Old New Hampshire Recipes for the Holidays

Yes, it is that time of year once again.  The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays often mean you have a house full of guests.  Many decisions need to be made about what to feed them.

If you are looking for some new recipes that are traditionally from New Hampshire, then this is the place to look.  Sort of. Consider serving old food.  I mean, consider serving food from olden times.

I can’t vouch that the recipes shown here truly originated in New Hampshire. There is no primary evidence other than that the newspapers said they were from the Granite State.  The recipes that give little direction probably did come from New Hampshire, since we are taciturn and like folks to figure things out for themselves. Continue reading

New Hampshire Women and World War I ‘Food Work’

POSTER: Food Will Win the
War, National Archives and
Records Administration.

Food and meal preparation was a serious matter during World War I and it was mostly women upon whom the burden fell to create solutions. With a great deal of foodstuffs being send to Europe to feed the troops and needy allies, the United States was forced to be economical in order to avert a famine here. In 1917 the United States government created the Woman’s Committee, Council of National Defense, to enlist the aid of women for the “national war relief program.” States were encouraged to create regional organizations on state, county and even city/town levels.

Upon the New Hampshire branch, Woman’s Council of National Defense, fell the task of distributing bulletins and arranging for the meetings at which home demonstration agents provided presentations. The stories of these dedicated women have mostly been lost. In 1918 the following women were appointed to be New Hampshire home economic experts to  present lectures and demonstrations on all aspects of food preservation and substitution, household and personal economy, and budget making. The lectures would be offered free of charge, the local woman’s or other club having sponsored the lecture assuming the costs. Continue reading

100 Years Ago: The Camouflage Cookery of World War I

16 Dec 1917 The Lincoln Star
newspaper headline.

According to the Housewives Magazine of 1918, the word ‘camouflage’ means a deception, an illusion, something that is not what it seems to be. Prior to WWI the art of camouflage (to mask soldiers) was used, but to a lesser degree than today. Just before WWI the invention of better military viewing scopes occurred coincidentally with the beginning of the cubism art movement–and it changed everything. During the World War camouflage, and the use of the word, seemed to be everywhere. It was even in the kitchen. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day 2018: Is New Hampshire Losing Its Irishness?

Charles Manning, first generation Irish-
American, pushing his sister in a baby carriage,
Lowell Street, Manchester NH circa 1888.

Is it the food, the beer, the music, the dance, the accent, the parades or the vocabulary that still connects people to their Irish heritage? Or is it instead nostalgia for the past and personal memories that associate us with the Emerald Isle?  With all the time that has passed since my ancestors arrived in America, is my Irishness, and that of other Irish descendants in New Hampshire, quickly fading away?

Oh yes, I grew up eating so-called Irish food. But my first generation Irish-American grandmother had an English-Canadian mother, and an Irish father, so where did she learn her cooking skills and the recipes she used? Did her culinary creations originate in Ireland, or were they instead simple, northern New England fare? Continue reading

100 Years Ago: A New Hampshire Halloween and The Hoover Pledge

Nashua Telegraph newspaper advertisement of 30 October 1917 for Hallowe’en Night.

Two topics–Halloween and The Hoover Pledge–seem to have nothing in common, and yet they do. 100 years ago on October 30, 1917 the Nashua Telegraph was promoting both Halloween events and the signing of the “Hoover Pledge.”

A headline blares, “City Being Roused To Need of Food Conservation Move” — Six thousand Nashua women must sign these pledge cards this week for New Hampshire has pledged her women for FOOD CONSERVATION….volunteers who will sign the Hoover pledge card and then live up to the pledge through the weary months that must follow.” Continue reading