Today, all going as planned, we will be leaving Washington DC and travelling to New York (by train) for a final few days before heading home to Australia.
It seems appropriate to give you a railway menu today. Sadly, I have been unable to find one for the North East route, but I hope you enjoy your vicarious meal anyway.
One of the things that caught my eye on this menu was that it was folded and sealed, with instructions “To Open … Tear or Cut Along This Edge.” A top-secret menu, only to be opened en route? Or designed to send as a letter? A marketing exercise of some sort, given that this was a convention train?
The menu is dated June 17, 1948. The graphic on the front cover is of a black waiter setting the table, which says a lot about the time, and still too much about the present, does it not?
UNITED STATES TRAVEL AGENCY CONVENTION SPECIAL TRAIN
- en route to -
AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS CONVENTION
SAN FRANSISCO, CALIFORNIA
EN ROUTE via the MISSOURI PACIFIC LINES
June 17, 1948
Chilled Tomato Juice
Soup: Consomme, Jardiniere
Baked Sugar-Cured Ham, with Spaghetti
Single Lamb Chop, Combination Grill
Mashed Potatoes Buttered Baby Beets
Hearts of Lettuce, Thousand Island Dressing
Figs in Syrup
Vanilla Ice Cream with Cake
American Cheese, Toasted Ry-Crisp.
Coffee Tea, Hot or Iced Milk
There is not much there to tempt you with as far as recipes go, is there? I do wonder how the ham/spaghetti combo was served, but Alas, there is no clue in the menu. I cannot find anything called Peach Diplomate, and I gave you two versions of ThousandIsland Dressing some time ago (here.)
It looks like it will have to be the beets today – get babies if you can, and don’t waste the greens!
Beets retain their sugary delicate flavor much better by baking instead of boiling; turn often in the pan while in the oven, using a knife, as a fork will cause the juice to flow; when done, remove skin, slice and season with butter, pepper and salt, or if for pickle, slice into good cold vinegar. - Mrs. S. M. Guy
Wash young beets very clean, cut off tips of leaves, looking over carefully to see that no bugs or worms remain, but do not separate roots from leaves; fill dinner pot half full of salted boiling water, add beets, boil from half to three-quarters of an hour; take out and drain in colander, pressing down with a large spoon, so as to get out all thewater. Dish and dress with butter, pepper, and salt if needed. Serve hot with vinegar
Buckeye Cookery, And Practical Housekeeping: Compiled From Original Recipes.
Minneapolis, Minn.: Buckeye Pub. Co., 1877