Library Manager, Gareth Bellis, takes some culinary inspiration from our archives. Who fancies some "Dandy Funk"?

To protect our books and manuscripts, we can’t allow food or drink in the Library - but that doesn’t stop us from being able to suggest some recipes for those at sea (or indeed, ashore!) to try.
 
Drawing of a ship's cook, 1799
Drawing of a ship's cook, 1799
 
Thomas Francis Herbert’s 1899 book, Alphabetical guide to sailor’s cookery for the use of stewards or cooks on cargo-carrying vessels (RMG item ID: PBP1646) may provide some inspiration.  
 
One of my favourites, at least by name, is “Dandy Funk”, although the combination of boiled biscuits with salt meat and onions, thickened with flour, may not be to all tastes. 
 
The preparation of Bonita, “a deep water fish… not very much appreciated”, reminds cooks to check the fish with silver to make sure it is not poisonous and recommends using it in fish cakes, fish hash or chowder to make the best of what is otherwise a very dry fish.  
 
Alphabetical guide to sailor’s cookery for the use of stewards or cooks on cargo-carrying vessels
 
As a final thought, and with Valentine’s Day just gone, you may want to consider surprising your loved one with the romantically named “Love in Disguise” – although this is unlikely to help woo vegetarians: 
 
“Take some sheep’s or lambs’ hearts, clean them, put them into boiling 
water, simmer twenty minutes.  Take them out, stuff them with veal 
stuffing when cold, enclose in puff paste [pastry], and bake until done 
– about twenty minutes.” 
 
To explore our archive for yourself visit the Caird Library and Archive