drunk irish tart Q: What's a seven-course meal in Ireland?
A: A six-pack and a potato.

Now, we pirates don't follow the, er, traditional Irish diet (exceptin' for that beer reference). Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your opinion of these examples of fine maritime cuisine...

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Today's Menu

Something to Drink: Roman Punch

Unappetizer: Hardtack

Entree: Haggis

and for dessert... Rum Cake

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...But first, better say grace...

Hey, waiter, ya forgot the greens!

Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink
Thy will be drunk, and I will be drunk,
At home as it is in the pub
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillages,
As we forgive those who spill against us
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers
For thine is the beer, the bitter, and the lager,
BARMEN.


Roman Punch

Taken from A Practical Guide to Light Refreshment, a limited edition book of authentic 19th century recipes produced by the South Street Seaport Museum in New York:

"Mixed drinks were very popular after formal dinners. There were shrubs and syllabubs and a myriad of punches, not to mention the toddy and all the buttered drinks. Roman Punch seems to have been the most popular. There are many menus of public meals in the nineteenth century which finish with Roman Punch. It was a favorite of architect Stanford White as well as of Mark Twain; they both mention the drink in their papers. To the modern taste, it is rather strong and should be drunk with care..."

5 cups lemonade
1 cup champagne
1 cup rum
2 egg whites
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 oranges, juiced

Mix together lemonade, champagne, rum, and orange juice. Whip the egg whites with powered sugar until they form peaks. Fold the whites into the liquid and freeze about an hour until it becomes slush. Serve immediately in wine glasses. Serves six.


Hardtack

5 cups flour (unbleached)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 8 oz. bag chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Greased cookie sheet -- the kind that's like a shallow pan

In a bowl, combine the ingredients to form a stiff (he he), but not dry dough. The dough should be pliable (ooooo), but not stick to your hands.
Take a mound of dough, roll it around in your hands, panting suggestively, and flatten it out onto the cookie sheet. Roll into a flat sheet about 1/2 inch thick.
Using a breadknife, divide the dough into 3 x 3 squares. Use a 10-penny nail to drive a 3 x 3 martix of holes into the surface of the dough and all the way through. Cackle maniacally.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, till lightly browned. Take out of oven and allow to cool.
At first it will be somewhat soft (no comment), but after a day you'll have to soak the buggers in your coffee or you'll risk chipping a tooth.


Haggis

Stomach, heart, liver, kidneys and lungs of a sheep
Salt
Black, white and cayenne pepper
Nutmeg
2 onions, chopped
6 ounces toasted oatmeal
1 pound beef suet
3/4 pint of stock

Wash the stomach with cold water, turning it inside out and scraping well.
Boil the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs until tender, hanging the windpipe over the edge of the pan so it drains into a bowl (lovely picture, that).
Chop meat very finely and grate the liver. Throw the grater away. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, onions, suet and oatmeal.
Mix well with stock and fill the stomach -- the sheep's, not yours. Make sure to leave room in the stomach for the oatmeal to (gag) swell.
Sew up, prick all over with a needle and put into boiling water for three hours.
When done, place on a hot plate, slit open and resist the urge to throw it in the garbage.


The Best Rum Cake Ever

1 or 2 quarts rum
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pecans, walnuts or almonds
1 cup dried fruit
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar

Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality. Select a large mixing bowl, get the ingredients together, etc...
Check the rum again -- it must be just right. To make sure it is of the highest quality, pour 1 cup of rum into a glass and drink it quickly. Repeat.
With an electric mixer beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of thugar and beat again.
Better check the rum to make thure it is of the highest quality -- have another cup. Open a shecond quart if neccshish... if neccshish-- if you're running low.
Add 2 large leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high. If the fruit gets schtuck in the beaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Shample the rum again, checking for tonscisticy, consticstistsney, make sure it shtill tastes okay.
Sift 3 cups of pepper or salt -- it really doesn't matter a damn -- and shample the rum again.
Sift 1/2 pint of lemon juice, fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add brown thugar or whatever the hell color you can find.
Mixsh well. Grease oven and turn cake pan 350 degrees. I dunno why, itsnot my damned recipe. Pour the whole damn mess into the oven and bake at 60 degrees for 350 minutes.
Check rum again and go to bed.

...I told you it's dangerous to drink and cook...


Pass the Kale, Please

-- from a 1997 Washington Post editorial

At the original Disneyland in California, they've shut down the "Pirates of the Carribbean" ride for two months for remodeling. When it opens again, the mechanical pirates who were formerly seen chasing buxom women around a tavern will be gone, replaced by computerized buccaneers who will be chasing not the women, you should understand, but the platters of food the women will be carrying.

Disneyland had received a few complaints about the pirates, who in fact have been putting on this show for some 30 years, a period during which sensitivities have changed greatly about the lighthearted treatment of rapine and a good many other things as well. And of course, this is no work of art being defaced, but simply an amusement park attraction being refurbished, so it's not as if the Sabine Women were being replaced by sacks of flower and sides of salt pork.

A spokeswoman for Disneyland said the new-and-improved blackguards, their carnal desires redirected, will nevertheless still behave like pirates. This may be so (if you make allowances for the absence of other piratical activities such as murdering, pillaging, burning and being hanged). There is after all nothing like a few years at sea to help a fellow work up a good appetite.

In the interest of authenticity, though, the Disney people ought to take care about what they put on the platters to be carried by the "wenchpersons." After long months of an unbalanced shipboard diet, what a seaman really wanted when he hit town in those days was Vitamin C, and lots of it. So, no sausages, capons, pigsheads, puddings, or beef roasts on those plates, please -- just lots of high fiber, vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables and cereals for the pirates of Disneyland as they bound around the tavern singing a hearty (but never lusty) chorus of "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of kale juice."


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Use these recipes at your own risk. Any references to sexual perversion, serious personal injury or the like are strictly coincidental. Really.