Friday, January 03, 2014

In a Dining Car across the Desert, 1917.

The Trans-Australian Railway line between Port Augusta (South Australia) and Kalgoorlie 
(Western Australia) was completed in October 1917 when the two halves of the track were finally linked. The railway line crosses the Nullabor Plain, the famous, and famously featureless and forbidding 200,000 square kilometre (77,000 square mile) desert which lies just south of the even larger Great Victoria Desert, which comes in at 348,750 square kilometres (134,650 square miles.) The train travels across the Nullabor on the world's longest stretch of dead-straight railway track – a length of 478 kilometres (297 miles.)

Today I give you the menus for three meals aboard the first passenger rail journey from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie. I suspect, given the cold leftovers on the luncheon menu, that the dinner was the first meal served.

DINNER

Mutton Broth
Spring Soup
-
Fish
-
Roast Sirloin of Beef and Horseradish
Boiled Leg of Mutton and Caper Sauce
Roast Stuffed Turkey
-
Vegetables
-
Rhubarb Pie
Rice Custard.
Compote of Apricot.
-
Cheese.            Salad.              Fruit.
-
Tea.                 Coffee.

TARIFF:
Soup, Fish, [Salad?] Sweets, Tea or Coffee
3/-
Full Course
4/-
Children under 14 years: Two-thirds of Adult Rates.
Employees are prohibited from accepting gratuities.


BREAKFAST
Porridge
-
French Cutlets and Bacon.
Rump Steak.               Loin Chops.
Sausages.
Bacon and Eggs.
Boiled or Poached Eggs.
Omelettes.
-
Tea.     Coffee.                        Cocoa.
TARIFF:
If Meal finished before 8 am.
1/9
If Meal finished after 8 am.
2/6
Children under 14 years: Two-thirds of Adult Rates.
Employees are prohibited from accepting gratuities.

LUNCHEON
Spring Soup.
Mutton Broth.
Fish ……………………………….
Cold Sirloin of Beef.
Cold Roast Lamb.
Cold York Ham.
Cold Corned Beef.
……………………………………
Sago Custard.
Compote of Fruit.
…………………………………..
Cheese             -           Salad
…………………………………..
Tea                  -                       Coffee.
Tariff:-
1st Sittings                   1/9
2nd and  3rd Sittings     2/6
Children under 14 years – two thirds of adult rate
Employees are strictly forbidden to accept tips.
A receipted slip must be given for all payments.

I think you will agree that the meals sound pretty uninspiring, but the journey must surely have been exciting -

Sago Custard.
Ingredients: 2 oz. of sago, 2 oz. of sugar, ½ pint of water, 2 or 3 eggs, 1 pint of milk, nutmeg.
Method: Wash sago, boil water, add sago to it, cook until clear, beat eggs and sugar, add milk, stir lightly into sago, pour into a greased dish; bake in a moderately hot oven till set.
The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts,

26 December 1908

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Such heavy meals for crossing the desert! Although I used to love boiled leg of mutton with caper sauce! Were there fans on the train do you think?
Elizabeth Guster

Ralph Knauth said...

By now, they have a bit more interesting food in Australia. Back than, I have to agree with you, it was kinda boring :)