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.

Cucumbers from Garden steps, a manual for the amateur in vegetable gardening, 1917. Internet Archive.

FRIED ONIONS AND APPLES. [Boston Globe, 23 March 1904, page 10]
Take 6 onions and fry them, then add 3 apples if the family is small, and if large you can add more onions and apples).  Fried in bacon fat and they are nice. Grandma.

FRIED CUCUMBERS.  [The Omaha World-Herald of Omaha Nebraska, 14 April 1966]  An old New Hampshire recipe which originated in England is fried cucumbers. Peel three Florida cucumbers, cut in halves length-wise and scoop out centers. Saute three chopped onions in butter or bacon fat until slightly golden; season with salt and pepper. Cool. Fill cucumbers with onions and tie halves together. Saute quickly in the same butter or bacon fat until light brown. Remove from pan and add to fat one tablespoon flour Stir until brown. Add one cup meat stock and stir until thickened. Return cucumbers to pan, simmer covered until tender, about 35 minutes.

Turkey, from page 150 of “The American natural history,” by William Temple Hornaday, 1914. Internet Archive.

NEW HAMPSHIRE STUFFING. [The Journal News, 22 December 1960]
Saute 6 sliced chopped bacon barely brown in skillet; add 5 stalks coarse-chopped celery, 1 chopped, peeled medium onion, 3 chopped cored hard apples and 1/2 cups seeded raisins. -Braise (slow-simmer) until soft and blended about 30 minutes. -Crumble 2 (1-lb loaves) quite dry bread and soak 30 min in cold water to cover. Drain well. Add to bacon mixture. -Mix in 1-1/2 tbsp. salt, 2 beaten eggs and 2 tbsp poultry seasoning. -Stuff into turkey.

My favorite of all the recipes was the earliest one.  So very New Hampshire as printed on 21 November 1855 in the National Aegis newspaper, Worcester MA.
A NEW HAMPSHIRE RECIPE.–A friend traveling in New Hampshire, was so pleased with some excellent corn cake, that he was constrained to ask the old lady who placed it on the table, the manner of its concoction. Her recipe is worthy of a trial by those good house wives who can follow accurately the directions. Here it is! “I took, I don’t know justly how much milk–perhaps a pint or more–like as any it would have been better if I had taken more–then put in Indian meal enough to make it ‘just right for thickness’–don’t want it too thick or too thin–but I hadn’t quite meal enough, so I took the flour box and thought I’d shake in a little flour, but it didn’t come out quite fast enough, so I look off the covered and poured it all right in–about half a box full–that made it just right for thickness. Then the Sal Eratus, I mean I don’t know justly how much there was of that after I took three times the end of a spoon, and when I put it into the milk it was all of a foam, and then I jerked it into the oven.

Whatever you eat, wherever you go, this editor hopes that your holidays are filled with warmth, cheer and good food. 

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2 Responses to Old New Hampshire Recipes for the Holidays

  1. Oh My! I do love that recipe for corn cakes. It demonstrates the conundrum we face when trying to recreate traditional recipes, doesn’t it?

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