Food and Recipes from the Titanic
Cookbook Provides Recipes and Social History
With the information in the following cookbook, you can invite a few friends over for a nice dinner, put some of the recommended Edwardian music on the stereo, and serve up a few of the dishes that appeared on the Titanic's menu.
The following cookbook includes recipes prepared for all three classes of the passengers on the Titanic.
If you would like to re-create the first-class dinner of that last night on the Titanic in its entirety, this book will give you details on how to do that as well. Be warned that you will need to have a sous chef, squab, and Edwardian outfits. Not to mention the three days needed to prepare and serve this 11-course meal..
Last Dinner on the Titanic
To help readers visualize the scene, the publishers include numerous portraits of passengers, photos of actual advertisements and flyers from the White Star Line, and colored illustrations and paintings depicting the time period.
After the introductory section, the author includes a section "Choreographing a First-Class Titanic Dinner." Here he talks about what would have been served before dinner, how the passengers were called to dinner (a bugler played the tune "The Roast Beef of Old England"), the type of music that was played (he includes a list of recommended compact discs), and a description of what the passengers would do after dinner.
Another Titanic Cookbook
This book includes a sampling of first-class fare, along with the humbler dishes served in second class. One of the contributers has a connection to the Titanic: her uncle was first violinist on the ship.
Being a Chef on the Titanic
Being head chef on a ship the size was an enormous undertaking involving coordinating several restaurants and feeding over 2000 people for three meals a day. Accordingly, the pay of the head chef was second only to that of the captain of the ship.
For this voyage, the Titanic carried 800 bundles us fresh asparagus, and 1221 quarts of oysters
Most of the recipes are surprisingly doable, ranging from "Curried Chicken and Rice," to "Cream of Barley Soup" to "Chteau Potatoes." For the most part, chef Dana McAuley uses fairly common ingredients, though many cooks may have trouble finding foie gras or duckling. And they may scratch their heads at her comment that since squab is difficult to find in the United States, "partridge makes an acceptable substitute." It's tough to find partridge your local Safeway store.
Most recipes include an informative or entertaining little description about the background of the dish, or how it would have been served on the Titanic. Every now and then McAuley had to take her best guess at a dish for which research turned up no existing recipes, dishes such as "Waldorf Pudding" or "Coconut Sandwich."
Ready to Try Some Recipes?
Here are some links to recipes that I have tried with my family. These have common ingredients that you can find at any grocery store and are relatively simple to prepare.
The mint sauce nicely complements the lamb, so much so that my teenage daughter - who is not a big fan of meats - actually ate a small portion because she liked the mint sauce so much. If you're running out of time to make the sauce, you can just substitute mint jelly.
The next day we ate the leftovers with pita bread and a cucumber yogurt sauce to fashion a homemade gyro.
Here, the authors had to improvise a little, since no record exists of the recipe of the times. This dessert has a custard base with the apples and nuts that are characteristic of a Waldorf salad.
Music to Set the Mood
The music on the Titanic ranged from ragtime to classical. These CD's compile a wide selection of songs that were reported to have been played by the two bands on board.
There is disagreement in the historical record on which song was the last one played by the Titanic musicians. Some say it was "Nearer My God To Thee." Others say it was "Songe d'Automne." It's interesting that each of these CD's chose a different song to include.
There is a little overlap between them, but for the most part you are getting a different selection of songs on each one.
Oh You Beautiful Doll
Alexander's Ragtime Band
I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl...
Maple Leaf Rag
Song Without Words
Merry Widow Waltz
Nearer, My God, To Thee
The White Star March
In the Shadows
Merry Widow Waltz
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Somewhere a Voice is Calling
Shine On Harvest Moon
Downton Abbey Provides Historical Context
The runaway hit series on PBS is now available on DVD.
Events on the Titanic set this series in motion. When Downton’s heirs are lost in the sea disaster, the future of this rich and powerful family is turned upside down.
The sumptuous photography captures the elegance of the era, and the plot delves into the historical and social controversies of the times.
If you're not sure you want to buy the first season, give the first episode a try for just $1.99.
Try Out Downton Abbey by Streaming the First Episode
The World of Downton Abbey
This book is just a lot of fun for fans of the PBS series.
If you've ever wondered why the characters on Downton Abbey act as they do, Jessica Fellows has put together this book to explain character’s motivations in their historical and social context.
There are plenty of beautiful photos and lots of behind-the-scenes information and interviews.
King Edward Himself
The times were influenced by King Edward VII of Britain, a man with a big personality who lived lavishly and love to eat and entertain. Meals were elaborate affairs involving almost a dozen courses.
Wealthy women of this era were especially interested in couture. A Lady Cynthia Asquith commented "It must be admitted that a very large fraction of our time was spent in dressing and undressing. We were forever changing our clothes a custom which necessitated traveling with a mountain of luggage."
Baker Remarkably Survived the Sinking
The epilogue recounts the remarkable story of Charles Joughin who had a busy night after the Titanic struck the iceberg. He organized parties of bakers to take bread up to the lifeboat; he assisted in loading the lifeboats, and when the ship sank, he almost nonchalantly stepped into the ocean and survived for several hours in the icy water.
This is the brand of soap that was used on the Titanic.