Thursday, April 10, 2008

Welcome Aboard

I'm so excited! We have boarded the Titanic for its maiden voyage. She was completed in February (1912) at a cost of $10,000,000. She can accommodate 2,500 passengers, but don't worry—we will have plenty of room to roam and explore since the ship is about four city blocks long (882.5 feet). There are also eleven decks, of course I'm sure we will want to stay in the first class areas. And if you need anything, don't hesitate to call on one of the 860 crew members who are here to serve us.

We have obtained both first-class suites with private promenades, at a cost of $4,350 per suite. Our suite is composed of a sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Unfortunely, many of you will have to suffer in suites without a private deck, only $2,300 per suite.

As we boarded, the docks were crowded with both passengers and spectaters who wanted to get a glimpse of this majestic ship and the many famous passengers. There are many honeymooning couples on board, but the most famous is Colonel John Jacob Astor and his young bride. Our suites are located close to Isidor Straus and his wife Ida (co-owners of Macy's). Further along the passage you will find Benjamin Guggenheim.

Our table's centerpiece
First-class passenger Washington Dodge was overheard saying "It was hard to realize, when dining in the large and spacious dining saloon, that one was not in some large and sumptuous hotel." Mrs. James Brown presided over the most raucous table for dinner. It is said she is course, loud and ready to share wild stories of her adventures with her entire table. Rumor has it that she is separated from her husband, a Denver gold mining tycoon. She is all the talk of first class.

As first class passengers, we have many choices of where we would like to dine. The Ritz Restaurant offers a more sumptuous chamber than the dining saloon. You may also order anything on their a la carte menu, which includes only nine courses, unlike the eleven course meals served in the Saloon. The Café Parisien offers a more relaxed enviroment. It is easy to lose yourself in the sidewalk café atmosphere. If you prefer, The Verandah Café gives you the illusion of an open air verandah. Of course, you are also welcome to dine in the Dining Saloon and Reception Room.

Roast Sirloin of Beef Forestiere
As we gathered in the reception room we were serenaded by a five piece orchestra. This gave us the opportunity to meet our fellow passengers. The Titanic's bugler called us to dine with "The Roast Beef of Old England." My husband then escorted me to our place at the table. Each course was served on a silver salver, with so many courses we chose to sample just a small amount of each course.

Tonight we dined on Roast Sirloin of Beef Forestiere. I enjoyed the meal so much I requested the recipe from the chef. I am happy to share it with my friends.

Roast Sirloin of Beef Forestiere
  • 1/3 cup red wine

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 2-inch thick sirloin steaks

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 2 oz side bacon

  • 2 1/2 cups sliced wild mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 2 springs fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a baking dish, combine wine, vegetable oil, thyme, onion and garlic. Add steak, turning to coat well; cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Bring steaks to room temperature before cooking.

Season steaks with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan. Roast in 425F oven for 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 375F and continue to roast for 15 minutes for medium wellness. When cooked, remove sirloin and cover with foil.

Sauce While steaks are cooking, in a small skillet, cook bacon over high heat for 5 minutes; remove from pan. Drain off all but 2 tbsp fat; stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring gently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and add to the bacon.

Stir in wine, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cook for 7 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tbsp. Set aside. Place roasting pan on medium-high burner. Pour beef stock into pan, stirring, bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Stir in wine mixture, butter, mushrooms, bacon and salt. Heat thouroughly, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Thinly slice sirloin across the grain and serve garnished with onions and sauce.

*I had my steak served without the sauce, since I am allergic to mushrooms.

We also were served Chateau Potatoes, I will be happy to share that recipe with you tomorrow. We will be exploring the ship today, so I hope to see you tomorrow to let you know what enjoyments are being offered.


Anonymous said...

I had no idea that there would be so many dining place choices. And you have the recipes. How amazing. I would want to sit as close to "Unsinkable" as I could in order to hear her stories -- but discretely, of course -- I wouldn't want anyone to know that I was interested.:)

Sharon said...

Oh wow! Your table looks goregous. I really love the red walls in your dining room! What a darling post! How fun to be on board the Titanic! The food sounds fabulous! I think I'll order the roast beef!!

:0) Sharon

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I didn't sign my post above. It came from me. I'm assuming that these photos are directly from the museum you visited, right? So we can see how the T. looked?
Rita in Oly (still with life jacket on)

Richard D said...

Sharon - The beef was delicious, but the liver dumplings were actually very good as well. David didn't like them too much, but I did. And I don't like liver.

Rita - That's actually our kitchen. The flowers are from the bushes that line one side of our house. Kim cut those during the afternoon while she was preparing dinner. The "wine" (with a slight peachy tint) is G2 flavored water from GatorAid. They probably didn't actually have that on Titanic, but hey - everything can't be totally accurate.

Anonymous said...

Rita says. . .
But the wine glass says Star Line. Where did you get those? I did notice that the flowers were of the early spring type. So you really ate that meal -- I'm even more amazed than I was before.

Kim said...

The White Star Line glasses are reproductions that we purchased at the exhibit. I'm sure the real ones were made of fine crystal, while ours are glass. But, I love them and we have fun using them, just not everyday. They also had reproduction Titanic plates, but they were too expensive for us at that time. But our silverware that we used was our really good set, along with our good plates.
The meal info and menus comes from the book "Last Dinner on the Titanic." It has some of the original menus from the liner and lots of food information. I am also using two other books along with the official Titanic Exhibition website to get my information. I love doing this type of research, learning about people and their lives. But, boy give me a history class where it's full of dates and I'm snoozing.
Don't be amazed about the meal, I can read and follow directions, that's it. I have fun decorating the table. I am amazed when I think the cooks had so many courses to have to time just right. It's hard enough when I have two or three items.
The walls in our kitchen are red! Each room in our home has it's own personality. I wanted the kitchen to say "Come in, have fun!" When we moved in the walls were cream, with white "picket fence" cabinets. I repainted the cabinets a crisp clean white and then wanted to strong color to off set it. The walls make the cabinets much more bold.