Merchant Navy Fare - merged threads - Ships Nostalgia
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Merchant Navy Fare - merged threads

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  #1  
Old 21st November 2005, 19:08
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Merchant Navy Fare - merged threads

Have long wanted to start this thread, rather dear to my heart (and stomach).
Most of us have sailed on pretty terrible feaders but on average the majority
were pretty good. Even in the 60's on the Denholm ore carriers, the food was rather good. A favourite entree was "Kromeski a la Russe .which was just a sausage wrapped in bacon the deep fried. Seemed simple but tasted great after a day on deck. Another favourite entree was devilled kidney on toast. Even after 40 years trying I've never been able to make it the same way.
Remember braised steak and onions. With a slab of bread to mop up the gravy, you hardly needed a main course. When I was super,once visited one of our ships around lunchtime. Main course was mince pie,peas and chips.
Having eaten in some fancy places all over the world,I swear I have never
enjoyed a meal like that. Ch,cook said the lads needed something to soak up the lunchtime beers.
The point of this rigamole is; seeing some of the food which is dished out nowadays in restaurants, I don't think we fared so badly. Most of us will have pretty fond memories of good feeders.
I have even tried to get hold of a copy of the Merchant navy cookery book written by a chap called (I think) Atkinson, but still no success.
Perhaps RUUD will be able to contribute.
Anyone got any good old fashioned MN recepies?.

JC
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Old 21st November 2005, 19:21
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Gulpers Gulpers is offline   SN Supporter
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John,

Omelettes always came in three varieties – cheese, Spanish or plain – or as one 4/E I sailed with insisted in calling plain omelettes, egg!

How about oxtail for an entrée – that was always one of the favourites and Brown Windsor soup was a certainty the next day!

On the GTVs we had our first experience of microwaves – they certainly weren’t common household items in the 70s. How many eggs did you explode after carefully selecting which coloured plastic timing strip to feed into the machine? We didn’t know you couldn’t boil eggs in their shells!
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Old 21st November 2005, 19:29
Pilot mac Pilot mac is offline  
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John.
yes I remember the good old Kromesky.

Another I remember is' Beef a la Mode' which was beef having been penetrated with whole carrotts and then pot roasted. Beef Olives was another .

The poor old Cornish Pasty went under a variety of names depending on what company you were in . I have come across it in three diferent guises, Armadillo, Sealed Orders and worse of all *****s Handbags (cos you never knew what was within)

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Dave MacVicker
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Old 21st November 2005, 19:49
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Coney Island Quail ? does that bring back any memories ? Thanks for the reminder on "beef a la mode"...now you've got me thinking back to the Cunard Brock days..john g
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Old 21st November 2005, 21:07
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Serving my time in Ropners was not in the same world as good feeding (except for my last voyage on "Daleby" which had 12 passengers and we ate in the saloon.)
Thing I remember was the DUFF we were served on Thursday and Sunday. Wish I knew how the cooks did it. (what won't fatten will fill)
Closeset thing was when I had a cook from Newfoundland and his "figgy duff" was the nearly as good. Alas before that was salt fish and bruis or Jiggs dinner. Don't ask what they are as they are Newfie culinary delights along with flipper pie!
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Old 22nd November 2005, 00:04
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Shame on you chaps! no Apple Daddy, surely there must be someone from T&J Harrisons, Terry
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Old 22nd November 2005, 01:25
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Ahoy,
Labscous,Boston Baked Beans,American Hash,Irish Stew,Chicken Curry,Curry 'n Rice, does that rings a bell?But there were a lot more!!!!! Mostly when those were on the menu, it was often said, 'eeh, the fridges have been cleaned' because of all the left overs, where mixed together.On the Dutch MN, it was also, "a tradition" on Saturdays having "Snert"[Thick green peas soup, with trotters,also called "Erwtensoep"] and the other saturday "Groningse Rijsttafel"[Captain's Dinner nowadays called]These were brown beans with all kind of garnitures, like different made onions,bacon,goulash,pickles,piccalily, potatoes and rice.Even in the tropes, and often as dessert "pancakes"[natural,cheese,bacon].In the early days,from the '50's on,you don't needed a calender to see what day it was, you knew it by what was been served as dinner,on Sundays always Chicken and French Fries,Garden Peas,Applesauce, and once in a while "Rijsttafel"[Indonesian way] as served as Bami or Nasi Goreng, with a lot of garnitures as well.Friday always fish, mostly flatfish like plaice.Wednesday meatballs, made from minced meat and lot of bread. Talking about bread; every morning at 04:30 made my dough,hand made!!! to get fresh bread at breakfast, which started at 07:30,and had 4 hrs. overtime each day, most of the times about 120-150 hrs/monthly:$$$, but none is left
http://www.kallenberg.nl/Illustraties/brood.jpg
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Last edited by ruud : 22nd November 2005 at 07:22.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 02:02
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RCHARLTON RCHARLTON is offline  
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All in all Cunard Brocks food was pretty good. Much as I enjoyed the curries on Brocks ships however, I did draw the line at curried baked beans and curried hard boiled eggs. The Chief Steward was really scraping the bottom of the barrel with those.
Ray
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Old 22nd November 2005, 02:37
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When I started out as a deck apprentice in the mid sixties there was a very simple rule of thumb, if you had the twelve passengers onboard you fed okay, when you didn't it was usually crap. I put that down to a number of factors not related to the company's feeding rate which was perfectly adequate. Drunken and imcompetent cooks, likewise captains, and some rather shifty chief stewards. Perhaps the latter two I should explain. All "wine accounts" were inspected by the company head office and some of those old, and not so old masters could only survive on a couple of bottles a day; so who was best placed to cover that up? Why the good old chief steward of course, always the richest man on the boat. So when all but the rubbish cuts of meat had been sold over the wall, and you were getting shakey milk in West India Docks, who was going to complain, not your illustrious commanding officer. However, by the time I packed it in, late seventies, on the whole things had much improved and the feeding could be almost too good for someone like me who puts on weight very easily. I also agree with a previous poster that Brocks food was always pretty good though some of those curries could make you sweat.
CBoots
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:04
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What about Currie & Rice at breakfast that of course after around of eggs & bacon.
This was Harrisons [ two of fat one of lean Harrisons ],who said they were hungry.
Have had me hooked on currie ever since.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:06
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Wasn't kegerre a rice and curry dish served at breakfast?
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:05
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I ate well on a number of British ships as a kid with the requisite bottomless stomach. I started visiting ships at my small town port at the age of thirteen. I remember well chowing down on steak and chips, meat pies and some great puddings in the late 1960s and early 1970s on ships like the Pacific Stronghold, Pacific Northwest, Loch Loyal, Loch Ryan, Loch Gowan, Harpalyce, Graiggwerdd, Prometheus, Amalric, among many other UK ships with crews and cuisines mainly from India and Hong Kong. I always loved the much superior chocolates and toffees of Britain.
One thing I remember is a wall poster of what every man on board was entitled to in nutrition and meal allotments, I think it even got down to the minimum entitlement in salt. There was some colloquial term for the poster that I have long since forgotten. I really wish I had been able to get one of these posters for my collection, just as I would have loved the Indian Government's own issue of this chart. The whole thing was as big as a wide door, covered in text.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:05
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Best feeders I had were supply boats to the Australian Rigs. Why?. NO COOKS! An AB voluntered to be cook for the three week trip, and we were lucky, we had a would be Cordon Bleau chef, He was brilliant. He did his own ordering and we were never without Sydney Rock Oysters, Lobster,Prawns and steaks that just melted in the mouth!. One time in Fremantle he had ordered 80 dozen Rock Oysters, but only 40 dozen were delivered. The crew refused to sail until the other 40 doz arrived, air express from Sydney!. Five flavors of ice cream, and even though the ships were 'dry' we never were short of some wonderful Australian red and white wines. Ah, the good old days!!.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:22
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Kedgeree

Capt. Bill.

"Khichri" is an ancient Indian dish consisting of lentils and rice and spices.

When the British arrived in the seventeenth century they adopted this dish as a breakfast dish with flaked fish substituted for the lentils. In time they dropped the spices, added hard boiled egg, anglicized the name and "Kedgeree " was born.

Source: The Raj at Table. David Burton, Faber and Faber 1993.

Mac.

Last edited by Mac : 22nd November 2005 at 07:28. Reason: correcting spelling
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Old 22nd November 2005, 08:45
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Anyone ever heard of the book I mentioned in my introduction and if so where
I can get hold of a copy ?.

JC
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Old 22nd November 2005, 09:44
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Ahoy John,

I know a woman, Catherine Atkinson, she has written several Cooking books, but there are 1000's of them, and also with special recipes from the MN.
But my favourites still are Larousse and my best book is from Auguste Escoffier 'Le guide culinaire'
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Old 22nd November 2005, 10:27
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Thanks your input Ruud.
As far as I can recall , it was a name like Charles Henry Atkinson or very similar.
It gave all the old well remembered MN food>

Rgds

JC
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Old 22nd November 2005, 13:17
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We had to rough it on the QE, only had the same as the first class passengers.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 13:25
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I remember curry & rice for breakfast in Harrison Line, mainly with Jackie Moore as Chief Steward. The 2/E, Wally Brinsdon (a Kiwi) used to have the curry & rice with his egg and bacon on top and use marmalade as chutney. Boy could he eat.
Peter Baker.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 14:49
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What a great thread. The two that spring to mind on Bluey's was Nasi Goreng, and Kedgeree. On Elder Dempsters Kumba we were asked if we would like to try Palm Oil Chop. We all declined the offer after seeing the Ch cook come out of the poop mixing the chop with his hands and a lady of the night hanging round his neck. Strange ship that Kumba. Opposed piston Doxford and steam recip auxiliaries, including the turning gear. 110 volts DC, and the lights used to dim when we showed a movie. West African stewards and engine room hands, boy could they swing a hammer in the crankcase, Happy days. all the best lads Succour
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Old 22nd November 2005, 16:18
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Ahoy,

I don't want to forget our "Iberian crew members",as they came in the Dutch MN in the early '50's, and I've served them a lot of:

Feijoada[black beans and pork stew]
--------------
Cozido's[different meat dish]
--------------
Bacalhau ŕ Portuguesa[codfish fish dish]
--------------
Caldeirada ŕ Fragateira[different fish dish]

And still make them nowadays, for friends. You just have to try it once!!!
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Old 22nd November 2005, 16:37
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Best feeders in BP were in my opinion the Indian crew ships. The tables (not just on these ships) were always properly laid, silver napkin rings etc. and for every meal starting with breakfast the Chief Steward had prepared a menu typed on the Company Menu card. Full English breakfast with juices, egg choice, hot cakes followed at midday by, you guessed it, a curry (Kopta, Madras, Dahl.....) with trimmings or/and English Fayre finishing off with dessert and cheeses. And if that wasn't enough an omelette for tea @ 17:00? No problem. To imagine I sacrificed all this for cereals and hard-boiled eggs, gristle with Sauerkraut and Rote Grütze followed at teatime by yes, black or grey bread and sliced sausage. German Merchant Marine Fayre A.D. 1978. Mind you, some of the Stewardesses weren't bad. ;-))
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Old 22nd November 2005, 16:38
neil maclachlan neil maclachlan is offline  
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Hi Folks,
When I sailed with Blue Star Lines the Food was fairly good when we had passengers aboard,but when in port it went downhill,nobody ate aboard. We used to have a salad called Russian Salad,no wonder Russia was such a happy country, During the voyage they would have on the menu a dish called colonial goose,it was always legs,we called it Blue Star centipede? They never gave you fresh milk but watered down condensed milk--yuk!
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Old 22nd November 2005, 16:55
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The list that was displayed on board ships was a copy of the ships agreement (articles) and that showed the minimum (chief stewards thought it was maximum) food allowances with permitted substitutes. Commanly know as your wack.
Not many went to these extremes but I all depended on whither the chief steward had enough saved to buy his retirement pub
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Old 22nd November 2005, 17:34
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The Nautical Cookery Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cassels
Anyone ever heard of the book I mentioned in my introduction and if so where
I can get hold of a copy ?.

JC

Here you are John - 2nd hand at Ł12.50 from www.abebooks.co.uk

The Nautical Cookery Book - for the Use of Stewards & Cooks of Cargo Vessels
C H Atkinson

but I see it/was (ISBN: 0851741916) a title from - Brown, Son & Ferguson - the famous nautical publisher's - so maybe worth getting in touch with them in Glasgow ....

(red text is direct links)


b.rdgs


ps I'll expect an invite - Nasi Goreng with peanut sauce was always nice :-)
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Last edited by airds : 22nd November 2005 at 17:40.
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