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For the distaff side - L Verge - 12-31-2013 12:33 PM

In the process of trying to find a description of a White House New Year's Day Reception during the Lincoln years, I happened across this article, which I thought some of us would enjoy - especially the ladies:

Finally found an article on New Year's receptions at the White House:

RE: For the distaff side - BettyO - 12-31-2013 05:10 PM

Fascinating articles, Laurie - thanks!

For one who enjoys social history as well - these are excellent stories of an event which is no more - and was just as important as Christmas. As a matter of fact, gifts were not offered at Christmas at first but as New Years gifts - in the years before Santa Claus.....

Also found this online - "The custom of visiting on New Years Day flourished from the 1840s through the turn of the century. Men visited and hostesses received. By eleven in the morning, a lady expecting visitors has seeded her card tray with a few of last year's cards, lest the first guest be embarrassed at being early. With cake and eggnog on the sideboard, the lady readied strengthening whiskey and brandy staights for those men who thought one more eggnog might prove fatal...

A menu for Visiting Day could include: Ambrosia Cake, Chocolate Cream Candy, Salted Nuts, Eggnog and the Whiskey and Brandy Straights for the men.

Eggnog is a cousin of the Colonial favorite, syllabus. An old rule of thumb for eggnog was one part brandy or spirits to three parts milk; a dozen eggs to two quarts, President Harrison, "Old Tippecanoe", who won the Presidency as a war hero with a log cabin and a jug of hard cider as symbols, loved eggnog and made it by his own recipe."

"The American New Year’s cake originated in the New York. New Year’s cake was white and often contained caraway cakes and was made plain or cut in rounds or squares like the recipe in Amelia Simmon’s American Cookery of 1796. It could also be ornamented with cake “prints”. The smallest molds were used in the home for koekje (“little cakes”), from which or present-day term cookie is derived. The custom of making these cakes came to New York in the 17th century with the Dutch and was gradually passed on to their English neighbors.
On the business end, it was not only celebrated with the exchange of New Year’s greetings, but also the settling of one’s accounts with trading partners. Store keepers frequently ran ads at the end of December requesting that customers settle their accounts.
Happy New Year!"

From a wonderful site on New Years Foods –

Symbolism of New Year's Day foods

In most cultures, foods prepared on New Year's Day bring good luck. Which foods? Depends upon the culture. Recurring themes are green (life), gold & coins (money/wealth) and pork/ham (because pigs root forward as they eat, embracing challenges).
"As New Year's Day approaches, people around the world will plan for the coming year, eager to get off to the best possible start! Many people will "eat for luck"-they plan to eat special foods that, by tradition, are supposed to bring them good luck. Throughout history, people have eaten certain foods on New Year's Day, hoping to gain riches, love, or other kinds of good fortune during the rest of the year. For people of several nationalities, ham or pork is the luckiest thing to eat on New Year's Day. How did the pig become associated with the idea of good luck? In Europe hundreds of years ago, wild boars were caught in the forests and killed on the first day of the year. Also, a pig uses its snout to dig in the ground in a forward direction. Maybe people liked the idea of moving forward as the new year began, especially since pigs are also associated with plumpness and getting plenty to eat. However the custom arose, Austrians, Swedes, and Germans frequently choose pork or ham for their New Year's meal. They brought this tradition with them when they settled in different regions of the United States. New Englanders often combine their pork with sauerkraut to guarantee luck and prosperity for the coming year. Germans and Swedes may pick cabbage as a lucky side dish, too. In other places, turkey is the meat of choice. Bolivians and some people in New Orleans follow this custom. But other people claim that eating fowl (such as turkey, goose, or chicken) on New Year's Day will result in bad luck. The reason? Fowl scratch backward as they search for their food, and who wants to have to "scratch for a living"? Frequently, fish is the lucky food. People in the northwestern part of the United States may eat salmon to get lucky. Some Germans and Poles choose herring, which may be served in a cream sauce or pickled. other Germans eat carp. Sometimes sweets or pastries are eaten for luck. In the colony of New Amsterdam, now New York, the Dutch settlers still enjoy these treats...In some places, a special cake is made with a coin baked inside. Such cakes are traditional in Greece, which celebrates Saint Basil's Day and New Year's at the same time. The Saint Basil's Day cake (vasilopeta) is made of yeast dough and flavored with lemon. The person who gets the slice with the silver or gold coin is considered very lucky! Many of the luck-bringing foods are round or ring-shaped, because this signifies that the old year has been completed. Black-eyed peas are an example of this, and they are part of one of New Year's most colorful dishes, Hoppin' John, which is eaten in many southern states. Hoppin' John is made with black-eyed peas or dried red peas, combined with hog jowls, bacon, or salt pork. Rice, butter, salt, or other vegetables may be added. The children in the family might even hop around the table before the family sits down to eat this lucky dish. In Brazil, lentils are a symbol of prosperity, so lentil soup or lentils with rice is prepared for the first meal of the New Year. Thousands of miles away, the Japanese observe their New Year's tradition of eating a noodle called toshikoshi soba. (This means "sending out the old year.") This buckwheat noodle is quite long, and those who can swallow at least one of them without chewing or breaking it are supposed to enjoy good luck and a long life. Finally, Portugal and Spain have an interesting custom. As the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins, people in these countries may follow the custom of eating twelve grapes or raisins to bring them luck for all twelve months of the coming year! "

---"Eat for Luck!," Victoria Sherrow & David Helton, Children's Digest, Jan/Feb94 (p. 20)

"Whether New Year's day is celebrated on Jan. 1 according to the Gregorian calendar, in September or October as the Jews' Rosh Hashanah or in midwinter by Asians, foods serve as edible talismans to assure luck, happiness or prosperity in the coming year. The notion, for example, that eating gold-colored food will put money in your pocket is common in Peru, where papas a la huanchaina, a potato dish tinted with tumeric or with a saffron-colored spiced called tadillo, is served on New Year's Eve. In China, dumplings made from golden egg pancakes, crisply gilded spring rolls and oranges are the aureat foods appropriate for the Chinese New Year's celebration...The Chinese also value fish. A whole one is preferred, suggesting that prosperity has favored you wtih more than you can eat. Pork is on the New Year's table in many cultures, connoting riches because at one time having a pig to slaughter guaranteed food for the coming year.

In Italy and in southern parts of the United States, pork is eaten in the form of sausage, stuffed pig's trotters (zampone), ham hocks or pig's knuckles, invariably accompanied by a dish of dried beans. The Italians eat lentils, or lenticchie, which since Roman times have represented coins... parsley decorates the dish because it was thought to ward off evil spirits. In the American South, greens are added to black-eyed peas or hoppin' John (black-eyed peas with rice). The symbolism is straightforward: the greens represented dollars and the black-eyed peas coins. Dried beans, garnished or plain, represent the changing over of years, for they can be stored throughout the winter and then be planted to create the harvest. Sometimes a silver coin or trinket is buried in a dish of black-eyed peas or hoppin' John, providing an extra measure of good luck to the person finding it...In Spain...12 grapes are eaten just before midnight, one for each chime of the clock. Good luck will come to those who finish the grapes before the final stroke."

---"Culinary Talismans for a Lucky 1987," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, December 31, 1986 (p. C3)

[NOTE: Coins and other trinkets baked in cakes are also common elements at Christmas and Twelfth Night.]

New Year's food in the United States: a multicultural celebration
"New Year's Celebrations. Although champage has become de rigeur as midnight strikes, no single food epitomizes the contemporary New Year's holiday. The menu may be luxurious caviar at a New Year's Eve bacchanalia or a sobering hoppin' John on New Year's Day. Celebrations marking the inexorable march of Father Time often involve foods imbued with symbolism, such as in the Pennsylvania Dutch New Year's tradition of sauerkraut (for wealth) and pork--the pig roots forward into the future, unlike the Christmas turkey, which buries the past by scratching backward in the dirt. Seventeeth-century Dutch immigrants in the Hudson River valley welcomed the New Year by "opening the house" to family and friends. The custom was adapted by English colonists, who used brief, strictly choreographed January 1 social calls for gentlemen to renew bonds or repair frayed relationships. Ladies remained at home, offering elegantly arrayed collations laden with cherry bounce, wine, hot punch, and cakes and cookies, often flavored with the Dutch signatures of caraway, coriander, cardamom, and honey. Embossed New Year's 'cakes," from the Dutch nieuwjaarskoeken--made by pressing a cookie-like dough into carved wooden boards decorated with flora and fauna--were a New York specialty throughout the nineteenth century...The New York custom of open house spread westward in the nineteeth century...In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries those of French and English backgrounds celebrated the twelve days of Christmas with gifts of food and festive dinners on January 1...African Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries made one of the most enduring contributions to the modern holiday. Starting in the Carolinas but extending throughout the South, hoppin' John and greens became traditional New Year's fare, black-eyed peas bringing luck and the rice (which swelled in the cooking) and greens (like money) bringing prosperity. In the early twentieth century Japanese Americans adopted the open house tradition, serving glutinous rice dishes, soups, boiled lobsters (signifying health and happiness), and fish specially prepared to appear live and swimming."

---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 189-90)

Pork & Sauerkraut

This is a German custom. Pennsylania Dutch, of German descent, also serve these foods.

"Throughout history, the lowly cabbage has played side dish to the pig on New Year's Day, not because it bears a special significance, but because it's a tasty complement to pork. "It's a traditional combination," said William Weaver, an internationally known food historian who lives in Chester County. Any Pennsylvania German worth his or her salt knows pork is served on New Year's Day because it brings good luck. With their snouts, pigs root forward, signifying progress, lore dictates, whereas chickens and turkeys scratch backward."

---"Eat 'sour cabbage' for a sweet year; Having sauerkraut on New Year's Day brings luck, some say," Kathleen Parrish, Morning Call [Allentown, PA], January 1, 2004 (p. A1)

"In the nineteenth century, sauerkraut was a cold-weather food. Sauerkraut with fresh pork was a fall dish. Sauerkraut with turkey was a Christmas dish. And sauerkraut with pork was eaten for good luck on New Year's Day, because, as the [Pennsylvania] Dutch say, "the pig roots forward." Thus rooting forward into the new year, the Dutch ate sauerkraut with salt pork in the late winter, and finally, sauerkraut with fish in early spring."

---Sauerkraut Yankees, William Woys Weaver [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia] 1983 (p. 176)

New Year's cookies & cakes

We can thank our colonial era Dutch settlers for introducing New Years cookies to America. Sometimes called New Years Cakes, these thin crisp sugar cookies were traditionally flavored with caraway, lemon and sometimes cider. Some recipes specify cutting the dough into fancy shapes, similar to Christmas cookies. Recipes for New Years cookies proliferate in the 1840s-1850s. By the late 1880s, they fade from the pages of "modern" culinary literature.

"New Years Cakes were considered a delicacy most peculiar to New York and the Hudson Valley, but we do find professional bakers in many other East Coast cities advertising these cakes. A baker in Philadelphia advertised in 1840 that he "sells the real New York New Year's Cakes, the genuine Knickerbockers, of all sizes, from a cartwheel to a levenpenny bit...But how is it that New Years Cakes are also called Knickerbockers? We have already seen this term in connection with the olie-koecken...Yes, early Americans were sometimes confused about names, but at least this does tell us that people in the 1840s were well aware of the Dutch origins of this recipe."

---The Christmas Cook: Three Centuries of American Yuletide Sweets, William Woys Weaver [Harper Perennial:New York] 1990 (p. 140)

[NOTE: This book contains a modernized recipe based on one published by Eliza Leslie, circa 1838.]

"New Year's Cake. This name is somewhat misleading. The ingredients, as [Eliza] Lea ordered them, make a stiff cookie that was once popular in Pennsylvania and Delaware under the name of apees cake. It is closely related tot he springerle but was sold by street vendors the year round. For rural Quakers, it was a special treat for children at New Year's, which may explain the name Lea used for it. The cookie is not related to the crumb cake that is now sold under the name of apees in Berks County, Pennsylvania. More likely it was related to the New Year's cookies that were associalte with the Dutch settlers in Colonial New York. Those cookies were often stamped with elaborate carved mols. The leavening agent inthem was potash or pearl ash."

---A Quaker Woman's Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, William Woys Weaver [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] revised edition 2004 (p. 339)

"New Year's Cookies.

Christmas and New Year's have always called for special recipes, and the Dutch New Year's koekjes, traditionally baked in molds that produced the design of an eagle or the name of a famous person like Washington, were once among the most ornate. In 1808, Washington Irving's Salmagundi: Or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaf, Esq., and Others claimed: "These notable cakes, hight [called] new-year cookies...originally were impressed one side with the burly countenance of the illustrious Rip [Van Winkle]."
---American Heritage Cookbook, Helen McCully recipes editor [American Heritage Publishing:New York] 1964 (p. 608)

New Year's cookie recipe sampler
"New Year's Cake. Take a pint milk, and one quart yeast, put these together over night and let it lie in the sponge till morning, 5 pound sugar and 4 pound butter, dissolve these together, 6 eggs well beat, and carroway seed; put the whole together, and when light bake them in cakes, similar to breakfast biscuit, 20 minutes."
---American Cookery, Amelia Simmons, facsimile second edition printed in Albany, 1796 with an introduction by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1996 (p. 45)

"326. New Year's Cookies.

Rub to a cream, three-quarters of a pound of butter, and a pound of sugar; add three well-beaten eggs, two spoonsfuls of caraway seed, a grated nutmeg, and a pint of flour; stir in a teaspoonful of salaeratus dissolved in a teacup of milk, and strained into half a teacup of cider; add flour to make the cookies stiff enough to roll out. As soon as cut into cakes, bake in a quick oven till of a light brown."

---The Improved Housewife, Mrs. A. L. Webster [stereotyped by Richard H. Hobbes:Hartford CT] 5th edition, revised 1844 (p. 120)

"96. New Year's Cake.

A very good plain cake can be made without eggs. Take seven pounds of flour, two and a half pounds of sugar, two pounds of butter, one pint of water, and two tea-spoonsful of saleratus well dissolved. Roll it out thin, and bake it on tin sheets. It will keep good a long time."

---The New England Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book, Mrs. E.A. Howland [E.P. Walton and Sons:Montpeilier VT] 1845 (p. 29)

"No. 1. New Year's Cake.

Beat to a cream three quarters of a pound of butter, and one pound of sugar; add three eggs well beaten, a grated nutmeg, and a pint of sifted flour;when these are well mixed, add half a tea-cup of cider, in which a tea-spoonful of supercarbonate of soda is dissolved, and flour enought to make a stiff dough; roll the dough very think cut it into fanciful forms, as of men, beasts, birds, &c., and bake on buttered tins."

No. 2. New Year's Cake

Rub a pound of butter into a pint of sifted flour, and add three eggs well beaten; then stir in a pint of honey, a grated nutmeg, two table-spoonsfuls of caraway seeds, a teacup of cider in which is dcilloved a tea-spoonful of supercarbonate of soda and a small bit of alum, and sifted flour enough to make a stiff dough; roll it, cut it, andbake it as above."

---The Practical Cook Book, Mrs. Bliss [Lippincott, Grambo & Co.:Philadelphia] 1850 (p. 187)

[NOTE: This books also offers a recipe for New Year's Pie, which is strikingly similar to turducken.

"New Year Cake.

Mix together three pounds of flour, a pound and a half of sugar, and three-quarters of a pound of butter; dissolve a tea-spoonful of salaeratus in enough new milk to wet the flour; mix them together; grate in a nutmeg, or the peel of a lemon; roll themout, cut them in shapes, and bake."

---A Quaker Woman's Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, facsimile 1851 edition, William Woys Weaver [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] revised edition 2004 (p. 120)

"New-Year's Cake.
--Stir together a pound of nice fresh butter, and a pound of powdered white sugar, till they become a light thick cream. Then stir in, gradually, three pounds sifted flour. Add, by degrees, a tea-spoonful of soda dissolved in a small tea-cup of milk, and then a half salt-spoonful of tartaric acid, melted in a large table-spoonful of warm water. Then mix in, gradually, three table-spoonfuls of fine carraway seeds. Roll out the dough into sheets half an inch thick, and cut it with a jagging iron into oval or oblong cakes, pricked with a fork. Bake them immediately in shallow iron pans, slightly greased with fresh butter. The bakers in New York ornament these cakes, with devices or pictures fiased by a wooden stamp. They are good plain cakes for children."

---Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 605)

"New Year's Cookies

Three quarters of a pound of butter and a pound of sugar beat to a cream. Add three eggs, one teacupful of sour milk, one teaspoonful of saleratus, half a cup of caraway seed, a little mace, and flour to make it stiff enough to roll thin; cut in rounds. Roll this cake with a little fine sugar instead of flour, and bake about fifteen minutes." (p. 171)

"New Year's Cookies.

Take half a pound of butter and one of white sugar; beat them to a cream; add one cup of sour milk, one teaspoonful of saleratus, a little mace, the juice and grated rind of one lemon, and flour enough to roll; sift a little sugar on to roll it; cut them the size you like; bake about twenty minutes." (p. 195-196)

---Mrs. Putnam's Receipt Book and Young Housekeeper's Assistant, Mrs. Putnam [Blakeman & Mason:New York] new and enlarged edition, 1862

Last, but not least – how the Seward family celebrated New Years in Auburn, NY –

The Seward House: New Year’s Day in the 19th Century

Thanks to Peter Wisbey, Former Executive Director of the Seward House, for the following Guest Editorial. This post was originally published on our former blog on November 17, 2008.

New Year’s Day in the 19th Century

While Christmas was a family celebration, New Year’s Day calling was a community-wide event. Well-wishers traveled from house to house, paying their respects and partaking of the hospitality of homeowners. The Sewards, like other families, laid out tables of food and drink to their callers. When William Seward was inaugurated as governor on January 1, 1839, twelve-year-old Augustus Seward wrote that their Albany home was spread with five tables set with turkeys, ham, beef, corn beef, alamode beef, New Year’s cakes, crackers, cheese, champagne and wine. He also noted that “all the meat was trimed [sic] off with fringed paper of all coulers, white, red, blue, straw couleur, pink.”
Roman Punch may have filled this punch bowl.

Do you have an inclination to celebrate like the Sewards? It can be argued that William Seward’s favorite party drink – it appears repeatedly on menus and in the family’s bills and receipts – was “Roman Punch.”

Here is a recipe adapted from Marion Harland’s 1871 book, Common Sense in the Household.
Roman Punch
2 c. strong sweet lemonade
½ c. champagne or other sparkling wine
½ c. rum
Juice of 2 oranges
Whites of 2 eggs well beaten with
1 c. 4X sugar

Refrigerate until very cold and serve in punch cups. Or put into freezing tray until partially frozen. Stir until smooth, then allow to freeze throughout. Stir well again and serve in sherbet glasses or punch cups at dinner.

Source: Louise Belden, The Festive Tradition, W.W. Norton, 1983.

Other interesting viewpoints on New Year's Days Calls – (Facinating for Southerners)

Hope my last post wasn't too long - but I find this a facinating subject!

An excellent book on the subject is The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum.

RE: For the distaff side - L Verge - 12-31-2013 08:23 PM

This is great. I was looking for enough information to do an article for our volunteer newsletter at Surratt House - you've provided enough for me to write a book!

Ham steaks and black-eyed peas have always been a New Year's staple in my family - no Hoppin-John 'cause it sends you hopping for the necessary. Mr. Seward's Roman Punch may be added to the menu next year because it sure sounds good!

Thanks, Betty.

RE: For the distaff side - Dawn E Foster - 12-31-2013 10:16 PM

Pork and sauerkraut has always been the tradition in our family, passed down from our Vonau ancestors (though I suspect the baked beans are from my father's side). And a man always has to be the first guest through the door after midnight for good luck.

RE: For the distaff side - BettyO - 01-01-2014 01:13 AM

Quote:And a man always has to be the first guest through the door after midnight for good luck.

My grandmother always said that he had to be a dark haired man. A red headed or blond man was considered to be unlucky if he were the first one through the door (and my father was a red-head)! We used to tease him about that....

RE: For the distaff side - RJNorton - 01-01-2014 02:08 PM

With all the talk of food I thought I'd post the menu for Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural supper:

Oyster stews, terrapin stews, oysters pickled; beef - roast beef, filet deboeuf, beef a la mode, beef a l'anglais; veal - leg of veal, fricandeau, veal Malakoff; poultry - roast turkey, boned turkey, roast chicken; grouse - boned and roast; game - pheasant, quail, venison pates, pate of duck en gelee, pate de foie gras; smoked ham, tongue en gelee, tongue plain; salads, chicken, lobster; ornamental pyramids - nougat, orange, caramel with fancy cream candy, cocoanut, macaroon, croquant, chocolate; tree cakes - cakes and tarts, almond sponge, belle alliance, dame blanche, macaroon tart, tarte a la Nelson, tarte a l'Orleans, tarte a la Portugaise, tarte a la Vienne, pound cake, sponge cake, lady cake, fancy small cakes; jellies and creams - calf's foot and wine jelly, Charlotte a la Russe, Charlotte a la vanille, blanc mange, creme Neapolitaine, creme a la Nelson, creme Chateaubriand, creme a la Smyrna, creme a la Nesselrode, bombe a la vanille, ice cream - vanilla, lemon, white coffee, chocolate, burnt almond, maraschino; fruit ices, strawberry, orange, lemon; desert - grapes, almonds, raisons, coffee, and chocolate.

Carl Sandburg described it this way - Three hundred at a time could be accommodated at the feast table, but there were 5,000 guests at the supper. This created disorder - a "crush." Many were like one gentleman "with a large plate of food, requiring both hands to hold it, no place to sit down, and no way to eat it."

RE: For the distaff side - BettyO - 01-01-2014 02:24 PM

That sounds yummy, Roger....but the poor gent with the full plate - let's hope that he at least found SOMEPLACE to eat!

RE: For the distaff side - L Verge - 01-01-2014 06:44 PM

Wonder what the bill was for all of that -- with the war still going on? Guess the U.S. figured it could start celebrating since the end was near.

And I'm reading this right at dinner time. Let's just say that my table will be set a little less elegantly!

RE: For the distaff side - Eva Elisabeth - 01-02-2014 06:10 AM

And the poor ladies with the corsets! I wonder if anyone asked for a doggy bag?

I wonder who was in charge of the dinner, Mary? Laurie's question regarding the bill reminded me of the quarrel she had with C. Smith and W. Seward about her $900 bill she handed in for the dinner for Prince Napoleon. Seward had dined the Prince and the same number of guests, giving them a duplicate of the White House dinner from the same restaurant, but he only payed $300. Smith had accidentally learned about that from Seward. The sum was finally covered up in a gardener's account.

Roger, this is the wrong thread, but your post reminded me of how astonished I was about Thomas Lincoln's and Nancy Hanks' wedding dinner, since he was always said to be poor.

RE: For the distaff side - RJNorton - 01-02-2014 07:56 AM

(01-02-2014 06:10 AM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  Roger, this is the wrong thread, but your post reminded me of how astonished I was about Thomas Lincoln's and Nancy Hanks' wedding dinner, since he was always said to be poor.

Eva, there are probably other descriptions, but here is one. Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, who attended the wedding, stated that the food included bear meat, venison, wild turkey and ducks, eggs, maple sugar strung on a string to bite off for coffee and whiskey, syrup in big gourds, peach and honey, and a sheep that two families barbecued over coals and wood burned in a pit.

RE: For the distaff side - Eva Elisabeth - 01-02-2014 10:11 AM

I wonder if bear-meat was deli food or rather a very common, cheap dish? Anyone knows what it is comparable to?

I can't remember, is there any source for the food Abraham and Mary had on their wedding day?

RE: For the distaff side - RJNorton - 01-03-2014 09:01 AM

Eva, I have looked but cannot find anything specific regarding food. In later years Benjamin Edwards' wife, Helen, said, "If I remember rightly, the wedding guests were few, not more than thirty; and it seems to me all are gone now but Mrs. Wallace, Mrs. Levering, and myself, for it was not much more than a family gathering; only two or three of Mary Todd's young friends were present. The 'entertainment' was simple, but in beautiful taste; but the bride had neither veil nor flowers in her hair, with which to 'toy nervously.' There had been no elaborate trousseau for the bride of the future President of the United States, nor even a handsome wedding gown; nor was it a gay wedding."

RE: For the distaff side - Gene C - 01-03-2014 09:25 AM

I guess C A Tripp and Larry Kramer will be disappointed to hear that

RE: For the distaff side - Joe Di Cola - 01-03-2014 01:13 PM

(01-02-2014 10:11 AM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  I wonder if bear-meat was deli food or rather a very common, cheap dish? Anyone knows what it is comparable to?

I can't remember, is there any source for the food Abraham and Mary had on their wedding day?

Bear is comparable to pork. In fact male and female bears are also boars and sows. Bear bacon is indistinguishable from American bacon processed from pork.

(01-03-2014 09:01 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Eva, I have looked but cannot find anything specific regarding food. In later years Benjamin Edwards' wife, Helen, said, "If I remember rightly, the wedding guests were few, not more than thirty; and it seems to me all are gone now but Mrs. Wallace, Mrs. Levering, and myself, for it was not much more than a family gathering; only two or three of Mary Todd's young friends were present. The 'entertainment' was simple, but in beautiful taste; but the bride had neither veil nor flowers in her hair, with which to 'toy nervously.' There had been no elaborate trousseau for the bride of the future President of the United States, nor even a handsome wedding gown; nor was it a gay wedding."


In Ruth Randall's "Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage" there are a few references on the last-minute preparations for the wedding. Springfield had only one bakery at the time, Dickey's, and its offerings consisted mainly of gingerbread and beer. Also, that a wedding supper was placed on a long table with a linen cover that had a turtledove design, and that the wedding cake was still warm since it had so soon come from an oven. Of course, Randall's book is from an era where endnotes and footnotes were not used, so...?

RE: For the distaff side - Hess1865 - 01-05-2014 11:36 PM

(01-03-2014 09:25 AM)Gene C Wrote:  I guess C A Tripp and Larry Kramer will be disappointed to hear that

Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin