Tuesday, April 17

Titanic Dinner

In our relationship, Josh is definitely the more practical one; I'm the one with the sketchbooks and journals and maybe-never-going-to-be-finished manuscripts.  So when Josh has a silly or whimsical idea, I go with it.  I follow those silly Josh ideas as far as they'll go.  On Saturday, when I invited his sister over to watch the ABC Titanic miniseries with us, he said, "We should find out what they had for dinner on the Titanic and make that tonight."  We found the recipes on the blog Downton Abbey Cooks (Pamela is one of my new favorite people), and our impromptu Titanic Dinner Party was born.  Now, I know some people think Titanic dinner parties are in poor taste, but keep in mind that this was completely on a whim... we didn't have time to think about whether it was tacky.  We also didn't take the time to get out our DSLR camera, so all I have to show for the evening are our Instagram photos:

Our menu for the night, adapted from the 10-course first class 
menu and the second class menu (White Star Line logo from 
Between the Lions).  We could have replicated the steerage 
menu easily, but we believe in "go big or go home" around here.

When James Cameron's Titanic came out in 1997, I was twelve.  My best friends' parents were taking us to Flubber, they were going to the PG-13 movie that, to them (keep in mind I live in a very conservative area!) didn't look appropriate for the under-thirteens.  Well... I'll never know how Flubber ended, because we snuck into the back of Titanic as soon as we thought the coast was clear.  I ended up going a total of seven times in the theater that December and January.  I think the big question here is, why did my parents pay for me to see the same movie in the theater that many times?

Remember Rose's art from Paris?

I think it's save to say that twelve year old me had developed an obsession; and it went beyond "Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing."  I became absorbed in research for the first time I can remember and dragged the local public librarian into my Titanic sphere, requesting books on loan from a lot of other libraries with larger collections.  I studied the work of Robert Ballard and my parents bought me a huge book called Titanic: an Illustrated History which lives in my classroom now.  The book included a lot of photos of artifacts recovered from the shipwreck - maybe those were the beginnings of my interest in archaeology that would lead to me minoring in anthropology in college?  Either way, it was the first time that research was fun for me because I was researching something I had chosen.  As a teacher today, I try to never forget the link between choice and passion.

First course: Barley soup (Pamela's recipe here; alternate recipe at Dragon's Kitchen)

Okay, so I was also totally in love with Leonardo DiCaprio in 1997.  I had my first official celebrity crush; cue the Teen Beat magazines and Scholastic Book Fair paperback "albums."  (They still sell those, but today they're about the Biebs and the casts of Twilight and The Hunger Games).  In case you need a reminder, here is what Leonardo DiCaprio looked like in 1997:

Seriously.  Ugh.  I think the truly ironic thing here is that my mother was constantly reminding me that I was TOO YOUNG for him, and his girlfriends in this decade have all been MY AGE OR YOUNGER.  Anyway.  My best friend and I set out on a mission to see every movie he'd been in before Titanic, and of course that included Romeo + Juliet

Cornish Hen (our "squab") and Parmentier Potatoes
If you decide to cook this meal with a Cornish Game Hen 
instead of a squab, too, extend the cooking time.  Lesson learned.

The Shakespeare dialogue in R+J really, really confused my bestie, and I spent most of the movie interpreting what Leo, Claire Danes et al were saying.  I realized, hey, I'm kind of good at this Shakespeare stuff the high school kids have been complaining about on the school bus.  I got excited about reading the play in ninth grade and all the Shakespeare that would follow after that.  Fast forward a few years, and I was asking college recruiters, "How many Shakespeare courses does your English department offer?"  Yes, I was that much of a nerd, and I was proud of it.

Waldorf Pudding before and after flipping; it's DELICIOUS 
and will probably become a holiday dessert staple in our family.

Is Titanic the reason I'm an English teacher today?  Maybe.  Was this dinner delicious, and a lot of fun to prepare?  Oh yes.  Did the Titanic miniseries have too many characters and a confusing Vantage Point style plot?  I sure thought so.

The second class menu item we couldn't resist trying.


  1. This looks like so much fun! I've always been a bit Titanic obsessed, both before & after the movie, and so I'd love to do a theme night from this eating the food off Titanic's last meal. Plus it all looks delicious.

  2. Thanks Shoshanah! We need to hunt down some good Titanic-based historical fiction, I think. The food was quite good and not as complicated as I thought all of it would be - recruit a few sous chefs and you're golden!