Friday, May 06, 2011

Breakfast Afloat.

Today I would like you to join me, and the other ‘Second Cabin’ passengers aboard the Cunard liner RMS Mauretania, for breakfast on this day in 1921. There is something about breakfast aboard a cruising vessel, isn’t there? Here is what we are offered today.

Compote of Figs
Oatmeal Porridge Fresh Milk.
Grape Nuts Corn Flakes
Fried Plaice
Grilled Smoked Bacon
Fried and Boiled Eggs
Minced Veal a la Crème
Mashed Potatoes
Radishes Spring Onions
Breakfast Rolls
Tea Coffee Cocoa

I am not altogether convinced about raw radishes for breakfast, but their inclusion on this menu made me realise that they have featured in only one measly story on this blog in well over a thousand posts. To read that particular post is to believe that radishes only ever appear in salads. Surely there are other alternatives for this particular vegetable? Perhaps even in some recipes suitable for breakfast?

Eliza Acton comes to the rescue in Modern Cookery, in all its branches (1845) with a method of cooking radishes to serve on toast ‘like asparagus.’

Boiled Turnip Radishes.
These should be freshly drawn, young and white. Wash and trim them neatly, leaving on two or three of the small inner leaves of the top. Boil them in plenty of salted water from twenty to thirty minutes, and as soon as they are tender send them to table well drained, with melted butter or white sauce. Common radishes when young, tied in bunches, and boiled from eighteen to twenty-five minutes, then served on a toast like asparagus, are very good.

Quotation of the Day.
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
Tom Robbins


Carolina said...

I've been on a few cruises, and yes, the breakfasts were always quite wonderful! On the radish front, I've seen a couple of references to eating raw radishes (no cooking) with other items (such as beef) in books of the early 1800s. I recall one mentioned eating them while out on a fishing trip. But then, they are quite portable!

Anonymous said...

There's a type of radish called "French Breakfast" so maybe the French are responsible for this item. I believe the French eat then raw with butter.

Anonymous said...

The French are said to love radishes on buttered bread at breakfast. However, with real French bread, and the best of French butter, almost anything would be edible, if not utterly delicious!

I like to slice radishes thinly (2 mm processor disk,) and slowly saute them in unsalted butter.

As for the menu, I would like the plaice, bacon, mashed potatoes, and the radishes and green onions.

The Cunards can keep their oatmeal porridge!

Lawrence in Ohio, United States.

Ferdzy said...

I made some radish fried rice last fall that I thought was very good. They become much milder when cooked. The dish had (by design) flavours similar to lo bak go, although obviously a very different texture.

The Old Foodie said...

I am clearly very unadventurous when it comes to radishes. You have all given me some good ideas though, so next farmers' market I will buy a big bunch. Still not sure I really want them for breakfast though.
I happen to like porridge - especially cooked with plums and cinnamon and topped with brown sugar.

Mae Travels said...

My French friend (and best cook I've ever known) pairs the raw-radish-and-butter standard hors-d'oeuvre with whiskey.