You might think your preparations for Christmas dinner are substantial, but can you imagine planning and cooking for the masses on an Air Force Base?  Have a look at Christmas in Claresholm, 1941 and 1942!

Special meals were served for Christmas at Claresholm, Alberta, 1941 and 1942.  The menu for 1941 included:

CELERY              OLIVES

…..

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP

…..

ROAST TURKEY WITH DRESSING

CRANBERRY SAUCE

CREAMED POTATOES                 GREEN PEAS

…..

CHRISTMAS PUDDING AND

BRANDY SAUCE

MINCE PIE

 

 

The menu for 1942 included:

 

CELERY              OLIVES

…..

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP

…..

ROAST TURKEY WITH DRESSING

CRANBERRY JELLY

WHIPPED POTATOES        GREEN PEAS     CARROTS

ROLLS

…..

CHRISTMAS PUDDING AND

BRANDY SAUCE

MINCE PIE

…..

COFFEE

…..

CANDY      NUTS        FRUIT

CIGARETTES

 

The Royal Canadian Air Force Recipe Manual includes some of the recipes for the Claresholm Menu, December 25th, 1941 – January 1st, 1942:

** Cream of Tomato Soup

Yield: approximately 4 ¾ gallons

Size of serving: ¾ cup ( approximately 7 ounces )

“A”:            fat             1 pound 4 ounces

flour          1 pound 4 ounces

milk           2 gallons

salt            4 ounces

pepper       1 ½ teaspoons

 

“B”:            water, boiling          2 gallons

salt             1 ounce

onions, diced ( ¼ inch ) 1 pound 4 ounces

celery, diced ( ¼ inch )         1 pound 4 ounces

carrots, diced ( ¼ inch )       2 pounds, 4 ounces

 

“C”:            canned peas      2 No. 2 cans

canned corn         2 No. 2 cans

potatoes, cooked, diced ( ¼ inch )  2 pounds

Method:

  1. Using ingredients listed in “A”, prepare a cream sauce according to Method for Cream Sauces.
  2. Add onions, celery and carrots to boiling salted water and cook until tender (approximately 30 minutes).
  3. Drain off cooking water and retain 6 quarts. Combine with cooked vegetables.
  4. Add vegetables listed in “C” and heat to boiling point.
  5. Add gradually to cream sauce and combine thoroughly.
  6. Reheat over water-bath, before serving.

 

** Cream Sauce:

Yield: approximately 1 ½ gallons

THIN           MEDIUM                  THICK

Fat             10 ounces     1 pound 4 ounces        1 pound 12 ounces

Flour          10 ounces     1 pound 4 ounces        1 pound 12 ounces

Milk           6 quarts           6 quarts                    6 quarts

Salt           3 tbsp.             3 tbsp.                       3 tbsp.

Method:

  1. Melt fat in double boiler. Add flour and salt slowly and cook to form a roux ( approximately 10 minutes ).
  2. Heat milk to scalding point. Add gradually to the roux, stirring constantly.
  3. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until no flavour of raw starch remains ( approximately 15 minutes ).

 

** Roast Turkey With Dressing:

Yield: approximately 50 pounds ( cooked )

Size of serving: approximately 8 ounces ( meat and bone ) or 3 ½ ounces meat

Turkey, dressed            80 pounds

Bread dressing            20 pounds

Fat, melted                 12 ounces

Salt                             2 ounces

Pepper                       1 ½ teaspoons

Method:

  1. Clean, draw, and stuff turkey.
  2. Rub with melted fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place turkey on back in roasting pan.
  4. Roast at 325 degrees F for 3 to 4 ½ hours or until meat is tender.

 

** Bread Dressing:

Yield: approximately 20 pounds

Size of serving: 3 ounces

Dry bread, crusts removed                   12 pounds

Sage                                                       8 tablespoons

Pepper                                                    4 teaspoons

Salt                                                        4 ounces

Onions, finely chopped                           3 pounds

Celery and celery tops, diced                1 pound 8 ounces

Chicken fat or butter, melted                  2 pounds 8 ounces

Milk                                                        3 quarts

Method:

  1. Crumble bread or cut into ¼ inch cubes.
  2. Combine seasonings and add to bread.
  3. Saute onions and celery in melted fat until tender ( 10 to 15 minutes ). Add to bread.  Add milk.
  4. Stuff turkey or place dressing in greased baking pans, brush with fat and bake at 350 degrees F ( 45 – 60 minutes ).

** Creamed Potatoes:

Yield: approximately 32 pounds

Size of serving: 5 ounces

Potatoes, AP ( as purchased )       40 – 50 pounds

EP ( edible portion ) 32 pounds

Water   3 gallons

Salt       6 ounces

Method:

  1. Wash, peel and weigh potatoes.
  2. Add to vigorously boiling, salted water.
  3. Cook until tender but not broken ( 15 – 30 minutes, actual boil ).
  4. Drain well.
  5. Dice cooked potatoes in ½ to ¾ inch cubes.
  6. Add 1 ½ gallons cream sauce.

 

** Hot Mince Pie:

Yield: 17 9-inch pies

Size of serving: 1/6 pie

Mincemeat         25 pounds

Pie pastry           14 pounds

Method:

  1. Roll pastry to 1/8 inch thickness and line pie tins.
  2. Put 1 pound 8 ounces mincemeat in each pie. Cover with pastry.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown ( approximately 35 minutes ).  Serve hot.

 

** Mincemeat:

Yield: approximately 86 pounds

Sugar, brown                        7 pounds 8 ounces

Cinnamon                               1 ounce

Allspice                                1 ½ ounces

Ginger                                  1 ounce

Nutmeg                                2 ounces

Salt                                      5 ounces

Beef suet, ground                5 pounds

Raisins, chopped                   25 pounds

Mixed peel, chopped            5 pounds

Apples, cored, unpeeled and ground   25 pounds

Oranges, unpeeled and ground             2 pounds

Lemons, unpeeled and ground               1 pound 4 ounces

Beef, cooked, ground           10 pounds

Vinegar                                 2 ½ cups

Apple juice                           5 cups

Method:

  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add suet, raisins, and mixed peel. Mix well.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pack in earthen crocks or wooden containers. Store in refrigerator approximately 2 weeks before using.

Note: Currants – 10 pounds currants may be substituted for 10 pounds raisins.

 

** Whatever the size of your dinner group, enjoy your time together!