Some pumpkin-laden advice from Janet McKenzie Hill, sounding like the Martha Stewart of a much earlier generation in her Practical Cooking and Serving: a Complete Manual of How to Select, Prepare, and Serve Food (1902, p. 566):
CENTREPIECE OF FRUIT FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER OR HARVEST FESTIVAL [Halloween]
Select a golden-colored, medium-sized, well-shaped pumpkin. With a sharp knife fashion into the shape of a basket with an old-fashioned tub handle on each side. Carefully scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving a thin shell. Polish the rind and line the inside neatly with white paper. The paper may be held in place with pins.
Fill the basket with apples, pears, and grapes of various hues. A mat of autumn leaves, maple or sumac, gives the finishing touch to this table ornament. A fruit basket, fashioned from a cabbage, is appropriate for halloween [sic].
Note: “Haints” comes from a slang term used for “ghost” in the American South.
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