Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Photo: Healthful Holiday

Will you be cooking a Christmas feast like this one that Rose Drew Paulley hosted in Lavina in 1938?

Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives
We tend to overindulge during these special times of year, and we pay for those extra pounds in the New Year. But it's not a modern problem, as an article from 1881 goes to show...

In 1881, Montana newspapers ran an article cautioning holiday hostesses to think carefully about the health of their guests. "Friends," said the article, "those of you who expect to treat your children to a holiday feast, let us give you a hint. Why are all our holidays filled with unreasonable feasting? Overeating at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s causes sickness, and doctors always expect to be busy at this time of year. Instead of loading the table with certain foods that injure the digestive system and work mischief in every part of one’s vital organs, wouldn’t it be better to put more healthful foods on the table? How can certain foods be pronounced unwholesome and bad for you, but at those special times of the year considered good and desirable? Women control the meals in their households and could greatly reform the world if they heeded this advice and put wholesome food that does not stimulate the palate into gluttony on their tables." The article went on to point out that there are other ways people get sick during the holidays besides overindulging. Keeping late hours then sleeping late, compressing the stomach in tight clothing, wearing thin shoes, neglecting to bathe to keep the pores open, exchanging warm daytime clothing for evening attire, eating at irregular times, fretting over unimportant issues and taking quack medicines for imaginary maladies all compound the misery of holiday ill health. Back in 1881, these things were all of concern. Things haven’t changed very much, have they?

P.S. Remember this 1893 recipe for duck?

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