Posts Tagged With: costume

CHRISTMAS AT BRACEBRIDGE HALL Part I

In the 1970’s I found this little booklet entitled Christmas At Bracebridge Hall, written by Washington Irving. A friend informed me that the Bracebridge Hall Dinner was a yearly event at Yosemite National Park, Olde English in style and costume, held every Christmas.
Since I live relatively close to Yosemite, I called there and  learned one must submit a form to attend and the attendees are then selected by lottery. If your name comes up, you get to buy these very expensive tickets for this two day event, a grand Old English dress ball and banquet. I submitted an application for three years in a row and finally my name came up. But, my husband was seriously ill that year and we couldn’t attend. By this time it didn’t matter, though.  We’d had an opportunity to attend a similar dinner at the Old McHenry Mansion in Modesto, costume, authentic food and all.

This picture from that dinner, dressed in costume is one of my favorites. (It was tough to get George into a tux.)
In later years, reading this little book inspired me keep menu cards for very special dinners, mostly Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners I cooked at home. With French people, food is a religion and we certainly made it so at Holidays. Its the difference between food and a feast. With what I cooked and others brought, we were likely to have five different deserts, 10 varieties of cookies, nuts, and fruits and cakes and pies. Three kinds of cranberries, two kinds of sweet potatoes, six or seven side dishes. The turkey, roast or ham, done up in a special way. Much of this food, shipped across country or imported;  fruits, wines and oils we hadn’t even heard of when we were growing up. I guess I’ve come to say, during this Christmas Season, as someone before me intoned:

If you have a roof over your head, food on the table, a warm bed at night, you are certainly better off than 75% of the people on earth. If you have the type of bounty I’m describing, you are among the wealthiest 8% of people on earth. Be thankful, celebrate, share with others, and make Merry at Christmas.
I decided to go on-line, (Isn’t the internet wonderful?) and find the avenue to the Yosemite Park’s famous Christmas Dinner for you to see.
http://www.nationalparkreservations.com/yosemite_ahwahnee_bracebridge.htm

Wait a minute. Washington Irving died in 1859. This 17th century dinner has been celebrated at Yosemite since 1927?

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