Holiday Recipes

Ruth Alden's Pumpkin Pie recipe c1660

Ruth Alden Bass created this recipe which her daughter Sarah Bass Thayer passed on and was given to my mother’s oldest sister, Helen Stuart Keith when she was a little girl about 1891 and was visiting a Thayer cousin. My mother’s family always followed it and I grew up delighting in it. The original probably used treacle and whole fresh milk. The distinctive flavor of pumpkin, raw milk and molasses sugar results from the right proportions. The spices enhance with a clever combination that enhances but does not overwhelm. Note that it does not use cloves!

1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
½ teaspoon salt
1 scant teaspoon cinnamon
1 scant teaspoon nutmeg
½ scant teaspoon ginger
¼ scant teaspoon mace
Combine in the order given
Add 2 eggs lightly beaten
Stir adding 1 can evaporated milk
Mix well then pour into a
pastry crust using a deep 9 inch pie pan
Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes
Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes

Note: scant means less than level
Rev. David P. Wyatt, Alden Kindred

Chocolate Steamed Pudding

Recipe from Madeline Farmer Ryder of Waltham, MA whose great grandmother was Lydia Alden (1822) Moore. Lydia was born in the Alden House in Duxbury and is Pauline Ryder Kezer’s great, great grandmother.

(This was the favorite Sunday or Holiday Dessert. It is steamed on top of the stove in a bowl set in a large pot with water in the bottom and the bowl covered with foil and the lid on the pot. It steams for an hour on low heat to simmer. When the turkey or other roast came out of the oven ten minutes before dinner, the pudding is removed from the pot and placed in the oven for 10 minutes. It will be moist and cakelike texture. Serve with the creamy sauce,)

Chocolate Steamed Pudding

1 egg
½ cup sugar
1 TBSP butter
2 packets unsweetened chocolate
1 rounded cup of sifted flour
2 tsps. Baking Powder
2/3 cup milk

Melt butter and chocolate; add it to the mixing bowl where you have beaten the egg and added the sugar; add flour Baking Powder and milk. Place this batter into a greased bowl or dish which will fit into a large pot. Place water in pot and bring to a boil. Place cake covered with foil in the pot. Put on lid, reduce heat an cover it with a lid. Simmer for an hour. Remove cake bowl and uncover. Place in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm with sauce.

Sauce for Chocolate Steamed Pudding

1 beaten egg, ¾ cup of sugar and a tsp of vanilla. Mix well, In separate bowl whip one cup of heavy cream til stiff. Mix with the sugar/egg/vanilla. Stir til smooth. Always stir this sauce before outing it on the pudding.

Shared by Pauline R. Kezer, AKA President


Holiday Traditions

Huge Thanksgiving Meal

Me, my parents, five brothers and about 10 of my relatives would go over to my grandparents house where my grandfather would spend the whole day cooking the largest turkey that money could buy, usually in excess of 25 pounds. It was considered quite manly to eat a lot so as a young boy I would eat a huge amount of turkey, for me being the whole leg from this massive bird, plus the usual fixings like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, creamed onions, green beans, corn, gravy, topped off with a desert of a choice of apple, pumpkin or cherry pie with ice cream. Seconds of dessert was mandatory.

Terry Reiber, Alden Lifetime Member


Grandmother Nora Edson Bowman - Descendant of Joseph Alden

Click photo above to enlarge

Hi, this is a Thanksgiving story about my great Grandmother Nora Edson Bowman descendant of Joseph Alden! Sincerely, Jennifer Hovey Reiter


Story Submitted by Susan Hall McCannell

I fondly recall our family gatherings with my dad’s New England family. Always on the menu, besides the turkey and fixings, were turnips and creamed onions, which were favorites of his uncle. He was the brother to my dad’s mother, the matriarch of the New England family going back many generations. The gatherings of nearly 30 often occurred at our home. My great uncle relished the gatherings as it reminded him of his family of 10 brothers and sisters, his parents, and other family members who lived nearby the family farm in Southern Maine. To this day, I pass on the turnips but enjoy the creamed onions. I also enjoy watching the Detroit Lions, who always played on Thanksgiving Day, often back then in snow. I also recall that my great uncle always said the prayer of thanks. When he died, my father took over that family tradition with much grace and heartfelt thanks. Good memories of family times, good food, and a time of giving thanks.