Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Lobscouse and Boiled Baby!

I am starting to wonder what effect this time in the Tropics is having on my psyche!
I find myself setting some challenging culinary challenges, a full English roast in 100 degrees of heat is a real challenge!

My next objective is to make a traditional English 'Pork Pie', from scratch. And yes that does include creating the aspic from pigs trotters...

Yesterday I visited the store in town run by Casa Guatemala, the local orphanage. It is their boat that visits the marina a couple of times a week delivering excellent pork, chicken and dairy products. Some produced on their own farm and other stuff bought in from local producers. My mission was to order a couple of pigs trotters as the first step to completing this challenge.. Trotters? Hum that doesn't have a translation is my small and dog eared dictionary so we went for 'little foot of pig'! That got the woman excited.

Ah Si Si Muy bueno...and she launched into a dissertation, some of which I understood, of the various Guatemalan recipes for this delicacy.
Boiled with carrots and onions and parsley to make a gelatinous salad, deep fried and sliced(!). Not the salad the trotters.
After much mutual lip smacking and appreciative nods I THINK that two medio sized porcine tootsies should be on the boat for delivery to me on Saturday morning. We shall wait and see what arrives! I have learnt that what I think I have agreed to may well be somewhat different to that which arrives...

 TBH is convinced that I have lost the plot, he may well be right! I have been trawling the internet for recipes and instructions. Ideally I would love one of these intricate Victorian moulds but my springform cake tin will have to suffice. The original beauties sell for hundreds of pounds and there aren't a lot of purchasing opportunities down here. I can't think why.

So the whole project has led me to some wonderful sites, particularly those concerned with historical food. After watching Hornblower it set me to thinking about food on ships and what I could learn. Maybe even adapt for our own enjoyment.

TBH isn't too keen on weevils in the ships biscuits but is a fan of welsh rarebit. Basically cheese on toast, mixed with beer and mustard. It was a great favourite of  Captain Jack Aubrey's from the wonderful Patrick O'Brien series of books.

"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."

We have yet to try 'boiled baby' or 'lobscouse' but I now have the recipes. Maybe you won't want to accept an invitation to dinner over the next few weeks as I get this out of my system!


Ken said...

Hi Jerry
Just so you don't get discouraged about the number of people who love your blogs, I don't think that the "recommend this" button at the bottom of your posts is working properly. I click it religously, but it doesn't remember that I have done so.

You are an inspiration to all cooks at sea, as well as the crew.

Gerry said...

Thanks for 'clicking' Ken! This technology is all a bit of a puzzle to me but I will get TBH back on the job after he has finished mending the latest leaks....
I appreciate your kind words of encouragement.