Saturday, 7 July 2012

An old, old menu

You will have to double click on this to make it large enough to read.  I was sorting through some old papers today. looking for something I could photocopy to use in a project I am about to start, when I came across this fascinating menu.  My great aunt accompanied a family to be governess to their child, children while they went on a trip to Japan and on to America.  I wish we had asked more questions when there was someone alive to tell us the story.  I know they went from Japan to America, and I think via Alaska.  I know they went to New York and also that their ship sailed out of San Francisco the day before the big earthquake.  I can vaguely remember my aunt telling us stories of  the trip, but infuriatingly, I can't remember any details!  This menu is over 100 years old, interesting to see what was offered on Hotel menus back then.  Does anyone know what a Burdock saute is?

I think I am getting back to normal again, hoping to start on a journal project tomorrow - a good day to stay indoors.  We have had no rain over the last few days, but the sky is overcast and there is a 30 knot wind blowing, most unpleasant.  At least this is the winter season in Australia so we expect days like this, I feel for all of you in the UK where you are supposed to be having summer.

Time for bed.


  1. Glad you are making such good progress. What a fascinating find. Burdock is a handsome wild plant with thistle-like flowers and is quite widespread in the UK. I believe it is used flavouring the old fashioned drink Dandelion and Burdock but I can't find any mention of it being eaten. The young leaves look quite fleshy so maybe they are sauted.
    Hope your weather soon improves and I hope ours does too! I have never know a summer like this one, and I've known a few!

  2. What a fascinating find. Old menus are so interesting.

    Our weather is very cold and damp. It is winter though so I am happy to be indoors.

  3. What a great piece to still have in your possession Robin, and thanks for sharing it. Hope your collage and painting goes well. It's very bleak here this afternoon, and very windy. At least tonight will be a little warmer. Take care, and hope the knee continues to improve.

  4. Lovely old menu. I don't know what Burdock saute is but Burdock is a plant here and is used for Dandelion and Burdock drink, so maybe it is just Burdock leaves sauted in butter or something.
    Hope your project goes well. Glad you are feeling better.

  5. what a lovely family treasure. Thank you for sharing. Maybe the burdock leaves are steamed in butter and are like spinach.
    Glad your knees are still good.

  6. I googled Burdock and this is what I came up with - it is cultivated in Japan, but I don't know that I would care to eat it!

    Culinary hints - cooking and eating Burdock

    Harvest in the first year when the burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related.

    It is a key ingredient in the traditional Dandelion and Burdock beer.

  7. Lovely piece - the leaaves are huge, fabulous for compost, lovely burgundy thistle flowers but the roots go right down from the UK to your part of the world so they'd feed a few armies!

    I'm in the UK but on the Isle of Skye where we had 3 m with no rain, I refuse to feel guilty, tho I'm sorry for all those ruined homes & businesses of course ut we've had a wonderful summer!


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