November 18, 2005

A 1929 Thanksgiving Dinner

The function of The National Live Stock and Meat Board, founded in 1922, was to promote the consumption of beef, lamb and pork. That being so, it's no surprise that there was no turkey on the Thanksgiving Day menu in their promotional booklet, Housewife's Meat Calendar - 1929 (46 pages).

The booklet is divided into twelve sections, one for each month of the year. Each month features some type of special seasonal party, dinner or other meal. A menu, recipes for the meat dishes, suggestions for table decorations, and helpful household hints are given for each occasion.

The month of November features a Thanksgiving Dinner. The following suggestions are taken from this booklet:


Fruit Cocktail
Olives - Celery
Roast Suckling Pig
Mashed Potatoes - Gravy
Cauliflower Au Gratin
Creamed Onions
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Jelly
Hot Rolls
Raisins - Nuts
Mince Pie - Cheese


"The centerpiece of fruit or of fruit and vegetables is most appropriate for the Thanksgiving dinner table. A pumpkin, hollowed out, may be the container for the fruit, which should be as varied as possible. Clusters of grapes or, lacking the malaga grapes which may be found in some markets, clusters of table raisins may be placed so they seem to be spilling over the sides or, fruit and vegetables tumbling from a cornucopia, emblem of plenty and symbolic of the harvest season, may be used.

Place-cards representing fruit and vegetables may be used, or the clever artist may paint Puritan men and maidens and cut out the figures, leaving a card for the name and pasting a strip of stiff paper on the back so that the figures will stand at each place.

Candles always add to the attractiveness of the Thanksgiving Table and orange or brown ones will fit in nicely with the color scheme. Brass holders for the candles are charming with the pumpkin centerpiece. Compotes of nuts and candies complete the decoration."


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