The dining room was said to be Charles Henry Manship’s favorite room, and was originally painted by him in imitation of oak paneling. The plaster walls were wallpapered and painted with a golden base color. Thin glazes were applied to look like oak, and then varnished to give the walls luster and durability. Over the years, the dining room was host to many Manship family Christmas dinners. Menus for Christmas dinners were featured in popular magazines and often included a variety of meats and fowl. Then, as now, cranberry jelly was suggested as an accompaniment to various meats. The following recipe is from Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, December, 1879:
Ingredients. – One quart of cranberries,
One pound of loaf sugar.
Wash the cranberries in clear, cold water, and put them in a porcelain saucepan, with as much water as remains on them after washing. If lifted out of the water with a skimmer, sufficient remains on the berries. Stew very slowly until every berry has burst open; strain through a colander, squeezing out every particle of pulp from the skin. Put the pulp and juice back in the saucepan; add the sugar and boil half an hour, stirring very frequently. Wet a mould with iced water, and pour in the jelly. When cold, turn out. A very ornamental dish to serve with poultry.