November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving, The Old Way!

Simple Thanksgiving Gifts!
The Corgyncombe Butt'ry

In the Butt'ry, on the shelf amongst the yellowware, is "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. The book goes throughout the year, featuring receipts for different celebrations and contains Tasha's delightful colour illustrations for New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, May Day, Afternoon Tea, Weddings, Anniversaries, Picnics, Fourth of July, Birthdays, Quilting Bee Thimble Tea, Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Corgyncombe Courant's favorite colour illustration is the corgi in the butt'ry surrounded by delectable Christmas treats and includes many of our favorite things.

The chosen music to accompany this post is "Simple Gifts":
Click Here for Specially Chosen Delightful Music.
Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.

What a splendid turkey!

The Butt'ry in old houses was oft' times on the north side of the house because it was the coolest side of the building. This is so at Corgyncombe Cottage. The Corgyncombe Butt'ry is on the north side of the cottage. Corgyncombe Cottage acquired the sandstone sink in Connecticut where Diane and Sarah's ancestors, the Stanclift family, dwelt. In the above photograph Diane has a colander full of washed carrots from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.
Gravestone carving was a tradition in the Stanclift family. The stone of the gravestones and the Corgyncombe Butt'ry sink are the same reddish brown sandstone. The sink, which was from a very old house in the area the Stanclifts lived, could well have been made by one of the Stanclifts.
Our Stanclift family came from England in the 1680s.

Some of the photographs and writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant.

 Pumpkins grown in the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden for making pies.

Sage gathered from Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs.
In the story "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" written by Louisa May Alcott, when the children were left alone due to an emergency, the older girls of the family thought they would continue fixing the Thanksgiving meal. In pondering what "yarbs" would be best to put in stuffing for a turkey, sage was considered but sweet marjoram and summer savory were decided upon. Mistakenly catnip and wormwood were the "yarbs" grabbed in the darkness of the storage area. The catnip and wormwood totally ruined the stuffing!
Diane's 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May.

Crushing sage and thyme for stuffing for the turkey.
The sage and thyme were gathered and dried at the Corgyncombe Herbary.
Displayed on the art stand is "The Williamsburg Art of Cookery" by Mrs. Helen Bullock.

 Diane used her Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen for roasting the turkey in front of the fire. Here it is shown with the door open for basting. Isn't that turkey a beauty!

Whilst tending the turkey, Diane's husband kept making toast using the old fashioned wrought iron toaster. The toaster has a swivel so that you can turn it around and toast the other side.

A view of the turkey that faces the fire.
Using the Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen is such a delight!

In Tasha Tudor's "Around the Year", Tasha has illustrated a tin kitchen with traditional Thanksgiving food around it. In "A Time to Keep", Tasha Tudor illustrated a lady basting the turkey in a tin kitchen in front of the fire. Hungry corgyn gather round, hoping for a taste of turkey. "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, also features an illustration of a woman using a tin kitchen with a table of Thanksgiving food. In "A Basket of Herbs", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, on the Sage pages there is a lady fixing a turkey to be put in the tin kitchen with hungry corgyn looking on.

 Regularly the spit is turned and put in the next hole to ensure that the turkey is done evenly all round.

At the proper time potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden are peeled and set over the fire to boil. Even though a lid is placed on the kettle, these potatoes cooked over the fire have a mild smoky taste that is just delicious!

 Cranberries cooking over the hot coals.
Cranberries have to be done the day before if you put them in a mold as they need time to chill and set whilst in the cold.

Some of the acorn squash harvested from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden. Corgyncombe Cottage always has squash at Thanksgiving Dinner.

Cranberry Sauce after being chilled and set in a yellowware mold.
What a pretty addition to the Thanksgiving table!

In the bowl are Red Pontiac mashed potatoes, made according to the receipt in  "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". The turkey on the platter, all set for carving! Diane uses her Grandmum's platter for the turkey with bay leaves from Diane's bay tree tucked around the edge.
As Tasha Tudor herself said, a turkey roasted in a tin kitchen is "Simply unsurpassed!"

Diane made pumpkin pies from pumpkins grown in the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.

The photographs below show the steps in preparing the pumpkins for pumpkin pie.
Extreme care must be taken whilst cutting the pumpkins.

After the pumpkins are cut in two, the seeds are scraped out and the pumpkin is then put on a baking pan and put into the oven. The seeds were dried and saved.

After cooling, the outer skin is peeled off and the pumpkin is mashed.

The pumpkin is then put into cheesecloth and tied up.

The cheesecloth bag is put into a colander in a bowl and pressed with a weight overnight in the ice box to remove the excess liquid. In the morning the cheesecloth bag with the pumpkin in it is squeezed to get the rest of the liquid out.

 The pumpkin is put into a bowl and the rest of the ingredients are added.

 Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and a little bit of nutmeg make the Corgyncombe Cottage kitchen smell delightfully like Thanksgiving.

The pumpkin pie before baking.

After barn chores pumpkin pie is served with cheese... always with cheese!

The Corgyncombe Butt'ry

The Corgyncombe Butt'ry holds many of our favorite things, yellowware, stoneware, tinware, jams, jellies, canned goods, baked goods, potatoes, squash, and apples!

The Corgyncombe Bakery.
Dundee cakes are made in November and put in cold storage and then used at St. Nicholas Tea and many Christmas teas throughout December .
Diane made a fresh wreath of princess pine for the hanging Advent Wreath.

In "First Poems of Childhood", for the poem "Over the River and Through the Wood" by Lydia Maria Child, Tasha Tudor illustrated Thanksgiving food and a family going over the covered bridge with horse and sleigh to a lovely old house and barn where they will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. The old house and barn remind The Corgyncombe Courant of Corgyncombe Cottage and barn.

An old fashioned Thanksgiving for those at Corgyncombe Cottage, a delicious feast to be most thankful for!

Diane brings out some of her Tasha Tudor Christmas card collection to enjoy at tea with pumpkin pie, cheese, and Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea. Birds have always been a favorite subject for Tasha Tudor at Christmas and throughout the year.

In "Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book" there is a chickadee illustrated on the title page surrounded by nuts, berries, and winter greenery. There are some lovely birds illustrated on the cover and inside "Wings from the Wind, An Anthology of Poems" Selected and Illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

Chickadee and Sparrow

Diane has always loved watching birds, too. In grade school one of Diane's teachers loved birds and always fed them in a tree outside the window. Diane always liked to watch the birds instead of concentrating on school work. Diane received an award for perfect attendance which was a certificate to be redeemed at the bookstore. The second Diane walked in the bookstore she knew which book she wanted... a big wonderful book about birds. The book included a recording of all the lovely bird songs.

The Corgyncombe Courant encourages their dear readers to feed the birds throughout the winter and never forget to feed them daily as our little winged friends depend on us! The birds are always such a joy to watch and to hear! They can also be amusing to watch, like the nuthatch who likes to perch upside down.

Here is a link to a YouTube video where they prepared pumpkin for pumpkin pie using a similar method with the cheesecloth:

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch on YouTube

It has more instructions on cooking times and preparation.

The Corgyncombe Courant hopes that all of our Dear Readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
copyright © 2012 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson


Becca said...

Another wonderful post. Your photos are incredible and the information you always provide is so interesting. I look forward to each and every post!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The food looked so yummy!

Jeri Landers said...

Those beautiful skinned pumpkins, I am trying this for Christmas! You put so much into this meal, it must be wonderful to experience AND to eat. Your family is very fortunate that you cook with such love, turning it into an artistic expression.

Charleen said...

Thank you,Diane and Sarah, for taking the time to share your delightful posts. It is so gratifying to read and the pictures capture the comfort of the old ways and skills that tug at my kindred spirit heart strings. Sharing the old ways with Tasha at Corgi Cottage will color my life forever,as I know you understand. I'm grateful that you have chosen this artistic format to continue our mutual shared interests. Your postings are a joy.

Anonymous said...

Such a delightful celebration! I came by in hopes of seeing your Days of Christmas calendar posted. I do hope your doing it this year, I shall be so disappointed if you don't :-(
Be well,

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Becca,

We are so glad that you enjoy our posts! Thank you!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse and all the dolls at the Corgyncombe Courant

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Cousin Jeri,

I love to cook and bake in an old fashioned way! There is such a feeling of accomplishment in doing it the way my ancestors did. I find it more exciting than the modern way of cooking and baking.

Your cousin,
Diane at the Corgyncombe Courant

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Charleen,

Thank you for your kind words! It is just so true and so wonderful that kindred spirits and friends of Tasha should have such old fashioned kindred interests! We know you miss Tasha as much as we do!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse and all the dolls at the Corgyncombe Courant

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Kimmie,

We are sorry but we are not doing a "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" Calendar on the blog this year.

As with other Advent Calendars that are enjoyed and put away for another year and opened again and again, it is fun to look back at previous years' of "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things"!

Two of our "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" Calendars can be found in the Corgyncombe Courant Archives, starting December 1st 2011 and December 1st 2010.

We hope you look back and enjoy them!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse and all the dolls at the Corgyncombe Courant

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