(Editor's note: The piece originally aired on December 20, 2012)
Holiday feasts have increased in both complexity and decadence since their 19th century beginnings.
Bill Loomis of the Detroit News spoke with Cyndy about some historic festive spreads.
For those interested in preparing something different this year, here are several 19th century recipes:
Pork Fruit Cake [from 1878]
One pound of fat pork chopped fine, one pound of raisins., one of currants, one of sugar, one pint of molasses, one of boiling water, spice to taste, a teaspoon of soda; mix pork, sugar, molasses, spice, and soda; flour as for any cake; lastly, raisins and currants rolled in flour.
Christmas Cookies [from 1845]
Take one pound and a half of flour, three quarters of a pound of sugar, half a pound of butter, half a cup of milk, and two spoonfuls of caraway seeds; melt the butter before you put it in. It is rather difficult to knead, but it can be done. Roll it out and cut it in hearts and diamonds, and bake it on buttered tins.
Christmas Egg Nog [from 1870]
Take the yolks of eight eggs and six table-spoons full of pulverized sugar, and beat them to the consistency of cream; to this add half a nutmeg, grated, and beat well together, then mix one third of a pint of good Jamaica rum, and a wine glass of brandy or Madeira wine; have ready the whites of the eggs beaten to a stiff froth, and beat them into the above mixture; when this is done, stir in three pints of good rich milk. No heat is used.
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