Valley City Times-Record
November 23, 2022 — On this date in 1917, the people of North Dakota were planning for the first major holiday with many loved ones away, awaiting transportation to the battlefields of Europe. Although it was a more subdued and solemn occasion than past Thanksgivings, with most of North Dakota’s servicemen still stateside, it was not a grim occasion.
Most families planned to celebrate with a Thanksgiving dinner, but what kind of dinner? Many were tempted to dine on the traditional turkey, depending upon their ability to obtain, or afford, the necessary ingredients, but most turkeys were destined for the military.
For the patriotic, there was the Hooverized dinner, recommended by Herbert Hoover, the US Food Commissioner.
The Hooverized dinner called for a wheatless, meatless, fatless and sugarless meal, but for this occasion, most avoided the meatless option. One menu proposed chicken, potatoes, carrots, a green salad, cornbread and honey, with fruit for dessert. Beets and turnips were suggested as substitutes for potatoes. Oysters and fish were other popular items. Better yet, a variety of meals could be found at local hotels, including Hooverized versions, with the added benefit of on-site entertainment.
“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie
Public in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from Humanities North Dakota. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepublic.org, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairiepublic.org.