Dinner on the S.S.Romanic


Aug 29, 2000
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Well, it was bound to happen- can't write about TOILETS and 1912 plumbing all the time- as exciting a subject as that may be. Another pet project dear to my heart is ship menu collecting, and trying the odd recipe for the concoctions found on same. Tonight- let's have dinner on the S.S.Romanic (Marjorie Robb took a trip on this White Star ship in 1907)-this menu is from 1906,- a Friday . Oddly enough the Baltic Library is on the sepia cover of this little menu (The FirstClass one).
What's to eat? (now I am on a diet this is of GREAT interest):
Oysters on the half-shell
Caviar on Toast Green Olives
Turtle Soup Consomme Royal, Devilled Whitbait
Tenderloin Delmonico Calf Sweetbreads a la Toulouse Roast saddle of Mutton Currant Jelly
Baked York Ham Lima Beans Roast Turkey
Cauliflower au gratin Rice, Oyster Plant, Boiled and Mould Potatoes
Asparagus Sauce Ravigotte English Pheasant
Crumbs Bread Sauce Pate de Fois Gras en truffle
Celery Plum Pudding Brandy Sauce Apple Tart
Lemon Cheese Cakes Compote of Peaches Strawberry Ice Cream Cheese Straws.

O.K. YOU can have the sweetbreads, lima beans and whitebait, and CRUMBS- I shall take the tenderloin.
Have NO idea what an oyster plant is but oh how we did try to please the Brits and the Yanks both with the Lamb and Currant Sauce and CHEESE STRAWS-whatever they are- they seem to love 'em in Old Blighty to this day. AM smiling about the green turtle soup- my Gran used to chase the turtle all around the back yard, chop off its head, pry it out of the shell and make the MOST delicious soup (I hear the vegans swooning)- Colonial Williamsburg has a faboo recipe for Turtle Soup Amontillado which I shall loccate and send next time. Sweet how the word "PIE" is for the common masses while apple tart is the refined nomenclature! I see the English will get their Plum Pudding and brandy sauce, which I try to get excited about every holiday but mine just comes out tasting like dry old sneakers- but it flames a treat! Am scanning some pretty menu covers for- you guessed it- ANOTHER webpage.
 

Pat Winship

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May 14, 1999
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Hi, Shelly

Oyster plant is salsify, a root vegetable that looks like a parsnip, and is said to taste like oysters. I'm finding recipes for it creamed, in soup, and (oooooeeeeee!) with black truffles. Makes me want to run out and find some!

Pat
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Shell, Cheese straws - now you're talking my language! They are pastry mixed with a fairly strong cheese and baked in the oven - gosh I'm drooling already! Currant Jelly is served with roast lamb and is made from Redcurrants - it's divine! Some American friends were over here a while ago and we took them for a traditional British meal - unwisely, they went for Treacle Roly Poly and Custard which remained with them for about a fortnight!
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Am never ceasing to be amazed at the ecclectic mix of talentand knowledge here- salsify- yes-I have heard of that! Can't get it here in the States that I know of. What amazed me is that everybody did not burst out of their corsets eating all of that stuff. Diamond Jim Brady and his lady friend used to gobble up Delmonico's nightly! They must have had higher metabolisms or walked more... Tomorrow night-a nice little menu from the Teutonic. What a difference good refrigeration made in the selection of food shipboard. I have tasted salt cod and hardtack- yuk- those poor sailors going 'round the Horn must have had castiron tums!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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In the days befor refrigeration, anyone going to sea had to put up with far worse then salt cod or hardtack. Food was so bad that if the hardtack wasn't infested with weevils, sailors regarded it, not unwisely, as suspect. The rational being "It's so bad, even the weevils won't touch it."

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Aug 29, 2000
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A cabin biscuit would be on the order of something like what we call here a Milk Biscuit- sort of bland and round- for digestive aid, probably useful for seasickness. The Titanic also had Pilot Crackers- which are still available- in the lifeboat- one souvenir of Titanic's is still in existence in New Jersey- cannot remember who took it from the lifeboat but Mike Findlay will remember!( the Brits tend to call cookies biscuits as well and have cream types for tea, and all manner of fancy ones as well as charcoal digestives -yuk).
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 26, 2000
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My fondest Shelly,

One of those 'biscuits' (if I'm reading your post correctly) still resides with Mary Lou Fenwick, along with a crowd of photos her in-laws, James and Mabel Fenwick, took on board the Carpathia (ss seen in Don Lynch's and Ken Marschall's book "The Illustrated Titanic".) On a side note, and one especially of interest to me, she also has a hand-written note from Lawrence Beesley to the Fenwicks, thanking them for the photo they sent to him (the photo also seen in the Lynch/Marschall book and several others.)

Your humble and adoring servant,
Cook
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Thanks Shelly. I figured it was something like that. I noticed it listed on my reproduction Titanic menus.

Pat, those photographs and hardtack biscuit was also shown on an episode of PBS's Antiques Roadshow. They were estimated to be worth $18,000. It also contained the infamous "red paint-smeared" iceberg photo, as well.

-B.W.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Teutonic hardly qualifies for the Edwardian Dining Table but as a contrast to the great improvement in dining fare in second class here is a Teutonic menu dated March 25, 1895
It is 3x5 with White Star Line in red with a white star central and the ship's name and 2nd Cabin in red-this was a popular format/
Porridge with Fresh Milk
Broiled Beef Steak Liver and Bacon
Irish Stew, Fresh rolls and butter, Tea and Coffee
Pretty spartan compared to Titanic's Second Cabin
The Brits sure love this porridge stuff- what is it anyway- farina or semmolina ? There is something called SAGO which crops up alot and sounds disgusting- children seemed to have quantities of it to eat.Have just finished reading a book called An Edwardian Childhood by Jane Pettigrew which was MOST illuminating-and gives not only the life of the pampered rich child with a nanny, but middle class as well.
 

Sam Brannigan

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Dec 20, 2000
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Hi Shelley

That sounds a damn sight more appetising than cornflakes and the usual c**p I have every morning!!
proud.gif


Regards

Sam
 
Aug 29, 2000
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A sad comentary on modern life- while in Yorkshire recently, I enjoyed a proper breakfast of eggs and Yorks. ham, blood pudding, baked beans,rashers of bacon, crumpets and orange seville marmalade, real butter and devonshire cream,fried potatoes, grilled tomatoes and SUBLIME kippers, juice and Earl Grey made with leaves in a pot, brown Demarra sugar and lemon wedge. Titanic's second class would have dined as well. Poor Sam- now I have this beautiful daughter who can COOK my dear.....
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Forgot to mention the artillery of serving utensils that accompanied the repast- invested in Dover Press' reproduction book of dining implements and food illustrations of the age- there was a grapefruit spoon with serrated edge for "starters", a fruit spoon, consomme spoon, coffee spoon, iced tea spoon, dessert or "ice" spoon, fish fork, salad fork, entree fork, dessert fork, fruit knife, cheese knife, butter knife, fish knife, meat knife- several wine glasses for claret to port and water, demitasse cups, teacups, coffee cups, chocolate cups, all manner of plates, finger bowls, fishbone and salt cellars, compotes and knife rests- one would have to know one's way around all this! The cooking utensils and serving pieces would fill a pantry. I love the butter dishes with roll back covers and an ice reservoir underneath to keep the butter cold- a little drain fitted over this (porcelain) on which the butter reposed in golden splendor. Ah- now THAT'S luxury!
'
 

Sam Brannigan

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Dec 20, 2000
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Shelley

*"several wine glasses for claret to port and water"*

A truly Irish breakfast!

As for excess cutlery, to quote a feisty Denver millionairess (with a little touch of Cameron):

"...start from the outside and work your way in."

Please match make to your hearts content. My present beau infuriates me by being a vegetarian who won't eat veg. Pizza with garlic and chilli topping is too much!! (I must refer her to the Thomas Crapper thread!!
proud.gif
) I need a woman who appreciates the glory of a a bacon sandwich!!
smile.gif


Regards

Sam
 

Pat Winship

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May 14, 1999
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Yes, and there's the etiquette of salt spoons. The silver ones are never left in the salt cellar after being used, but should always be removed and set on the right side of the cute little salt dish. Salt corrodes silver!

Pat W.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Now I realize why so many servants were needed to wash and polish all the kitchen stuff. Remember Mrs. Bridges in Upstairs Downstairs? Poor Ruby the scullery maid? Then there was a butler and maybe footmen, parlour maids (always pretty) nursery maids, NANNY -in her black bonnet and cape who did not deign to wash a diaper, a governess for the older children, a chauffeur or driver, lady's maid, several housemaids, usually a handy man lurking above the stable and a houseboy to lug hods of coal up and down the 4 storey dwellings. Maybe even a laundress or washerwoman too. Loved the episode when King Edward VII came to visit Lady Marjorie and Mrs. Bridges fixed him that incredible meal. Going to MacDonald's has lost the thrill for me now!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this here, but there is a book on the subject of the Titanic's fare...complete with recipes and how to put on a proper Edwardian meal. It's called "Last Dinner on the Titanic" published by Hyperion Books. You should be able to get it on any of the on-line bookstores.

Shelley, while I'm not much for blood pudding or the fish, I do like a nice large breakfast. Bring on the eggs, bacon, sausage, potatos, toast, butter and so on. Lots of it. The People For Science In The Public Interest can go get stuffed. (What do those blokes eat anyway? They all look like walking cadavers!)

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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It's probably because everyone owns, " Last Dinner Aboard the Titanic ". Especially after it went into the Border's Bargain Bin!
Here is a neat menu from the Ionian
it states:
Independence Day 1911
Tuesday 4th of July 1911

Dinner
Consomme a la American
Broiled Cod- Taft sauce
Braised sheep head- Roosevelt sauce
Pssum rissoles a la Louisiana
Roast lamb- Rocky Mountain sauce
Potatos Green peas
Roast American Eagle- Washington Sauce
Independence pudding- Constituional sauce
Michigan apple tart- Lincoln pudding
International ice cream
New England Apples
Constituional dates
Fire Crackers
American Cheese
Boston Tea
Cuban Coffee

E Pluribus Unum

It seems the Allan line new how to make shipboard life fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope this gives people some good ideas for next week.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Ugh-I think I will stay in my cabin for that one! What we actualy have-minus the clever window dressing is braised sheepshead, codfish,lamb and POSSUM! With apples dates and ice cream for dessert. I have eaten possum- in fact, I have tried nearly everything except snake. Rissole they tell me is a breaded little Tater Tot thing so I guess these are Possum Tots deepfried. Muskrat and squirrel are eatable but I must draw the line at possum- and I hope they were kidding about the American Eagle- why it's enough to make our national symbol- BALD!
 

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