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Foods from the Shore Party
Anyone who frequented the Gunroom during August 1996 (or who has
read the Patrick O'Brian Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 1) is
no doubt aware that on the 10th of that month the Testing Kitchen
gave a somewhat peculiar dinner party. We had some large recipes
to test - so large that neither our kitchens nor our fireplaces
could accommodate them, and we were forced to move our operation
to the beach. So large that we required considerable
assistance in consuming the results; happily for us, Gunroom
members, friends and neighbors rallied bravely to the cause.
The Commodore, p. 16
The Ionian Mission, p. 163
The Fortune of War, p. 149
Roast Suckling Pig
The Commodore, p. 270
A Roasted Lamb with a Pudding of Bright Yellow Rice in its Belly
The Ionian Mission, p. 296
Assorted Puddings with Custard Sauce:
Jam Roly-Poly ~ Plum Duff ~ Seed Cake
Spotted Dog ~ Treacle-Dowdy ~ Treacle Pudding
(As an anti-scorbutic, we also served a 20th-century cole slaw,
loosely connected in our minds with the cabbages of Desolation
Assorted wonderful beers, wines and rums were provided by those
who attended, and also by one who didn't: Gerry Strey (a pint of
stout with you, ma'am!) wasn't able to join us, alas, but she
sent an extraordinary selection of local brews all the way from
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As the last vestiges of summer fade and our book deadline looms,
we look back nostalgically on that golden day, felicitously
sandwiched between two rainstorms; and by popular request we are
posting a few pictures of the Shore Party to accompany our
featured recipe from the event. (Thanks are due to Allan Janus,
Michael Krugman, Ada Santiago Phelps, Lynn Steele, and Elaine
Toscanini, for their photographic prowess.)
L-R: Anne Chotzinoff Grossman, Lisa Grossman Thomas
L-R: Spitmaster Donald Thomas, Allan Janus
Toscanini, Michael Krugman
A ROASTED LAMB WITH A PUDDING OF BRIGHT YELLOW RICE IN ITS BELLY
"We had no plates or knives or forks (though we each had a
tortoiseshell spoon) and dinner was not served quite in our way
either, there being no removes, but dishes following one another
separately, to the number of thirty-six, not counting the
sweetmeats. Each came in to the sound of kettledrums, brought by
black men who put them down on a monstrous fine gold salver
nestling in an embroidered cushion in the middle of the table:
then we a all reached out and took lumps with our fingers, unless
it was very soft, when we used our spoons. One of the dishes was
a roasted lamb with a pudding of bright yellow rice in its belly,
and the Bey seized it by the legs, tearing it very neatly to pieces for
us."The Ionian Mission, p. 296
- 1 lamb, about 20 pounds, skinned, decapitated,
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground lamb
- 2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 cups long-grain rice
- 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
- 2 tablespoons coriander, coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon turmeric, plus extra for rubbing
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon rose water
- 3 quarts stock
- salt and pepper
- 3 eggs
- Wash the lamb inside and out, and wipe it dry.
- Set the saffron to steep in the hot water.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pot. Brown
the ground lamb over high heat. Remove, drain, and set aside.
- Lower heat slightly and saute the onions (adding more olive oil
as necessary) until they are limp. Add the rice, stir, and cook
over low heat until translucent.
- Add 2 cups of the stock, stir, and cook until the stock is almost
completely absorbed. Continue adding stock in this manner, 2 cups
at a time, until about half the stock has been used.
- Stir in the saffron mixture and the pistachios, coriander,
turmeric, cinnamon, and rose water.
- Continue adding stock as above until all the stock has been used.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the ground
lamb, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and
stir them thoroughly into the rice mixture.
- Rub the inside of the lamb with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice
mixture into the belly. Sew up the cavity
with strong cotton string.
- Center and secure the lamb on the spit. Rub it all over with
turmeric, and set it to roast before a clear fire. It will be medium
rare after about 3-1/2 hours, or when it reaches an inside
temperature of 140 degrees.
- Serves 20.
L-R: Pig, Lamb, Spitmaster Donald Thomas
More pictures from the Shore Party...