Thursday November 26th is Thanksgiving here in the United States. Originally a commemoration of the First Thanksgiving (a 17th century feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans), it is now one of the major holidays and, for many of us, the official start of the Christmas season. There was no Black Friday or Cyber Monday during the 19th century. Instead, the Thanksgiving holidays were a time for family to gather together from near and far and share a holiday meal. This usually involved the women of the family cooking a Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey and all the fixings. Amongst these fixings was one of the most traditional Thanksgiving desserts: pumpkin pie.
Naturally, a British lady like Mrs. Beeton did not include a recipe for pumpkin pie in her famous Book of Household Management. Here in America, however, we had plenty of cookery guides which offered up their version of the holiday classic. Below is an 1843 recipe for pumpkin pie from Mrs. Ellis’s Housekeeping Made Easy. You will note that, unlike Mrs. Beeton, this recipe does not start with the measurements and the suggested cooking times. Nevertheless, if you would like to add some authentic 19th century cooking to your Thanksgiving feast, I encourage you to give it a try.
I will be taking off a few days to spend the holiday with my family and, as a result there will be no Animals in Literature and History post this week. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday with your own families and anyone else you hold dear (human or animal!).