A ‘good Friday’ pudding
- Markham, Gervase. Best ed. The English Housewife, p. 203.
 suet is the fat from neat or sheep (neat are bovines)
 pennyroyal- a/k/a ‘pudding grass’ - is an herb in English gardens. It also has a purging quality…..it’s a member of the mint family (Mentha pulegium); there are other mints that aren’t purging, just refreshing…..
What’s so ‘Good Friday’ about this pudding? It never really says…it could be the pennyroyal, which could be part of a seasonal purging….this recipe is in the Oats chapter of The English Housewife, and not in with the other recipes in the Cookery section.
Yes, Oats have their own chapter.
1641 W. CARTWRIGHT Ordinary II. i, A solemn son of Bagpudding and Pottage.
2. fig. ? Clown. Obs. (Cf. jackpudding.)
1608 DAY Hum. out of Br. II. i. (1881) 25 Farewell, sweet heart.God a mercy, bagpudding
Jack pudding is also a song and a dance.
Pudding Bag (OED)
A bag in which a pudding is boiled. Also transf. and fig.
c1597 T. DELONEY Jack of Newberie (1619) iv. sig. G3, The other maide..with the perfume in the pudding-bagge, flapt him about the face. 1626 in NARES (Halliw.), [A piece of Sail-cloth] about half a yard long, of the breadth of a pudding-bag. (first reference to ‘pudding cloth’ – 1853.)
Bag Pudding (redacted)
½ C milk
4 T butter (If you can find human food grade suet, by all means use that. Chop it fine first.If you can just find the mouldy, nasty bits they set out for bird feeders, use butter as the alternative grease. Grease is good!) )
pennyroyal (or better yet, some other herbs)*
Boil the oats until soft. Add the milk, 1/3 of butter. When cool enough add the eggs. If you choose herbs, add a sprig or two of that.
Tie it up in a buttered cloth (the ‘floursack’ towels make great pudding clothes. You’ll want something maybe 15′ all around, hemmed and washable.) Put the pudding in a pot of boiling water – arrange it so that it doesn’t touch the sides or bottom. Think pasta pot – you want plenty of water boiling all around the pudding. Tuck the ends of the cloth in the water so they don’t burn.
Boil until firm – ½ – 1 hour. Add more water to keep covered if necessary during boiling. Keep the water boiling and move it from time to time to keep it from sticking.
Remove from water, drain. Place on serving plate and take cloth off. Butter the top and serve.
* Pennyroyal notes: Pennyroyal is now considered to contain ” a highly toxic volatile organic compound affecting liver and uterine function. “ Use some other member of the mint family to flavor your pudding! Yes, people used to eat it – they also died young pretty frequently.