Two old Thanksgiving “Receipts” (Recipes)
In the 1850 edition of Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt (Recipe) Book, she offered a recipe for cooking a turkey and for baking a pumpkin pie. With Thanksgiving just a day away, here are two old recipes for Thanksgiving.
To Boil a Turkey
Make a stuffing for the craw, of chopped bread and butter, cream, oysters, and the yolks of eggs. Sew it in and dredge flour over the turkey and put it to boil in cold water, with a spoonful of salt in it, and enough water to cover it well. Let it simmer for two hours and a half, or if small, less time. Skim it while boiling. It looks nicer if wrapped in a cloth dredged with flour.
Serve it with drawn butter, in which are put some oysters.
Mrs. O’s Pumpkin Pie
One quart of strained pumpkin, or squash.
Two quarts of milk, and a pint of cream.
One teaspoonful of salt, and four of ginger.
Two teaspoonfuls of pounded cinnamon.
Two teaspoonfuls of nutmeg, and two of mace.
Ten well-beaten eggs, and sugar to your taste.
Bake with a bottom crust and rim, till it is solid in the centre.
This recipe needs a cook with a bit of experience. I suspect it was cooked in a wood stove. Most women in the kitchen had a favorite pie crust recipe and knew the temperature at which to cook a pie in their stove. Miss Beecher certainly assumed a fair amount of skill in her readers.