By Bertha E. Rorick
Very pretty and simple was the Thanksgiving at our home on the farm last year. Sometime before the day the children shelled a quantity of bright yellow field corn. About a half this we colored with prepared red dye. This was quickly done by scalding the corn in a part of the package of dye dissolved in hot water. Then we strung the corn with a darning needle and strong cord, making six inches of yellow, then the same of red. Four strands of equal length were made long enough to reach from a point in the ceiling above the center of the long dining table. Each strand was finished at the end with a tassel, made by fastening to a piece of cob three strings of yellow corn ten inches long, putting the needle thru, then back, and tying in a double knot at the top.
The corn strings easily by putting the needle through the soft heart of the kernel. We then put a nail firmly into the ceiling at the center point over the table, tying the strands thereon and bringing them down, one to each corner of the table.
Having some corn left we strung it in different lengths; one to hang from the nail in the center to suspend over the table a huge cornucopia filled with popcorn; one to drape over the curtain poles. This looked very pretty over the white curtains. The others we laid on the tablecloth with lengths of green vine. These vines formed outlines for the centerpiece and, at either end of the table, a place for plates of molded cranberry jelly.
Our centerpiece was a chop-plate of oranges, bananas and bunches of raisins. On the sideboard was a bunch of bittersweet. If one wished the added bit of color, a part of the corn might be colored green.
Our place cards were also made at home, from folded leaflets of drawing paper cut in the shape of a pompous turkey, which I tinted with water colors. Inside were written the date and menu, which was as follows:
Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing
Mashed potatoes Brown gravy Turnips
Cranberry mold Cabbage salad
Parker House rolls Boston brown bread
Celery Jelly Pickles
Waldorf salad with whipped cream
Aunt Frankie’s cake Pumpkin pie
Would you like to hear about a Thanksgiving dinner enjoyed in an old homestead by a family of New England descendants? An old-fashioned farm home, full of genuine hospitality, a home which does one good to visit, was the scene of this family party. The decorations were entirely confined to the low-ceilinged dining room, and were very dainty. The table was covered with a white cloth, which contrasted with the yellow decorations nicely. From the chandelier above the center of the table were festooned strings of white popcorn to the four corners of the table. There were also brought down to each plate from the same point dainty lengths of half-inch orange-colored satin ribbon, each fastened to an orange. By each plate, on the folded napkin, were a white place card and an after-dinner mint wrapped in a yellow motto paper with an appropriate conundrum. The centerpiece was composed of three glass dishes, heirlooms, of different sizes, set one in the other in pyramid shape. The topmost held white and red grapes, the larger one fruit—rosy apples and bananas. The walnut sideboard was brightened by decorations of orange crepe paper and ears of yellow corn hung by the dried husks.
A large roasted turkey was seated on the table when the guests were seated, which was deftly carved while the conundrums formed the merry diversion for the waiting guests. The following menu was served:
Roast Turkey and Cranberry Jelly
Mashed potato Hubbard squash
Celery Peach pickles
Fruit salad Raised biscuit
Mince pie Pumpkin pie
Source: The Ohio Farmer, November 12, 1910.