Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dinner “Out West”

I have something for you just for fun today, while your system recovers from yesterday’s idea of Tomato Marshmallow. It is from a fascinating publication called Yankee Notions in 1854 – a worthy read which appears have modelled itself on the well-known English Punch magazine.

It is for those of you who love pig, or love to hate pig. It is, I am sure, entirely tongue-in-cheek, and there is, I am sure, some intended regional slur, but it is, I am certain, very amusing. And in any case, there are historic precedents for one-meat meals: Horsemeat dinners in London and Paris in the 1860’s, and a famous (if difficult to track down and authenticate) ‘all beef’ dinner said to have been given by Cardinal Richelieu.

The Bill of Fare.

A party of our friends stopped one day, a year or two ago, at ‘Barkis’ Hotel’, somewhere “out west” and asked him to get them some dinner. “Barkis was willing” and spread before them the following bill of fare; various, “that the tastes of desultory man, studious of change, and pleased with novelty, might be indulged.”

Tuesday, May 15, 1851

Pig, Pork, Ham, Hog
Ham, Eggs, Ham and Eggs, Hams,
Beans, Pork and Beans, Bread, Biscuit.
Boiled - Ham, Roast - Swine.
Boiled - Pork, Roast -Pig
Boiled - Pig, Roast - Pork
Boiled - Swine, Roast - Ham
Cooked - Animals, Baked – Pig
Cooked - Injun, Baked - Ham
Cooked - Pies, Baked - Pork
Cooked - Cake, Baked - Swine
Cooked - Biscuit, Baked - Hog
Cooked - Beans, Baked - Beans
Pie - Mince, Cake - Fruit
Pie - Berry,
Cake - Sponge
Pie - Apple, Cake - Cymbals
Apples and Cheese.
Rum, Pale Brandy
, Dark do.
McGuckin, Gin
Whiskey Bill.

One of our friends tells us that he ate so heartily of some of the earlier dishes, that he had little appetite for the cold “courses!”


I had to take some liberties with the formatting of the 'original' menu, for those of you who are sticklers for such things - I blame Blogger. Or me.

Now, for our recipe for the day, I give you pork and dessert in one, from The Great Western Cook Book, or Table Receipts, Adapted to Western Housewifery. circa 1851.

Pork Apple Pie.
Make your crust in the usual way; spread it over a large, deep plate; cut some slices of fat pork, very thin, also some slices of apples; place a layer of apples, and then of pork, with a very little allspice, and pepper, and sugar between--three or four layers of each--with crust over the top. Bake one hour.

Quotation for the Day …

Any Part of the Piggy

Any part of the piggy
Is quite all right with me
Ham from Westphalia, ham from Parma
Ham as lean as the Dalai Lama
Ham from Virginia, ham from York,
Trotters Sausages, hot roast pork.
Crackling crisp for my teeth to grind on
Bacon with or without the rind on
Though humanitarian
I'm not a vegetarian.
I'm neither crank nor prude nor prig
And though it may sound infra dig
Any part of the darling pig
Is perfectly fine with me.
Noel Coward.


Anonymous said...


Your "Pork Apple Pie" recipe reminded me of my old Dad. He used to tell us that his favorite canned ration during World War II in Europe was "pork chunks in applesauce"

Unknown said...

Wow , this menu is very nasty. It does not appear to be something intended a true bill of fare, rather it looks polemical; whoever wrote it was angry, I think.ettltn

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Bob - Yes, I'd love to know a bit more about the background to this menu. I did try to find out if there was such a place as Barkis' Hotel, but "the West" is a big place. I am hoping it strikes a chord with someone who can enlighten us. I will pass on the Cooked Injun.

Ferdzy said...

The Cooked Injun was presumably "Injun Pudding", ie cornmeal mush baked in a tin, with or without molasses, eggs, etc.

Like most satire, there is a grain of accuracy here. The middle of the North American continent still produces vast quantities of corn, generally used to feed animals; the best adapted to this diet being the pig.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Ferdzy! Thanks for this. I feel much better about cooked Injun now I know it was pudding. I didnt think of that!
I had crossed "Out West" off my travel plans - I thought it must be cannibal country ;)

Shay said...

A traveller in the South in the first half of the 19th century complained of a bill of fare that consisted solely of "hog and hominy, hominy and hog."

Cooked Injun could also have been a variation of rye'n'Injun bread, coarse bread made of rye flour and cornmeal.