
A ROYAL THANKSGIVING DINNER
With a Southern Flavor.
BY MARGARET ANDREWS OLDHAM.
CIVILIZED man no longer eats; he breakfasts, lunches and dines, and the degrees of refine■f m ment with which he surrounds and pei-forms ^^^ these frequent necessities, make of him an ignoramus or a scholar, a gourmand or an epicureAll the arts and sciences are brought into requisition in preparing and eating a chop. A very learned scholar once observed that there was aright and wrong way in which to eat a strawberry. Surely, then, there is well-nigh a criminal way in which to serve and eat a steak.
It has come to pass that all events, whether domestic, political or national, are celebrated chiefly by the variety and number of good things that load our tables, until it almost seems that we virtually and absolutely do live to eat, and make holidays and unusual events as excuses to eat more, and better—and yet more.
Perhaps it is well, for whatever is done with such frequency and study of details must be progressively and scientifically done, else there is no redemption from (he common-place and the vulgar. The style in which food is served and eaten is a very fair test of a nation's progress and enlightenment. It is a pity that we have not more epicures and fewer gourmands.
Next to Christmas, the occasion calling forth most skill in edibles—in the South-—is Thanksgiving, and this dinner is truly a royal feast. Here is the menu of an old Charleston, S. C, highrliver (who died of gout).
The card—now yellowed and dim—is framed, and yet hangs on the old kitchen wall, where it has hung for more than a century. There was another for Christmas, and one for XewYear's, and one for each birthday in the family—not forgetting old Silvy's. These were never deviated from, unless to enlarge the quantities to suit the extra gues-ts. This is the menu:
Turtle soup. Pencil rolls.
Roast turkey stuffed with chestnuts.
Cranberry sauce. Celery. Sweet potatoes.
Sweet pickle peaches. Crackling bread.
Sweet pickle tomatoes. Okra.
Xew pork ham. Rice. Cabbage pudding. Oyster pie.
Pumpkin pie. Persimmon beer.
The turtle is cut up, boiled quite "to pieces," with a shaved onion, a pinch of cayenne and curry powder, and a dessertspoonful of salt. When nearly done, little round buttons of flaky pastry are dropped in, and then thickened with a little pure sweet cream.
Pencil rolls are made in the following manner: To one quart flour add two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar and one of soda, two tablespoons butter, pinch of salt, mix with sweet milk. As soon as it can be handled, cut off pieces about the size of an egg, roll quite thin, in a long strip, about half as wide as it is long, then roll up tight—the long way. These rolls will then be the length, but about three times the size of an ordinary lead pencil. Lay closely side by side in a baking pan, and wash over with sweet milk to give them a golden glaze.
Turkey is, of course, the nucleus around which all the lesser viands cluster. If possible, this bird should be a wild one, weighing about eighteen pounds. The flesh of the wild turkey is very fine and delicious. It is dressed and hung up for a night. The dressing is the favorite portion, and much care is bestowed upon this delightful part. It is made of stale grated biscuit, hot corn-bread and chestnuts, in equal quantities. The nuts are roasted, then pounded to a powder, and mixed with the two breads. Then are added three tablespoonfuls of butter, one onion shaved fine, one dozen whole oysters, six hard boiled eggs cut fine, a pinch of cayenne, sage, celery salt, parsley, and salt to taste. These are all thoroughly mixed, with a little hot water, to a stiff dough, and every space to be found in the turkey is stuffed tightly with this, and the opening sewed up. The turkey is then placed in a pan half-filled with water, in which has been put a cupful of the dressing, some shaved onion, a few sticks of celery, salt, pepper and parsley. It should be basted every ten minutes, and frequently turned, not allowing any portion to brown before it is done all through. When it is heated through, a paste of flour and water and a little celery salt should be spread smoothly over the part uppermost; over this, a few dots of butter. As this begins to brown, the turkey should be turned, and another part treated in the same manner. At the last, let each portion become brown, and none of it will have baked dry or hard. The gravy should be thickened with brown flour and cream, and there should be plenty of it. This is the perfection of all dishes, and fit "to set before a king."
Crackling-bread is made of corn-meal, cracklings (may be bought) and meal, in equal measures, mixed together with a little water and a pinch of salt, made into oblong pones, and baked brown.
Sweet potatoes—such as the North has never seen— sweet, juicy yams, that become candied as they bake, and are taken from the oven dripping sweet.
Peaches and tomatoes may be made into sweet pickles at any time. Allow one pound of sugar and one pint of vinegar to every three pounds of fruit. Pour this over the fruit, boiling hot. This vinegar should be poured off, for three mornings, boiled, and poured back over the fruit again. A bag of all kinds of spices should be boiled and allowed to remain in this syrup. Cabbage Pudding.
Cook a firm head of cabbage half done. Chop fine. To each quart of the cabbage add four eggs well beaten, one teaspoonful of mustard, two soda crackers rolled fine, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Put in a buttered pan and bake ten minutes.
Beat four eggs light, add two cups of sweet milk, one quart stale, grated light bread, one quart oysters, salt, pepper, celery salt, three tablespoonfuls of butter. This should be of the consistency of very stiff batter. Pour into a buttered earthen dish, and bake till slightly brown.
Cranberries may be cooked whole, if carefully and slowly cooked, or strained and served as a jelly.
Rice is never properly cooked anywhere out of the South. The gluey, starchy dish that is called "boiled rice," here, would not be recognized by a rice-eater. It is carefully washed, and placed on the fire in a double, or a porcelain boiler—one pint of rice, to three pints of water, and a teaspoonful of salt. It is never stirred, When it has boiled, and begins to stiffen, simply set it up from the fire and let it alone; it will steam done. When thoroughly done each grain is perfect, and stands apart. The grains are soft, but dry and distinct. This is a very beautiful, snowy, and nutritious dish.
A new pork ham, boiled, then scored, dotted with salt and pepper and browned in the oven, is also a favorite dish on this occasion.
Okra, which has been canned, may now be boiled in salted water, and served whole with a spoonful of cream, one of butter, and a little pepper.
Persimmon beer—but "that's another story."
Wine—The best and oldest you can secure.
The pumpkin should be cut, into small pieces, and stewed, in a very little water, and washed free from lumps. For each pie allow one and one-half cups, one cup of boilingmilk, one tablespoon ful of butter, one-half cup of sugar,
one-half teaspoonful of salt, one salt spoonful each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add one egg beaten separately. Half bake the crust, then fill with ingredients and brown.
One pint of molasses, one pint of buttermilk, one teacup of suet, or butter, one teaspoonful of soda, one-half teacup of sugar, flour to make a stiff batter, and lastly one teacup of raisins (currants, dried cherries, or any dry fruit desired). Grease pudding bag with lard, then flour well, turn, and pour in the stiff batter. Tie loosely, allowing plenty of room to swell. Drop in boiling water and let boil for about two hours.
Sance for Pudding.
One cup of sugar, two tablespoonfulsof butter, two cups of water, one tablespoonful of flour (stir in sugar). Cook till smooth and thickened. Flavor with wineglass of brandy or any flavoring desired.
Original In Good Housekeeping.