Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boat Party

It's that time of the month again when we present our book club read of the month. "This Book Makes me Cook", the book club Bhags and I started last month has added some new members and this month all of us were reading Jerome K. Jerome's classic "Three Men in a Boat".

Somehow, despite my chronic reading habit, this is one classic I never read. And I thoroughly enjoyed it now. The story of three hypochondriac English gentlemen (and a dog!) who set on a week long boat trip on the Thames is simply hillarious because these three have no experience in, well, anything. They can't pack, can't sail and definetely can't cook.

I like the times they stop in small English towns (oh! they sound so different in Jerome's telling from how I remember them) and cart away pies and tarts and so much else. But even before they set out, they pack food. And heavens above, they actually pack eggs. I mean, who takes eggs to a picnic or a boat trip. They would just smash, and theirs' did. But some were left and Harris, the most unromantic of the lot, decided to make scrambled eggs.

This was a novelty, something the other two have never heard of before and Harris' cooking surely reads like voodoo, a dish that required dances and incantations for its proper cooking. He didn't end up with much to show for it though, just a burnt teaspoon of mess. So I decided to make what these gentlemen could not eat for breakfast that day on the boat, but really wanted to.

They might not have known this, but scrambled eggs were a popular dish eaten in the late 19th century (at least across the Atlantic if not in England). And how do I know? For I am the proud owner of the 1896 edition of The Original Boston Cooking School Cook Book. I learned to make the scrambled eggs from Fannie Merritt Farmer, and I still make them the way she made them way back in 1896.



To make scrambled eggs, beat 5 eggs slightly with a fork. Add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Mix everything in. Heat a pan, put in 2 tbsp butter and when melted, turn in the mixture. Turn and scrape until eggs are cooked and you're done. No spells required.

There are more reviews and recipes from Three men in a boat coming your way:

Rachel made a Spiced Apple Tart
Bhags made Rhubarb Tart
Siri made Fried Eggs with Baked Beans
Dee made Spicy Orange and Fig Jam

For next month, we have picked "Anita and Me" as the book club read. As always, the book review and a recipe inspired from it will show up here on last sunday of the month. So watch out on August 31. And if you would like to join in, do leave a comment for me or Bhags.

7 comments:

Rachel said...

Was awaiting ur post...Scrambled eggs..Nice!!!!

notyet100 said...

looks nice...nice one for the event..

bhags said...

I somehow knew you would venture into making scrambled eggs.....nice one

Simran said...

Thanks everyone! And bhags, after reading that funny bit on scrambled eggs, I just had to make them.

Pragyan said...

Interesting review of the book!:) Sounds like a hilarious book.

Srivalli said...

oh..you bring back lingering memories of my days in college!!...we had this for fiction in our second year ..and the lecturer who taught us this..had that unique capacity to bring the characters alive!!!

Biswajit said...

and i can vouch for their taste. i still follow the same recipe.