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Last Dinner On the Titanic Menus and Recipes From the Great Liner [Hardcover]

Rick Archbold , Dana McCauley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1997
A cookbook designed to recreate the atmosphere of dining on the famous, doomed luxury liner serves up such recipes as Lobster Thermidor, Quail's Eggs in Aspic with Caviar, and Poached Salmon with Dilled Mousseline Sauce and Cucumber.

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It is impossible to read this book, which is as sumptuously appointed as the great ship itself, and not want to plan a Titanic dinner party immediately. Fortunately, the book provides--besides beautiful photos, delectable factoids, and fascinating quotes from the rich and vanished famous--clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to plan such a party. You can use recipes for first-, second-, or third-class meals.

Remember, style is all. Try to equal the class evinced by Titanic survivor Renee Harris, who sued the steamship line for her husband's death in the sinking, put the $50,000 settlement into the first play by Moss Hart (who gives her credit in his popular autobiography, Act One), and lost all her cash in the 1929 crash. When Walter Lord, the dean of Titanic lore who wrote the introduction to this book, interviews the aged, broke Ms. Harris in her welfare hotel, he writes, "She had lost neither her sunny disposition nor her theatrical poise. One day I brought her a little jar of caviar in an attempt to give this gallant lady a taste of the good old days. She sampled it once, then pushed the jar politely aside. 'You call that caviar?' she asked." As Lord observes, "Reproducing the Titanic's marvelous food is surely one of the best ways to experience a bygone age of luxury and leisure."

Don't forget to set the mood with music: either Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage or Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture will do, depending on whether you're a classicist or a romantic. --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

According to Walter Lord (A Night To Remember, LJ 10/15/55), April 14 finds many "sentimentalists" re-creating the Titanic's last meals. Now, with the help of research chef McCauley, Archbold (coauthor of The Discovery of the Titanic, LJ 1/88) reveals these menus to the population at large. A handsome gift book filled with photos, graphics, and Edwardian motifs, this work will appeal to foodies, Titanic buffs, and trend seekers. The recipes, taken from all five dining room menus, include delicacies like Quail Eggs and Caviar, Lobster Thermidor, and Oysters a la Russe; even the steerage "saloon" fare is formidable by present standards. There's also advice on how to host a Titanic dinner party complete with wardrobe and table-setting ideas, helping diners to feel like an Astor at the captain's table. With renewed interest and marketing of things Titanic in anticipation of the much-publicized film and Broadway musical (this year marks the 85th anniversary of the disaster), this book is surely the tip of the iceberg.?David Nudo, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At 9PM you're eating the fish... Feb. 28 1998
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have ever bought! As a long time fan of the TITANIC and an amateur cook I could not resist this book; despite the tragic fact that the LAST DINNER ON THE TITANIC was literally the LAST meal of over 1,500 men women, and children.
Despite that chilling touch, this is a wonderful book, and the food is fantastic! The book is lavishly illustrated, and I was a bit reluctant to take such a lovely book into the kitchen and risk a spill, although I'm very glad I did! The binding is such that it lies flat on my counter, and the pages don't turn themselves or snap shut 1/2 way through a recipie, (This is a VERY important feature in a cookbook!). Its type is a bit smaller than I like in a cookbook, but is still large and clear enough that I can read the recipies while cooking.
The recipies themselves are some of the easiest to follow and most clearly written I have encountered. I really enjoyed cooking the Chicken Lyonnaise and the Lamb with Mint Sauce; and they came out sucessfuly the first time too! (If you knew my cooking ability that is quite a tribute to the recipie!) Most of the dishes also seem to be relatively "idiot proof" (perhaps because the White Star Chefs had to turn out several hundred servings of each during the course of the evening??) though there is plenty to challenge the more experienced chef's as well, such as Lobster Thermidor, and Minted Green Pea Timbales. I have been very happy with everything I have cooked from the book so far.
Menus for Third, Second, and First Class (as well as the First Class Ala Carte Resturant) are all included, as are tips for hosting a TITANIC themed dinner party.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Additional information April 20 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
On the third class menu, there is a dessert called "Coconut Sandwich". The authors admit that they do not know what this is but go ahead and guess that it is some kind of sandwich cookie. Actually, it is quite well known that in England, a sandwich cake is what we call a layer cake. There is a recipe in Mrs Bridges Cookbook (Upstairs, downstairs) called Victoria Sponge Sandwich which is definitely a layer cake. I have often seen this term used and am surprised that the authors were not able to find it. Otherwise I loved the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and full of surprises April 30 2001
Format:Hardcover
One of the key surprises in this book is the fact that third-class passengers on the Titanic ate better than we do. A large color photograph on page 114 shows a water stained menu recovered from the body of a third-class passenger.
It says that the third-class breakfast on the morning of April 12, 1912 was oatmeal porridge and milk, smoked herrings, jacket potatoes, tripe and onions, fresh something something (seawater has eaten away the print) and butter, marmalade and (illegible again) bread. Beverages were tea and coffee.
Who eats a more nutritious breakfast now?
Dinner in the third-class dining saloon was vegetable soup (made from scratch), roasted pork with sage and onions, green peas, boiled potatoes, plum pudding with sweet sauce, cabin biscuits and (a real delicacy for the time) oranges. When was the last time you had a plum pudding with sweet sauce or vegetable soup made from scratch? If it's been too long, you can make these and other things on the third-class dinner or tea menu, using recipes in this book.
Titanic's third-class accommodations were clean and comfortable and its two dining saloons were white and well lit. They had to be. The Titanic expected to compete with many other ships for the trade of millions of immigrants bound for America. And that's where the White Star steamship line hoped to make its money, not from the flashier passengers in first- and second-class.
Food in second-class was pretty grand, rather like a middle-class family's Sunday dinner when somebody important was expected to visit. A second-class menu for April 14, 1912 says that the first course was consomme with tapioca. Second course offered a choice from among baked haddock with sharp sauce, curried chicken and rice, lamb with mint sauce or roast turkey with savory cranberry sauce.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dining with the doomed April 21 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
They dined in pristine opulence on gourmet fare such as Quail Eggs with Caviar, while steaming unknowingly into oblivion. Such was the situation when the hundreds of privileged first class passengers aboard the Titanic sat down to dinner on April 14, 1912. Authors Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley have capitalized on the renewed fascination with the doomed vessel with the compilation of their book "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner." Any intial sense that thte subject is macabre is erased by the artistic presentation and quality of the work, which gives the reader a grasp of what gastronomic delights were available on the famous ship. Descriptions and anecdotes are illustrated with archival photos and period paintings to foster a visual journey back in time. Three galleys were utilized by a staff of 80 workers to prepare 6,000 meals a day to feed the 2,223 passengers and crew. This voyage was unique in that even third class passengers restricted to the bowels of the boat were provided food in the price of their passage, even if was no fancier than simple stew. Prior to this, this class of traveler, which was typically comprised of immigrant groups, had to bring their own nourishment.
Of the 50 dishes researched from the actual menu, many fail to translate to modern appetites, such as consomme olga, which is made using the dried spinal marrow of sturgeon. As a result, the recipes provide as much historical insight into the social customes of the era as does the text. Also interesting are suggestions offered by the authors for staging one's own Titanic party, with much attention given to recreation rather than replication.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved it
I bought this second hand book, last dinner on the titanic menus & recipes from the great liner for my husband's birthday, as he has a fascination with the Titanic & loves to cook. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in this disaster
While the people were feasting, the crew was totally incompetent.
The Third Class (Steerage) passengers were locked below and had guns trained on them as they tried to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Larry Sales
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
My daughter and I used this book to create a Titanic themed Thanksgiving this year and it was amazing. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Terie Rickey
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious look into the culinary side of Titanic!
We got this book from the library when Titanic items were the rage and easy to get to. I've always been interested in the ship. This was a fascinating book. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2002 by J B
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE DINING ON THE TITANIC
What a wonderful book. You get a glimpse of the 3 dining rooms, and with the menus and recipies, it really puts you there. It makes an interesting coffee table book.... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars great and intersting
This is a marvellous book. By reading this masterpiece, we cam easily see what they ate on the doomsday. Read more
Published on Aug. 8 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was useful and interesting.
I have been studing the TITANIC since the second grade. I found the this book useful and interesting, in the way of preparing period food. Read more
Published on March 6 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars great for titanic dinner parties
excellent recipes for those willing to take the time.I cooked 5 of the first class entries all of which were very good,especially the beef barley soup. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly One of the Best Books I Have Ever Owned!
This is not merely a cookbook or a history book. It is more of a memory book of all those who dined that fateful night. Read more
Published on July 9 1998 by Slovenska
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy two copies!
Although "celebrating" the last meal before a horrible shipwreck is not in good taste; this is a fine book for the Titanicophile and the historical cooking enthusiast. Read more
Published on May 28 1998
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