Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Menus of the Past


These are two of my favorites!

In 1847, to arrange a Christmas dinner table, one was to place a high pyramid of evergreens in the center of the table. Let a roasted turkey of uncommon size occupy the middle or center of one side of the table, on one end let there be a cold boiled ham, and at the other, fricasseed chicken or a roast pig; with the turkey serve mashed potatoes and turnips, boiled onions and dressed celery, or other salad with apple sauce--near the ham place fried or mashed potatoes and pickles or mangoes: and with the pig or fricassee, the same as with the turkey; large pitchers of sweet cider (or where that is not desired, ice water) should be placed diagonally opposite each other, on two corners of the table; boiled turkey with oyster sauce may occupy the place of the fricassee, or instead, a fine oyster pie. For dessert, there should be only two very large and ornamental mince pies, one sufficiently large that each of the company may be helped from it, in token of common interest, is desirable. Ice creams and jellies and jams and ripe fruits and nuts, with sweet cider and syrup water of different sorts, or wines, complete the dessert. Biscuit and jelly sandwich may be served at dessert, or paste puffs and charlotte de russe or blancmange with strands of jelly."
---American System of Cookery, Mrs. T. J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 404-5)


In 1880, the Christmas dinner served included: clam soup; baked fish, Hollandaise sauce; roast turkey with oyster dressing and celery or oyster sauce, roast duck with onion sauce, broiled quail, chicken pie; plum and crab-apple jelly; baked potatoes in jackets, sweet potatoes, baked squash, turnips, southern cabbage, stewed carrots, canned corn, canned peas, tomatoes; Graham bread, rolls; salmon salad or herring salad, Chili sauce, gooseberry catsup, mangoes, pickled cabbage; bottled, French or Spanish pickles; spiced nutmeg-melon and sweet- pickled grapes, and beets; Christmas plum-pudding with sauce, charlotte-russe; cocoa-nut, mince, and peach pies; citron, pound, French loaf, white Mountain and Neapolitan cakes; lady's fingers, peppernuts; centennial drops, almond or hickory-nut macaroons; cocoa-nut caramels, chocolate drops; orange or pine apple ice cream; coffee, tea, and Vienna chocolate."
---Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, revised and enlarged [Buckeye Publishing].

 Merry Christmas and May All God's Blessings Be Upon You!

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