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Blue funnel cooking manual

The other day, I overheard a programme on the BBC discussing cookery books for Christmas and they mentioned a book that was originally written for Chinese and foreign ships’ cooks on the Blue Funnel Line by the late Patience Gray. For those who hanker after ship's grub, it might be an ideal present this Christmas.

I was never on a bad feeder whilst on British ships, but often heard companies prefaced by the word 'hungry' - 'hungry hains' in particular.
Were these companies that bad?
 

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stale bread toasted wid red lead (canned tomatoes) for breakfast
Cold pilchards with mash for lunch.
veg stew for dinner.

but on another coaster we had an old boy from Southampton who really knew how to do it. came as a bit of shock to waited on by him serving stuffed sheep hearts and other exotic fare. fresh fruit cake on the dog watch too. started putting weight on with this man.
 

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Ken

Colonial Goose was an antipodean dish consisting of a boned out leg of mutton, the cavity that the bone occupied being filled with forcemeat.
The whole thing was then slowly roasted

The above info from a very old NZ cookbook.
 

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Shoreside Fare

There were good feeders and bad feeders, even on bad ones we were often doing better than folk ashore. Hard to moan about the food when you're in Somalia!

This thread has brought back happy memories of garfield potatoes (does that happen anywhere except on a ship?), Russian salad (yesterdays Macedoine of Vegetables with salad cream), etc. How come in Boston, the Boston Baked Beans have rum added, but they didn't aboard ship?

It brought to mind some of the great stuff, unheard of at home, which we were able to get ashore in foreign parts. Here's a ditty about that:


The Rolling Gourmet

As a boy my food was solid but boring –
Our Mam hadn’t heard of Nasi Goreng.
Meat ‘n’ two veg was our basic grub,
A packet of crisps, a treat from the pub.
Little did I know, when I went to sea,
The culinary delights awaiting me.

Bratwurst schmeckt gut and cost little brass,
Breakfast of Jarlsberg with a Norwegian lass!
Shasliks in Turkey, eagerly gobbled,
Resulted in tummy seriously nobbled!
Muchas tapas in Spain, devoured with grace,
Before Brits in hankies discovered the place.

Buckets of gumbo slurped in Jackson Square
Before Cajun nosh became “de rigueur”.
Gigantic beefsteaks in La Boca, B.A.,
Pero solo pescado on meatless Thursday.
African chillies on chicken wings made me smile
When wandering fingers made the girls jump a mile!

Bhandari’s curry from the galley’s backdoor –
My own backdoor screaming: “please, no not more!”
Newton’s Circus’ liver with ginger was Yum,
Peking Duck in China – Eeh by gum!
Hand-fed tempura prawns in Japan,
I’ll will never forget you Sumiko-san.


In those long ago days the Naked Chef wore a nappy,
The Two Fat ladies were still slim and happy.
The gourmet delights were fun while they lasted,
But look what’s left over – a great big fat bastard!
That sounds like I’m moaning and being a pain,
But you know that I'd willingly do it again!


Bon appetit

John T.
 

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In 1961 I was in the M.V. Aptity of F.T. Everard and Sons, a Tanker with a Coal Galley Range and Coke fired Central heating. very difficult when loading spirit at Fawley, hence Eggs boiled in the one electric Kettle kept locked away for such purposes. I think we were also charged £1. 10 shillings a week for our food although we were given an allowance of 3 shillings a day toward this cost, no fridge but a wire meshed meat locker on deck. only one fresh water tap, in the Galley and Salt water Showers, thinking back this was unbelievable for 1961. The Master was H.A.Kearns from Paisley ex British Tanker apprentice, The Mate was Jack Hadlow a long time Everard man and the Chief Engineer was a Mr 'Mad' Harris who insisted his breakfast was cooked even though he did not eat it.In the year I was aboard we must have had about 8 different cooks but I was young and fit and ever hungry, great memory of 'Corned Beef Hash' and Baked Beans after a cold day tank cleaning
 

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Reading the posts in this thread it seems to me that
there is a generally unanimous agreement that the
feeding standards were overall very good. I
whole heartedly agree with this, which makes the
odd exception stand out clear in one's memory.

I am sure that most Brock's old boys will recognise
one 'Second Hand' Rose as a Chief Steward. It was
from him that I heard the phrase "I'm not going to
buy anymore of that, everyone will just eat it" and
there was no joke involved here with him. His
attitude was better summed up one evening when
the Chief, trying to munch through something
immediately forgettable, leaned across the table
to the Chief Steward and said something like
"This (whatever it was) tastes like crap."
The reply was "Well, do what I do. Don't eat
it"

These days I can blame my heartburn as a legacy
of all those curries I had as a young man; nothing
to do with drinking red wine or anything like that!
(At least my wife believes me, I think!)

Good Eating

malcolm
 

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mcook said:
Reading the posts in this thread it seems to me that
there is a generally unanimous agreement that the
feeding standards were overall very good. I
whole heartedly agree with this, which makes the
odd exception stand out clear in one's memory.

I am sure that most Brock's old boys will recognise
one 'Second Hand' Rose as a Chief Steward. It was
from him that I heard the phrase "I'm not going to
buy anymore of that, everyone will just eat it" and
there was no joke involved here with him. His
attitude was better summed up one evening when
the Chief, trying to munch through something
immediately forgettable, leaned across the table
to the Chief Steward and said something like
"This (whatever it was) tastes like crap."
The reply was "Well, do what I do. Don't eat
it"

These days I can blame my heartburn as a legacy
of all those curries I had as a young man; nothing
to do with drinking red wine or anything like that!
(At least my wife believes me, I think!)

Good Eating

malcolm

There were worse than Graham Rose. Fred thompson had similar responses; but didn't/wouldn't eat in the saloon. Then there was Dennis (the ogg) Oglevie. Seemed to have procured a permanent job coasting. Fred and Graham were super feeders by comparison. But then there was Les Flockhart who had a well earned reputation as the best feeder in Brocks. Sadly never managed to sail with him.
 

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I don't think that anone has mentioned that old breakfast treat!
Bubble and squeek.
God awaful stuff using last evenings potatoes and cabbage.
Called bubble and squeek as that was the noise it made when the cook was doing it in a large frying pan
 

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Reading through these threads all I can say being a sparks who sailed with various outfits the food was never bad, even when on an old tramp the C/E got the D/T's and tossed all the meat over the side and we ended up eating tinned sausages for the last week of the trip. That Chief cook was a genious.
 

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Hi Ken(Lin)& Brian,
Blue Star was a good company and the food was'nt too bad(at times),Colonial Goose was chicken legs including the thigh,we all thought how did they manage to get so many bloody chicken legs,hence the Blue Star centipede as we called it. Brian say's Chooks,thats the Aussie word, we in Scotland as kids called them chookie hens,the Aussies must have cut it down to size? Anyway Guys,keep up the good work,it's great to be amongst you.
Neil Mac.
 

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Hi Guys,
I sailed with Standard Vacuum and the food was streets ahead of anything we were served on Blue Star,we even had fresh milk for as long as it lasted and then it was cans of Carnation Milk. Our ships sailed under the British Flag but the company was owned by Standard Oil. On a Sunday we were give 2 beers each by the company, I think on American ships they were'nt allowed beer,but the company rule gave us free beers,we were also allowed to buy beer and spirits from the captains bond. The feeding was excellent but we still complained!
Neil Mac.
 
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