Monday, February 24, 2014

Doubling up on the Perfect Menu.

Interest in re-creating historical menus is not a modern phenomenon. An article in The Queenslander (Australia) of 12 December, 1935, described such an event in far-away Chicago – which is proof in itself that the idea is intriguing even half a world away.

The “Perfect Banquet.”
Menu Served in 1906.
Chicago (By Mail.)
The “perfect banquet” was the description given to a meal eaten by the delegates to the National Restaurant Association’s Convention in Chicago, and they should know.
Here is the menu:-
Hors d’Oeuvres varie and mixed relishes, with cocktails.
Green turtle soup, with dry sherry.
Filet Pompano Victoria, with Graves Calvet.
Boneless squab baked in cantaloupe, and fresh asparagus Hollandais [sic], with Pommard.
Salad Poinsetta [sic] and Peaches Romaine, with Mumm’s Extra Dry Champagne.
Coffee, with Cognac.
This was an historic menu, for it was the same served to Admiral Dewey, victor of the battle of Manila, at the Lotos Club in New York in 1906.

I give you two interpretations of the idea of Poinsettia Salad:

Poinsettia Salad.
Place skinned tomatoes on ice. Cut into eighths without quite severing the sections at the base; press the sections open to resemble those of a flower. Beat a cream cheese and mix with a little salt and pepper, moisten slightly with French dressing, and rub through a sieve or strainer with a wooden spoon. Put a tablespoonful in the centre of each tomato and cover with salad cream.
Queensland Times, 18 September 1933.

Poinsettia Salad.
Cut pineapple slices into segments and arrange pieces on crisp lettuce leaves. Then arrange poinsettias cut from canned pimientoes on pineapple slices. Fill the centre of the flower with mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika.

The Mail (Adelaide) 26 January 1935

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