‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wamblecropt

October 20th, 2013 by KM Wall

 

Lost Words:

Wamblecropt

means overcome with indigestion.

Once upon a time, you might observe that your stomach was wambling a bit.

If the wambles got so bad you couldn’t move, you were wamblecropt.

(First found in the Abecedarium Anglico Latinum of 1552)

via Mark Forsyth’s Top Ten Lost Words  in The Guardian

Francisco Pacheco  "Alas, I am womblecropt"

Francisco Pacheco “Alas, I am wamblecropt”

 

Pilgrim Wedding

September 21st, 2013 by KM Wall

There’s a wedding today in 1627…….

Jane and Experience

Jane and Experience

Turkeys seem to be the first guest to arrive...if only they know their brethren were on the Bill of Fare

Turkeys seem to be the first guest to arrive…if only they knew their brethren were on the Bill of Fare

The ripe rosehips have been gathered and baked into a tart

The ripe rosehips have been gathered and baked into a tart

If the turkeys have left anything in the garden, there will be a salad to start the first course

If the turkeys have left anything in the garden, there will be a salad to start the first course

 

Sops of Pompion is also on the Bill of Fare

Sops of Pompion is also on the Bill of Fare

 

Fu would think the whole Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving/Turkey mme would keep the birds away...... ence-sitting turkey - yo

Once fence sitting turkey. You would think the whole Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving/Turkey meme would keep the birds away……

 

Two Turkeys

Three Turkeys

 

Banns to be read for the last time today - and then a wedding!

Banns to be read for the third time today – and then a wedding!

 

To make a sallet of all kindes of hearbes

September 19th, 2013 by KM Wall

To make a sallet of all kindes of hearbes
from Thomas Dawson’s The Good Husewifes Jewell, 1597, p 25.

“Take your hearbes and picke them very fine onto faire water, and picke your flowers by themselves, and wash them al cleane, and swing them in a strainer, and when you put them into a dish, mingle them with Cowcumbers or Lemmons payred and sliced, and scrape suger, and put in vineger and Oyle, and throwe the flowers on the toppe of the sallet, and of every sorte of the aforesaide things and garnish the dish about with the foresaid things, and harde Egges boyled and laid about the dish and upon the sallet.”

And now for a modern translation –

A sallet is just another way to say salad.

Hearbes are herbs, which are also of things we now call vegetables – the sorts of things you’d expect to find in a salad. This recipe doesn’t specify any particular herbs, but from other period sources all leafy greens are mentioned: lettuces, spinach, endive, chicory, cabbage, violet leaves, strawberry leaves and borage leaves. Sorrel, salad burnet, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary and mint leaves could also be added.

Flowers are, well, flowers. Edible flowers include those of calendula (pot marigolds), violets, roses, borage, pinks, and the flowers from sweet herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage. Not sure if it’s edible? Don’t eat it unless you know it’s not toxic. Don’t guess – be safe!
NOTE: If you are gathering herbs and flowers outside of 1627 make sure that they haven’t been treated with herbicides, pesticides or car emissions.

Cowcumbers are cucumbers. Lemmons are lemons. Suger is sugar; vineger is vinegar (wine or cider) and Oyle is oil (olive).

Aforesaide things (which are mentioned several pages back, so no, you didn’t miss it) include raisins, olives, capers, almonds and currents, figs and dates.

harde Egges boyled are hard boiled eggs.

A version of this salad will be on the table for the Bridale for Jane Cooke and Experience Mitchell Saturday September 21, 2013.

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What Cheer! x 300

September 5th, 2013 by KM Wall

Hard to believe that this is post

300

Hard to believe that I was once afraid that I’d run out of things to say…..OK, you can stop laughing now, my friends.

I’ve got so much scheduled now, that I’ve  got to go for another 300 easy, and that’s if no one asks me any good questions (this week alone, thank you Malka and Carolina) and if I learn nothing new and nothing happens and nothing else is ever discussed or discovered about early modern food….

Seems like I’m in this for the long haul.

So thank you for reading, and for subscribing, and suggesting, and for being  there and being interested .

Thank you for being Never Dull.

Please, pull up a comfy chair at this kitchen table, question EVERYTHING and keep those cards and letters (and phone calls, and whispered questions) coming.

It’s not just the food, it’s the ways .

What Cheer!

My Pilgrim self with (what else?) a Turkey

My Pilgrim self with a (what else?)  Turkey

 

 

Cheesey interlude…

August 23rd, 2013 by KM Wall

I know I said no cheesecakes in the Pie-wise Time, but I’m always a little confused between Cheesecake,which is no cake, and Boson Cream Pie, which is no pie, but in the end it’s ….

As You Like It

As You Like It

Which would be the name of the little cafe I would run, if I had the Time and the Money and the Inclination, which I really don’t…..and the sign on the door would read:

Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table

 (Act II, scene 7 Duke Senior to Orlando)

where there would be pies….and Boston Cream Pies

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake)

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake-ish)

and cheesecakes

Cheesecake with raspberries...rather pie-ish

Cheesecake with raspberries…rather pie-ish

and 17th century goodies to serve with coffee and tea and chocolate beverages that aren’t in Plimoth Colony (or much of England) for the first half of the seventeenth century. No gin, either. However did they manage?

By goodies, I mean jumbles and Shrewsbury cakes  and Oxfordshire cakes and Peach Pie and of course, 17th century cheesecake.

 

Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 - photo by Makla Benjamen

Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 – photo by Malka Benjamen – very Vermeer-ish

To make Cheesecakes.

Let your paste be very good, either puff-paste or cold butter-paste, with sugar mixed with it, then the whey being dried very well from the cheese-curds which must be made of new milk or butter, beat them in a mortar or tray, with a quarter of a pound of butter to every pottle of curds, a good quantity of rose-water, three grains of ambergriese or musk prepared, the crums of a small manchet rubbed through a cullender, the yolks of ten eggs, a grated nutmeg, a little salt, and good store of sugar, mix all these well together with a little cream, but do not make them too soft; instead of bread you may take almonds which are much better; bake them in a quick oven, and let them not stand too long in, least they should be to dry.

Robert May The Accomplist Cook

NOTES:

  1. If you buy packaged puff paste the work is half done – cut circles and fold the edges over to make this shape. These are not necessarily deep dish cheesecakes…. think more like cheese danish
  2. Ricotta make a good stand in for fresh cheese curds
  3. This is an Italian style cheesecake, not a New York style one.
  4. almonds are MUCH better the bread crumbs
Cheesecake design from Robert May

One of many cheesecake designs from Robert May

 

There are still tickets available to As You Like It by the Plimoth Players….check out the website….and would you like this blog in your in-box? It’s easy, just fill in your e-mail address…

Learning by dough-ing

July 19th, 2013 by KM Wall

You can read about things or you can see things happen to learn about them, but the greatest retention and understanding come from learning by doing.

So when we had new ovens that needed a test run, we needed to use them in a way we could learn the most from.

New Oven!

New Oven!

This is a cloam (or clome or clume) oven. The shell is made from clay and fire hardened in a potters kiln. There was one in Jamestown in the early 17th century, and two at Ferrylands in Newfoundland. Remains of one have also been found in early Plymouth Colony. And there are lots of them in England.

cloam oven at  Jamestown

cloam oven at Jamestown – old oven!

But there’s not just ONE oven, there are two, two cloam ovens in Plimoth Colony now.

Two, Two new  ovens!

Two, Two new ovens!

The Jamestown oven was found in pieces….I know, most archeology is…..but without context for how it was used. But meanwhile, up in Newfoundland…

Bakehouse remains at Colony of Avalon, Newfoundland

Bakehouse and brewhouse remains at Colony of Avalon, Newfoundland – the circles are the cloam oven remains

Back to the baking training……

Put the fire in the ovens to heat them

Fire in the ovens to heat them

Each oven is different- even these two, which were built by the same potter at the same time (Thank-you, Ron!) and installed in the same bakehouse at the same time (thank you Steve and other artisans) heated up a little differently.

Doors for the ovens - when the fire is out and the food is in, the doors go on.

Doors for the ovens – when the fire is out and the food is in, the doors go on.

Dough  for the test bake

Dough for the test bake

Getting the dough ready to bake

Getting the dough ready to bake

This workshop was after hours, so we didn’t keep it strictly old school. And because it was getting dark and my camera is fiddly, I didn’t capture real good images of the peel or maulkin either in or out of action.

More dough preperation

More dough preparation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seasonings for the dough...Bread, and cheese - and maybe a little pepperoni....

Seasonings for the dough…

If this looks like bread and cheese…and perhaps a little pepperoni…..a piece of bread and cheese, as it were…..

Yes, they did have pizza in the 17th century. Just not in England. The first reference to the word pizza in the Oxford English Dictionary is 1921….The first reference to the word in the US is earlier – 1904 – and in Boston, no less. According to Wikipedia:

The term “pizza” first appeared “in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD, which claims that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta ‘duodecim pizze’ ['twelve pizzas'] every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday”

So pizza is older then 1620. By the way, that’s the Gaeta that my mother is from….

 

 

Muscle Boat

June 12th, 2013 by KM Wall
Sea shells of Northern Wales - muscles and cockles, formerly alive, alive -O

Sea shells of Northern Wales – muscles and cockles, (formerly) alive, alive -O

 

Mussels are easy, taken from the margin and not the deep blue sea. There are also freshwater mussels, if you don’t live near the shore. They’re easy to cook, most commonly being bearded, cleaned form stones and gravel and then boiled (either in water, or wine, or beer) and then served with butter and bread.

But are they versatile? Are they good for anything else?

Besides eating them, what else can you do with muscles/musckles/mussels?

Feed them to your pigs…..(actually, the pigs will feed themselves)

Sow with piglest - notice that they're on the shore (but they're not a 17th century English breed lookaike)

Sow with piglet – notice that they’re on the shore (but they’re not a 17th century English breed lookalike)

Or you can make boats out of them:

Muscle boat

Muscle boat

Not THAT muscle boat – this mussel boat

mussel boat Obs., (perh.) a mussel shell used by children for a toy boat.

1575 R. B. Apius & Virginia sig. B, A mayde or a *Mussell Bote, a wife or a wilde ducke, As bolde as blinde bayerd, as wise as a wood cocke. (We remember how highly thought of woodcocks are from Mr Shakespeare, renowned for their cleverness NOT…Perhaps because our 17th century Englishmen didn’t know about dodo birds..)

Dodo  -Mansur

Dodo and other bird friends -Mansur

a1590 Mariage Witt & Wisdome (Shaks. Soc.) ii. 13 So we ware both put into a mussellbote, And came saling in a sowes yeare ouer sea into Kent. (No silk purses for these sowes ears…they served as boats!)

1612 R. DABORN . C2, Poore fishers brat, that neuer didst aspire Aboue a musle boate.

whyt meate

June 7th, 2013 by KM Wall

Whyte meat? Is that olde-thyme speak for ‘whitemeat’? What happened to the goat milking/cheese making conversation? Isn’t chicken whitemeat? Or pork, the other whitemeat? Or is the another other whitemeat?

Why, yes.

To quote Andrew Boorde  and the Here foloweth a Compenyous Regiment or Dyetary of health, made in Mountpyller  [this]

Chapitre treateth of whyt meate, as of egges, butter, chese, mylke, crayme, &c.

So whitemeat is also DAIRY, so it all ties in the the goats and the curds….

Just a little headnote – it seems that this very same Andrew Boorde may be the original ‘merryandrew’, which you may recall was a sort of jack pudding, or clown or buffon or jester or fool. It’s not that the dear Doctor didn’t study afar and write extensively – his titles alone are exercises in length – he just seems to have rather lost his marbles, as it were, towards his end, which was in the Fleet (prison that is, not the street), wearing a hair shirt and possibly keeping loose woman.  Three loose women.

Miraim-Webster dates the first use of  merry-andrew at 1677, 150 years after his death….

Merry Andrew is also a movie with Danny Kaye.

Merry Andrew - 1958 - Danny Kaye

Merry Andrew – 1958 – Danny Kaye

Back to whitemeats.

Whitemeats as a dairy product is the older term of the word ( I almost said original, but it would take several hours of poking around to confirm or deny, so I found me a fence to sit on, pondering Danny Kaye and Merry Andrews). Back to Monday’s workshop:

Curds forming - last Monday at the workshop

Curds forming – last Monday at the workshop

 

 

Whey and curds

Whey and curds

Moving curds to a cloth to straine

Moving curds to a cloth to strain

 

 

 

 

 

 

More straining

More straining

Dripping and draining

Dripping and draining

One batch was animal rennet; the other vegetable rennet

One batch was animal rennet; the other vegetable rennet

Kathy prepping the cloth to strain the second batch

Kathy prepping the cloth to strain the second batch

 

 

 

 

 

More curds

More curds

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

 

More ready to eat

More ready to eat

Kat provide even more whitemeat snackage then we made there.....

Kathy provided even more whitemeat snackage then we made there…..

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

June 6th, 2013 by KM Wall

avm-book-cover

A great book by Barbara Kingslover  (link to  her website  ) and….

the true, seldom told story of rennet.  Also known as renning in the  early modern period. It’s what makes milk curdle. It’s actually one of several things that will do that  although it’s unclear how clear it was to the people of the past. Now we divide it between:

Animal rennet, from the stomachs of unweaned animals ( cow, goat or sheep, generally, although camels might have been used in places where camels were common.

Vegetable rennet,  from figs or bedstraw or other herbs, has also been kicking around since the days of Ancient Rome, and were referenced by 17th century writers. Cheshire was famous for the bedstraw used in its cheese.

But knowing how to do something and knowing why something works aren’t always part of the same package.

Chymosin complex

Chymosin complex – portrait of an enzyme agent

It’s actually an enzyme and it’s modern chemical name is rennin. This is a VAST and HUGE oversimplification of the process. It does make a pretty picture. What is does is tangle up the protein strands in the milk, leaving us with curds and whey.

 

Curds (the solid bits) and whey (the liquid) on an industrial scale

Curds (the solid bits) and whey (the liquid) on an industrial scale

Just like Little Miss Muffet. Who sat on a tuffet. Who may or may not have been the step daughter named Patience of a certain Thomas Muffet, (Moffat/Moufet, Mouffet) Puritan and physician, who wrote about insects, among other things. Even though the poem doesn’t start kicking around until the early 1800′s…..

Theatre of Insects by Thomas Moffat...I bet there are SPIDERS in there

Theatre of Insects by Thomas Moffat 1634…I bet there are SPIDERS in there

,

 

Sample of the animal rennet we used in the workshop - a commercial product and not terribly photogenic

Sample of the animal rennet we used in the workshop – a commercial product and not terribly photogenic

A sample of commercially available vegetable rennet that we used Monday night. Also not photogenic.The smell a little differently, or it could have been the containers.

A sample of commercially available vegetable rennet that we used Monday night. Also not photogenic.They smell a little differently, or it could have been the containers.

and to continue a little further afield be we get back to cheese, which is where all roads lead this week….

a little side trip to Ireland, famous cheese eaters and milk drinkers of the 17th century ,where they got all poetical about curds and cream.

Stately, pleasantly it sat,
A compact house and strong.
Then I went in:
The door of it was dry meat,
The threshold was bare bread,
cheese-curds the sides.

Smooth pillars of old cheese,
And sappy bacon props
Alternate ranged;
Fine beams of mellow cream,
White rafters – real curds,
Kept up the house.

 - Aislinge Meic Con Glinne : The Vision of Mac Conglinne (this Irish  story  is from the 11th century ; the extant manuscripts are the one from the 15th  century; the other from the 16th or 17th century. )

The Image of Ireland - are they eating curds and cream?

The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne 1581

Sweet Cheese Are Made of These…

June 5th, 2013 by KM Wall
Claude Lorrain - Landscape with Apollo Guarding the Herds of Admetus and Mercury stealing them (1645)

Claude Lorrain – Landscape with Apollo Guarding the Herds of Admetus and Mercury stealing them (1645)

Cows…their milk, actually. And also these……

San Clemente goat - still a baby, so not used in the following workshop

San Clemente goat – still a baby, so not used in the following workshop

What makes a Pilgrim a Pilgrim in the end? Piles of books, tons of reading, lots of questions, talk, talk, talk, (that’s the dialect practice – right), plenty of hard work in a heavy wool suit  AND Hands-On BTS Workshops.

Be prepared – you are about see some Pilgrims without their clothes on. Pilgrim clothes, that is.

Monday night Kathy and Norah led us in a Milking to Cheese-tasting Workshop.

First, the milking.

Before there is cheese, there is milk. We had some lovely Alpines helping out. Alpines are not a rare-breed, unlike the Arapawas   (descendents of early English milch goats  left to fend for themselves off the coast of New Zealand and rescued by Betty Rowe)

Arapawa goat

Arapawa goat

They are also somewhat skittish and can be a little tricky to milk. And they don’t tend to like a lot of strangers. So we let them be.

The other rare breed goat we have are San Clemente Island goats. Although originally of Spanish origin, and so genotype would not be English, they LOOK like English goats for the 1600′s, so their phenotype is just fine. Shocking Behind the Scenes Secrets Revealed!!!!

These cuties are in the national Zoo in Washington DC

These cuties are in the national Zoo in Washington DC

Alpines also give more milk, which means more cheese……

Malka and Norah and an Alpine good girl - the milking stand is very usuful, and something not found for 17th century goatmilkers

Stacey and Malka and Norah and an Alpine good girl – the milking stand is very useful, and something not found for 17th century goatmilkers

 

Alex Milking

Alex Milking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of milking action shot - I have about 2 dozen of these...it's hard to tell who from who...

Close up of milking action shot – I have about 2 dozen of these…it’s hard to tell who from who…

 

Milking done, it's time to strain - and notice the froth - that's a sign of GOOD milking action!

Milking done, it’s time to strain – and notice the froth – that’s a sign of GOOD milking action!

LOTS of froth!

Frothy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOTS of froth!!!

LOTS of froth!!!

 

Once the goats (or cows) are milked, and the milk is strained, it’s time to make the cheese…..

Taccuino Sanitatis Casanatense - Cheesemaking

Taccuino Sanitatis Casanatense – Cheesemaking

To be continued…….

 

 

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