Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Alternative Christmas Menus.

December 25, Christmas Day.

I hope you, my hungry readers, all have a safe and happy Christmas season, however you celebrate it. I hope your Christmas food is sufficient in amount and superb in quality. While you enjoy your meal(s), consider these alternative Christmas dinners, taken in wild and far-away places.

1803: The Lewis and Clark expedition party were at Camp River Dubois (near present day Hartford, Illinois). They had just finished constructing the camp on Christmas Eve. Clark
wrote:

“Christmas 25th Decr: I was wakened by a Christmas discharge found that Some of the party had got Drunk (2 fought) the men frolicked and hunted all day, Snow this morning, Ice run all day, Several Turkey Killed Shields returned with a cheese & 4 lb butter, Three Indians Come to day to take Christmas with us, I gave them a bottle of whiskey …. ”

1815: In Australia, Capt. James Kelly, in the newly discovered Macquarie Harbour:

“Christmas Day. Strong gales from the westward, and a heavy sea heaving into the cove. This day we had a 'glorious feed' for dinner - two black swans; one roasted (stuck up), the other was made into a sea-pie - a three-decker, in a large iron pot, - a first-rate Christmas dinner on the west coast of Van Diemen's Land. After dinner we named the cove 'Christmas Cove,' by throwing a glass of brandy into the salt water, and giving three hearty cheers upon the occasion.”

1908: Shackleton en route to the South Pole:

“From Nov. 14, 1908 to Feb. 23, 1909, our party was always hungry, except on Christmas Day when we divided a four-ounce plum pudding into four parts and licked the spoons. We had another luxury that day in a tin of frozen sardines, which contained seventeen fish. After taking four each we tossed our knives on the ice for the odd one. We started to take a tin of jam with us, but as it weighed two pounds we left it 121 miles from base, which was 750 miles from the pole. Our breakfast consisted of pony steaks.”

A couple of extra side-dishes would have gone down a treat for any of these intrepid, and hungry, explorers.

New York Cranberry Sauce.
Wash 1 quart of cranberries, put them into the kettle with 1 pint of water and four cored and sliced tart apples. Cover and cook for twenty minutes; press through a colander.Add 1 pound of sugar, boil five minutes and take from the fire.
[Galveston Daily News,dec 17, 1911]

Creamed Chestnut Pates.
Shell a pint of chestnuts and peel off the brown skins. Wash In cold water and boil in milk until very tender. Drain and sprinkle over them half a teaspoon of salt. Keep hot. Add to the milk in which the chestnuts have been boiled sufficient cream to make a pint, and thicken with a teaspoon of corn starch mixed with a little cold milk: stir in a double boiler until boiling, then add a teaspoon of butter and a little grated onion; let boil up, add the chestnuts; when steaming hot spoon into hot pate shells. One has to gauge the amount of sauce to the size of the shells. Serve garnished with parsley and sliced lemon.
[The Fort Wayne Sentinel, (Indiana) dec 21 1903]

Tomorrow’s Story …

A Foodie’s Twelve Days of Christmas.

Quotation for the Day …

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. Calvin Coolidge.

2 comments:

hensteeth said...

Merry Christmas. And wishing you the very best in 2008.

Thank you for making the journey so much darn fun.

The Old Foodie said...

Thankyou hensteeth - I wish you all the same, and I do hope you stay along for the 2008 journey!