Thursday, 18 July 2019

Naval rations: Day 4

Dinner today was preserved meat and preserved potatoes once more, but this time enlivened with a can of (simulated) Goldner's Patent Vegetable Soup. This soup is made with carrots and parsnips boiled up in home made beef stock, then pureed. There is a certain amount of overlap, in the recipes of the time, between vegetable soup and gravy soup. Certainly it does look like gravy in the photo below. The can in question is of the 1 lb size, the smallest available. Only 456 cans of this size are recorded on the expedition's accounts, representing just 1 percent of the total of 32,000 lbs of canned foods. I suspect that these small cans were intended as 'medical comforts' for individuals in the sick bay.

Crunched up ship's biscuit served for croutons. This was a good move as the rock hard biscuits are hard work to eat by themselves, but softened by the soup, they were far more palatable. My verdict was "quite delicious, but slightly over-seasoned". Very welcome on a cold day.


  1. William Alcott's 1838 book, The Young House Keeper, mentions the use of soda crackers ( p. 114) to help settle the stomach. Is there any mention of such crackers being use on the two ships?

    I use crunched up soda crackers in my soup.

  2. Feasible that officers may have packed some in their personal stocks but not supplied to the common ratings.


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