The New Hampshire newspapers of old were a great resource for women to share their special family recipes. In 1889 the following are gleaned for your enjoyment. [Editor’s note and disclaimer: Please repeat these recipes at your own risk, I have not tested them.]
–FOR A THANKSGIVING DINNER–
The following three recipes for a Thanksgiving dinner are contributed by Mrs. Eliza R. Parker to the current Ladies’ Home Journal, and may be recommended as reliable:
THANKSGIVING BUNS.–Boil a little saffron in a sufficient water to cover; strain and cool. Rub half a pound of sifted flour, and make into a paste with four well beaten eggs; add the saffron. Put the dough in a pan and cover it with a cloth. Set in a warm place to rise. When light mix into it a quarter of a pound of sugar, a grated nutmeg and two spoonfuls of caraway seed. Roll out the dough, divide into cakes. Strew with caraway comfits, and bake in flat tins.
PUMPKIN PIE.–Take a pint of pumpkin after being stewed and pressed through a colander. Melt in half a pint of warm milk, a quarter of a pound of butter, and the same quantity of sugar, stirring them well together. Beat eight eggs very light, and add them gradually to the other ingredients. Stir in a wineglass of rose-water, a large teaspoonful of powdered mace and cinnamon mixed and grated nutmeg. Put on pastry and bake.
THANKSGIVING PUDDING.–Grate all the crumbs of a stale loaf of bread, boil a quart of milk and pour it, boiling hot, over the grated bread; cool it and let it steep for an hour, then set to cool. Prepare half a pound of currants, washed and dried, half a pound of stoned raisins, and a quarter of a pound of citron cut in slips; add two grated nutmegs, a tablespoonful of mace and cinnamon powdered together. Mix half a pound of loaf sugar with half a pound of butter. Mix with the bread and milk; add a glass of currant jelly and a glass of cider. Beat eight eggs very light, and stir into the mixture. Add by degrees the raisins and currants, dredged with flour, and stir very hard. Put in a buttered pudding dish, and bake two hours. Eat with pudding sauce.
from New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene NH), Wednesday, November 27, 1889
CRANBERRY SAUCE.–There is a wide difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly. For the former pick over a quart of the berries and put them in a porcelain kettle with a pint of boiling water. As soon as they begin to “pop”–keeping the kettle covered meanwhile–take from the fire, press through a colander and stir in while hot one pound of granulated sugar.
INDIAN PUDDING.–The real New England pudding requires first of all a large dish. Take five tablespoonfuls of meal rounded, not heaped, to each quart of milk. Bring the milk to the scalding point; pour over the meal. Make very sweet with molasses, add a pound of fruit for four quarts of milk, and a generous and rich mingling of many spices with a tablespoonful of salt. Bake slowly many hours.
PUMPKIN PIE.–The secret of the excellence of the old-fashioned pumpkin pies lies in the fact that plenty of eggs and the richest milk was used. They were made very sweet with molasses alone, and the only spice used was ginger. The modern cook destroys the natural flavor of the pumpkin with all the spices and condiments that would go to flavor, and rightly too, a mince pie, but which in pumpkin pie are quite out of place.
BAKED CHICKEN PIE.–Take six chickens and joint as for a fricassee. Put them over the fire with thin slices of salt pork, half a pound in all, and barely cover with cold water. Bring quickly to a boil, and draw to the side of the fire where they will just simmer. When tender roll out your crust about a quarter of an inch thick, and line a large tin or earthen dish; lay in the chicken with butter and seasoning between each layer; put on the top crust, but add no juice until the pie is full. Then through the hose in the top, using a tunnel pour the juice, properly thickened and seasoned, until the pie is full. This pie is delicious, hot or cold. There is no soaked crust, and the gravy turns to jelly when cold. It is a famous stand-by for the larder at holiday seasons.
ORANGES WITH JELLY.–This is a very pretty modern invention for decorating the holiday dinner table. It is just as good to eat as it is to look at. Take large, fine oranges and cut a small round piece from the stem end, then with your finger or a small bone mustard spoon, gradually loosen the skin from the pulp, drawing the latter out through the opening. Lay the skins in cold water until wanted. Make an orange jelly with the juice of the oranges and enough lemon juice to give the right flavor; drain the skins, fill with the jelly, stand them on little egg or custard cups, if necessary to keep them upright, and stand away until cold and firm. Then cut into halves and arrange on a dish with some pretty green leaves. In making the jelly be careful to get it firm enough. The rule is, the juice of four or five lemons, two quarts of water, a package of gelatine and a pound and a half of sugar. Put the gelatine to soak with orange juice instead of cold water, then add the sugar, the balance in boiling water, and as much lemon juice as you need. You can put glace fruits cut in bits in these by partially filling the orange rind with jelly, letting it stand until firm, putting in a layer of the fruits, and then adding more of the jelly.
ROAST SPARERIB.–A roast sparerib, with apple butter, was never absent from the bountifully spread tables of an old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from the fast that roast meats (which now-a-day are baked meats) do not taste as they used, few modern cooks know exactly how to prepare a sparerib. Cover the meat with a greased brown paper until about half done, then remove, and dredge with flour. It must be basted frequently. About ten minutes before it is done, sprinkle fine bread crumbs seasoned with powdered sage, pepper, salt, and a very finely mixed onion, over the surface. Baste once during the ten minutes that it must remain in the oven. Lift out the meat to a hot dish, free the gravy from fat, thicken with browned flour, season to taste, and send to the table in a gravy boat. Apple butter always accompanied this dish. Reduce by boiling sweet cider until you have a thick syrup; add apples, and about one-quarter their bulk in quinces. “Stew all day,” said the old New England lady who gave us this recipe. “How do you keep it from burning?” we asked, innocently. “Stir it almost constantly,” was the matter-of-fact reply. Under the circumstances prudence would suggest making a supply to last all Winter. It keeps well in self-sealing jars.
from New Hampshire Sentinel (Keene NH); Wednesday, November 13, 1889