Sunday, April 10, 2011

Further Lamington

The domestic arrangements of Lord and Lady Lamington (above, with their pet sulphur-crested cockatoos) at Old Government House in Brisbane were mentioned often in the local press, and although their chef de cuisine was in August 1899 explicitly identified as “Mrs. Jones,” the picture is less clear a little more than twelve months earlier when on Saturday, July 30, 1898, the Queenslander, referring to the first vice-regal ball of that season, reported: “The whole of the supper provisioning was the work of the Government House chef and his assistants [my italics, presumably referring to M. Armand Galland]. The following menu du bal will no doubt prove interesting:— ‘Government House, Brisbane. Menu du Bal. 20 Juillet 1898. Bouchées aux huitres. Mayonnaise de poisson. Petits pates de volailles. Côtelettes d’agneau à la russe. Cailles à la St. Hubert. Galantine de dinde truffée. Poulets découpés au jambon. Petites timbales de foie gras en aspic. Gelée [de] macédoine. Charlottes russes. Gelée au Champagne. Crèmes bavaroises. Glaces assorties. Gâteaux varies. Gauffrettes. Meringues Chantilly.’” Interesting, indeed, for its ambition and flamboyance, although I do wonder if an early iteration of the canonical “lamington cake” found its way into those gâteaux varies, a tactful nod towards His Excellency’s comparatively recent expedition to British New Guinea, during which the enormous potential for cocoanut plantations was frequently noted, despite certain challenges presented by inhospitable jungle terrain and the excessively tropical climate, unsuitable for ladies.

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