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Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels Paperback – September 17, 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A thoroughly readable cookbook, as well as a useful appendix to a great series of novels. -- San Jose Mercury News
Top customer reviews
Kudos to Anne and Lisa Grossman. SW
I IS fascinating to read. And for those of us interested in historical cooking, it's really compelling; I know I want to try making mushroom catsup, for instance. And I wonder if I can rig up a spit in front of my fireplace...
I find the pies as a sort of early Tupperware to be fascinating, though I am not sure I'd want to eat stuff stored thus.
There's a real focus on storage here, and that's fascinating for me. The fermented stuff? well, it's probably safe. Some of the others? I wonder. But- I love reading about what people did before we had reliable refrigeration and freezing.
Recommended for historical cooking/food fans.
Lobscouse is actually served in local restaurants where I was born, so I know from personal experience that it tastes better than it looks (picture something that has already been eaten once and thrown up again), but I have never attempted to make it myself. This book was a chance discovery and sounded interesting enough to order a copy. I was not familiar with the Aubrey/Maturin novels at the time, but nonetheless have read this book with great pleasure. I've used it quite a bit, too, but more as an inspiration and to look up period details for writing than for cooking.
The food described often may not be something I would want to cook or eat myself (fried rats, anyone?), but the descriptions and snippets from the novels bring each recipe to life and make it a delight to read. It also made me want to check out O'Brian's novels. On top of the humor evident throughout the book, I really appreciate the research and dedication that went into providing authentic descriptions of 18th century food preparation with some fascinating details.
And who knows, maybe one day I'll actually give it try and cook some lobscouse for old time's sake.
It's written in the much loved Patrick O'Brian style, and each recipe is headed by a passage from the "canon" that places the dish in context. I love the authors in absentia for having the flair to make this cookbook, and the research they put into it. A labor of love, clearly.