My debut historical mystery Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper launched earlier this month! Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of guest blog posts and author-reader chats. Thanks to everyone who’s visited my website and liked my author page on Facebook!
Since it’s Thanksgiving week, right now I’m thinking about FOOD—smoked turkey, oyster stuffing, and gravy; sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce; and, one of my very favorites, fluffy ambrosia.
My food thoughts made me wonder what Fanny Newcomb and her friends (and even her enemies, since Fanny is hunting down the Irish Channel Ripper in 1889 New Orleans) ate for Thanksgiving dinner. And then I wondered—since it was President Lincoln who officially proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving—did New Orleanians actually celebrate Thanksgiving in the 1880s?
from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, c1888
Oh, yes they did. With morning church services and an evening family feast, New Orleanians joined the rest of the country in giving thanks.
And what a feast! The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book of 1901 provides a complete menu for Thanksgiving Day Dinner (or as the Creoles called it le Jour d’Action de Graces) for New Orleanians. If you look closely (because there are an amazing twenty-one courses), you’ll see that—just like today—turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce were served.
Interested in recreating some of these late 19th century dishes? Join me on my blog this week for vintage New Orleans holiday recipes!
|A Thanksgiving Menu.|
Menu Pour le Jour d’Action de Graces.
Oysters on Half Shell.
Cream of Asparagus Soup.
Spanish Olives. Celery. Mixed Pickles.
Radishes. Salted Almonds.
Baked Red Snapper a la Creole.
Lamb Chops au Petit Pois.
Chicken Saute aux Champignons.
Cauliflower, Sauce Blanche.
Pineapple Fritters au Rhum.
Pates de Foies Gras.
Turkey Stuffed With Chestnuts, Cranberry Sauce.
Endive Salad, French Dressing.
Pababotte a la Creole.
Plum Pudding, Hard or Brandy Sauce.
Lemon Sherbet. Assorted Cakes.
Assorted Fruits. Assorted Nuts. Raisins.
Quince Marmalade. Crackers.
And finally, Ana’s contest news!
~ Congrats to my Halloween Mash contest winner Elizabeth K-W!
~It’s not too late to join my November contest for a $25 Amazon gift card.
~Mark your calendars for my December contest when the prize is a box of Evans Famous Creole Pralines from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans!
Here’s to a savory, sweet, and satisfying Thanksgiving celebration!
FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER
Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade.
Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper.
Fanny quickly enlists the help of her well-connected employers—Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive—and together the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution.
Fanny’s good intentions quickly infuriate her longtime beau Lawrence Decatur, while her reckless persistence confounds the talented police detective Daniel Crenshaw. Reluctantly, Lawrence and Daniel also lend their talents to Fanny’s investigation.
As the murderer sets a date for his next heinous crime, can Fanny Newcomb and her crew stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again?