A meal to remember: A century later, dinners re-create food served on the RMS Titanic
Kathleen Galligan, Mct
Interest in the Titanic sails on as the 100th anniversary of its April 15, 1912, sinking draws near.
Museums, theaters and even hotels are preparing special menus to mark the centennial.
The Henry Ford Museum was readying a sold-out dinner for 400 as it opens "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," which begins a long run in Dearborn, Mich., on March 31. In Royal Oak, Mich., a Titanic dinner will kick off the Stagecrafters' production of "Titanic: The Musical."
The Kirby House, a bed-and-breakfast in Saugatuck, will put on its annual Titanic dinner, and in Alma, the public library will be turned into a ship's dining hall for a buffet-style affair for 125.
Some organizers took menu cues from "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner" by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley (Madison Press, $25.95).
Then, like chef-owner Greg Reyner of Cafe Muse in Royal Oak, Mich., they looked for ways to modernize and economize.
"One of the menus had marrow," said Reyner, who is preparing the sold-out strolling buffet for 250 at Royal Oak's Baldwin Theatre on April 12. "We had to find things that were comparable."
For example, Reyner will serve caviar-topped deviled eggs instead of oysters. Beef consomme topped with scallops will become a tomato-based consomme served in cucumber cups.
One of Reyner's entrees will be Chicken with Braised Leeks, Spinach and Apples, a take off on the Titanic's Roast Squab with Watercress.
"And we are contrasting the opulent first class with the steerage-esque, so to speak, third class," Reyner said. So a boiled dinner is also on the menu.
Jesse Eisenhuth, director of food service and catering, said the Henry Ford Museum workers pulled its April 14 menu from all three classes.
"Most people concentrate on the first-class menu," Eisenhuth said. "For this dinner, it's from every class, because we wanted to make sure we tell the whole story."
This is the 14th year for the Titanic dinner at the Kirby House in Saugatuck, Mich. Owner Jim Gowran began the events the year James Cameron's film won the Academy Award.
"We rotate the main entree each year," Gowran said.
This year, it's Filet Mignon Lili with creamed carrots and chateau potatoes.
Gowran's event April 14 will feature guests dressed in period costume or black tie. Each is given the name of a passenger and information about them.
"At the end of the dinner, they find out if they survived," Gowran said.
CANAPÉS A L'AMIRAL
Makes: 20 canapés
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large shallot, peeled, ends removed, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled, ends removed, minced
8 ounces shrimp in shell, rinsed
¼ cup brandy of fruit juice
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (regular or reduced fat)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Dash of vanilla