LONDON 1843... John Callcott Horsley (born 1817-- died 1903) designed the very first Christmas and New Year's card at the request of his friend Sir Henry Cole who was the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1843 an edition of 1,000 of these Christmas cards was printed and placed on sale. The cards were lithographed on stiff cardboard 5 1/2 by 3 1/4 inches in dark sepia and then carefully hand colored. They sold for one shilling each.
Louis Prang Christmas Card
BOSTON, MASS. 1875... Louis Prang began publishing cards and earned the title "Father of the American Christmas card" He printed his cards in no less than eight and sometimes as many as thirty-two colors to achieve the "perfection of color" he sought.
A Christmas Card from the White House
How exciting it would be to receive a Christmas card from the White House. President Eisenhower was the first to send them and it has been a tradition ever since. This card was commissioned by President and Laura Bush in 2006 and is a depiction of the Red Room in the White House.
If you click on this link it will take you to a site where there is a list of all the passengers on the Mayflower. Click on each name and you can READ a brief history. Some were indentured servants, some were rascals, some were merchants, some got in trouble with the law and many had heroic qualities that compelled them to stick it out in this "new world." http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/Passengers/passengers.php
The history of Pumpkin Pie actually goes back to Europe in the 1500s when pumpkin was stewed with sugar and spices and wrapped in a pastry.
The French recorded the first recipe in 1651: Tourte of Pumpkin - Boile it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste; bake it. After it is baked, besprinkle it with sugar and serve.
The Native American tribes grew squash and pumpkins. They roasted or boiled them for eating. They brought pumpkins as gifts to the first settlers, and taught them about their many uses. The Pilgrims may have eaten pumpkin that first Thanksgiving but there was no pie because they had no ovens.
1786 by Amelia Simmons
( There are only four known copies of this book in existence )
By the 1670s recipes for pumpkin pie appeared in many English cookbooks which the colonists would most likely have had access to. It was not until 1796 that the first American cookbook was published and written by Amelia Simmons. It was the first cook book to develop recipes for foods native to America. Her pumpkin puddings were baked in a crust similar to present day pumpkin pies.
Pompkin Pudding No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.
This recipe by Esther Allen Howland appeared in Economical Housekeeper 1845
In fact forks were not used commonly in America until the mid 1800s.
EUROPE: When Catherine de Medici married Henry I in 1533, her dowry included several dozen dinner forks. People were shocked when she used them at her wedding. She died two years later from the plague and it was said she was being punished for her use of the "wicked fork"
The fork began to gain acceptance in Italy by the late 1500s when the upper class became interested in cleanliness. The French would have nothing to do with it and considered the fork an awkward, even dangerous utensil. At last, in the seventeenth century, when it was deemed uncivilized to eat meat with both hands, the fork gained popularity.
In England the fork was slow to gain acceptance because it was considered a feminine utensil. Finally, in 1633 Charles I of England declared, "It is decent to use a fork," a statement that heralded the beginning of civilized table manners. It took another century for the fork to be common among the lower class.
In the nineteenth century, mass production made forks more available to the rising middle class. In an effort to copy the nobility there were forks made for every imaginable food, such as berries, birds, cake, cold meat, cucumbers, fish, ice cream, lettuce, lobster, oysters, pickles, salad, sardines, shellfish, strawberrys, souffle, terrapin, tomatoes, and to pass sliced bread at the tea table.
AMERICA: As late as 1827, European visitors still observed Americans shoveling food into their mouths from the round end of knives. An etiquette book of the 1830s defended the practice. But, by the mid 1800s, in an effort to imitate the French and English, eating with a fork became the fashion of the day.
Plimoth Plantation sits about three miles outside the town of Plymouth and is a living museum that reconstructs the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by English colonists, some of whom later became known as Pilgrims. The 1627 English Village is a speculative re-creation of the settlement as it would have appeared about 1627, seven years after the arrival of the Mayflower.
Want to eat something authentic for Thanksgiving? Here is a recipe for a beloved 17th century dessert.
Plimoth Plantation 17th Century Cheesecake
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Mass.
This popular 17th century dessert was discovered by Plimoth Plantation food historians and updated by Executive Chef Kenny Randall. The secret to this flavorful dish: Ricotta cheese.
2/3 cup unbleached white flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
10 tablespoons butter
1 egg white
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1. Place white and whole wheat flours in a large bowl. Mix in butter with a pastry fork.
2. When butter is well blended, work in egg white with enough ice water so that you form pastry dough.
3. Roll out pastry dough until it is 1/4 inch thick, and carefully press it into a 9-inch round springform pan.
1/4 cup of almonds
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon rosewater (available at pharmacies)
1/2 cup dried currants
1. Use a food processor to grind almonds finely. Put them in a large bowl.
2. Add butter and sugar, and work in until smooth.
3. Put in nutmeg, salt, and egg yolk.
4. When thoroughly combined, add ricotta cheese, then cream and rose water. Keep mixing just until well blended.
5. Stir in currants.
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Spoon filling into crust and bake until filling is just set, approximately 60 to 70 minutes.
3. Allow to cool for an hour before serving.
What a treat we had yesterday as parents and teachers attended a seminar with Dr. Nancy Livingston, literacy specialist, educator, and state reading specialist. She shared with us a lifetime of knowledge about reading and the benefits of parental involvement.
My mother lived on nine acres and one morning as I walked down her long driveway a huge owl flew out of one of her trees and glided right over my head. He was so close I could feel the wind he created. The moments in life when we connect with nature are breathtaking. I will never forget it. The Caldecott award winning book OWL MOON reminds me of that experience. Click on the link ...