Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

December 1

December 1st, 2013 by KM Wall

from Robert May The Accomplist Cook

A Bill of Fare for Christmas Day, and how to set the Meat in order.


1 A collar of brawn.
2 Stewed Broth of Mutton marrow bones.
3 A grand Sallet.
4 A pottage of caponets.
5 A breast of veal in stoffado.
6 A boil’d partridge.
7 A chine of beef, or surloin roast.
8 Minced pies.
9 A Jegote of mutton with anchove sauce.
10 A made dish of sweet-bread.
11 A swan roast.
12 A pasty of venison.
13 A kid with a pudding in his belly.
14 A steak pie.
15 A hanch of venison roasted.
16 A turkey roast and stuck with cloves.
17 A made dish of chickens in puff paste.
18 Two bran geese roasted, one larded.
19 Two large capons, one larded.
20 A Custard.

The second course for the same Mess.

Oranges and Lemons.

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Pomegranate by Jacob van Hulsdonk

Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and Pomegranate by Jacob van Hulsdonk

1 A young lamb or kid.
2 Two couple of rabbits, two larded.
3 A pig souc’t with tongues.
4 Three ducks, one larded.
5 Three pheasants, 1 larded
6 A Swan Pye.
7 Three brace of partridge, three larded.
8 Made dish in puff paste.
9 Bolonia sausages, and anchoves, mushrooms, and Cavieate, and pickled oysters in a dish.
10 Six teels, three larded.
11 A Gammon of Westphalia Bacon.
12 Ten plovers, five larded.
13 A quince pye, or warden pie.
14 Six woodcocks, 3 larded.
15 A standing Tart in puff-paste, preserved fruits, Pippins, &c.
16 A dish of Larks.
17 Six dried neats tongues.
18 Sturgeon.
19 Powdered Geese.


Hard Core Hearth Cooking

November 30th, 2013 by KM Wall

Hard Core Hearth Cooking Workshop at Plimoth Plantation

Saturday, January 25, 2014, 8am – 4pm

Cost members $125/not-yet-members $215
Contact 508-746-1622, ext 8358

If you love playing with fire and enjoy cooking, then this is the workshop for you!

Spend the day cooking in the hearths at the Museum’s  Colonial Education Site -where the preparation is seasonal and local. We’ll be cooking up a full dinner – mid day meal – without the benefit of electricity or running water (that’s the hardcore part) under the expert guidance  of some of Plimoth Plantation’s totally awesome Hearth Cooks/Foodways Artisans – and me!

Enjoy the fruits (and veg and meats and sauces) of your labors while sharing sources/ resources and experiences during the discussion that will  follow keeping wood fires burning and lifting the heavy cast iron pots.

Dress for the outdoor weather and fire safety – no long loose fringy scarves, etc.

from last years Hard Core Hearth Cooking - Debra Samuels

from last years Hard Core Hearth Cooking – Debra Samuels

Pre-registration is required. To register, call 508-746-1622, ext 8358 or email.

Note to ALHFAM members – the members price is extended to all members of ALHFAM as well as museum members .

Last year Debra Samuels of the Boston Globe attended – here’s her blog post on the workshop.

“as one small candle may light a thousand…”

November 28th, 2013 by KM Wall

Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; ….

William Bradford Of Plymouth Plantation. Morison edition, p. 236.

Pieter Claeszn - still life with lit candle

Pieter Claesz – still life with lit candle

Today is Thanksgiving and  Hanukkah – Thanksgivukkah, a day when two holidays meet on the table.

Menurkey - the menorah and the turkey

Menurkey – the menorah and the turkey

Shine brightly in however you observe the day.


Sweet! Potato Pie

November 24th, 2013 by KM Wall
Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

To make a Potato Pie.
Boyl your Spanish Potaoes (not overmuch) cut them forth in slices as thick as your thumb, season them with Nutmeg, Cinamon, Ginger, and Sugar; your Coffin being ready, put them in, over the bottom, add to them the Marrow of about three Marrow-bones, seasoned as aforesaid, a handful of stoned Raisons of the Sun, some quartred Dates, Orangado, Cittern, with Ringo-root sliced, put butter over it, and bake them: let their lear be a little Vinegar, Sack and Sugar, beaten up with the yolk of an Egg, and a little drawn Butter; when your Pie is enough, pour in, shake it together, scrape on Sugar, garnish it, and serve it up.
- 1661. William Rabisha. The Whole Body of Cookery, Dissected. London.

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

Now, about this pie……

Although sweet potato pie is much more of a mainstay in the South, but pies made from potatoes go back to the 17th century in England.

And not a marshmallow to be found.

  1. Boil the potatoes. Last winter, in the Hardcore Hearth Cooking Workshop, we boiled five pounds of sweet potatoes. Boil them whole so that they don’t get waterlogged. Drain, cool, and peel.
  2. Slice them as thick as tour thumb…I took this to mean in one inch slices – larger chunks versus smaller bits. There’s still some cooking to come, and you don’t want paste.
  3. Powder your spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar – sounds an awful lot like pumpkin pie spice……
  4. Put the spices and sugared potato slices in a pastry lined dish, like this:
  5. Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie - Debra Samuels  photo credit

    Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie – Debra Samuels photo credit

  6. If you have marrow from marrow bones, add it now. If you do not have marrow, do not panic – add some generous dollops of butter.
  7. Add raisins of the sun without there stones (thank you seedless grapes that make seedless raisin!); quartered dates – it’s 5 pounds of potatoes, be generous.
  8. Orangeo, cittern and eringo root are probably not on your shelf…leave them out – a little grated orange rind or candied orange peel would not be amiss. Add a little more butter on the top to melt down   on the whole thing, put on the top crust and cut a vent in the center.
  9. Bake. Start at 450 and turn the oven down to 375 after 10 or 15 minutes (you know your oven better then I do). The top should be golden brown and the insides should smell GLORIOUS….but wait, we’re not done yet….this is the part that puts it over the top
  10. When the pie pan is cool enough to lift, beat and egg yolk with some sack wine, sugar, a little vinegar and drawn butter . Pour this lear into the vent hole, and shake it up . Another word for this is to shog it – sprinkle some sugar on the top, and serve.


Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version...

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version…

Sweet Potato Pie - music to cook by?

Sweet Potato Pie – music to cook by?

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie








Sweet Potato Pie - Brand New Day

Sweet Potato Pie – Brand New Day

Roast Turkey – Pilgrim style

November 20th, 2013 by KM Wall

First, you need a turkey.

1620 : (between September and 9 November)

“They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty.”        William Bradford, OPP, Morison ed. p 90.

“And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion, which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”

William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, Morison ed. p.90.

Turkey tracks in the 1627 Englsih Village....silly turkeys!

Turkey tracks in the 1627 English Village….silly turkeys!


            “Here are eagles of many sorts, pigeons, innumerable turkeys, geese, swans, duck, teel, partridge divers sorts, and many other fowl, [so] that one man at six shoots hath killed 400.”

- Emmanuel Altham to Sir Edward Altham, September 1623. (in Three Visitors to Early Plymouth. Sydney V. James, Jr, ed. Plimoth Plantation, Inc. 1966. p. 28)




“ Turkeys there are, which diverse times in great flocks have sallied by our doors; and then a gun (being commonly in readiness) salutes them with such courtesy as makes them take a turn in the cook-room, they dance by our door so well.

“Of these there hath been killed that weighed forty-eight pound apiece.

“They are by many degrees sweeter than the tame Turkeys of England, feed them how you can.

Thomas Morton. New English Cannan. Jack Dempsey, ed. 1999. p. 64.

Looks more like a Turkey Trot then a Sally.....

Are they dancing? They’re certainly by our doors…Looks more like a Turkey Trot then a Sally…..

The feathers have to go….

Plucking or picking a turkey.

Plucking or picking a turkey.

There’s a post from last year on Turkey roasting…..

In the 17th century gravy is the drippings, and you use the drippings to make the sauce, which is the thing we now call gravy…..


Sauces for all manner of roast Land-Fowl, as

Turkey, Bustard, Peacock, Pheasant, Partridge, &c.

1. Slic’t onions being boil’d, stew them in some water, salt, pepper, some grated bread, and the gravy of the fowl.

2. Take slices of white-bread and boil them in fair water with two whole onions, some gravy, half a grated nutmeg, and a little salt; strain them together through a strainer, and boil it up as thick as water grewel; then add to it the yolks of two eggs dissolved with the juyce of two oranges, &c.

3. Take thin slices of manchet, a little of the fowl, some sweet butter, grated nutmeg, pepper, and salt; stew all together, and being stewed, put in a lemon minced with the peel.

4. Onions slic’t and boil’d in fair water, and a little salt, 152 a few bread crumbs beaten, pepper, nutmeg, three spoonful of white wine, and some lemon-peel finely minced, and boil’d all together: being almost boil’d put in the juyce of an orange, beaten butter, and the gravy of the fowl.

5. Stamp small nuts to a paste, with bread, nutmeg, pepper, saffron, cloves, juyce of orange, and strong broth, strain and boil them together pretty thick.

6. Quince, prunes, currans, and raisins, boil’d, muskefied bisket stamped and strained with white wine, rose vinegar, nutmeg, cinamon, cloves, juyce of oranges and sugar, and boil it not too thick.

7. Boil carrots and quinces, strain them with rose vinegar, and verjuyce, sugar, cinamon, pepper, and nutmeg, boil’d with a few whole cloves, and a little musk.

8. Take a manchet, pare off the crust and slice it, then boil it in fair water, and being boil’d some what thick put in some white wine, wine vinegar, rose, or elder vinegar, some sugar and butter, &c.

9. Almond-paste and crumbs of manchet, stamp them together with some sugar, ginger, and salt, strain them with grape-verjuyce, and juyce of oranges; boil it pretty thick.

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook.

To serve the turkey he must first be carved….

To cut up a Turkie or Bustard

You must raise up the Leg very faire, and open the joynt with the point of your Knife, but take not off the Legge: The lace down the breast with your Knife on both sides, and open the breast Pinion with your Knife, but take not the Pinion off, then raise up the Merry-thought betwixt the breast-bone and the toppe of the Berry-thought, then lace down the flesh on both sides of the breast-bone, then raise up the flesh called the brawne, and turne it outward upon both sides, but breake it not, nor cut it off not, then cut off the wing Pinion, at the joynt next to the body, and sticke on each side of the Pinion, in the place where ye turned out the brawne, but cut off the sharpe end of the Pinion and take the middle peece, and that will fit in the place.”

- Murrell, John. A New Booke of Carving and Sewing.{London:1638.} Stuart Peachey, ed. Stuart Press: Bristol, UK. 1993. p.35.

Notes: On cutting up a turkey


  1.       Bustard is a large European bird, now thought extinct. [Otis tarda].]
  2.       Pinion is a wing of a bird, or the terminal segment.
  3.      Merry-thought is the forcula, the wishbone.
  4.       Brawne is the muscle or flesh of an animal for food.
  5.      Sewing is serving.

Say your prayers, and EAT!

Grace Moment

Grace Moment

National Indian Pudding Day

November 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

Sampe Fest wasn’t just about Jonnycakes….

It was also about Indian Pudding. Or as it was sometimes referred to:

Indian-meal Pudding

Samp Fest 2013

Samp Fest 2013

Big Batch Indian Pudding

3 Quarts milk

2 cups cornmeal (Plimoth Grist Mill cornmeal is the best!)

1 jar (12 ounces) molasses (non-sulphered or mild)

1 stick butter (1/4 pound)

6 eggs

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tsp ginger



Butter a large slow cooker and pre-heat on high.

Use a large heavy bottomed pan on the stove (so the milk doesn’t scorch). The milk will rise up when it heats, so give it plenty of room. When the milk is just under a boil (lots of bubbles forming), whisk in the cornmeal; keep stirring until the cornmeal thickens about 10-15 minutes. Add the rest of the butter, turn off the heat and cover the pan.

Beat the eggs with the molasses and the spices.

Add some of the hot corn/milk mixture to temper the eggs and then add that to the rest of the corn mixture. Blend thoroughly. Scrape into the buttered, pre-heat slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or light cream…..



Raisins, cranberries or chopped apples may be added into the slow cooker, either a little or a lot.

There’s a real divide with the fruit people – they love it or hate it!


It’s also good re-heated for breakfast.

 Cinnamon whipped cream is also pretty heavenly….

plimoth grist mill prodcut




Jonnycakes, or what’s in a name

November 6th, 2013 by KM Wall


Sampe Fest 2013 was a great hit!

Sampe, of course, is course ground corn meal, the best being from Plimoth Grist Mill. Cornmeal, fine ground and course were the backbone of the New England diet in the 17th century, both Wamponoag and English.

Jonnycakes were at one time common all along the Eastern seaboard, and even into the Carribean. They look like pancakes, but they act like bread.

They start with fresh ground whole corn meal…..after this. the variations/disagreements begin…

In Rhode Island, the last bastion and fiercest defender/supporter state for the jonnycake they insist on Flint Corn and flint corn alone. Flint corn is one of several varieties of corn – Zea mays indurata – and was the commonest kind of corn grown in New England until the 1930′s.


Flint corn is now either yellow or white….although the mufti-colored corn was not uncommon in 17th century New England

Now, with the freshly ground corn, you have to choose- water or milk as the liquid. Either is right and either is wrong.


I picked water.

The real secret is that it is HOT milk or boiling water. It really does react with the cornmeal and improves the whole process.



Corn meal and boiling water

Corn meal and boiling water…

Start with 1 cup corn meal to 1 – 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Add a pinch of salt. Some will add a little sugar, and arguments will ensue. Mix well.


Bacon drippings....

Bacon drippings….

Now – to bake or to fry? According to one source, proper jonnycake is baked in front of an open fire on the center  red oak plank of a flour barrel…..or fried in a pan, with either butter or bacon drippings. For Saturdays demonstration I used bacon drippings.

Cast iron skillet - well seasoned it's non-stick with the nonstick surface issues

Cast iron skillet – well seasoned it’s non-stick with the nonstick surface issues


A cast iron pan is best, because you want it hot. According to some sources the proper size for a proper Rhode Island jonnycake is “3″x3″x1/2″ in size” – I didn’t measure mine…..and they were probably too thin.

The first recipe for jonnycakes shows up in Amelia Simmons American Cookery of 1796 . She is from Connecticut and not Rhode Island. Then she moves to New York, which is also not Rhode Island. :

Johny Cake, or Hoe Cake

Scald 1 pint of milk and put to 3 pints of indian meal, and half pint of flower — bake before the fire. Or scald with milk two thirds of the indian meal, or wet two thirds with boiling water, and salt, molasses and shortening, work up with cold water pretty stiff, and bake as above.

1796. Amelia Simmons. American Cookery. Hartford (Dover reprint edition) p. 34.

SOOOO – who is Jonny (however you might spell his name) and how does he rate his own cake?

There are several theories……

Jonny is short for journey….or Jonakin or jannock…and who has mentioned  jannock before?????

Why, none other then our dear friend Gervase Markham!

Chapter VII

The excellency of oats, and the many singular virtues and uses of them in a family

The virtues of oatmeal.

…..:also with this small oatmeal is made in divers* countries six several kinds of very good and wholesome bread, every one finer than other , as your annacks, janacks, and such like. Also there is made of it both thick and thin oaten cakes, which are very pleasant in taste, and much esteemed: but if it be mixed with a fine wheat meal, then it maketh a most delicate and dainty oatcake, either thick or thin, such as no prince in the world but may have served to his table;…

1631. Gervase Markham. The English Housewife. Michael Best, ed. p. 202.

* divers in this instance means diverse, not

Llyod Bridges, Sea Hunt

Lloyd Bridges, Sea Hunt



Flip and keep cooking. They take their own sweet time. These are NOT pancakes.

Flip and keep cooking. They take their own sweet time. These are NOT pancakes.


And how do you serve them ?  Hot,  hot, hot. Some  say with butter and maple syrup. Some say with butter and honey. Some say you can’t eat them cold …..but I have, with cranberry sauce, and I’m none the worse for it.

They smell and taste better then I’m able to make them look.

-  Yaniqueques  (sound it out...) from the Dominican Republic

– Yaniqueques (sound it out…) from the Dominican Republic

I met people from Maine who were fond of jonnycakes, and people from Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as one woman from Bermuda….in the South they call them hoe-cakes ( a hoe being a kind of a pan, not the garden instrument).

plimoth grist mill prodcut

Where there’s a MILL there’s a way!

All Saints Day, being Novemb. 1

November 1st, 2013 by KM Wall

In Robert May’s The Accomplisht Cook, he has monthly Bill of Fare menu suggestions…..in thinking of the month ahead, these are the sorts of food  he and we might be looking forward to.

Some are awfully familiar to us still….I’ve highlighted the foods that I’ll be posting recipes and notes on this month.

And why begin in November? Because that’s when Robert May does.

Bills of FARE for every Season in the Year;

also how to set forth the MEAT in order for that Service,

as it was used before Hospitality left this Nation

A Bill of Fare for All-Saints-Day, being Novemb. 1.

1 A Collar of brawn and mustard.
2 A Capon in stewed broth with marrow-bones.
3 A Goose in stoffado, or two Ducks.
4 A grand Sallet.
5 A Shoulder of Mutton with oysters.
6 A bisk dish baked.
7 A roast chine of beef.
8 Minced pies or chewits of capon, tongue, or of veal.
9 A chine of Pork.
10 A pasty of venison.
11 A swan, or 2 geese roast.
12 A loyn of veal.
13 A French Pie of divers compounds.
14 A roast turkey.
15 A pig roast.
16 A farc’t dish baked.
17 Two brangeese roasted, one larded.
18 Souc’t Veal.
19 Two Capons roasted, one larded.
20 A double bordered Custard

A Second Course for the same Mess.


Oranges and lemons.
1 A souc’t pig.
2 A young lamb or kid roast.
3 Two Shovelers.
4 Two Herns, one larded.
5 A Potatoe-Pye.
6 A duck and mallard, one larded.
7 A souc’t Turbut.
8 A couple of pheasants, one larded.
9 Marinated Carp, or Pike, or Bream.
10 Three brace of partridg, three larded.
11 Made Dish of Spinage cream baked.
12 A roll of beef.
13 Two teels roasted, one larded.
14 A cold goose pie.
15 A souc’t mullet and bace.
16 A quince pye.
17 Four curlews, 2 larded.
18 A dried neats tongue.
19 A dish of anchoves.
20 A jole of Sturgeon.
Jellies and Tarts Royal, and Ginger bread, and other Fruits.


Roast turkey (modern)

Roast turkey (modern)

Custard pie (no borders)

Custard pie (no borders)


(Sweet) Potato Pie


Spinach, creamed



The Month of November -15th century

The Month of November -15th century

Muster day Dude Food

October 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

On Friday, certain housewives were preparing….


1672 – John Josslyn “Cran Berry or Bear Berry…a small trayling plant that grows in Salt Marshes, that are over-grown with moss;…the Berries …red, and as big as a Cherry; some perfectly round, others Oval, all of them hollow, of a sower astringent taste; they are ripe in August and September…They are excellent against the Scurvy…They are also good to allay the fervour of hot Diseases. The Indians and English use them much, boyling them with Sugar for Sauce to eat with their Meat; and it is a delicate Sauce, especially for roasted Mutton: Some make Tarts with them as with Goose Berries. (65-6)


A Cheerrie Tart

Take the fairest Cherries you can get, and picke them cleane from leaves and stalkes; then spread out your coffin as for your Pippin-tart, (….then having rold out the coffin flat, and raysed up a small verdge of an inch, or more high...) and cover the bottome with Suger; then couer the Suger all over with Cherries, then cover those Cherries with Sugar, some sticks of Cinamon, and here and there a Cloue; then lay in more cherries, and so more Suger, Cinnamon and cloves, till the coffin be filled vp; then couvr it, and bake it in all points as the codling and pipping tart, and so serue it; and in the same manner you may make Tarts of Gooseberries, Strawberries, Rasberries, Bilberries, or any other Berrie whatsoever.

-         Markham, Gervase. Covntrey Contentments, or The English Huswife. London. 1623. p 106.

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, yet another

Cranberry tart, yet another



As well as beginning the roasting part of this…..

To make Fillets Gallentine

Take faire Pork, and take off the skin and roste it half ynough, then take it off the spit, and smite it in faire peeces, and caste it in a faire pot: then cut Onions, but not too small, and frie them in faire suet, and put them into the Porke, then take the broth of Beefe or Mutton, and put therto, and set them on the fyre, and put therto powder of Pepper, Saffron, Cloves and Mace, and let them boyle wel together.  Then take faire bread and Vinigar, & steep the bread with some of the same broth, straine it, and some bloud withall, or els Saunders, and colour it with that, and let all boyle together, then cast in a litle Saffron and salte, and then may you serve it in.-

Huswifes Handmaide.  f 43

Gallentine is a sauce made from sopped bread, spices and often blood.

Suet is fat, chiefly from beef, mutton

Saffron is an expensive (still!) spice that is warming and a distinctively yellow color.

Saunders was used to make things a red color.

Or, in other words:

Fillet galletine prep - the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go

Fillet galletine prep, day 2  – the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go


chine of pork pepper

bread                    clove

onions                  mace


Roast the chine until half done. Fry onions with a little pork fat.  Chop the pork into pieces and put in a pot with onions, some ground cloves, mace, pepper and salt. Put in enough water just to cover and bring all to a boil, cooking away much of the water.  Before serving, make the gallentine by take slices of bread and soaking them in vinegar with a little salt. Put in a pot or frying pan and add some of the cooking liquid to the bread and vinegar. Bring to a boil.  To serve place pork mixture in a bowl and pour over the gallentine..

 And then this morning…..

To Boyle a Rabbit with Hearbes on the French Fashion.

Fit your Rabbit for the boyling, and seeth it with a little Mutton broth, white Wine, and a peece of Mace: then take Lettuce, Spynage, Parsley, winter Savory, sweet Marioram : all these being pickt, and washt cleane, bruise them with the backe of a Ladle (for the bruising of the Herbes wil make the broth looke very pleasantly greene.) Thicken it with a crust of Manchet, being steeped in some of the broth, and a little sweet Butter therein. Seasono it with verges, and Pepper, and serve it to the Table upon Sippets. Garnish your Dish with Barberyes.

- Murrell, John. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. 1617. London: FW, p. 4.

Rabbit  boyled in the French Fashion

Rabbit boyled in the French Fashion


While someone else was….

To roast a Chine, Rib, Loin, Brisket, or Fillet of Beef.

Draw them with parsely, rosemary, tyme, sweet marjaoram, sage, winter savory, or lemon, or plain without any of them, fresh or salt, as you please; broach it, or spit it, roast it and baste it with butter; a good chine of beef will ask six hours roasting.

For the sauce take strait tops of rosemary, sage-leaves, picked parsley, tyme, and sweet marjoram; and strew them in wine vinegar, and the beef gravy; or otherways with gravy and juyce of oranges and lemons. Sometimes for change in saucers of vinegar and pepper.

-         May, Robert. The Accomplisht Cook. 1685 ed (Prospect Books), p. 113.

although it was porket ribs and not beef..



Ribs on spits

Ribs on spits

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs


and yet another housewife was making….


The best Pancake.

To make the best Pancake, take two or three Egges, and breake them into a dish, and beate them well then adde unto them a pretty quantitie of faire running water, and beate all well together: then put in Cloves, Mace, Cinamon, and a Nutmeg, and season it with Salt: which done, make it thicke as you thinke good with fine Wheat flower: then frie the cakes as thin as may be with sweete Butter, or sweete Seame[1], and make them browne, and so serve them up with Sugar strowed upon them.  There be some which mix Pancakes with new Milke or Creame, but that makes them tough, cloying, and not so crispe, pleasant, and savorie as running water.

- 1618, Markham, Best ed. p. 66

[1] 1530    J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 269/1   Seme for to frye with, seyn de povrceau. 1691    J. Ray Coll. Eng. Words 131   Saime, which we pronounce sometimes Seame. It signifies not only Goose-grease, but in general any kind of Grease or Sewet or Oil, wherewith out Clothiers anoint‥their Wool.

 and then made pancakes even BETTER by….

To make Pancakes so crisp that you may set them upright.

Make a dozen or score of them in a little frying pan, no bigger then a Sawcer, & then boil them in Lard, and they will look as yellow as golde, beside the taste.

- 1615 Murrell, p. 30

There are no photos of the pancakes….but they were there, really!

A simple Salllet iof spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented

A simple Salllet of spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented




The Littlest Musketeer

The Littlest Musketeer




Sallet Days, Plain and Simple.

October 26th, 2013 by KM Wall

If it’s Saturday, it must be Sallet -day….

Of Sallets, simple and plain
First then to speak of Sallets, there be some simple, some compounded, some only to furnish out the Table, and some both for use and adornation: your simple Sallets are Chibols pilled, washt clean, and half of the green tops cut clean away, and so served on a fruit dish, or Chives, Scallions, Rhaddish roots, boyled Carrets, Skirrets and Turnips, with such like served up simply: Also, all young Lettuce, Cabbage-Lettuce, Purslane, and divers other herbs which may be served simply without any thing but a little Vinegar, Sallet Oyl and Sugar; Onions boyled; and stript from their rind, and served up with Vinegar, Oyl and Pepper, is a good simple Sallet; so is Camphire, Bean-cods, Sparagus, and Cucumbers, served in likewise with Oyl, Venegar and Pepper, with a world of others, too tedious to nominate.

The English Huswife
Containing the inward and outward Vertues which ought to be in a Compleat Woman…
A Work generally approved, and now the Ninth time much Augmented, Purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the general good of this NATION.
By G. Markham.
LONDON, Printed for Hannah Sawbridge, at the Sign of the Bible on Ludgate Hill, 1683

  • A simple salad is one main thing, with what we now call dressing. A compound  salad had several different elements. A tossed Garden Salad is a modern example of a compound salad construction. A modern Potato Salad is a simple salad, even if it has hard boiled eggs in it, maybe even especially so.
  • for use or adoration means  – they’re for eating or for looking at – we’re just concerned with the eating ones
  • Chibols are a green onion, scallions and chives, are oniony as well, and, like radishes, are often served right at hand

    Annibale Carracci - The Bean eater

    Annibale Carracci – The Bean eater – notice the green onions by his hand – no plate, not a dish – a spoonful of beans and a bite of oniony goodness.

  • Boil your carrots, turnips and skirrets before eating them (or not, maybe having some by the side of your plate to eat a spoonful of beans and then a crunch of carrot)…..but if you have skirrets, they really are better off cooked before eating

    Turnips lurking in a Pilgrim Village garden - ready for a salad

    Turnips lurking in a Pilgrim Village garden – ready for a salad

  • Assorted little leafy green things served with oil, vinegar and salt….Cabbage-lettuce is headed lettuce, as apposed to loose leaves.
  •   Olive oil, wine or cider vinegar and, well, salt. There’s also ‘sallet oil’ in the 17th century. It’s made from rapeseed; rapes being part of the turnip family. We now call that oil canola oil….
    Rapeseed flowers

    Rapeseed flowers

    Canola seeds

    Canola seeds




  • Onions, boiled, bean cods (what we call ‘green beans’ ) boild; Asparagus (not at this time of year, unless you’re living in Australia) and of, course, cucumbers, are all good with oil vinegar, salt and pepper. Perhaps a pinch of sugar. When in doubt, boil. These days, we’re more likely to try raw, but the 17th century thinking was that cooking improved things for mans body by making it more artificial. Artificial was GOOD, because the hand of man was there. Raw was how the horse and cows ate the garden, and they were looking for a little emotional distance from the barnyard animals.
  • Boil, oil; boil, oil; boil, oil.
  • Simple simple simple simple
A Gentleman buys a Turnip

A Gentleman Buys a Turnip – except they look like radishes and he’s a little skeevy. I think he’s looking for more then salad fixin’s…



Jean-Baptiste Chardin - The Turnip Cleaner - 1738 - it's a little later, and a little French, but I'm pretty sure she's about to make some turnip sallett

Jean-Baptiste Chardin – The Turnip Cleaner – 1738 – it’s a little later, and a little French, but I’m pretty sure she’s about to make some turnip sallet

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