As far as I can tell, my grandfather, Charles L. Keene, Sr., began as a chef/steward with the Matson Line sometime in the 1930s.
Among my files, I have a newspaper clipping from a distant cousin’s scrapbook of Charles Sr. at work. From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Wednesday, May 11, 1938, aboard the Matson SS Manulani:
If you give just a cursory reading of the headline, you might have gotten the impression that Charles Sr. was a former chef to the King of England. But, no. Charles was just cooking the menu that was planned by the chef to royalty. I think this is where the family legend that Charles Sr. was a chef to the royal family began.
In the bundle of ephemera sent to me by my cousin, Beth, were several menus from his days at sea.
This is the luncheon menu from the Matson SS Lurline, for Wednesday, May 27, 1936:
I am impressed with the variety of items available for lunch! I can’t imagine that I’d want to order sardines in oil, herring salad, or pickled pigs’ feet, but I am happy knowing that they are available should I get a hankering.
The front of the dinner menu the same day:
The inside left:
The inside right:
Not as much variety as there was for lunch, but it all sounds delicious.
The Roman Punch intrigued me, so I did a Google search. This is a quick list of the ingredients: Champagne, dark rum, triple sec, egg, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Yum!
Below is the luncheon menu for Saturday, May 30, 1936. Again, I am impressed with the variety of dishes available.
Maybe I’d start with the Chilled Watermelon, followed by the Lamb Curry and Rice, Bombay Style, for my main course. And, definitely, the Red Cherry Pie for dessert.
‘Til next time!