"...when all those rich people drowned."
So April 14 was the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I really wanted to mark the event so I invited some friends over for a weekend of eating and dressing up.
I appreciate it seems a little ghoulish, but I find it fascinating. I adore the spender of the ship and the extravagance of the first class passengers areas, juxtaposed with the third class passengers who sold everything they had to get a ticket and go and start a new life in America bunking up with strangers in the simple but sturdy steerage class areas. I am in awe of the mechanics of the Titanic, and that it should have been bigger than anything nature could throw at it, and that it wasn’t. I love the romance of the people on board, enjoying life and planning futures.
Moreover, I love the all too human tales of bravery, of cowardice, of the people that stayed behind together and the people that survived and how it touched everyone regardless of what their ticket said and beyond.
One of the things I really wanted to achieve with the weekend was to show the array of food and to really highlight how even the food echoed the inherent backdrop of social class.
As part of their fare, third-class passengers were provided four meals a day, being breakfast, Dinner, Tea and Supper. The provision of food for steerage class was not a new invention, but it was still in its infancy and the food provided on the titanic was considerably grander and heartier than many of its passengers were used to.
The meals were served in two sittings at long rows of tables lined up next to each other, as the two third-class dining saloons could hold only around 475 people. The dining rooms were located on F Deck between the second and third funnels.
The Tea menu for third class on the 14 April appears to have been Ragout of Beef with Potatoes & Onions with fresh bread and butter and currant buns, followed by stewed apricots and plum pudding with sharp sauce
In contrast, and exactly two floors above, the first Class passengers dined A La Carte in luxury in the immense Jacobean-style dining room. The floor of the first class Dining Saloon was laid with linoleum tiles intricately patterned to resemble a Persian carpet.
At an extra cost the First Class dinners could also choose to dine in the Café Parisien, where the large picture windows over looked the sea. This was something of an innovation for cruise liners and was later adopted on White Stars other carrier, The Olympic.
White Star literature of the time described it as a ‘…charming sun-lit veranda, tastefully decorated in French trellis-work with ivy and other creeping plants…’.
The Café served the same menu as the first class dinning saloon (cooked by the same chefs), and on the last night included oysters, Consommé Olga, Filet Mignons Lili, roast lamb with green peas, Pate de Foie Gras and Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly.
Titanic’s second class dining room could accommodate all second class passengers at a single seating. It was a large elegant room located on ‘D’ deck, with oak panelling and mahogany furniture upholstered in crimson. A specially designed sideboard with a piano at the centre was provided so there could be entertainment for the diners.
The dinner menu on the evening of 14 April 1912 lists a hearty three-course meal, with a consommé to start, then a choice of four main courses: baked haddock, chicken curry, spring lamb and roast turkey, followed by dessert and coffee.
For many of those on board, this would be their last meal.
The Titanic hit the iceberg at 11:40 pm and took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink (approximately 2:20 pm on April 15 1912).
The total number of people on board is not known (as there were some people sharing tickets and others who never boarded) but it is agreed that approximately 2225 people were on board on the 14 April 1912. Of the 2225 people on board, 706 passengers and crew survived, including 61 % of the first class passengers and 24% of the third class passenger.
The majority of those who survived were women (75% of the female passengers survived), the 20% of the male passengers who survived were mostly pulled from the freezing sea by the returning life boats.
"Striking the water was like a thousand knives being driven into one's body. The temperature was 28 degrees, four degrees below freezing." Charles Lightoller, Titanic Second Officer
So much foods, so much good company, lots of big ole love, some exciting news about new life and some sad news about the passing of a wonderful lady who I was fortunate to have met albeit far too briefly.
There will be much postage occurring about the foods and I am sure a couple about the clothing and other stuffs… but not today as I am tired and back at work.
I also have huge amounts of rambley stuff knocking around in my head and a whole new lust of stuffs and plans and things.. not all of which will make it on the here and I may have to go and buy myself an old fashioned paper for my eyes only diary ...maybe.
I have also decided that after a weekend of historical cooking, costume & subjecting my guests to eating history trivia I need to somehow make it my job *nods*
I have much to post about at the costume blog and am hoping that I will get some time to do so over Easter, whilst also making lots of stuff and cleaning my house.
But in the meantime, I thought I would just pop this up here as a taster teaser of a future post.
I am having guest over for the weekend and am planning to do a weekend of food as eaten on board the doomed ship. There will be more but for now I shall leave you with the menu for Saturday nights grand dinner, which is the final meal eaten on 14 April 1912 by the First Class passengers:
Hors D'Oeuvres & Oysters
Consommé Olga or Cream of Barley
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers
Filet Mignons Lili or Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci
Roast Lamb, Mint Sauce or Roast Duck, Apple Sauce
Served with Green Peas, Creamed Carrots and Parmentier Potatoes
Pigeon & Cress salad
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette
Pate (not- de Foie Gras !) with Celery
Waldorf Pudding or Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
Port, cheese, biscuits.
Yeah I know, these are getting so late they are also the week after. Come and clean my house and then I can be up to date!
So this week was all about the hospital.
Friday was infact mostly spent in one. How on earth can the appointment be 9.40 when you dont get to see the consulant until 12.40?! If I worked like that I'd be stuck off (eventually). I would certainly lose a lot of cases in any event.
So this weeks picture is one snapped whilst waiting for the Plaster Romm to take the chaps plaster off:
If any one knows what on earth the thing at the mans foot is could you please share... Its begining to scare me to be honest!
I did nearly go and try and make something quickly happen yesterday to make a photo, but that really isn’t part of the point of this for me.
In simple terms I didn’t take any pictures last week.
During the week I went to work, I went home, I spent time with my chap and my cats, I made food and watched films and knitted a bit; life happen.
The weekend was nice and relaxing. We went to visit friends and talked toot and played sheepy, wheaty rock and and frankly I didn’t want to start pulling out a camera / my phone and snap at stuff. That was not what the evening was about.
Sometimes the best picture isn’t the one being taken. Life happens in front of a lens and if you don’t put the camera down, or stop checking the phone or step away from the screen, you can forget that and miss it.
Spring appears to be very much here, the Daffodils are out in force and making happy bright yellow shapes against the green in my garden.
( more yellow...and lady bugsCollapse )
a few more are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/misspgreen
so yeah, this week has been about exercising, and the pain that I am hoping will gain me a svelte figure.
I have brought the 30 Day Shread, which is a DVD training program that makes you do 20 (more like 30 all in) minutes of intense, insane, painful but actually good once you start to enjoy it torture. It’s by Jullian Michaels (who apparently was on the Biggest Loser) and the quote is one of her sayings. I have done four days of it now and my upper arms really rather hurt today, this may be due to my increasing the weights to 2kg today. I will have buff arms... oh yes!
I have also brought a swimming costume to guilt me into going swimming and a new sports bra more resembling of an inquisition devise than a piece of lingerie.
I am already dieting and borderline fasting as it is and my yee olde religion has rather gone by the wayside (although the faith sort of ish remains in a complicated way), so it would feel wrong to ascribe to a fast which mimics the guy that I don’t quite believe in.
Instead I usually DO something, make it a positive event rather than a negative one.
This year I am going to do letters of love. (which is nowhere close to an original idea but what is these days?)
The premise is very simple, every day I will send a letter, or a card, or a gift or a combination of the same to try and bring some love, light, joy and hope to others and to try and make positive changes.
These will include letters to my lovely awesome friends, but also letters to MP’s and authorities in of support of campaigns close to my heart (such a through amnesty international) and care packages.
One a day.
For 46 days.
Might not change the whole world, but hopefully will make a few individual worlds feel a little better for a bit.
So, who is going to join me?
As a side note, my uncle (Peter Westwood) died at the start of the month, he worked at the GPO for most of his life as an engineer and helped design and build the first machines that processed the automated postcode systems. So it feels appropriate to be a little bit old school in this era of easy technology.
This week has been all about the diet.
The Chap is back and only eating foods that will help his bones grow and I am trying weight watchers to get some sort of grip on the way I eat. I am not hugely overweight, but I could do with losing some general level fat and girth. So its been about the check and balances and a lot about the fruit. All the fruit.
( it is a four letter wordCollapse )
more pics here: