Monday, April 05, 2010

Boating for Bacon.

I was most intrigued by the following article, from The Times of August 17, 1830.

Yesterday the following singular rowing match took place above Westminster-bridge. The prizes were given by Mr. Pay, the landlord of The Ship, at Lambeth; and the unique nature of these prizes will be best explained by the following copy of the bill of fare.

First boat ................. A noble Flitch of Bacon.
Second ditto ............ Four Pigs’ Heads.
Third ditto ............... Three ditto.
Fourth ditto ............. Two ditto.
Fifth & Sixth ditto ... One each.

To be rowed on Monday, the 16th of August, in two heats, the first heat at three o’clock, and the second at six. To start from buoys moored off the Ship-wharf, round Carey’s Bath, up the Surrey shore, through Vauxhall-bridge, down round Mr. Barchard’s road, up to the wharf.
[There followed a list of boats with ‘colours’ of cabbage, beans, carrots, cucumbers, and onions.]
The flitch of bacon was large enough to make a covering for a city alderman. The nature of this match was such that it attracted many more thousands on the river and its banks than if the premiums amounted to 100 l.

I wonder how that idea originated! A wager by some well-oiled aldermen late one night, most likely. The winning bacon was probably simply sliced and fried, although there were other bacon recipe alternatives in 1830. I give you a delicious cabbage soup flavoured with bacon.

Cabbage Soup.
Boil some rasher of streaked bacon about two hours, in the quantity of water you require for soup; then add some cabbages previously blanched, and if you like, some sausages; pepper and salt the soup, but take care to put very little salt, on account of the bacon. Skim well before you put in the cabbages. This receipt is the same in most of the French cookery books, except that some tell you , that when the cabbage and bacon are done, you should soak a few slices of bread in some of the broth, and then mix them with the whole soup.

Quotation for the Day.

Friends are the bacon bits in the salad bowl of life.

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