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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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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
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!
The (highly quialified) authors have not only researched the cookbooks of the period (and these are a treat to see quoted, let me say; cooking used to be a rugged and labor-intensive occupation, no matter where practiced) but they have actually cooked the dishes--and eaten them with, it appears, great gusto. The commentary is witty and full of sly ideas on how to cook and enjoy these dishes, which provide a window on a whole different style of eating. Included are such charmers as the "lightly seized" crayfish which were almost Duhamel's undoing, and (at last!) a recipe for portable soup. A delicious book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A recipe for virtually everything that is eaten and drunk in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels, adapted to the meanest understanding.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A really great historical look at the cooking in the Napoleonic setting. I have no idea where I would get many of the ingredients, and I damn sure wouldn't either cook or eat some... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Danny C, Garland
This is a most entertaining book.
Proposed, by the mother and daughter compilers, as a “Gastronomic Companion” to the Master and Commander, Jack Aubrey series of novels by... Read more
I love the Patrick O'Brian series and was so sad when I finished it. This cookbook is like a visit from an old friend.Published 4 months ago by Katie
Great culinary companion to O'Brien's Aubry/Maturin nautical fiction series.Published 5 months ago by Diane Crow
A great companion book to any of all of the POB books, he even wrote the forward to the book!! How much more enforcement can you have?Published 7 months ago by Eric O Montague
If a reader took any interest at all in the many meals, drinks, dishes included in the Aubrey-Maturin books, this book is a delight, describing in detail how food was prepared in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ronald D. Ellermeier
A most excellent book of wonderful recipes. One that every cook should have in the library. The puddings come up thicker than we are used to, but this is because they stayed true... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alger
Deserves its place in the spin offs from Patrick O"Brian"s novels.Published 14 months ago by John Downing