In an era before refrigeration and long term food storage, people ate produce that was fresh and in season. When fresh fruits and vegetables were in poor supply, dishes were heavy in meat and protein. This situation was less likely to be true for the wealthy, who were able to replenish their tables with fresh fruits and vegetables grown in their own greenhouses.
Mrs. Hannah Glasse lists fresh foods by month in her classic cookery book, The Art of Cookery. Here is her list of available foods for November.
MEAT.—Beef, mutton, veal, doe venison.
POULTRY.—Chickens, fowls, geese, larks, pigeons, pullets, rabbits, teal, turkeys, widgeons, wild duck.
GAME.—Hares, partridges, pheasants, snipes, woodcocks.
VEGETABLES.—Beetroot, cabbages, carrots, celery, lettuces, late cucumbers, onions, potatoes, salading, spinach, sprouts,—various herbs.
FRUIT.—Apples, bullaces, chestnuts, filberts, grapes, pears, walnuts.
- Harvest Festival
BBC Food also lists fresh foods in season: parsnips, beetroot, pumpkins, swede*, cabbage, leeks, potatoes, teal, goose, venison, grouse, oyster, chestnuts, cranberries, pears, and quinces. Click on the link to find recipes using these ingredients. *Swedes are a traditional British food. You can read more about them in The British Kitchen, and find a few recipes for preparing them as well. Click here for a Heritage recipe for fish pie. Whether in the U.S. or across The Pond, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day.These links discuss the Harvest Festival in more detail.