1939 Thanksgiving Menu

Last year I followed a Thanksgiving Menu from the 1970s and the year before a Thanksgiving Menu from 1963. Seeing this is now a tradition on my blog, I decided to do it again. For the past two years, I picked menus from cookbooks which were Southern Living: Holiday cookbook and Better Homes and Garden Birthday and Family Celebrations. This year I got my inspiration when I came across this Thanksgiving menu from a 1939 newspaper.  

The meal was touted as an easier menu that will keep one “as free as possible on Thanksgiving day so that you too can enjoy the family and let the family enjoy you”. It promises with a little planning and preparing the day before one does not need to be attached to the kitchen all day long.


So what is on the menu? (click on the recipes with asterisks to go the post that includes the recipe)


1939 Thanksgiving Menu

Main Course
Turkey Stuffed with Dressing*     Giblet Gravy*

Oranged Sweet Potatoes*     Cabbage-Pineapple Gelatin Salad*

Creamed Onions with Creamed Cheese*

Pumpkin Pie*

As you can see the menu is quite simple and does not include any starters. For some, this menu might be too simple in seasoning. Literally, none of these recipes started with the obligatory sauté chopped onions and garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Many only use salt and pepper as a season. So keep that in mind when trying these recipes that they may need to be tweaked to suit a more modern palate. Though the real perk about this menu is that it does use very basic ingredients and I found very few extra items needed to be bought. It really kept the expense of a Thanksgiving meal quite affordable.

The major con to this menu is that I am not sure all the recipes were really that well tested. I am completely looking at you, pumpkin pie. From start to finish that recipe was off and it ended up in a barely set, soggy bottom mess. I didn’t have time to work with the measurements so I went searching for another 1930s pumpkin recipe. Luckily I found MANY and I picked a great one that worked out PERFECT the first time. There were other little issues that I will talk about in the other posts when I share the recipes.

So like the two years before, I will break this up in the main course and dessert post (no starters because there were none). Therefore look for the turkey and sides tomorrow and the pumpkin pie Saturday.



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