It is a little while since I gave you a menu, so I am going to make it up to you by giving you three today – the menus for all of the meals aboard a ship cruising to the Baltic in 1895. The description comes in Diary of a Trip to South Africa on R.M.S. Tantallon Castle (1899) by David S Salmond.
The trip of the "Tantallon Castle" to the Baltic, and its presence during the festivities attendant upon the opening of the new canal in June, 1895, must be fresh in the memory of all.
Menus for a Single Day.
Breakfast, from 8.30 till 10.30. Porridge, grilled bloaters, grilled bacon and straw potatoes, poached eggs on toast, fried and boiled eggs, plain omelette, minced mutton collops and
poached egg, devilled kidneys, chops and steak from the grill (to order), curried mutton, straw and mashed potatoes, rolls and toast. Cold - Boiled ham, German sausage. Tea, coffee, and cocoa.
Luncheon, at 1. Pea soup, mutton cutlets, French beans sauté, savoury hot pot, boiled calfs head, bath chap and parsley sauce, chops and steaks from the grill (to order), baked and mashed potatoes, stewed apples with rice, shortbread.
Cold - Salmon en Mayonnaise, sardines, roast shoulder of mutton with mint sauce, roast chicken, boiled York ham, game pie, pickled pork ; roast veal and ham, chicken and ham sausage; celery, cucumber ; Stilton, Cheddar, and Gorgonzola cheese; caraway-seed buns, oat-cakes, pulled-bread fruit, coffee.
Dinner, 6.30. Olives farcies, anchovy eggs ; consommé royale; fried cod steaks, Dutch sauce; mutton cutlotes & la reforme, chicken and truffles patties; roast loin of beef with horseradish, leg of mutton boned and stuffed, onion sauce; corned ox tongue with carrots; roast goose, apple sauce, Ptarmigan, curried veal a la Bombay; saute and boiled potatoes, cauliflower, parsley sauce, Canton pudding, lemon jellies, Swiss apple tart, Polish cakes; Stilton, Cheddar, and Gorgonzola cheese, macaroni au gratin; pine-apples, French plums, oranges, Barcelona nuts; coffee.
There are many favourite dishes of the era in these meals, and a substantial number we have considered in previous stories – such as the slightly mysterious Canton Pudding, the now virtually disappeared Bath Chaps, and the well-known Mutton Cutlets à la Reforme. Several others will surely be fodder for future posts, such as Barcelona nuts and Polish cakes, perhaps.
There are a couple of minor mysteries too, although we must attribute the “mutton cutlotes” to a spelling error. The “pulled-bread fruit”, is, I feel certain, missing a comma, and should read “pulled-bread, fruit.” This menu is unflinchingly British, and the chance that there was actual breadfruit on the menu is next to nil – and of “pulled-bread fruit” is definitely nil.
Here is a most interesting recipe for Pulled Bread, which was really the excuse for giving you the menus:
Take from the oven an ordinary loaf when it is about half baked, and with the fingers, while the bread is yet hot, dexterously pull the half-set dough into pieces of irregular shape, about the size of an egg. Don't attempt to smooth or flatten them —the rougher their shapes the better. Set upon tins, place in a very slow oven, and bake to a rich brown. This forms a deliciously crisp crust for cheese. If you do not bake at home, your baker will prepare it for you, if ordered. Pulled Bread may be made in the revolving ovens. It is very nice with wine instead of biscuits.
Enquire Within Upon Everything (1869) by Robert Kemp Philip