Even though as Canadians we celebrate Thanksgiving in October, I’m blogging about the November 1903 issue of Cooking Club Magazine because it’s pretty much ALL Thanksgiving! As well as its usual content, it has a Thanksgiving romance story titled Hulda the Help, Thanksgiving recipes and 3 prize-winning Thanksgiving menus. All the menus feature turkey, cranberry jelly, and a pumpkin dessert, so the basics are quite similar to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner we are all familiar with. Two of the menus feature oysters, which, judging by other cookbooks of the early twentieth century, were a common Thanksgiving dish.
The first prize went to Edith L. Young, of 314 Baird Ave, Chicago and was “submitted as and old-time Thanksgiving dinner, somewhat modified to suit modern tastes.” It was specifically intended for rural families without access to city markets, and omits “oysters, elaborate salads, ices and sherbets which figure so largely in our modern Thanksgiving feasts.”
Tomato Soup Bread Crisps
Roast Turkey Brown Sauce
Cranberry Jelly Spiced Watermelon
Mashed Potatoes Stuffed Onions
Cold Slaw Brown Bread Sandwiches
Mince Pie Pumpkin Custard
Coffee Nuts Raisins
This menu suggests roasting the turkey breast side down to result in a moist, delicious breast, and also to sift a teaspoonful of baking powder into the dressing just before filling your bird, to result in a light and fluffy dressing. Those are 2 tips I plan to try this Thanksgiving. We are also going to make the succotash recipe from this menu. There is a different succotash recipe to go with a prize Sunday dinner menu sent in by Mary I. Jennings, of Washington, D.C., and a third recipe in an article titled American Indian Cookery, by Frederick Starr.
Winning menu #2 doesn’t have a name with it, but suggests that the menu should be kept simple, and family and decor should be the main focus. The menu is clearly stated to not be elaborate, but it seems pretty impressive to me!
Tomato Soup Croutons
Roast Turkey with Oyster Stuffing
French Fried Sweet Potatoes
Baked Squash String Beans
Celery Olives Salted Nuts
Fruit and Nut Salad
Pumpkin Pie Cheese
The third prize was awarded to Mrs. C. S. Van Buran of Elgin, Illinois. She advises that, if possible, the turkey should be bought alive, though she does have some pointers for selecting a good bird from your butcher. Her menu, to me, seems completely over the top!
Oysters on the Half Shell
Brown Bread Fingers
Salted Pecans Pimolas
Roast Turkey Garnish
Onions Stuffed with Sausage
Sweet Potatoes and Almond Croquettes
Chestnut Timbales White Sauce
Baked Ham Cider Sauce
Vanilla Ice Cream Chocolate and Nut Sauce
White Cake Autumn Fruits
The other two recipes we are making from this magazine are Mystic Pudding, and Cranberry Pudding. I’ll let you know how they turn out after Thanksgiving dinner!
This pudding was made and named by cooks four or five generations back. It has not any secret power, but is just this delicious pudding. Boil one pint of milk. Stir in four tablespoonfuls of yellow cornmeal and cook ten minutes. Cool it, add another pint of cold milk, half a cupful of molasses, half a teaspoonful each of salt and cinnamon, half a cupful of sugar and two well beaten eggs. Bake in a quick oven for two hours; at the end of the first half-hour, stir in one cupful of cold milk and one tart apple pared, cored and cut into dice. Serve with cream.
Sift three cupfuls of flour with a half teaspoonful of salt and stir in a cupful of molasses, a small cupful of sour cream, two beaten eggs and half a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a little boiling water. Last of all, beat in a cupful and a half of halved cranberries thoroughly dredged with flour. Turn into a greased mould and steam for at least two hours. Eat with a hard sauce.
Scrape, wash and score in quarter-inch slices a quarter pound of salt pork. Cover with boiling water and simmer till tender. Add one pint lima beans and more water if needed. When the beans are tender, add one pint sweet corn pulp. Cook fifteen minutes, add two tablespoonfuls of butter and a half-cupful of cream, one-quarter teaspoonful of pepper, salt if needed. Pour the succotash into serving dish, slice the salt pork as scored and serve. If dried beans and corn are used, they must be soaked over night in cold water.