Yes, I've posted this before, but you know we need a reminder from time to time about how cooking has changed over the years!
Three great choices for your Thanksgiving table from the Welcome Baking Powder cookbook, 1890:
Draw and wash the inside very carefully, as with all game. Domestic fowls are, or should be, kept up without eating for at least twelve hours before they are killed; but we must shoot wild when we can get the chance, and of course it often happens that their crops are distended by the recent hearty meal of rank or green food. Wipe the cavity with a dry, soft cloth before you stuff. Have a rich force-meat, bread crumbs, some bits of fat pork, chopped fine, pepper and salt. Moisten with milk, and beat in an egg and a couple of tablespoonfuls of melted butter. Baste with butter and water for the first hour, then three or four times with gravy; lastly, five or six times with melted butter. A generous and able housekeeper told me once that she always allowed a pound of butter for basting a large wild turkey. This was an extravagant quantity, but the meat is drier than that of the domestic fowl, and not nearly so fat. Dredge with flour at the last, froth with butter, and when he is of a tempting brown, serve. Skim the gravy, add a little hot water, pepper, thicken with the giblets chopped fine, and browned flour, boil up and pour into a tureen. At the South the giblets are not put in the gravy, but laid whole, one under each wing, when the turkey is dished. Garnish with small fried sausages, not large than a dollar, crisped parsley between them. Send around currant jelly and cranberry sauce with it.
Boiled Calf Head (without the skin)
Calf’s head, water, a little salt, four tablespoonfuls of melted butter, one tablespoonful of minced parsley, pepper and salt to taste, one tablespoonful of lemon juice.
After the head has been thoroughly cleaned, and the brains removed, soak it in warm water to blanch it. Lay the brains also into warm water to soak, and let them remain for about an hour. Put the head into a stew pan, with sufficient cold water to cover it, and when it boils, add a little salt; take off every particle of scum as it rises and boil the head until perfectly tender. Boil the brains, chop them, and mix with them melted butter, minced parsley, pepper, salt, and lemon juice in the above proportion. Take up the head, skin the tongue, and put it on a small dish with the brains round it. Have ready some parsley and butter, smother the head with it, and the remainder send to table in a tureen. Bacon, ham, pickled pork, or a pig’s cheek are indispensable with calf’s head. The brains are sometimes chopped with hard-boiled eggs. (My mom served pig brains with scrambled eggs.)
Thoroughly clean the pig, then rinse it in cold water, wipe it dry; then rub the inside with a mixture of salt and pepper, and if liked, a little pounded and sifted sage; make a stuffing of this: cut some wheat bread in slices half an inch thick, spread butter on to half its thickness, sprinkled with pepper and salt, and if liked, a little pounded sage and minced onion; pour enough hot water over the bread to make it moist or soft, then fill the body with it and sew it together, or tie a cord around it to keep the dressing in, then spit it; put a pint of water in the dripping pan, put into it a tablespoonful of salt and a teaspoonful of pepper, let the fire be hotter at each end than in the middle, put the pig down at a little distance from the fire, baste it as it begins to roast, and gradually draw it nearer; continue to baste occasionally, turn it that it may be evenly cooked; when the eyes drop out it is done; or a better rule is to judge by the weight, fifteen minutes for each pound of meat, if the fire is right.
Have a bright clear fire, with a bed of coals at the bottom; first put the roast at a little distance, and gradually draw it nearer; when the pig is done stir up the fire, take a coarse cloth with a good bit of butter in it, and wet the pig all over with it, and when the crackling is crisp take it up; dredge a little flour into the gravy, let it boil up once, and having boiled the heart, liver, etc. tender, and chopped it fine, add it to the gravy, give it one boil, then serve.