It’s that time again! Time to get together with family and friends and celebrate the holiday season. For many, that season means Christmas, and with Christmas comes lots and lots of food. In case any of you are still trying to figure out your menus, here are some ideas courtesy of WOI-TV’s Homemaker’s Half-Hour. While these menus were originally created for Christmas, I see no reason why they couldn’t be used or adapted for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or anything else anybody might celebrate.
Christmas week menus, 1945 (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)
This three-way Christmas dinner menu (broadcast the week of December 17-22, 1945) gives you plenty of options to choose from in each category. Comments were made on the various dishes in this menu throughout the week:
- Fruit Appetizer: mixed fruit cup or fruit salad or fruit juice
- Bird in the Hand: Roast goose, roast duck, or “mock duck” from lamb or pork tenderloins
- Stuffings: celery stuffing, rice and dried apricot stuffing, savory dressing with walnut meats
- Potatoes: honeyed sweet potatoes or fluffy mashed potatoes with rich brown gravy
- A Homey Vegetable: cheese creamed onions, mashed turnip or squash or green beans
- Festive Relish Tray: celery, pickles, carrot sticks, etc.
- Sweets: spiced currants, gooseberries or cranberries
- Rolls: assorted hot rolls (refrigerator roll dough) as parker-house, clover leaf, crescent
- Dessert: steamed pudding or mince pie (choice or carrot pudding with lemon sauce; raisin pudding with foamy sauce, plum pudding, cranberry pudding vanilla sauce, etc.)
Below are a couple of recipes featured in the notes for this menu’s episodes.
Recipes for carrot pudding and lemon sauce (RS 5/6/3, box 40, folder 1)
Some items in other Christmas menus include the following:
- Christmas dinner, 1946: Oyster baked potatoes (presumably using leftover oysters from Christmas Eve’s oyster stew – a tradition in many families)
- Christmas dinner, 1946: Molded cranberry nut salad
- Christmas dinner, 1946: Plum pudding with hard sauce (a combination of butter, sugar, and brandy or rum) for those who fancy an English Christmas tradition
- Christmas Luncheon or Supper, 1947: Oyster or salsify soup (salsify is a root vegetable that tastes like oysters when cooked; salsify soup is sometimes called “poor man’s oyster stew”)
- Christmas Luncheon or Supper, 1947: Fruit cake
- Christmas Dinner, 1950: Chilled grapefruit sections with red hots
- Christmas Dinner, 1950: Bride’s salad (mixture of fruit including white grapes and nuts folded into whipped cream; lemon juice and sugar may be added to the whipped cream if desired)
Unfortunately we don’t have recipes for all of these items, but I’m sure similar recipes can be found online. Well, maybe not for everything, but then again the internet is full of surprises!
Many more menus – holiday or not – are available in the WOI Radio and Television Records, as well as scripts of Homemaker’s Half-Hour and other productions. Our cookbook collection is also full of some great and interesting recipes, some of which you can view online.
Whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate, we wish you a very happy holiday!