Friday, November 20, 2015

Countdown to Thanksgiving, Day 7: ...and Sauced

Our Noble Bird is almost complete. In the 19th century, a bird without sauce was lonely... and we never serve anything lonely.

We'll look today into the new twists on turkey gravy and cranberry sauce.

For the gravies, the recipes are fairly traditional. Meat drippings, flour, butter, and "sweet herbs."
For a twist today red wine is recommended.
Little Italy Gravy from Rachel Ray Everyday

 Here's an 1803 gravy recipe that calls for red wine.

From: The Frugal Housewife; or, complete woman cook by Susannah Carter, 1803
No. 6. Gravy for a Fowl, when you have no Meat ready.
Take the neck, liver, and gizzard, boil them in half a pint of water, with a little piece of bread toasted brown, a little pepper and salt and a little bit of thyme. Let them boil till there is about a quarter of a pint: then pour in a glass of red wine, boil it and strain it; then bruise the liver well in, and strain it again; thicken it with a little piece of butter rolled in flour, and it will be very good.


While few recipes added the twists to cranberry sauce we've come to love, many gave options beyond cranberries to serve with turkey. We're seeing that too.
Roasted Turkey with Rosemary Peach Glaze by Sunny Anderson of the Food Network

Domestic Cookery by Elizabeth Lea, 1803
Cranberry and damson sauce are suitable to eat with roast poultry.

The New England Economical Cookbook by Esther Allen Howland, 1845
Serve up with cranberry or apple sauce, turnip sauce, squash, and a small Indian pudding; or dumplings boiled hard is a good substitute for bread.

Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving by Mary Newton Foote Henderson 1877
Besides the gravy, always serve cranberry, currant, or plum jelly with turkey. The currant or plum jelly is melted and remolded in a pretty form.

Directions for cookery, In it's various branches by Eliza Leslie, 1840
Cranberry sauce is eaten with roast turkey, roast fowls, and roast ducks.
PEACH SAUCE. --Take a quart of dried peaches, (those are richest and best that are dried with the skins on,) and soak them in cold water till they are tender. Then drain them, and put them into a covered pan with a very little water. Set them on coals, and simmer them till they are entirely dissolved. Then mash them with brown sugar, and send them to table cold to eat with roast meat, game or poultry.

For the traditionalists, here's a typical 19th century cranberry sauce recipe.
From: The New England Economical Cookbook by Esther Allen Howland, 1845
Cranberry Sauce. --Wash and stew your cranberries in water; add almost their weight in clean sugar, just before you take them from the fire.

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