Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which Its A Gastronomic Companion To The Aubrey Maturin Novels Paperback – Oct 3 2000
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Animal lovers, relax--"Spotted Dog" is a kind of pudding, not a dalmatian. It is also the favorite pudding of Jack Aubrey, the fictional creation of writer Patrick O'Brian. Aubrey's adventures as an officer of the British Navy--and those of his friend and ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin--during the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic Wars have been masterfully detailed in O'Brian's many novels; now Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and her daughter, Lisa Grossman, take readers on a culinary adventure through the kitchens and cuisine of the early 19th century.
Since food figures prominently in O'Brian's novels, his fans will already be familiar with such names as Skillygalee, Drowned Baby, Soused Hog's Face, and Jam Roly-Poly, but they may wonder exactly what those dishes are. Lobscouse and Spotted Dog makes it all clear: Skillygalee, for example, is oatmeal gruel, while Drowned Baby is similar to Spotted Dog, only without the currants and eggs. And Spotted Dog is...? You'll find the recipe in the Grossmans' book, along with excerpts from the Aubrey/Maturin novels and many other authentic 19th-century dishes to test your sense of adventure, your culinary prowess, and possibly your waistline. Lobscouse and Spotted Dog is more than a cookbook--it's a window into the past, an inspired piece of culinary detective work, and a delightful gastronomic companion to the novels of Patrick O'Brian. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"I urge people to read this admirable book, the fruit of prolonged research combined with even longer periods of first-hand practice..."
(Patrick O'Brian) "...a handsome and witty culinary companion with cholesterol and archaic terminology." -- Reviews
A thoroughly readable cookbook, as well as a useful appendix to a great series of novels. -- San Jose Mercury News
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin naval fiction novels of Patrick O'Brian, there is one theme underscoring the appearance of Captain Jack Aubrey RN, and that is food, whether it be the weevilly sea biscuit and salt horse of the midshipmans' berth or the prodigious dishes served in the great cabin aft.
They are wonderful dishes with wonderful names. drowned baby is a dessert. Sea pie contains no fish. Spotted dog is not a dalmation. We are given tantalising glimpses into their nature, but recipes are not to be had. Patrick O'Brian was a wizard with words, but no cook.
The deficiency is rectified in this invaluable companion to the canon. Every dish is tracked down and recreated. The authors not only give the recipe, but tell you precisely how to do it for those unfamiliar with the utensils and methods (and ingredients) of a bygone age.
I cannot recommend this book too highly, but I must issue a hearty warning. Do not partake of the dishes described without at least a dozen mates to help you eat them! Or you will wind up as stout as Captain Jack.
And mind you lay in a good stock of madeira, sillery and port for atmosphere.
A glass of wine with you, dear reader!
Perhaps if I had peeked into her cookbooks I would have discovered some enchanting prose among the recipes, as I have in "Lobscouse & Spotted Dog". Open the book anywhere ... Aah, here on page 92 is the recipe for drowned baby, also called boiled baby, introduced by this passage from "The Nutmeg of Consolation":
"The gunroom feast for the Captain was if anything more copious than that of the day before. The gunroom cook, by means known to himself alone, had conserved the makings of a superb suet pudding of the kind called boiled baby in the service, known to be Jack Aubrey's favourite form of food, and it came in on a scrubbed scuttle-cover to the sound of cheering."
Sure, I read this passage during my several reads of "Nutmeg", but standing here alone it seems to sparkle with more clarity. Now I clearly see the pudding, gliding in on a scrubbed wooden hatch cover (to the surprise of no one there) and I thrill to the sound of cheering.
Here, once again, the perfect team has stepped forward to contribute an enchanting and tantalizing contribution to the Aubrey/Maturin series. A daunting task it must have been for this multi-talented mother and daughter (sailboaters, too, they are), to unearth and translate into modern terms the scores of recipes found in this book, to translate the contemporary equivalents of their ingredients.Read more ›
One of the great things about O'Brian's books is that there is not only battle, but details of day to day life, including music, clothing, and games. Above all, however, there is FOOD. This book fills in the gap for the would-be Killick to set the table for the captain. Be forewarned -- this is not The Joy of Cooking. This is a cook book for people who already know how to do more than heat-n-eat.
Much like Cosman's Fabulous Feasts, this book gives you something on table manners, habits of cooking, lore of food, and, of course, the recipes (or at least as close as we can guess to them). The recipes are neatly divided into sections, as with most such books, and care is given to preparing authentic food. Some of the ingedients are obscure and some of the tastes will be ... acquired. Personally, I was fascinated that there was even a recipe for ships biscuits (and a few less savoury items) right along side the haute cuisine of the day.
If you would really like to know the flavours behind Jack's 20 stone, read this book; better yet COOK from this book.
Let me tell you, this book is deLISH--foreward by Patrick O'Brian himself. The mother/daughter authors preface the book by explaining how "Patrick O'Brian fever" broke out amongst themselves and all their friends (the books are contagious!); they ended up on a feverish research adventure to write this gastronomic companion. The authors set out to emulate O'Brian in point of accuracy and meticulous research. In short, they've basically reconstructed mid-to-late 18th century/early 19th century cooking! In actually reconstructing/preparing dishes, they conceded as little as possible to the amenities of the modern kitchen (however, the final recipes adapt preparations to 20th century ingredients and conditions).
They took quite a scholarly approach to researching the book--e.g., studying the social and economic raisons d'etre for the raised pie and the two wholly different traditional approaches to its construction, tracing the etymology of a dozen different suet pudding names back to a single root, following the evolution of pudding back to its Roman sources and establishing its common ancestry with sausage, etc.
Here you'll find how to make such dishes as Burgoo, Syllabub from the Cow, Ship's Biscuit, Skillygalee, Drowned Baby, Sea-Pie (anywhere from one to six or more "decks"!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Fantastic resource! Has more or less all of the meals mentioned in the series, as well as explanations on how to properly make true english puddings, various kinds of pie, and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Willardee
Read all ot the O'Brian series at least twice. Was amazed that someone researched the recipes mentioned. Capt. Aubrey and Dr. Maturin were early foodies. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2012 by Swill Bill, ship's cook of HMS Royal George
When I started reading the Patrick O'Brian novels I spent a lot of time wondering what Captain Jack and the crew were eating. Drowned Baby? Spotted Dog? Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003 by Amazon Customer
I discovered this book in England, appropriately enough, and read it like a novel...not something that's easy to do with cookbooks! Read morePublished on March 2 2000 by Espoo Famagusta
If you want to spend that much on ingredients and put in that much work, you could do a lot better with another cookbook. The O'Brian tie-ins were quotes from the O'Brian books. Read morePublished on May 10 1999