For a Jolly Thanksgiving Supper
From Harper’s Bazar
A young girl who has helped to get up a novel Thanksgiving entertainment has conceived the clever idea of having a surprise turkey as a piece de resistance on the supper table for her mother’s guests and her own. The supper table is to be so arranged beforehand that servants will be entirely superfluous. A sort of a “if-you-don’t-see-what-you-want-ask-for-it” affair, where everything to eat is cold and is put on the table at the same time. There will be cold roast chicken, tongue, ham, roast beef, in nice thin slices; thin-cut bread and butter; sandwiches; cold bouillon; chafing dishes at the side table if the men want to make rarebits, woodcocks, or scrambled eggs; in fact, everything that is good and appetizing for a meal to be eaten at 11 in the evening. The real Thanksgiving dish, though—the turkey—will not be cut, strange to say, until after the supper is over. It will be a fine, large, nicely browned, delicious-looking bird, but no one is to have a taste until after hunger shall be appeased.
The stuffing of the turkey will be of a very original kind, without sage, or parsley, bread crumbs or thyme. The “bird” himself has been ordered at a large paper-box manufactory here in town which prides itself on its handiwork. He would weigh, taking into consideration his size without stuffing, at least eight pounds. When he is filled with trinkets and objets d’art for a house party of, we cannot say yet how many people, what he will weigh must remain a matter of conjecture! The distribution of the presents will be done by the daughter of the house, whose clever and charming idea was to give her friends such a surprise.
Kansas City [MO] Star 23 November 1897: p. 6
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: A rare-bit, often known as “Welsh Rarebit” is dish of toasted bread and cheese sauce. Woodcocks are “Scotch woodcock,” which is eggs and anchovies (or anchovy paste) on toast. These, along with scrambled eggs, are traditional “bachelor” dishes, easily thrown together in one’s undergraduate chambers.
This delightful supper sounds the perfect excuse to give the servants the night off, but Mrs Daffodil imagines that the traditional American dinner of turkey, dressing, and all the “fixin’s” followed by American football on the television, viewed through glazed eyes, is far too ingrained in the national psyche to admit of much variation.
Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,”where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes.