Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Movie Menus," Featuring Titanic - Weekend Cooking

One hundred years ago tonight, "Titanic" hit an iceberg. Then, in the wee hours of the next morning, April 15, 1912, it sank.

The kids and I are going to watch "Titanic," the movie, tonight, and I thought it might be fun to make food from the era, or food that was actually served on the ship.

This post was written as part of Weekend Cooking over at Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to head over to Beth Fish Reads, grab the button, and link up anytime over the weekend.  (The button is on your right...)

So, my first stop was the library where I was lucky enough to find "Movie Menus," by Francine Segan." She has written a book that features menus and recipes that "go with" dozens and dozens of movies. She was able to work with so many movies by the clever way that she organized the book.

The book is divided into sections of "like" movies. Here are the categories:

*Pharaohs and Philosophers - Ancient Times
*Knights and Kings - The Middle Ages
*Shakespeare and the Renaissance
*America's Early Years
*The Wild West
*The Gilded Age
*The War Years
*Gangsters to Greasers
*Romantic Dinner for Two
*Family Movie Night

She has movies that fall into each category. For example - since this is what I was looking for - the category, "The Gilded Age," covers movies set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which includes the mid-and late-1800's up until the start of WWI. So, her section called the Gilded Age features menus and recipes that "go with" not only "Titanic," but also (for example) "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," and "Jane Eyre."

In this section, the author has included such recipes as, "Ginger-Lemon Ices," and "Peach Melba."

I am going to digress for a moment from my search for "Titanic" foods because I really like the section that Segan has written about the Middle Ages! At the beginning of each section of recipes and movies, she has a little write up about dining during that era. She tells us that during the Middle Ages the "no elbows on the table" rule arose because the tables were just planks on sawhorses and if you leaned on them they could fall over! She also tells us that the term "chairman" came into use during that era because he was the man that actually had a chair - everyone else sat on benches or stood!

OK, back to "Titanic." My friend, Whirly Girl, is a brand new book blogger. She has been reading Titanic books, and just reviewed a book called "The Dressmaker," that is set on the Titanic. She told me that they have actual menus from the night of the wreck.

So, of course, I googled, and I found lots and lots of information about the food that was served the last night on the Titanic. In fact, they have found first-class, second-class and steerage menus from that night! There are a lot of articles on the web right now about this.

Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley have even published a book called, "Last Dinner on the Titanic." I cannot report on it first-hand (because I don't have it!), but here is what is written about it:

From Library Journal According to Walter Lord (A Night To Remember, LJ 10/15/55), April 14 finds many "sentimentalists" re-creating the Titanic's last meals. Now, with the help of research chef McCauley, Archbold (coauthor of The Discovery of the Titanic, LJ 1/88) reveals these menus to the population at large. A handsome gift book filled with photos, graphics, and Edwardian motifs, this work will appeal to foodies, Titanic buffs, and trend seekers. The recipes, taken from all five dining room menus, include delicacies like Quail Eggs and Caviar, Lobster Thermidor, and Oysters a la Russe; even the steerage "saloon" fare is formidable by present standards. There's also advice on how to host a Titanic dinner party complete with wardrobe and table-setting ideas, helping diners to feel like an Astor at the captain's table. With renewed interest and marketing of things Titanic in anticipation of the much-publicized film and Broadway musical (this year marks the 85th anniversary of the disaster), this book is surely the tip of the iceberg.?David Nudo, "Library Journal"

I still do not know what I am going to make for tonight(!) but there is certainly a lot of information out there! And, I still have "Movie Menus," which can be used for a lot more stay home "dinner and a movie" nights!


  1. Very interesting post. I'm picturing the sumptuous meals. I can't resist asking: Did they have a salad with iceberg lettuce?

  2. was grand them. well, except for the whole sinking thing. Lobster Thermidor for me please.

    1. I know...its a lost time. They say the Edwardian Era ended soon after that. Then came WWI and nothing was ever the same.

      On a lighter note, we can still make Lobster Thermidor!

  3. Oh I love books like these. I need to track them down for my collection! I've been reading and listening to Titanic books, and the descriptions of the food are awesome.

    1. I like cookbooks with a story too!! The food from first class was completely over the top!!

  4. My husband has been reading a lot of Titanic related books, and I think we will be watching my collector's edition of the movie tonight. Sadly, I will not be making lobster thermidor--who can afford the price of Lobster? WWI definitely did bring about the end of the Edwardian age--the world was changed on so many levels.
    Have fun tonight--

  5. I had fun making a wizards dinner for my family, though we didn't enjoy the turkey drumsticks. Food should be fun as well as nutricious.

  6. A Great post Libby. I especially like a themed cookbook. The titanic cook book sounds fascinating -another one for library list.

  7. It is just amazing how everyone is so fascinated by the Titanic. Nice post.

  8. Oh I love this! Perfect tie-in for this week. I would like to try the Ginger-Lemon ices...I want to be first in line for one.

  9. Movie Menus sounds like something I would love - very fun!

  10. I love this post! Now I really want to get the Movie Menus book. Last Dinner on the Titanic looks good too. I hope you'll share what you decide to make tonight with us next week!

  11. What a fun idea! I hope you let us know how your meal turned out. The Movie Menus book is such a terrific concept. I would really enjoy that!

  12. I do remember those waxy bottles, but don't know that I ever had one. I do remember wax lips . Oh wait, there were the waxy tubes that you bit the lid off and there was some liquid inside. Those I had,

  13. What a great idea for a movie night! That movie menu book sounds great, have to check it out. Looking forward to hearing what menu you decided on! Great post, I think 3-D is being released but I like your idea, at home with a cool meal!

  14. wow..very interesting post..titanic cook book sounds great..will check out now..:)

    Tasty Appetite

  15. I adore the idea of movie and a dinner night! Actually--that was a feature on a TV network years ago... Loved it.

    So, will you be making a first class meal or a steerage meal? Of course we learned from the movie that those steerage folks had all the fun! (at least before the crash...)

  16. Fabulous post Libby. Can't beat dinner and a movie especially with this menu. Hats off to you for another great idea you have shared