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Author Notes: Me was surprised when Queequeg had a fine bottle of port delivered to the table. I didn’t know him as a drinker. He looked at me and smiled, “Don’t be so surprised. I’ve lived a long hard life in this brave new world of ours and besides I want to talk about the Bounty.” I says, “What’s there to jib about we was both there and we both seen with our own two eyes what happened.” “Yes we were,” he said, “but history is spreading a different tale and I want the real story to be clear in my mind.” I says, “I would just asoon it be a bit blurry me self, you know me hates the human cargo. I can’t stand the pain of hunger and watchin men writhe in a state of near starvation no matter what they did, and that is, if they did anything at all. I would risk jumping ship as soon as set sail for Botany Bay again. Funny thing is, I knows Cap’n Bly was right and Fletcher was wrong and you do to. You know as well as I, and we even talked about it, that they was bunking together. It was a lovers quarrel and Fletcher just couldn’t take the barbs Bly was thrown’ at em. First thing you and I ever noticed about Fletcher Christian is he was the thinnest skinned sailor we ever seen. Put that up against Bly’s inability to keep his mouth shut when he needed to, well, it was fire on the mountain, a prairie wind, and smoke on the water. I can’t believe we made it to Botany Bay without Fletcher mutinying. I am glad we were on a one way voyage to another ship and didn’t get caught up in the mutiny after they left Tahiti. You and I both remember Fletcher falling for the Tahitian and that just burned in Bly’s craw. So he forced everyone on the ship to set sail and Fletcher just couldn’t stand the thought of being on board with Bly. Bad part is Fletcher didn’t get up the gumption to do something about it before ‘e set sail. Sure could a saved a lot of heart ache. Glad I wasn’t on the ship then but it ain’t hard to figure how a mutiny happened. All I can say, with those two cat fightin’ it gave me the time to sneak the debtors in the hold food they otherwise wouldn’t have got. Gave me the opportunity to keep ‘em from dyin’. Sneakin’ them the brandade de marue on tack was one the best things I ever done.” —Bob the sea cook
Makes 12 cakes
- 1/2 pound center cut salt cod, rinsed and drained in cold water 5 times over 24 hours
- 1/2 pound fresh cod, tilapia, sole scraps
- 2 Irish cobblers potatoes or russets, medium sized, peeled and cut in half
- 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 hard boiled egg, sieved
- 2 egg yolks, whites reserved
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- sea salt and fresh ground white pepper
- Place the salt cod, potatoes, garlic, water, milk, thyme and bay leaf into a pot. Bring it to a boil reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes and salt cod are tender.
- Add the fresh fish as the potatoes become tender and let it just cook through. Strain. Remove the bay leaf and sprig of thyme.
- Add the above to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Don't overwork it though. Dump the puree into a bowl and add the yolks, parsley and the sieved hard boiled egg. Mix to combine and then season with salt and white pepper. Taste and reseason if necessary.
- Once the puree has cooled and thickened, while they are cooling whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, make the puree into 12 patties. They will be fragile so use a gentle hand.
- Coat the cakes with flour, then dip them into the egg whites to coat and then into the bread crumbs.
- Fry the patties in butter over medium until they are brown on both side and warm in the center. Serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Potato Pancakes
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