Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Menus, Part III: The Vegetarian Option.



We continue our examination of historic Thanksgiving Day menus with a selection of vegetarian offerings.

1897: THANKSGIVING DINNER “FOR A COMPLEXION”.

The “Diet for a Complexion” article in the New York Times of 1897, as featured in the story of November 7th, ended with a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu suggestion:


Vegetable Soup.
Baked White Potatoes. Baked Sweet Potatoes.
Lima Beans. Corn. Tomatoes.
Oyster Plant Croquettes. Brown Gravy.
Apple Sauce.
Celery, Spiced Peaches, Pickles, Potato Salad.
Salted Almonds.
Dessert.
Plum pudding, Vanilla sauce.
Mince pie. Cherry pie. Custard pie.
Oranges, Bananas, Apples, Figs, Grapes.
Raisins. Nuts.
Banana Ice-cream.

"The mince pie is made of apples, raisins, currants, lemons, citron, lemon peel, and seasoned with the proper spices.

Not everyone cares to become a vegetarian, but if a larger proportion of vegetables in the diet has a tendency to develop pink and white Fra Beato Angelico faces, it is worth trying."

1934: VEGETARIANS HAVE OWN FEAST.

The Vegetarian Society of New York enjoyed their “non-carnivorous dinner” on Thanksgiving Day. The menu was:

Fresh mushroom cocktail, olives and radishes, clear vegetable soup, whole wheat crackers, celery, crusted eggplant with tartare sauce, chestnut roast with brown gravy; candied sweet and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, pumpkin and mince pie, and coffee.

1946: OSCAR AND A VEGETARIAN AT ODDS ON HOLIDAY FARE.

Oscar (Tschirky) of the Waldorf and Neil (Ehmke) of the Vegetarian Society of New York disagreed over the traditional components of the Thanksgiving Dinner in 1946, which is hardly surprising.

The only thing they did agree on was “mixed green salad and assorted fresh fruits”

Mr Ehmke was of the opinion that “Harvest foods should be served”. At their society Thanksgiving Dinner, the vegetarians “and their 250 sympathisers” sat down to: pot cheese, nut melange, cereal beverage and soy blueberry and whole wheat date and raisin muffins.

Oscar served “an old fashioned dinner” at the Waldorf-Astoria. The menu included: oysters, celery, olives, giblet soup, sea food or fillet of sea bass sauté with grapes, roast turkey with chestnut stuffing, pan gravy, cranberry sauce, string beans, squash, turnips, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, yams, plum pudding, or mince or pumpkin pie or ice cream, coffee, nuts, figs, raisins, and cider.

To see Thanksgiving Menus, Parts I and II, please just scroll down.

1 comment:

Karen Resta said...

The (vegetarian) sides to this meal remind me very much of the Amish habit of including "seven sweets and seven sours" on the dinnertable at each meal. It must be rather like Thanksgiving every day at these traditional tables. :)