Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving à la Creole: A Holiday Edition of Southern Cookin'

While many of our American readers, including my co-blogger, are busy celebrating Thanksgiving, Bugsie reports to duty to explore a Thanksgiving dinner in the style of 19th century New Orleans. 

Prepare to start craving because it's time to kick off a new edition of the Southern Cookin' series with the help of a trusted friend, The Picayune's Creole Cook Book! For those of you who are new to the series,  this is a book first published in 1901 and written to preserve the wonders of 19th century Creole cuisine. (You can read more about the edition we're using here, in our "Honeymoon in New Orleans" edition of the series.)

Now, a real party à la Creole would have included breakfast, dinner and supper, with up to ten courses for each lavish meal. We chose to feature what the book terms a more economical dinner menu, and include, by way of introduction, some instructions for decorating the Thanksgiving table. In order to keep this a light read and because unlike iso I am a lazy blogger, we broke with our custom of writing the whole recipe for each dish and instead provided you with links, should the desire to actually try them strike you.

So, without further ado, let's see how our Victorian friends celebrated Thanksgiving!

A Thanksgiving Decoration 

"For the Thanksgiving table, nothing is more appropriate in the way of decorations than autumn leaves and berries. The woods at this season are full of beautiful trailing vines, of bronze and red: brilliant boughs, leaves, cones and berries, all of which are most appropriate on this day, suggesting, by their wild luxuriance and freedom of growth, the spirit of American liberty which gave birth to the day. If it is cold, in lieu of the usual coal fire light a blazing fire of pine knots, and you will have a glorious American illumination. 

"The favors may consist of tiny American flags, resting amid a cluster of autumn leaves and maiden-hair fern, if a formal dinner is given, and the symbol of our country may also be suggested in festoons of narrow red, white and blue streamers of ribbon, gracefully dropping from the chandeliers. "

A Thanksgiving Dinner
Radishes     Celery       Olives      Pickles 
Roast Turkey, Oyster Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce
Young Squash, Macaroni au Gratin 
Small Onions, Boiled, Sauce à la Maitre d'Hotel
Cauliflower au Vinaigrette 
Plum Pudding, Mince or Pumpkin Pie
Pineapple Sherbet
Assorted Cakes     Nuts    Raisins     Fruit
Cafe noir

Happy Thanksgiving to our readers! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner of your own!


  1. Hmm, maybe I'll use this menu next year and have dinner at my house!!! YUMMMMMMM!!!!


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