Nov 21, 2011

Vintage Thanksgiving Menus

It's Thanksgiving week! I know everyone (in the US) is in the midst of making plans for this holiday time. Many are going for the family feast. In my November 1952 issue of Woman's Day, three levels of menus are suggested: Moderate, Cost-Cutting, and The Splurge. I'm going to include a few tempting recipes below the menus, just in case one strikes some one's fancy! (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

First we have the Moderate-Price Feast which includes a Mushroom Bisque and a Pumpkin-Chiffon Pie. Their calculation came to $1.35 per person. Of course, that was 1952.

The Cost-Cutting menu includes some things that I would consider pricey now. I'm assuming asparagus was easier on the budget back then? This menu includes Turnip Cubes in Mashed Potato Nests and Chili Sauce Mayonnaise. The price per person dropped to 95 cents.

Finally, The Splurge. It's clear that the oysters and avocados amped up the costs at $2.45 per person. Being a non-seafood eater, I'm unmoved by this menu except for the intriguing Double Corn Sticks and Frozen Nesselrode Pudding.

If you end up trying any of the following recipes, you MUST come back and tell me. Especially the Nesselrode Pudding!


Mushroom Bisque:

Wash 1 pound mushrooms. Slice 6 small ones and reserve; chop remaining, including stems. Cook slowly with 1 small grated onion and 1/4 cup butter for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add 4 1/2 cups milk; cook until slightly thickened. If desired, add 1/4 cup sherry. Top with mushroom slices fried in margarine.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie:

Mix 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs with 1/3 cup melted butter; pat into 9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes in moderate oven, 235 degrees; cool. Beat 3 egg yolks in double-boiler top. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin, 1/3 cup milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. each ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cook over boiling water until thickened, stirring constantly. soften 1 envelope unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add to hot mixture; mix well; then chill until it begins to set. Add 1/2 tsp. lemon extract. Beat 3 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar. Fold into mixture. Pour into crust; chill until set. Garnish with 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped, and crushed peanut brittle.

Turnip Cubes in Mashed Potato Nests:

cook and mash 6 medium-size potatoes with 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup hot milk. Season with salt and pepper. Form into nests on hot plates or platter. Fill with 3 cups hot, cooked, yellow-turnip cubes, seasoned with 2 tablespoons butter and salt.

Chili-Sauce Mayonnaise:

Mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise with 1/2 cup chili sauce. Use as dressing on lettuce wedges.

Double Corn Sticks:

Add 1/3 cup milk and 1 cup cream-style corn to contents of package corn-muffin mix. Bake in hot, greased corn-stick pans in moderate oven, 375 degrees, about 20 minutes.

Frozen Nesselrode Pudding:

Let 1 quart vanilla ice cream soften slightly. Add 1 cup minced, candied fruit (cherries, ginger, orange peel, lemon peel, or pineapple), 1/4 cup chopped, seeded raisin, and 2 tablespoons rum or 1 tsp. rum extract. Refreeze. Garnish with cherry slivers of angelica or citron. Buy 12 small macaroons to accompany pudding.

Magazine "recipes" just for fun:

Clover-Leaf Rolls:

Buy rolls. Allow 1/4 pound butter.

Candy Corn:

1/2 pound will be ample.


Packrat said...

Thanks for sharing these. Everything sounds wonderful except the turnips. You can have my turnips, and I'll eat your share of the oysters. LOL (I could do without the cream of celery soup, too, as it was something that we had often.) It is interesting that Menu One doesn't offer mashed potatoes. Also, the Splurge Menu doesn't offer pie, much less a choice of kinds. (We always had pumpkin, apple, and mincemeat.) Also, just one jar of mincemeat now costs roughly the same as a good steak. (Mincemeat used to be cheap, and Grandma often made hers from scratch.) Also, none of menus offer beverages (milk or juice) for children. Not supposed to feed the kids??? Hmmm. Happy Thanksgiving!

Roxanne said...

Packrat--Blech on the turnips for me, too. They're too strong! And yes, I will definitely pass along the oysters to you LOL!

I thought folks would enjoy analyzing these. It's fun to see where the emphasis was at that time.

Mincemeat, Vienna sausages, Deviled Ham, canned milk, all those things used to be mega cheap. I know, because if they hadn't been cheap they wouldn't have been in our cabinets when I was growing up!

Nah, the kids have to fend for themselves. Heck, back in colonial times they had to stand at the parents' elbows and receive whatever tidbits the parents decided to share.

I wonder if J would like a change in our table habits?

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