What was a Thanksgiving meal like for Wiltonians in the 1800s?
For help with this question, we turned to Carol Russell, the Wilton Town Historian. She shared a menu, circa 1890, preserved in the History Room at Wilton Library.
The meal plan was created for the Fitch family Thanksgiving and consisted of roast turkey, roast chicken, cranberry sauce, turnip sauce, boiled potatoes and onions, beets, pickles, rye and wheat bread, celery, chicken pie, boiled ham, champagne, and claret. For dessert, the family and their friends enjoyed rice and Indian puddings (prepared with cornmeal and molasses) pumpkin and mince pies, oranges, candy, raisins, nuts, figs, coffee and “segars” for the gentlemen, and “pinks” for the ladies.
Russell believes that “pinks” must mean candies, but we’re wondering if maybe they’re cordials?
We’re also not sure what to make of the turnip sauce and definitely don’t want to try it but it’s clear that no one went hungry when they bellied up to the Fitch table.
To conclude their meal, the family and their accompanying guests all stood, joined hands, and sang “Auld Lang Syne.”