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Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner Hardcover – April 2, 1997
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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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I am planning another epic Titanic Dinner and stole several pic from the book for my 11-page invitations (as to try to entice people to come). I will read through it one last time before setting the table and shopping.
First and foremost, "Last Dinner on the Titanic" is a cookbook, and an amazing one at that. The recipes recreated here are indeed taken straight from that fateful Atlantic crossing in April 1912. The recipies are (for the most part) thoughtfully and interestingly grouped by menu from the area of the ship in which they were served, e.g., the First Class Dining Room, the Parisian Cafe, the Third Class Dining Room, etc. Thus, you get a broad spectrum of foods of the time, or at least the Chef d' Cusine's interpretation of foods of the time. And what a spectrum it is. You can pick and choose from Tripe Stew to Filet Mignon Lili to Lobster Thermidor with Duchesse Potatoes to "American Ice Cream". Or, if you're up to it, try and take on the entire First Class Menu from the night the Titanic went down, with all 11 courses in all of their glory.
I have now made several of the recipes from the book and they are (a) not too terribly difficult; and (b) extremely good. Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure making all of this on a ship in 1912 was extremely challenging; but for those of us at home in 2004, the modern conveniences (food processors especially) make these recipes a little easier to tackle. That's the great think about this book -- you can actually use it, although you will also be fascinated by the historical aspect as well. The Canapes L'Amiral and the Roast Sirloin Forestiere are partiuclarly good dishes.
Second, and almost as good as the food itself, the authors do a tremendous job of weaving history into this cookbook. When I got this book, I almost read it cover to cover just because it is so darn interesting. The history is not stuffy like an old text book; rather, it is extremely vivid and interspersed with photos, drawings, and anecdotes both from passengers who survived and those who did not. So you not only get the food of the period, you get the "feel" of the period as well. The authors even give you a tailor-made plan for throwing a real Titanic party if you want, right down to what to wear and how to fold the napkins! I could go on and on about the great stuff you'll learn, but I'll just say as a final selling point that every person who has seen this book in my house picks it up, sits down, and leafs through most of the entire thing. Yes, it's really that compelling and interesting, even 95 years later.
So grab it right now, and bon appetit and bon voyage!
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