Menus for a Christmas Dinner, 1913 Style


Carl Larsson, National Museum, Stockholm / Wikimedia Commons

Looking for last-minute Christmas dinner ideas? Here are two full-course holiday meals — and a few choice recipes — circa 1913.

A Christmas Dinner

Originally published in The Country Gentleman, December 20, 1913

Menu No. 1


Menu No. 2


These Recipes Are from Grandmother’s Cookbook

PLUM PUDDING — 1 cupful of molasses, 1 cupful of milk, 1 cupful of suet chopped fine, 2 eggs, 2 cupfuls of flour — or enough to make a batter as stiff as cake — 1 cupful of raisins, 1 cupful of currants, cupful of citron sliced, a tablespoonful of candied orange peel, a tablespoonful of candied lemon peel, 2 teaspoonfuls of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoonful of cloves, 1/2 teaspoonful of nutmeg, 3 teaspoonfuls of mace, and a rounding teaspoonful of soda.

Before starting to mix this it is well to have the fruits prepared and floured, ready to mix in. When making follow the rotation of ingredients as given. Save a little of the milk to mix with the soda, which is added last. Steam three hours in an old-fashioned pudding mold with hole in center.

WALNUT STUFFING — Boil and mash a pound of white potatoes. Season them well with salt, pepper and butter, then add pint of chopped walnuts and the dressing is ready for use.

CANDIED SWEET POTATOES — Boil medium-sized sweet potatoes until done. When cold pare and cut in half lengthwise. Place the potatoes in a skillet in which a generous piece of butter and a little lard have been melted. Sprinkle the potatoes thickly with brown sugar, and fry on all sides an even brown. Watch closely, as they burn readily.

PUMPKIN CUSTARD — Three cupfuls of pumpkin, a cupful of milk, a cupful of sugar, a tablespoonful of butter, a teaspoonful each of ginger, cinnamon and finely sifted bread crumbs, and 3 eggs. Salt and nutmeg to taste.

Boil and drain the pumpkin well. Press through the colander and to 3 cupfuls of pumpkin add the melted butter, sugar, spices and crumbs. Mix thoroughly, add the well-beaten yolks of the eggs and the milk, and lastly the whites, beaten stiff.

BAKED SQUASH — Cut in half a large oval squash, remove the seeds and, after par-boiling, scrape out the pulp and put it through the ricer. Then into a buttered baking dish place the squash in layers, dredge each layer lightly with flour, add generous pieces of butter, season with paprika and salt, and moisten with cream. Cover the top layer with bread crumbs and dot liberally with butter. This recipe should take about a cupful of milk and 2 tablespoonfuls of flour. Bake until brown.

OYSTER STUFFING — Melt a cupful of butter on the top of the stove and add 50 good-sized oysters drained from the liquor. Cook slightly until the gills begin to curl. Then add the oyster liquor and enough crumbed bread to fill the turkey. If this mixture is dry add sufficient milk to make it pretty moist. Season with salt and pepper and about 2 tablespoonfuls of minced parsley. Last of all add 4 or 5 well-beaten eggs. Cook this mixture until it is well thickened before putting it into the turkey.

FROZEN CUSTARD — Make a boiled custard with 3 cupfuls of milk, the yolks of 4 eggs and the whites of 2. Sweeten to taste. Let the custard cool and then add a teaspoonful of vanilla and a cupful of good cream. Freeze. Just before packing it away fold in the whites of 2 eggs which have been beaten light with 2 tablespoonfuls of sugar.

HOT SLAW — Chop fine a small head of cabbage. Beat together a cupful of sour cream, an egg, a tablespoonful of sugar and half a teaspoonful of mustard dissolved in cupful of vinegar. Have a pan hot, pour in the mixture and when the boiling point is reached add the cabbage well-floured and salted. Heat through and serve with a dash of paprika on the top.

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Vegetable Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

For a decidedly Mediterranean twist on this classic dish, combine ground turkey with onion, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan. Add colorful vegetables and the result is tasty, stunningly attractive, and healthy. Best of all, you can use almost any fresh vegetables that are available from your early fall garden, farmers market, or grocer. Experiment with what you have on hand to create a great seasonal dish.

Although the turkey loaf alone is a hearty offering, you can make a complete meal by adding a tomato basil salad. Cut a few fresh tomato wedges, chop up some fresh basil leaves, add finely sliced garlic, and drizzle on a little olive oil with fresh squeezed lemon juice or wine vinegar, and toss. You might also add a side of lightly steamed green beans.

Vegetable Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
(Makes 8 servings)

turkey meatloaf stuffed with broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers


*Dark turkey meat will yield a more succulent dish, but for those who desire the minimum amount of fat, breast meat works well too.


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, steam carrot, peppers and broccoli with small amount of water until tender-crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In large bowl mix egg, bread crumbs, onion, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine well. Add turkey and mix well.
  4. Lay sheet of wax paper on clean counter. Place turkey mix on paper and pat into 7″ x 11″ rectangle. Arrange vegetables over turkey 1 inch from edge.
  5. Starting with short width, use wax paper to gently lift turkey mixture edge. Proceed to tightly roll turkey mixture into a loaf, peeling away the paper as you roll. Gently place loaf in greased baking dish.
  6. Bake for about 1¼ hours until internal temperature is 170˚F. Carefully transfer loaf to serving platter.
  7. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine jelly with 1 tablespoon water and warm until melted, mashing currants or berries while stirring. Brush top with melted jelly and garnish with parsley, laying leaves flat in 6 diagonal rows. Slice and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Per serving

Calories: 249
Total fat: 12 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 12 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 24 g
Sodium: 183 mg