Tuesday, April 04, 2006

First Class Tinned Apricots.

Today, April 4th …

If you had been aboard the Japanese cruise ship M.S “Santos Maru” of the Osaka Shosen Kaisha Line on this day in 1934, you would have been en route between Japan and the east coasts of South America and the United States. It was still the golden age of cruising, and you would have been travelling first class in one of the 38 suites, because that was its only accommodation. This would have been your lunch for the day:


Chutney Spanish Olives Pickles
Tomato & Rice Soup
Stew Rabbit & Pickle Pork
Petits Caisse a la Joinville
Oeuf’s a la Neige
Curry and Steamed Rice
Potatoes Boiled and Julienne
Roast Ribs of Beef Mortadela Sausage
Roast Pheasant Boiled Corned Ox-Tongue
Dressed Salad
Toast Pudding

FRUITS:- Tin apricots Bananas
CHEESE:- Holland Cremeri Gruyere
Luncheon Rolls Soda Biscuits Assorted Nuts
Tea:- Lipton Green & Coffee

You could stay home and still eat your way around the world with that menu! Apart from its confused ethnicity, the menu raises some interesting issues: Lipton tea is mentioned by brand name, the apricots were (proudly?) determined to be from a can, and what on earth is ‘Toast Pudding’?

Toast pudding sounds like a very Victorian English dish for a very Victorian English invalid, rather than a first-class passenger on a cruise ship, but a recipe could not be found in any of the standard English cookbooks. To the OF’s surprise, there is one in ‘The White House Cookbook’ (1887), by Mrs. F.L. Gillette! Perhaps an American reader can enlighten TOF further on the history of the pudding, and its relationship to the Presidential home?

Toast several thin slices of stale bread, removing the crust, butter them well, and pour over them hot stewed fruit in alternate layers. Serve warm with rich hot sauce.

As for the tinned apricots … TOF is unable to comment except to say there may be times and places when these are necessary, perhaps in extreme circumstances even desirable, but surely there are better ways to preserve apricots? Dried? In Brandy? Serve apples instead?

A recipe for sugared and dried apricots in ‘A Book of Fruits & Flowers; Shewing The Nature and Use of them …’ (1653), sounds great, but would push this story over the word limit, so you must email TOF if you want it.

Tomorrow: Dr Livingstone’s breakfast.


jasmine said...

I love your blog concept. Very nice. And I agree with your comments on apricots :)


Anonymous said...

Toast pudding
Categories: None
Yield: 1 servings
⅓ c Flour
⅔ c Sugar
Salt to taste
1 tb Butter
3 Egg yolks
3 c Milk
1 ts Vanilla
4 Pieces of toast; (up to 5)
Full recipe here :
In Middle europe we add apple slices and raisins and call it "Ofenschlupfer"
intelligent blogging rulez...!

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks Vatel! I cant believe I have never come across this before. I've already learned a lot in my very short blogging career. I dont suppose you are in any way related to THE Vatel?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Kris
I have a tatty copy of the cookbook from 1913, but the 1887 version is online on the Gutenberg site - not the same as a real book , but good for research.