|How to get ready for Thanksgiving - |
Choosing a Turkey and Making Pumpkin pie
November 8, 1914, The Sunday Star, Washington, DC
Short Cuts for Housekeepers
Preparing for Thanksgiving.
A LITTLE thought and proper distribution of tasks will enable a woman single-handed to give the Thanksgiving dinner successfully. Washday should be omitted this week and Monday devoted to putting the pantry to rights, making a list of needed supplies, seeing that utensils, silver, salts, peppers and other equipment are polished and in order. The upstairs cleaning can be done for the week.
Tuesday, the dining room and living room may receive a thorough cleaning. In the afternoon some of the cooking can be begun. Mince meat can be prepared, as it should stand to ripen before being made up into pies. Chopped prunes may be used in place of so many raisins. The beef should be cooked until perfectly tender and the stock in which it is cooked reduced to a jellylike consistency. Let the beef cool in the stock in which it has been cooked. When ready to use the mince meat add a little cider to moisten.
Tuesday afternoon bread should be made, candies and other confections prepared, mayonnaise made if it is to be used, and soup stock boiled, to be cleared the next day.
Wednesday should define nearly three-quarters of the dinner finished, leaving for Thursday only matters that cannot stand and wait. Pies and cranberry jelly should be made first. Vegetable dishes that allow for reheating can be prepared and disposed of in advance. These are just a few hints for getting through the work of preparation early.
When selecting a turkey look at the skin to see if it is moist and delicate, without bruises and discolorations. See if the feet are smooth and yellow, for an old fowl has coarse skin and hairs, while the feet and legs are dark, with hard scales. He'll of the turkey to be sure that it is having in proportion to its size; otherwise there will be a large proportion of bone. In a young turkey breastbone is pliable. Although the turkey may have been [cleaned] by the butcher, carefully wipe it inside and out with a cloth wrung from hot water. Lay it in water, as that will draw out the juices. Cut off the links below the joint, trimmed the next, leaving an inch or so of it to turn and fastened with a skewer. Wash the giblets in soda and water. Cut the outer skin of the gizzard with a sharp knife and peel off without breaking the inner sack. Throw away the inner part and lay the outer part in salted or soda water. There are many different kinds of dressings used in turkey, among which are sausage, chestnut, oyster, cracker, veal or breadcrumbs. Whatever kind you use, do not stuff turkey too full, as this will cause dressing to be soggy.
A pumpkin for pies should not be too large, as the fiber is not always fine in the largest ones. First, cut the pumpkin into pieces with a large mest or carving knife. The work will be easier if you have a board on which to cut the pumpkin, and drive the knife with the aid of a hatchet. Pare the pieces and cut into inch squares. If you have never tried steaming pumpkin for pies, do so. It quickly cooks the pumpkin and leaves it perfectly dry, smooth and easy to mash. If boiled, it must be boiled down, then drained. A watery pumpkin, or a stringy one will not make a good pie.
When making pumpkin pies, use plenty of eggs, fresh milk and enough cinnamon or spices to destroy the pumpkin flavor. A tiny tasting too strongly of pumpkin is not good. The following is a good recipe: One quart of, one cup of sugar, two eggs, two tablespoons of cornstarch, half a teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice, one-fourth teaspoonful of cloves and one-fourth nutmeg. Stir altogether. Pick the seed end of the cloves off if you do not want your pies dark. Let two cups of sweet milk gets boiling hot, then pour it in the pumpkin, stirring well. This is enough for four pies. Line the pans with a good pie paste, filled with the pumpkin and bake with one crust. Pumpkin pie without crust is delicious. Prepare the pumpkin in the usual way, then butter the pie tins, and sprinkle granulated corn meal thinly over the tins, leaving no bare spots. Pour in the mixture and bake.
Cranberries should be washed, and covered with water and boiled until tender. Strain through a fine sieve, bring again to the boiling point and add a pound of sugar to each pint of juice. When this has dissolved, pour it into molds.
To make a crust for a cranberry pie, stir one–half cup of butter with three tablespoonfuls of sugar to a cream, and one whole egg and stir well: then stir in one and one-half cups of flour with one teaspoonful of baking powder. Press with the fingers on the tin until all covered and bake in a hot oven. When cold, put in your cranberry sauce, then whipped cream on top.
 The Sunday Star.;
Date: 11-08-1914; Page: 79; Washington (DC), District of Columbia
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson 1 November 2014.