Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving, Pearl Harbour, 1945.

Thanksgiving, Pearl Harbour, 1945.

Today, in honour of the brave men and women in the military who put their lives on the line for us, I give you the Thanksgiving menu from a WW II US Navy submarine chaser.

U.S.S. PC-1138
22 November, 1945

Celery and Ripe Olives
Cream of Tomato Soup
Vegetable Dressing
Giblet Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Fruit Cocktail
Pie        Plum Pudding
Nuts     Candy
Cigars and Cigarettes.

The recipe I have chosen for you today comes from the General mess manual and cookbook for use on board vessels of the United States Navy (1904.) Plum pudding has remained essentially unchanged since medieval times, so I feel confident that the version made by the cooks of the U.S.S. PC-1138 during WW II would have been very similar to that prepared for the military men of the previous ‘War to End All Wars.’

The manual notes that:

The following recipes have been deduced from a series of experiments made with articles of the Navy ration. Only such as can be easily followed with the usual facilities found on board ship are given. Where time and space will permit more elaborate dishes may be prepared, but it is here the aim to aid inexperienced cooks in the proper preparation of the stores supplied by the Government.
The quantities of the ingredients given in all recipes are those required for one hundred men.

Plum Duff

Soak 25 pounds of stale bread in cold water and drain dry. Add 25 pounds of sifted flour, 5 pounds of suet chopped fine, 3 pounds of raisins, 5 pounds of sugar, 4 pounds of currants, 2 pounds of prunes, 3 tablespoonfuls of salt, 1 teaspoonful of ground cloves, 1 tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, and 1 wineglassful of vinegar, and mix all thoroughly with cold water. Turn the bags inside out, drop them into boiling water, render out slightly, and drop into dry flour, dredging them thoroughly. Turn the bags flour side in and fill them with the pudding, securing the opening firmly, drop into the copper in which water is boiling and cook for at least two hours. If there is sufficient time, the pudding will be improved by boiling three or four hours.

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