Recipe

Green skinning an Emperor aboard the Endurance

Green skinning an Emperor aboard the Endurance

Escallops of Penguin Breasts

Ingredients:

Penguin Breasts as required
Reconstituted onion
Some fairly thick batter
Flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the breasts into thin slices and soak in milk for about 2 hours. Dry, season and flour them well on both sides. Have ready some deep frying fat. When just smoking hot dip the pieces in the batter with the onion mixed into it and fry each piece to a nice golden brown. For a sauce turn the contents of a tin of mushroom soup into a saucepan and heat but do not boil. When hot pour over the meat and serve with fried potatoes and peas.

From Gerald T. Cutland’s Fit for a fid, or, How to Keep a Fat Explorer in Prime ConditionBritish Antarctic Survey)

fit_for_a_fid_scan

More on Antarctic food:

Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine (At Table), by Jason C. Anthony [link]

Train Oil and Snotters: Eating Antarctic Wild Foods, by Jeff Rubin, in Gastronomica, Winter 2003 [PDF]

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Mid-winter madness

shackleton-haircut

“A form of mid-winter madness has manifested itself, all hands being seized with the desire to have their hair removed. It caused much amusement, and luxuriant curls, bald pates and parted crowns soon became akin. We are likely to be coolheaded in the future, if not neuralgic. We resemble a cargo of convicts, and I did not let the opportunity pass of perpetuating photographically this humorous happening.”

— Frank Hurley

“We have had side-splitting fun this evening. Everyone submitted to having their hair cropped close with shears. Rickinson our chief engineer really has very handsome dark wavy hair and was not at all anxious to have it off, so in fun he told Sir Ernest that he would let him cut it if Sir Ernest would afterwards permit him to cut his.”

“This Sir Ernest agreed to, so now we are all practically bald, leader and all. Hurley, whose hair runs to black wool, was also reluctant to part with it, but finally submitted and really he looks the better for it. Later he took a flashlight group of us all.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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Pressure

endurance_night_pressure

“The blizzard has ceased. There are new lines of pressure along the edge of the great frozen lead to the north (astern of the ship). The ice of the frozen lead, about a foot thick only, has cracked along an almost straight line for a mile or two and the edges have ridden over each other for a distance of about 10yds, forming a long low bank of piled-up ice blocks and fragments. It is these banks that are called ‘pressure ridges’, or often simply ‘pressure’.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

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The Night Watch

nightwatch_many

“We take night watchman in rotation and thus one’s turn comes once every 28 days. Duties consist of keeping alight the fires in the ward room, the upper deck ward room, Sir Ernest’s cabin and the fo’csle. As they all want attention about once an hour, there is plenty to do.

“On all polar expeditions it has been the time-honored tradition that each member should have a hot tub on his night on, and we are in the main no exception to the rule. Now and again a night watchman may be so busy that he actually has not the time to indulge in his long-deferred ablution. Owing to the frequent necessity of keeping a watchful eye on the stoves, of which the one in Sir Ernest’s cabin requires attention every half-hour, it is not too easy to fit in the time.

“If one should miss a bath for any reason it follows that a period of four weeks must elapse between one bath and the next, which is too long for most of us even in these latitudes.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Clark on Night Watch

Clark on Night Watch

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Pylons

Ice pylons leading from the Endurance

“Two more emperor [penguins] were captured on the following day, and, while Wordie was leading one of them towards the ship, Wild came along with his team. The dogs, uncontrollable in a moment, made a frantic rush for the bird, and were almost upon him when their harness caught upon an ice-pylon, which they had tried to pass on both sides at once. The result was a seething tangle of dogs, traces, and men, and an overturned sled, while the penguin, three yards away, nonchalantly and indifferently surveyed the disturbance. He had never seen anything of the kind before and had no idea at all that the strange disorder might concern him.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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The penguin’s stomach

fish

“This penguin’s stomach proved to be filled with freshly caught fish up to 10 in. long. Some of the fish were of a coastal or littoral variety.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

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Lentils

Hurley and Hussey play chess

Hurley and Hussey play chess

“Hussey and myself night watch again. During the small hours, we endeavour to cure Lees of his habitual snoring. Asleep on his back, with mouth wide open, the gap seemed to invite a joke. Hussey, refreshing himself on sardines, suggested filling Lees’ mouth with the tin, but I, more humanely, dropped in several fish. The sardines disappeared, but the snoring increased and the mouth opened wider, perhaps in anticipation. Lentils, however, being nearby, I emptied a handful into the cavern with satisfactory results. We were able to proceed, without the diversion snores, with our game of chess.”

— Frank Hurley

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