The cooler months are encompass my favorite seasons for cooking. The cold weather makes warming up the kitchen a pleasant task and the stews and soups made from winter vegetables are among my very favorite dishes.
That being said, I’d feel completely inadequate competing at hospitality with the 19th Century homemakers who were able to produce the kinds of meals described in the January 1861 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. To be fair though, I suspect these meals involved the help of one of more servants.
Company Dinners for Winter
Mulligatawny soup, fresh cod-fish fried, boiled ham, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, fowls stewed whole, oyster pie; potato snow, turnips, parsnips, winter-squash. Cocoa-nut pudding, lemon pudding, mince-pie, calfs-foot jelly.
Clear gravy soup, stewed rock-fish, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, brown fricassee; sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, beets. Orange pudding, almond pudding, meringued apples, chocolate cream.
Venison soup, fresh cod-fish boiled; smoked tongue, roast goose with apple sauce, oyster pie, French stew of rabbits; turnips, potato snow, parsnips, onion custard, beets. Transparent pudding, orange tarts, mince-pie, floating island.
Mock turtle soup, boiled rock-fish, ham pie, smoked tongue, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, boiled fowls with celery sauce, oyster loaves, sweetbread croquettes; turnips, parsnips, beets, macaroni, Charlotte russe, mince-pie, calf’s-foot jelly, blanc-mange.
Rich brown soup, fresh cod-fish stewed, boiled ham, venison roasted, red-head ducks with currant jelly, oyster patties, veal rissoles; turnips, parsnips, winter-squash, beets, cole-slaw. Mince pudding, omelet souffle, orange flummery, vanilla ice-cream.
Rich white soup, fresh cod-fish fried, roasted ham, venison pie, boiled turkey with oyster sauce, partridges, chicken rice pudding, potato snow, beets, turnips, winter-squash, stewed red cabbage. Plum pudding, chocolate blanc-mange, cocoa-nut cream, apple-jelly.
Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book – January, 1861
Top Image: Table setting for a formal diner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Carol M. Highsmith