Pick from the menu, Christmas dinner 1917, Navy style

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So normally for Christmas, I just re-do Thanksgiving dinner all over again. Why the heck not? I also do it at Easter, then again at what I call "Thanksgiving in July." And no one ever complains. Thanksgiving dinner about four times a year, is just about right...

This year unfortunately my parents and brother got a vote, and they want prime rib and a baked potatoe bar. I am actually unsure of the genetic link at this point, but anyway, rib roast and potatoes acquired. But for some degree of tradition, I need to at least add a few things of a true holiday style. Good opportunity to delve into a decade long goal of mine of exploring the menu of a Navy mess, c. 1917. This is what the battleship (technically a pre-Dreadnaught) U.S.S. Oregon (BB-3) did that day:

Christmas dinner.jpg


Sounds good. I actually have the candied sweet potatoes in the freezer, I made extra at thanksgiving. Olives a must. I'm thinking to do Oyster soup, chestnut dressing (what exactly is that?). Since kids are involved, I'm thinking cigarettes and coffee are a must to give them a real feel for pre-PC era America.

What the heck is "hard sauce?" Sounds like I'd like it.

Here are some other Navy ship's Christmas dinners throughout the 20th Century, Enjoy!



The ship in profile:


And in motion:

uss oregon.jpg


Looks like she's doing 12 knots or better, look at that bow wave and how far back the trough is (abeam the bridge). She's steamin'! (pun intended)
 
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Oro_O

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Love the post. Prime rib and homemade pasta for us on Christmas Eve and a spiral ham for Christmas day.

I am doing turkey tetrazzini for eve (a post thanksgiving tradition we didn't get to do this year so I froze some turkey). Also that way it's basically one-dish I do and my mom doesn't have to do anything. But I like your style, prime rib one day, ham the next. That's good.

I was already thinking to add a ham to the rib actually on Christmas day, glad you mentioned that. I may pick one up before then.
 
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I can only surmise that hard sauce has some sort of rum component to make it sweet.

Now in the sixties and seventies and beyond that menu might carry over for the most part with the exception of the hard sauce and the cigarettes.

Of course, any meal on board ship is not complete without bug juice. Those who are ex-Navy or Coast Guard will know.
 
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I am doing turkey tetrazzini for eve (a post thanksgiving tradition we didn't get to do this year so I froze some turkey). Also that way it's basically one-dish I do and my mom doesn't have to do anything. But I like your style, prime rib one day, ham the next. That's good.

I was already thinking to add a ham to the rib actually on Christmas day, glad you mentioned that. I may pick one up before then.

Good quality ham is so easy to cook while your actually working on the dishes requiring more attention. I like to add the ham for the leftovers as well. Dice up some cubes and makes a good green split pea soup.
 
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I guess the weird thing now would be tobacco on the menu. And that they spelled "DESSERT" wrong.

Reminds me of when Anthony Bourdain was on Food Network and went as a foursome with some friends (including a 3-star Michelin chef) to the French Laundry in Napa Valley. Thomas Keller knew of his smoking habits and specifically made something for him called "coffee and cigarettes". It was just coffee custard made with tobacco sprinkled from a cigarette.

 

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I’m impressed to see lemon meringue pie, one of my favourites.

I was intrigued by that, too. Haven't had one in ages and I am going to pick one up today if I can find one, not make my own.

I was just thinking about that and will add from that menu:

olives
hard sauce
oyster soup
cranberry sauce
chestnut dressing (I found a good recipe w/pork sausage)
candied sweet yams (I have some already made)
lemon meringue pie (pre-made)


Thomas Keller knew of his smoking habits and specifically made something for him called "coffee and cigarettes".

That's pretty funny. I met him once very briefly about 10 years ago; he did a lecture/speech at the Paramount in Seattle. We went on stage back/stage afterwards, my friend had passes. What was amazing was how truly uncomfortable he was around strangers up close (not rude, just sort of like a frightened animal (?), very strange), and how thoroughly sloshed - which was not at all apparent when he was talking to the theater.
 
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Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners were a feast onboard NAVY ships, served on 2 carriers, USS Ranger and USS Coral Sea. can't say I had a bad meal on any of them. Captain of the ship and his department heads would do the servings. :D
 

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served on 2 carriers, USS Ranger and USS Coral Sea.

I miss the days when carriers had REAL names. Hornet, Wasp, Ranger (historic ships), Coral Sea, Midway, Leyte - great victories.

I'm impressed that they finished off with Cigars, Cigarettes and Coffee.....

It was 1917... ;)

But your avatar/photo is not the standard photo of Big John that I'm familiar with. Here's the one on my parents' refrigerator:
Big John.jpg


I ran out of luck on finding a pre-made lemon pie, so we'll give it a go from here:

IMG-3458.jpg
 
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Decades ago, I sometimes holiday dined with people with a British connection. They also served hard sauce to be used on canned plum pudding. Which was really more like a cake as I recall. I believe they imported both of those treats.

On the Navy ship I was on for most of my time, the food was absolutely terrible. I'm not overly particular either. They did a decent job on Thanksgiving dinner. Otherwise, often steamed fish and rice and 20-year-old C rats.
 
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I ran out of luck on finding a pre-made lemon pie, so we'll give it a go from here:


On cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk is one of the best recipes for lemon meringue pie. Might be too late for Christmas but give it a shot afterwards.
 
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On the Navy ship I was on for most of my time, the food was absolutely terrible. I'm not overly particular either. They did a decent job on Thanksgiving dinner. Otherwise, often steamed fish and rice and 20-year-old C rats.


During the 70’s the Coast Guard cutter I was on served chicken almost every day and many times twice a day. Thanksgiving we had the Turkey with all the fixings and the cooks outdid themselves. I think the constraints of what was supplied hindered most cooks.

Chicken Tetrazzini.
Chicken Cacciatore.
Chicken A la King. ( I liked this one!)
Chicken over rice with gravy.

and Chicken soup of course.

Those are the ones I can remember right off hand.


Every now and then we would get something different like hamburgers or meatloaf or Swedish meatballs. Those were uncommon.
 

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Good memories and stuff shared here. I'm down on making a lemon meringue pie so hopefully tonight or tomorrow that will get done.

In other good news, USPS brought the last few stocking stuffers for the kids. We'll have a bang-up time after dinner!

IMG-3457.jpg
 
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