Sunday, September 29, 2013

"A Tolerable Dinner"

"Our last furloughed men have returned, and I have the promise of one next week, and am congratulating myself on the prospect of once more seeing home.  I am anticipating a great deal when I get home; among other things the pleasure of once more sitting down to a clean, well-spread table, with a good square dinner before me.  In anticipation of such an event, I send by this mail a small bill of fare of such dishes as I think I shall relish, and have ordered them to be ready and smoking hot on my arrival:

Roast -- Sirloin of beef, spare rib of pork, breast of veal, turkey with cranberry sauce, chicken.
Baked -- Bluefish, oyster dressing.  Chicken pie.
Boiled -- Halibut.  Fried -- Pouts.
Chicken salad.  Lobster salad.
Oysters -- Stewed, fried, escalloped.  Clam Chowder.

27 dozen Providence river oysters on the half shell.

Mashed potatoes, boiled onions, beets, turnips, squash, sweet corn, string beans, succotash, stewed tomatoes, tomatoes sliced with vinegar or sugar, apple dumplings with sugar sauce; mince, apple, berry, lemon, cream and custard pie.

Also one moderately sized pumpkin pie, say about thirty-six inches across and not less than eight inches deep; that is as small a pumpkin pie as I care to bother with.

Oranges, apples, pears, grapes, chestnuts, walnuts, cider.

N.B.  No boiled salt pork, beef soup or rice and molasses.  I don't hanker for that.

With that bill of fare, and such other things as my folks will naturally think of, I reckon I can make a tolerable dinner."  David L. Day, 25th Massachusetts.


Jane S. said...

Eh?? All that for one man, for one meal? It boggles the mind.

Shay said...

I'm pretty sure he was indulging in some wishful thinking.

Sharon Lee Kubichek said...

hah! I remember scout camp, which I remember as serving pretty good food, being one of the few female leaders. however, the young men did make extensive lists of large amounts of food they were going to eat when they got home. For some it was fast food, for some it was that mom would have missed them so much she would have cooked them everything and have it waiting at the door.
now, since some of these young men had dared each other how long they could go without ever removing their class A's (mine included), I'm pretty sure the first thing that happened after the hug was a bath (with tomato sauce, like a skunked dog).

Bunnykins said...

It was always a joy to cook for the men of the family who had been to war (and gone through the depression) as they appreciated their food so much. I can still see my grandfather devour a whole jar of chutney imported from India in one sitting (he hadn't had any since he was a young man, as you just couldn't buy it where we lived) or his plate overflowing with a huge properly aged steak and mountains of potato, carrot and cabbage. For my father, it was thick cut fried baloney and spanish onion sandwiches (yecch) or vine ripened beefsteak tomatos.

Shay said...

For us it was dairy products. We'd come in after a 3 day exercise and wipe out the milk and ice cream in the chow hall.

Never underestimate the amount of food a gang of hungry 18-21 year olds can put away, especially if 95% of them are male.