This article comes from Everyday Housekeeping ©1895 It's fairly long but enjoyable. This was not written by President Lincoln's wife, Mary.
THANKSGIVING—OUR AMERICAN FESTIVAL .
The Day Before—The Dinner—The Recipes.
BY MARY J. LINCOLN.
THIS is the month when many inquiries come in for a new menu for the Thanksgiving dinner. It seems strange that any one can question what to have at this time. However much one may desire to vary her bill of fare from week to week, or for those special occasions where the dinner or the guests, and not the day itself, are the distinctive features, on this occasion certain dishes have been so long and so intimately associated with the day, that they are naturally suggested, at least to those who have from childhood known all that the day means. And it would appear that the only question could be not what, but how much to have. This must be determined by the depths of one's purse and heart, the number to be entertained, and the amount of service needed and help obtainable.
It ought to be a pleasant change for those who are accustomed every day to the regulation elaborate dinner of many courses, to go back for this one day at least, to the informal yet bountiful feast of the olden time, with its hearty cheer, good-will, sociability and limitless hospitality. Those whose daily fare may be somewhat stinted should have on this day of gladness, if they can afford them, some of the luxuries of the table, or a little more elaborate serving than usual, and it would be well if those who always have an abundance would give less thought and money to their own dinner, and make the day a time of genuine thanksgiving to some of the countless lonely, homeless, friendless people who are all about us.
For this day means something more than feasting; it means friends and plenty of them, and if you haven't as many of your own kith and kin as used to gather round the hearth in the dear old home, then join hands with others 84
who may have even less than you have. As was said recently to the newcomers in one of our churches, "Don't consider yourself as the stranger, and wait to be spoken to or invited; but as the host or hostess, and seek out and greet the others with all the heartiness you can express."
The day is so associated with the oldtime life in the country, and with the farm, that the special products of the farm that are gathered in at this time, have come to be considered as particularly belonging to the day's dinner. In our great-grandmother's day, the chickens of November were long past the broiler age and just in the condition for prime roasting, and any that were too old for that form of cooking were made to do service in the chicken pie, or simply boiled. The turkeys were usually not fattened and ready until then, and many families would have thought it wholly out of place to dress and cook one before Thanksgiving.
Sometimes the first pigs were killed about this time and the spare-ribs were roasted for the dinner, or the fresh chops were fried for the breakfast, but I do not remember at all the many places where I was entertained during my childhood, ever to have seen a boiled or baked salt ham served at a Thanksgiving dinner, although it may have been common in some parts of the country. If ducks formed a part of the poultry stock and a large number of guests were to be entertained, these often accompanied the chickens, but never held the place of honor as did the turkey. In towns not too far inland, oysters were included in the feast, but it was not common to have anything so foreign as macaroni, or so common as roast or boiled beef or mutton.
The green, peas, sweet corn, shelled
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beans and other summer and early fall vegetables were eaten in their season, and as there was no canning in those days, no summer vegetables except dried sweet corn and beans for the winter succotash, and such vegetables and fruits as were pickled, jellied, or preserved, were ever seen on the tables in the winter months. But the winter vegetables, especially the turnips, squashes, and onions, and the pumpkin, which was then eaten as a vegetable as well as in pies, were safely stored in the capacious cellar, the cranberries which were to take the place of the summer berries were spread out on the shed chamber floor, and many a barrel of apples—Greenings, Baldwins, Peck's Pleasants, Russets, and other varieties were garnered to furnish food through the long cold winter. Occasionally some ambitious farmer hid away in the hay mow a choice watermelon, or carefully stored some grapes or late pears to be brought out as a surprise on the last of November for a favorite grandchild. These vegetables and fruits and the nuts which the children gathered during the frosty October days—chestnuts, butternuts, common walnuts, shagbarks or shellbarks as we are taught to call them now, beechnuts, and even the tiny hazel nuts, were the staple articles of food at Thanksgiving time. And so all of us who are old enough to remember the Thanksgiving dinners before the civil war, will always associate the turkey, chicken, cranberry sauce, winter vegetables, mince and pumpkin pies, and the New England plum pudding with this day.
I fancy the good housewives of those days would look askance at a modern Thanksgiving table, with its bisques and purees, its French peas and salmon, its sweetbreads and sweet potatoes, its salads, pistachio ice creams, salted peanuts and Roquefort cheese.
Therefore it would seem to every loyal American and especially to every New England heart, not the time or the occasion to have something new, but to honor the old; not the day to use foreign products but our own seasonable
national foods; not the place for any crushed strawberry or "greenery-yellowy" silk and satin decorations, or to introduce any senseless methods of serving merely because they are the latest fad. For this day at least let us dispense with all formality that will be in any way awkward or unpleasant for any of our guests.
Make the occasion one to be remembered for its generous consideration for others, the kindly lending of hands and interchange of thought and interests, rather than for the amount of food, the number of courses, or the style in which they were served. Make it a day of genuine thanksgiving for home, for friends, for country, and for all the innumerable host of smaller blessings which we can easily find if we look for them.
But we must not forget that the times have changed in many ways; the conditions of life in city and country are quite unlike those of the early Thanksgiving days. There is more money in circulation and it is more easily obtained by some and less so by others. There artmore varieties of food cultivated, and the produce of our distant states and of every foreign country is at our doors for almost the entire year. A large part of our population are strangers to the sentiments and associations which have been the birthright of many of our people. The family ties are not so strongly knit now that the younger members have the whole continent from which to choose a place to "settle and build up new homes," and it is no longer the custom for all to return to the old home in the country at least once a year. Country homes have been broken up, families scattered, and thousands of city children have never known the delight of a Thanksgiving day at Grandma's; and so it is difficult to keep up the spirit and custom of the old day even at the dinner. We no longer plan to cook enough at that time to last all winter or to purchase a winter's supply of vegetables, fruits, etc. We have learned that it is extremely unwise to gorge ourselves, even on that day, and if Grandma does urge us so persuasively, "Do have something more." Therefore we combine some of the new foods and new methods with the old, and while keeping a few distinctive dishes, add such others as will make a harmonious whole, and adapt our serving to the varied circumstances of modern life.
I have been interested to learn how the Thanksgiving dinner has varied in different sections of the country, and in response to my inquiries a large number of menus have been received, some of which I have inserted in this number.
I have arranged one quite elaborate menu for those who prefer such a dinner, another more simple and adapted to people who are tired of the old stereotyped dinner, and care more for suitable combinations and refined serving than for mere feasting, and still another for the average family of small means which yet desires dishes appropriate for this day.
A MODERN THANKSGIVING DINNER.
Raw Oysters. Thin Brown Bread.
Consomme". Bread Sticks. Radishes.
Roast Turkey. Chestnut Stuffing. Cranberry Sauce.
Boiled Potatoes. Squash. Glazed Sweet Potatoes.
Chicken Pie. Fringed Celery.
Lemon Ginger Sherbet.
Baked Quail. Cauliflower.
Edam Cheese. Wafers.
Plum Pudding. Snowflake Sauce.
Pumpkin Pie. Apple Pie.
Butternuts. Shellbarks. Pop Corn. Raisins.
Apples. Pears. Grapes.
Although poultry is the distinctive dish for a Thanksgiving dinner, do not earn' it to the extreme of having boiled turkey and roast turkey, or boiled chicken and chicken pie, nor have any dish or sauce repeated. We sometimes see menus which have evidently been arranged with but little thought, and which suggest oyster soup and scalloped oysters or oyster stuffing, celery stuffing and celery salad, or squash as a vegetable and squash pie, etc.
If you wish to carry out the old timehonored customs, have no scheme of color or ribbon decorations on your Thanksgiving table. Where would have been the room for ribbons on
grandmother's bountifully spread table, and what need of color other than the rich browns of the frequently basted
MENU FOR A THANKSGIVING
(Not a feast but just enough to eat and enjoy.)
Oyster Soup. Browned Crackers.
Olives. Salted Chestnuts.
Boiled Fowl. Maize Sauce. Potato Balls.
Roast Ducks. Cranberry Jelly.
Browned Sweet Potatoes.
White Bread. Boiled Onions. Brown Bread.
Celery and Apple Salad.
Brie Cheese. Wafers.
Grapes. Nuts. Pears.
PLAIN DINNER OF FIVE COURSES.
Roast Spare Rib. Apple Sauce.
Boiled Potatoes. Turnips.
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PLAIN DINNER —TWO COURSES.
Roast Chicken. Bread Stuffing. Giblet Gravy.
Mashed Potatoes. Turnips. Onions.
Brown Bread. Currant Jelly. Salted Peanuts.
Bread and Fruit Pudding. Lemon Sauce.
Squash Pie. Cranberry Tart.
Apples. Nuts. Raisins.
birds, or the lighter shades of pies and nuts, the golden hues of squash and pumpkin, the ruby jelly, and the mingling of all in the dish of fruits, nature's own tints for this season of the year?
We will choose for our decorations for this dinner, a centre piece of fruit, tastefully arranged in a low dish, on a reflector if you have one, and flanked by the dishes of radishes, cranberry sauce, celery, and the usual table appointments of decorated china, silver, and brilliant glass. We will be particular to select the rosy and yellow apples, the green and purple grapes, the goldenbrown pears, and these with our vivid radishes and jellies will blend and harmonize with the deep browns of the principal dishes, just as these rich shades have been mingled in the woods during the late autumn davs.
Or we may not care to have the fruit on the table during the service, as many people think the sight of it for so long a time destroys the appetite for it; but this is one of the occasions when but little fruit would be taken on account of the abundance preceding it and so that objection is not of much weight. But if so, autumn leaves will be an appropriate decoration. Gather them when in their full beauty of color, cover them with a sheet of paper, press with a hot iron upon which paraffine has been rubbed, then dry them between papers. They will keep their bright color some time. They may be arranged on and around the reflector and scattered carelessly and yet with design over the table, and two small leaves may be tied with bright baby ribbon and attached to the menu or the name card. This bit of ribbon would surely be allowed.
Unless there be snow on the ground or a long time of frosty weather in the weeks preceding, you may perhaps find in the woods some of the green vines, fall St. John'swort, and the fall rosettes which Mr. Gibson has described in "Sharp Eyes." If in the city, you have unlimited resources at the florists, but let your choice be suitable to the season, for flowers associated with spring would seem out of place on this day.
In serving the dinner do not attempt more than your waitress can do successfully. If you are accustomed to full service in your daily living and have all the appointments you do not need any suggestions from me, and there is not room in this number for explicit directions for those who do need them. In some other number we shall have an article devoted to this subject. I will give only a brief outline of the service.
If you have not a full complement of waiters, part of the service may be rather informal. The oysters are placed on the table before the guests are seated. On each bread and butter plate put two triangles of the brown bread, two or three short soup-sticks, and two narrow wafers for the salad course, with the ball of butter. The latter is not needed really, but as sorne people never eat
gravies they may prefer to use butter on their potato; and it is more hospitable, even if not "stylish," to serve it. Two dishes of radishes, the cranberry sauce, and fringed celery may be placed in spaces convenient to the guests and where they will not interfere with the principal dishes. These may all be passed informally, and as they are arranged before the company assemble, it will help materially in the serving and make the dinner more social.
The host will carve the turkey and serve the stuffing, and the maid will place the plate before the guest and then pass the vegetables and gravy at the left. The chicken pie is set before the hostess and is served on separate and smaller plates; or it may be served as a course by itself. Then all this course is removed and the sherbet, served in low glass cups, is brought in from the side. This should be eaten very leisurely for there is much to follow.
The quail may be served alone by the host, or at the same time that the hostess serves the salad. If with the salad, then the cheese should be served after the dessert. When the salad course is finished remove everything except such of the decorations as belong to the dessert, remove the crumbs with a crumb knife, and arrange the fruit and nuts in the middle or about the table, and place the pudding before the host, the pies before the hostess, and the necessary silver before each guest. After these are served and removed the maid brings to each guest a fruit plate with a finger bowl resting on a small doiley and a nut pick and fruit knife beside it.
The coffee may be poured by the hostess, or served from the side, or if possible, in the parlor after the party adjourn there.
Remember this is not a time for the formalities that we extend to strangers, or to some special guests to whom others wish to listen, and where hosts and guests prefer not to be diverted by any attention to the service. But it is a dinner for the family, where those who come from afar want to feel that they are at home again and can help without its being considered an interference, where grandpa can discuss his crops or his son's business prospects and grandma will not think it "not in good form" but will blush with pleasure if you compliment her culinary skill or covet her antique china. Perhaps grandpa, or Uncle John if he be the host, will not object if some member of the party does watch him intently and try to remember all his dexterous turns of the carving knife. Cousins and young folks will compare notes on their progress in school work or discuss books and operas, and children will have a good share of attention and enjoyment. And so in the happy interchange of experience, reminiscence, and courtesies, the dinner should go on to the end.
THE DAY BEFORE.
Housekeepers who live remote from markets often are obliged to dress poultry, sometimes to kill it. Even if this be not the case, it is something every one should know how to do, or they may be in the position of one lady I knew who, when company came unexpectedly during the absence of her help, had to serve ham and eggs instead of a pair of the fat chickens in her own poultry yard, simply because neither she nor any of her guests dared to kill and dress them.
If it should be your lot to be the executioner you may hold the fowl over a chopping block and with a quick stroke of the hatchet, sever the head from the body, but I will not guarantee that life will be extinct instantly, or that you will not witness some unexpected gymnastics. Or you may prefer to hold the bird firmly and cut the vein in the neck and let it bleed to death. Hang it up by the feet.
Poultry when dressed at the market needs careful inspection as soon as received.
The practice of sending poultry to market undressed is one that demands as earnest opposition from housekeepers as that of the adulteration of food. The meat is rendered unfit to eat, is
sometimes infected with poison; and the increase in weight makes poultry a very expensive food.
With game that is intended to be hung some time it is customary not to pluck the feathers even, until ready to be cooked. It is said there is less danger of its spoiling if it is not opened. It would be better on many accounts if all American people were as scrupulous about this matter as those of some other nations.
All poultry should be dressed as soon as killed. The feathers come out more easily when the fowl is warm, and when stripped off toward the head. If the skin be very tender, pull the feathers out the opposite way. Use a knife to remove the pin feathers.
Singe the hairs and down over blazing paper. Then wash the skin of the turkey thoroughly in warm water in which a little soda has been dissolved. It is better to do this before the bird has been cut. The drumstick of a turkey is greatly improved by removing the tendons, which always become hard and bony in baking. Cut carefully through the skin below the leg-joint, but do not cut the tendons; bend the leg at the cut by pressing it on the edge of the table, and break off the bone. Then pull out the tendons, one at a time, with the fingers; or, all at once, by putting the foot of the fowl against the casing of a door that opens towards you, then pressing the door hard against the foot, and pulling on the leg. The tendons will come out attached to the foot, but if they are once cut they can never be removed. There is an advantage in breaking the leg below instead of at the joint, as the . ends of the bones afford more length for trussing, and, after roasting, this is easily broken off, leaving a clean unburned joint for the table.
Cut off the head. Slip the skin back from the neck and cut the neck off half way down, or close to the body if you prefer, but always leave the skin longer than the neck, so it may be folded over on the back. Remove the wind-pipe and turn the skin over; pull the crop away from the neck and breast and cut it off close to the opening into the body. If the bird be not drawn at the market make a circular cut around the vent to free the end of the intestine. Cut out the oil bag in the tail. Make a horizontal incision through the skin one inch above the vent and wide enough to insert the two fingers. Keep the fingers close to the breast bone until you can reach in beyond the gizzard and heart, and loosen the membranes on either side down toward the back. Then draw out the whole mass, and afterward remove the lungs which lie close to the ribs and the soft brown kidneys found in the hollow of the back.
THANKSGIVING — OUR AMERICAN FESTIVAL.
Now I am free to confess that I cannot do this without soiling my hands, for the poultry in this section has more or less of blood or colored liquid left in these internal organs, and there is a great quantity of greasy fat and slimy mucus, which must be removed, even if the fowl has been bled. Possibly there are varieties of fowls in other places that are destitute of these as I have heard it said that "there is no occasion to soil even the tips of the fingers." It may be possible when the first part of the process has been done at the market, but I prefer to wash my hands. Have a large piece of brown paper under the bird to protect the table, and gather the waste up in the paper and put it into the fire.
Wash the bird quickly in warm soda water and then in cold water and wipe dry. Washing does not mean soaking in a pan of water, but a quick rubbing all over and rinsing.
Place the fowl in a deep bowl and put in the stuffing at the end of the neck until the breast is filled round and plump. Draw the neck skin together at the end and sew it over on the back. Put the remainder of the stuffing into the body at the other opening. Use enough to fill in lightly.
The best and most wholesome stuffing is made by crumbling the soft inside of a loaf of stale bread; moisten the crumbs slightly with melted butter, and season with salt, pepper and slightly with thyme. The steam from the fowl
will furnish sufficient moisture, and the stuffing will be light and delicate instead of soggy, rank and heavy. Do not use sage, or sausage, or season highly with any herb, if you wish to preserve the natural flavor of the turkey. The giblets, or oysters, celery, or chestnuts make an agreeable variety.
Draw the thighs close to the body and put a long skewer through the thigh into the body and out through the opposite thigh. If the incision be made as directed, the ends of the drumsticks may be put through the opening and out at the vent, and then fastened to the tail with a skewer or with twine; but, if made in the usual way, cross the drumsticks over the tail. Turn the tips of the wings back and keep them in position close to the body (not up on the breast) by running a skewer through one wing, under the breast and out through the other wing. Wind a string from the tail to the skewer in the thigh, then up the back to the one in the wing, across the back to the other wing, then down to the opposite thigh and tie firmly at the tail.
Put the turkey on a rack in a pan, rub well with butter, salt, and flour. Put the nice pieces of turkey fat on the breast.
Put it into a hot oven for five minutes or until the flour begins to color; then reduce the heat and add a pint of water. Melt one-quarter cupful of butter in a cupful of hot water and baste with it often, until some of the fat of the turkey has been drawn out into the pan; or spread a piece of clean paper with soft butter and lay it over the turkey. When the paper is dry and brown lay on another piece, and when this is dry baste with the dripping and add more water as it boils away. Baste often and when half done dredge again with flour, to give the outside a frothy appearance. Cook the turkey slowly after the first slight browning, and quicken the fire the last half hour if the bird be not sufficiently browned. An eight or ten pound turkey will cook in two or three hours. It is done if the thigh seems tender when pierced with a small fork, and appears as if it would separate easily from the body.
Remove the turkey to a small pan and keep it warm while you make the gravy. Pour off nearly all the fat from the dripping pan. The water will be nearly if not wholly gone. Set the pan on the stove, and stir two tablespoonfuls of dry flour into the fat. Scrape off all the brown fat that has adhered to the edges and add more flour till the fat is all absorbed. When the fat and flour are brown, and not until then, add gradually the boiling water. As it thickens, at first it will seem as if the fat and flour would separate, but continue to add boiling water; stir constantly and you will soon have a smooth, brown gravy, free from grease. Add more salt and strain it before serving. Heat the chopped giblets in a little of the water in which they were boiled, and add half of the gravy. Serve the remainder of the gravy plain.
To clean the giblets slip off the thin membrane round the heart, and cut out the veins and arteries. Remove the liver, and cut off all that looks green near the gall bladder, being careful not to break it. Trim the fat and membranes from the gizzard; cut through the thick part, open it and remove the inner lining without breaking. Cut off all the white gristle, and use only the thick fleshy part. Rinse them all in cold water, then put them into fresh cold water and simmer until tender. The neck and tips of the wings are often cooked with the giblets.
If the giblets be not desired in the gravy, they may be boiled, chopped fine, and mixed with the stuffing; or make them into force-meat balls, with an equal amount of soft bread crumbs. Moisten, and season highly, and brown them in hot butter.
On this day before Thanksgiving we will also prepare the chickens and game, make the consomme, the cranberry sauce, and the pies. The pudding also, unless we have two ranges or room to bake it on Thanksgiving day. Look over all the table appointments and see that everything needed is in order.
Allow not more than five small or medium-sized oysters for each person. Blue Points are generally preferred. Scrub the shells and keep them on ice until ready to open. In opening them leave the oyster on the deep or rounded half of the shell, and free the hard muscle from the shell so the oyster can be taken up easily with the fork. Half fill a small soup plate with fine chipped ice, arrange the oyster shells on the iec with a lengthwise section of a lemon in the centre. Salt, cayenne or paprika and horse radish are usually passed with raw oysters, but it is a pity that all do not enjoy them with their own delicate flavor simply developed by salt and lemon, instead of disguising it with hot condiments. Oysters served in this way may be placed on the table before the dinner is announced.
If the old style oyster plates are used, the oysters must be removed from the shells, and be thoroughly chilled and the plates also. Then put one oyster in each hollow in the plate with the lemon in the centre and serve after the guests are seated. The soup plate with the ice is the better way as then the oysters are kept cold to the last .
But whether served in the shell or out they should be purchased in the shell and not opened until about ready to be served. . They are always more attractive when each oyster is distinct in its own or imitation shell than when served in a mass in a small dish.
THIN BROWN BREAD AND BUTTER.
Use the usual Boston brown bread made from either of the recipes given in August number, or stale Graham bread. Remove the crusts and leave the bread in a square or rectangular form. Slice very thin and spread slightly with butter. Put two slices together and cut each square info triangles, arrange them neatly on a plate and serve them with raw oysters.
Select the smooth round radishes rather than those that are long and
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pointed. Wash, trim off the fine roots and leaves, but leave about an inch of the green stems as this makes a pretty contrast and is convenient in holding them. Put them in a pan of ice water. With a sharp knife cut from the point down about half way merely through the skin, making six or eight cuts according to the size of the radish. Slip the point of the knife under the skin of these points and press them over slightly, then leave the radishes in the ice water and when ready to serve you will find them partly open, like a flower, at the cut end. Drain and arrange in a cut glass or small fancy dish.
Cut off the shells from one quart of large chestnuts. Pour on boiling water and let them stand until the inner brown skin will peel off easily. It may be necessary to add the boiling water twice. Look them over carefully and reject all that are not fresh. Put them into boiling water slightly salted or into stock and cook until soft. Then mash them very fine with a wooden potato masher. Take half for the stuffing and reserve the remainder for the gravy. Mix with the chestnuts one cup of fine cracker crumbs, and season with one teaspoonful salt, one saltspoonful pepper, one teaspoonful chopped parsley, and the grated yellow rind of half a lemon. Mo.isten with one-third of a cup of melted butter and hot water sufficient to swell the crumbs. Add half a cup of California seedless raisins which have been stewed until well swollen.
CHESTNUT SAUCE FOR ROAST TURKEY.
Remove the fat from the gravy in the dripping; if there be only a little water let it boil nearly away, leaving about two tablespoonfuls of fat; stir two tablespoonfuls of dry flour into this fat and stir well until browned, scraping all the glaze from the sides and corners to aid in the browning. Then stir in a pint of hot water or enough to make it quite thin as the chestnuts will help to thicken it. Add more salt and pepper
if needed, and if not smooth strain it before adding the chestnuts. If the gravy is largely water, then remove as much of the oil as possible and simply thicken the liquid with flour wet to a smooth paste in a little cold water.
If preferred, you may divide the chestnuts before they are mashed and cut those intended for the gravy into thin slices.
How seldom we find cranberry sauce in perfection either in private families, hotels or restaurants. It is usually purple, either too sour or sweetened with molasses, or it is a mass of tough skins and seeds in a thin syrup, or if sifted, it is a thin, dark colored, uninviting looking and tinny tasting mixture, neither a sauce nor a marmalade and surely ought never to be called a jelly. Some of these objectionable qualities may be avoided by always using granite or porcelain stewpans, silver or wooden spoons, and sifting through a porcelain colander or a hair sieve. It does no good to stew the cranberries in porcelain and then sift them through a tin strainer.
Select large ripe cranberries and cut each one in halves with a sharp knife. For a cup and a half of the berries, which is enough for one pie, mix a tablespoonful of flour with one cup of sugar, add half a cup of water and the berries, and mix well. Line a pie plate with plain pastry, fill with the cranberries, cover with a crust, and bake in a moderate oven about half an hour.
Cranberry Pie No. a.
One cup cranberries, one cup of sugar mixed with two teaspoonfuls of flour. Pick over, wash and chop the cranberries, sprinkle on the sugar and flour, and turn into a dish lined with pastry. Cover and bake about half an hour.
Plain Paltry for Pumpkin and Cranberry Plei.
One cup of pastry flour, one saltspoon of salt, one-quarter cup of lard, and one-quarter cup of butter. Mix the salt with the flour and rub in the lard and butter quickly until in fine flakes. Wet with cold water poured in gradually until a stiff dough can be taken all up together. Toss out on a floured board, divide into two parts, and roll each part to fit the plate as nearly as possible.
Prepare the sauce by this recipe; sift it if you like. Line a plate with a plain paste, put on a notched rim of puff paste, fill with the cranberry, and put strips of puff paste cut half an inch wide with a pastry jagger, over the top, making diamonds or squares as you prefer. Bake until the crust is brown.
This is my favorite recipe for this sauce. Put three pints of washed cranberries in a deep granite stewpan. On top of them put three cups of granulated sugar and three gills of cold water. After they begin to boil cook them ten minutes closely covered and do not stir them. Watch them carefully, turn the pan half way round frequently, and keep them where they will boil not fast enough to boil over. When the ten minutes expires remove the cover and with a silver spoon take off the thickest of the scum and turn into a dish to cool. The skins will be soft and tender and yet the berries will be nearly whole and the syrup clear and sometimes almost a jelly.
This is an easy rule to remember, for to any quantity you may wish to make, use by measure half as much sugar as cranberries and half as much water as sugar.
Stew the cranberries in barely water enough to cover, with a little sugar. When they have boiled five minutes add more sugar, and when the berries are soft add sugar again, using in all equal measure of sugar and cranberries. Do not stir them, and after the last sugar has boiled set them aside to cool. Cover a shallow plate with crust, put on a bor
der, fill with the stewed fruit, and lay narrow pieces of crust, which have been cut with a pastry-j agger, across the top in opposite directions. Bake slowly until the crust is brown. This makes a very sweet cranberry pie.
Cranberry '""'.. with Railing.
Pick over, wash and chop the cranberries slightly, and stone the raisins. Use one cup and a half of berries and half a cup of raisins for one pie. Mix with them one cup of sugar and one tablespoonful of flour and one teaspoonful of butter. Heap the fruit in the plate and bake with two crusts in a quick oven.
Select a small sugar pumpkin, of a deep yellow color. Cut in halves, scoop out the seeds, then cut into inch slices, pare off the rind and then cut into twoinch lengths. Put it in a stewpan with a Lincoln steamer underneath, add a little boiling water, barely enough to cover the steamer, and let it cook quickly at first until there is considerable steam and then very slowly until the pumpkin is soft. If you like only a delicate flavor of the pumpkin take it up as soon as it is soft enough to mash, but if you prefer the rich, strong, sweet flavor of the pumpkin of grandmother's day, let the kettle stand where the pumpkin cannot burn, and steam or cook from four to six hours, until the water has all evaporated. Then turn into a fine colander and press the pulp through.
Stir into the pumpkin while hot a tablespoonful of butter or three of thick sweet cream. For each pie of the usual deep size (an inch or more) allow one cup and a half of the sifted pumpkin, and one cup of scalded milk. Beat the yolk of one egg, add half a cup of sugar, a saltspoonful each of salt and cinnamon and stir this into the pumpkin. Then beat the white stiff and mix it in lightly. This will help to make the pumpkin brown better on the top. Turn it into a plate lined with plain paste, with a fluted rim, and if this should not quite fill the plate add carefully a little more milk. Bake slowly. Some people prefer to sweeten pumpkin with molasses.
THANKSGIVING — OUR AMERICAN FESTIVAL.
Ginger, nutmeg, mace, cloves, wine, brandy, and lemon are recommended by many cooks, but I prefer to have nothing but the cinnamon. Part cream with the milk makes the pies richer. Many eggs make the pie more like a custard which is not what we desire when making pumpkin pies.
Clean, disjoint, and parboil the chickens, and remove the largest bones. Thicken the liquor and season with salt and pepper. Put a rim of baking powder pastry round the side of a broad shallow earthen dish (first butter the sides). Then wet the top of the crust. Fill the dish with the pieces of chicken, putting them in so that light and dark meat will be evenly distributed, and with the bones all pointing toward the centre so they will not be in the way when serving it. Invert a small cup in the centre, cover with the liquor, and reserve the remainder to add after baking. Put two tablespoonfuls of butter cut small over the chicken. Cut a large cross in the centre of the crust, lay it loosely over the pie and press the edge close to the rim. Bake an hour in a slow oven.
NEW ENGLAND THANKSGIVING PUDDING.
1 pt. cracker crumbs,
3 pts. milk,
1 cup sugar,
1 teasp. salt,
4 teasp. cinnamon,
Soak the cracker crumbs in the milk half an hour. Wash and boil the raisins in water to cover while the crumbs are soaking; let the water boil away and add them to the milk. Mix the sugar, salt, and spices, add the butter softened and rub till creamy. Beat in one egg at a time, until you do not see any of the yolk, then stir this mixture into the milk. Butter a deep earthen pudding dish thick with cold
butter, turn in the pudding, cover it and put it into a moderate oven. During the first hour stir the pudding up from the bottom but not on the sides, until the raisins will stay at the top, then cover and bake three hours in all. Remove the cover toward the last that the top may brown. Let it stand awhile before turning out. It should have a little whey when just right and the raisins should on no account be cut before cooking as it is not worthy the name of a plum pudding if they are not whole and tender enough to melt in the mouth. It is not at all like an English or Christmas plum pudding and was not intended to be, so do not think it a failure because unlike that time-honored compound.
Serve with hard sauce, made by creaming half a cup of butter, then adding gradually one cup of powdered sugar and flavor to taste with lemon, vanilla, or a very little mace. Pile it up roughly in a pretty dish, and set away to harden. Or you may make a pretty effect by pressing it through a potato ricer into a shallow dish just before serving. Or you may make a smooth mound of it and stamp it with the bottom of a cut glass dish. If you prefer a soft sauce simply beat into this the white of one egg or three tablespoonfuls of thick cream.
GLAZED SWEET POTATOES.
Select potatoes of uniform size, pare and trim them into long oval shape. Cook in boiling salted water until nearly tender. Mix quarter of a cup of sugar and the same of butter and melt them in half a cup of hot water. Arrange the potatoes in a granite pan. Moisten them with the sugar mixture. Set them into the oven and baste frequently with this syrup. Cook until they are covered with a rich brown glaze, but be careful not to let them burn.
Fringed Celery.—Recipe for this was given in November number, 1894, and for Lettuce Salad in February number, 1895.