Thanksgiving at VPI

This week, I thought I’d share something related to the Culinary History Collection, though not actually part of it. Food seems to permeate so much of our lives, it doesn’t seem like too much of a diversion.

Thanksgiving is just a week away. And while these days, our students get time off, that wasn’t always the case. This is one of several Thanksgiving menus from the University Archives (which seeks to document the history of university). From 1924, it includes a picture of the football team, who would have had a big game on or around November 30. Cadets were treated to a special meal for the holiday.

Some of the dinner is familiar and still traditional today (turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing and gravy, etc.), but there are a few things worth noting. First, the Grimes Golden apple is now considered an heirloom variety and unlikely to be in grocery stores (though if you can find it, it is rumored to make a wonderful “pie” apple). Second, instead of pie, our cadets were treated to lady fingers, ice cream, fruit, and nuts. And fruit punch! Third, there was a band!

So, this year, consider hiring a live orchestra and replacing pie with cookies, if you’re feeling adventurous. Or stick with the modern traditions—we DO love them for a reason. Expect another “turkey day” post or two before the big day, but here’s an early Happy Thanksgiving! from us to you.

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