Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An Ancestral Thanksgiving Breakfast?

A few weeks ago I gave you some excerpts from in What to Get for Breakfast: with more than one hundred different breakfasts, and full directions for each, (1882) by M. Tarbox Colbrath (here, and here).  Several of you were intrigued by the author’s concept of Ancestral Breakfasts, so I followed up with another extract from the book, on that very topic.

As far as food writing goes, usage of words like naturalorganic, authentic, traditional, and ancestral (and I am sure you can think of more) is not constrained by truth or consensus.  It is infinitely better – less confusing, less irritating – to think of these words as being useful for product marketing purposes or propaganda. That said, here are Mr. Colbrath’s ideas for Ancestral Thanksgiving breakfasts.

An Ancestral Thanksgiving Breakfast.

Chicken Pie.
Baked Potatoes.          Coffee.
Baked Sweet Apples.

This popular and dainty ancestral thanksgiving breakfast still holds its place in many families. Its accompaniments are few, as it is a breakfast itself.

For a pie boil the chickens in water enough to barely cover them. Skim them. When tender or done take them out into a platter and carve them the same as if to be served on the table. Remove the skin if very thick. Have ready a deep baking dish, lined with a thick paste. Have the dish proportioned to the quantity of chicken you wish to use. Arrange the chicken so that the same kind of pieces may not come out together, when sliced. Sprinkle each layer with a little flour and salt. Fill the dish nearly full with the liquor in which the chickens were boiled, but not so full as to be in danger of boiling over. Cover with an upper paste and close the edges very carefully. Bake nearly an hour, or till the crust is handsomely done. The crust for chicken pie should be twice as thick as for fruit pies. Use butter in the liquor if you prefer it.

One quart of flour.
One teaspoonful of salt.
Two teaspoonfuls of cream-tartar.
One teaspoonful of soda.
One pint of sweet milk.  
One cupful of butter.
Mix these ingredients the same as for short cake, avoiding too much flour. This makes a nice and tender paste.

Another traditional Thanksgiving Breakfast.

Fricassee Chicken.
A Short Cake.             Baked Potatoes.
Cranberry Sauce.         Coffee.
Ripe Fruit.

This was a favorite breakfast of my mother’s, and I well know its merits. For breakfast, the chicken should be boiled the day previous, unless you are a very early riser. The chicken need not be as tender as for broiling. When washed and dissected, put into a stew-pan and barely cover with warm water. Very cold water draws the juice out. Cover and stew slowly till tender, but not so much as to drop in pieces.
If boiled the day previous, heat the liquor with the chicken in the morning. When hot, add butter and a very little smooth thickening. If the chickens are very fat, they will not need the addition of butter. After adding the thickening, stew gently seven or eight minutes. The addition of parsley, cut fine, is considered an improvement by some. Serve with the gravy poured over it.

One quart of sifted flour.
Two teaspoonfuls of cream-tartar.
One teaspoonful of soda.
One teaspoonful of salt.
Three-quarters of a cupful of solid butter.
One pint of sweet milk.

Mix cream-tartar, soda and salt with the flour. Rub the butter into this mixture till the whole is like meal. When well mixed, add the milk. Stir till light and even. The quicker you work now the better. Have your board well sprinkled with flour and instantly bring the dough together. Divide this into so many parts as will be needed to fit your sheet pans when rolled half an inch thick. When evenly fitted to the pans, incise each cake with squares. Bake a nice brown. Break the cake in the incisions and serve hot. 

1 comment:

omaeve said...

Sound delish never had this short cake want to try how long do you recommend to boil chicken have too many roosters need to butcher a few now.