Ancient History

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…people like lists (vol. 17)

1. It’s time to make your virtual snowflake. I do this every year, wishing I could make real snowflakes just as lovely. Watch them fall and see some stunning works of art, plus greetings from around the world. Here’s a tutorial for making real paper snowflakes, if that’s more your style.

2. Learn how to say Merry Christmas/Happy New Year in many different languages. Of course, it doesn’t tell you how to pronounce Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo! (Inupik)

3. Watch and listen to “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” performed solely with bicycle parts. Who thought of this? Why? How long did it take? Who knew caliper brakes make such lovely sounds?

4. Here is a fascinating list of typical Christmas feast menus, starting in 17th Century England. A sampling from 1956:

“A Dinner in Red for Christmas: Fruit Cocktail, Salmon Pudding, Cheese Sauce, Potato Cubes, Corn Relish in Red Pepper Cups, Radish Flowers, Roast Turkey or Roast Duck with Oyster Stuffing, Cranberry Molds, Creole Brains, Asparagus in Red Pepper Rings, Egg Rolls, Tomato Jelly with Stuffed Olives and Celery, Charlotte, Fruit Cake, Coffee, Cheese, Crackers.”
—Mary Lyles Wilson Cookbook, Mary Lyles Wilson [Southwestern Company:Nashville TN] 1956 (p. 306)

Compare that to the 1790s:

“Christmas Dinner at Mount Vernon: An Onion Soup Call’d the King’s Soup, Oysters on the Half Shell, Broiled Salt Roe Hering, Boiled Rockfish, Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Mutton Chops, Roast Suckling Pig, Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing, Round of Cold Boiled Beef with Horse-radish Sauce, Cold Baked Virginia Ham, Lima Beans, Baked Acorn Squash, Baked Celery with Slivered Almonds, Hominy Pudding, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Cantaloupe Pickle, Spiced Peaches in Brandy, Spiced Cranberries, Mincemeat Pie, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, Chess Tarts, Blancmange, Plums in Wine Jelly, Snowballs, Indian Pudding, Great Cake, Ice Cream, Plum Pudding, Fruits, Nuts, Raisins, Port, Madeira.”
—The American Heritage Cookbook and Illustrated History of American Eating & Drinking, American Heritage Magazine [American Heritage Publishing Co.:New York] 1964 (p. 420)

Personally, I think I’d rather sample the 1790s fare. If I had more time, money, skills, and access to Creole Brains, it would be fun to re-create one of the menus.

5. Entertaining, uplifting “Hallelujah Chorus” performed by the Yupiq Eskimo Village of Quinhagak, Alaska:

4 comments to …people like lists (vol. 17)

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