Lydia Maria Child's poem and pumpkin pie

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) today is best known for her cookbooks The Frugal Housewife, 1830 later retitled as The American Frugal Housewife, 1832 and The Family Nurse, or, Companion of The Frugal Housewife, 1837. Most people have sung "Over the river, and through the wood" which is taken from her poem The New-England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day from "Flowers for Children, II" 1845. It is interesting to note that in the original poem the destination is to Grandfather's house. The original first and last stanzas are as follows:

The New-England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Home to Thanksgiving, 1867, Currier and Ives

Over the river, and through the wood-
now Grandmothers cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

PUMPKIN AND SQUASH PIE. For common family pumpkin pies, three eggs do very well to a quart of milk. Stew your pumpkin, and strain it through a sieve, or colander. Take out the seeds, and pare the pumpkin, or squash, before you stew it; but do not scrape the inside; the part nearest the seed is the sweetest part of the squash. Stir in the stewed pumpkin, till it is as thick as you can stir it round rapidly and easily. If you want to make your pie richer, make it thinner, and add another egg. One egg to a quart of milk makes very decent pies. Sweeten it to your taste, with molasses or sugar; some pumpkins require more sweetening than others. Two tea-spoonfuls of salt; two great spoonfuls of sifted cinnamon; one great spoonful of ginger. Ginger will answer very well alone for spice, if you use enough of it. The outside of a lemon grated in is nice. The more eggs, the better the pie; some put an egg to a gill of milk. They should bake from forty to fifty minutes, and even ten minutes longer, if very deep.
The American Frugal Housewife.

For the recipe from The Frugal Housewife see Pumpkin Pie.

©2006 Patricia Bixler Reber