Friday 10 October 2014

Feasts of Thanksgiving: Historical Menus

At Thanksgiving, we gather with family and friends to be mindful of our blessings.
Thanksgiving is also a harvest celebration; there is no denying that many of us will indulge in the abundance of food prepared for the Thanksgiving feast.

In the spirit of food and feasting, we decided to post some historical menus from various celebrations...some of them featuring a variety of very weird and wonderful dishes.

Menu of Archbishop Lynch's banquet on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his consecration, held at Rossin House, Toronto.
Archbishop Lynch's 1884 banquet was held at Rossin House, which stood at the Southwest corner of King and York streets from 1857 to 1969.
Anyone for Arches of Buffalo Tongues? Aspic of Lobster a la Parisienne?
Duck en surprise on Pedestal? Sweetbreads Larded, a la Financiere?

Menu for Archbishop Walsh's Silver Jubilee Banquet, held in 1892 at the Archbishop's Palace.
Green Turtle Soup and Haunch of Venison? Sign me up!

By 1944, menus for episcopal events were becoming somewhat more simple. 

This menu (courtesy of the General Archives of the Basilian Fathers) is interesting for its hockey-reminiscent food names, but it is even more interesting because of the note on the front, which indicates that the banquet was cancelled because of VE Day.

We couldn't resist finding recipes for some of the more interesting dishes from these menus:

From The Gastronomic Regenerator: A Simplified and Entirely New System of Cookery (1847) by Monsieur A. Soyer, p. 427.

From The Royal Cookery Book (1869) by Jules Gouffé, p. 490.

From White House Cook Book: A Selection of Choice Recipes, Original and Selected (1889) by Fanny Lemira Gillette, p. 329.
From White House Cook Book: A Selection of Choice Recipes, Original and Selected (1889) by Fanny Lemira Gillette, p. 321.

Are you inspired to make Turkey Galantine for your family this weekend? Perhaps they would prefer Boiled Turkey with Oyster Sauce, or a Pyramid of Spring Chicken, or Arches of Buffalo Tongues. 

For more historic menus, check out the Toronto Public Library's virtual exhibit Local Flavour, and the New York Public Library's What's On The Menu project. 

No comments:

Post a Comment