‘Recipes. 17th century’ Category

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.

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!

1623.

            “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)

Turkies

Turkeys

1637.

“ 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

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)

Therefore

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

FILLETS GALLENTINE

chine of pork pepper

bread                    clove

onions                  mace

vinegar

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..

Roasting....

Roasting….

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

 

Wamblecropt!

Wamblecropt!

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

Salletday – Carrots

October 19th, 2013 by KM Wall

“ In the two months of October and November, when you have leisure in drie weather, then provide a vessel or wine caske, or some other:  then lay on course of sand on the bottome of the vessel two inches thicke, then a course of carret rootes, so that  the rootes do not touch one another:  then  another course of sand to cover those rootes, and then another course of sand, and in this manner untill the vessell bee full to the top, and if you have a ground seller, you may packe them in some corner in this manner, you must cut away all the branches of the carrets close by the roote, and somewhat of the small endes of the Carrets, and they must be so packed in sand unwashed and about the last of December:  sometime when there is no frost, you must then unpacke them againe, and then the carret rootes will begin to spring in the top of the roote, then if you desire to keepe them untill a longer time, then you must pare off the upper ende of the roote, that they cannot spring any more in the top, and then packe them again in sande as aforesaid, so you may keepe them well till Lent or Easter.”

- 1603. Richard Gardiner of Shrewsberie. Profitable Instructions for the Manuring , Sowing and  Planting of Kitchin Gardens. Folio D2.

Here’s what Pilgrim garden carrots  look like this week:

Yellow carrot from the Alden House Garden - thank you!

Yellow carrot from the Alden House Garden – thank you!

Englsih carrots in most of the 17th century were yellow carrots or red carrots or sometimes black or violet carrots, but they weren’t orange carrots. Orange carrots were far more popular in the Netherlands and France. No less  an authority then John Aubrey said of orange carrots:

  “Carrots were first sown at Beckington in Somersetshire. Some very old Man there [in 1668] did remember their first bringing hither.”

Oliver Lawson Dick, ed. Aubrey’s Brief Lives. Edited from the Original Manuscripts, 1949, p. xxxv.

John Aubrey (12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697)

John Aubrey
(12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697)

Many sallets in the 17th century are boiled….some into dishes that seem familiar now, but we just don’t call them salads, we just call them ‘vegetables’ or ‘side dishes’  or just ‘sides’.

Boyled Sallets.

Scrape boyld Carrets, being ready to eate, and they will be like the pulp of a roasted Apple, season them with a little Sinamon, Ginger, and Sugar, put in a handfull of Currans, a little Vinegar, a peece of sweet Butter, put them into a Dish, but first put in another peece of Butter, that they burne not to the bottome: then stew your rootes in the Dish a quarter of an houre: if they beginne to drie, put in more Butter: if they be too sweete, put in a little more Vinegar. The same way you may make a Sallet of Beetes, Spinnage, or Lettuce boyled: beate any of these tender, like the pulp of a roasted Apple, and use them as before shewed.”[1]


[1] Murrell, John. The Second Booke of Cookerie. 1638: London: fifth impression. Stuart Press (tran) 1993. pp.24-5.

Once again, the secret 17th century English ingredient is vinegar. The raisins and vinegar together give a nice sweet/sour taste boost.

To make a boiled salad of carrots:*

  • Boil carrots.  Peel them (if you peel them first and then boil them, that will work out in the end).
  • They should be as tender as the pulp of a roasted apple – forget this crispy or al dente or to the bite modern nonsense – these carrots need to be good and cooked!
  • Season them with cinnamon, ginger – these should be in powdered or ‘beaten’  form, just like they come from the  box or jar.
  • A typical American spice shelf - there's some cinnamon and ginger in there somewhere. Notice how the herbs are tucked in with the spices and the sugar is nowhere to be found.

    A typical American spice shelf – there’s some cinnamon and ginger in there somewhere. Notice how the herbs are tucked in with the spices and the sugar is nowhere to be found.

  • Add some currents or raisins. Put some butter in a a heavy bottomed saucepan. Put in the spiced carrots. Add a little vinegar and a little sugar. Let them soak up the butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Serve.
Carrots

Carrots, not English ones

In for a Penny (Loaf)….

October 16th, 2013 by KM Wall

….in for a pound.

In celebration of National B read Day, a smidgeon more on Maize, Indian corn and bread in New England before there were mills, corn bread being the most common sort of bread, maize being the most common sort of corn.

“It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden; they put of this into Milk, and so eat it. Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it, cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf, and then turn it out upon the Peel, and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad; the Flower makes excellent Puddens.”

- Josslyn, John. New Englands rarities. 1672. Mass. Historical Society, 1972, p. 52.

And now with pictures….Kathy Devlin, Colonial Foodways Artisan, took these photos in the modern kitchen making the back-up bread.

It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; 

Maize

Maize – before it is beaten

and sift the flower out of it;

the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden;

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil...

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil…

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Like Hasty Pudden

Like Hasty Pudden

 

Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it,

Flour and cooked corn groats together - wait till it isn't hot enough to burn you....

Flour and cooked corn groats together – wait till it isn’t hot enough to burn you….

cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf,

A  bowl - size bases on the the size of the oven and the size we'd like of the finished loaf....

A basin (or bowl) – size based on the the size of the oven and the size we’d like  the finished loaf….

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl.....

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl…..

and then turn it out upon the Peel,

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it'll be baked on in the modern oven

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it’ll be baked on in the modern oven

and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad

Bread in the modern oven

Bread in the modern oven

The finished loaves

The finished loaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Pudding bakte

October 14th, 2013 by KM Wall

It IS Columbus Day, after all. And although there is Italian bisket to consider, and how or how not, it is different from Naples bisket…..

Coat of Arms the House of Colon (that would be Christopher Columbus)

Coat of Arms the House of Colon (that would be Christopher Columbus, his house)

As I was looking at baked goods, and baked pudding in particular, I found not one, not two, but  THREE Italian puddings.

  1. They are all baked (or bakte – say it as it is spelled….now you’re talking like Shakespeare!)
  2. They all have bread cut into a dice, like a die, the little thing you toss in games of chance.
  3. Two of the three are from the same author – John Murrell – in different cookbooks  BUT they’re not exactly the  same. No cut and paste from John Murrell. I thought there were three from John Murrell, but the New Book of Cookerie and Book 1 of Two Books of Cookerie and Carving are the same book.  Three citations, two recipes.

All three, in chronological order:

To make an Italian Pudding

Take a Penny white Loafe, pare off the crust, and cut it in square pieces like unto great Dyes, mince a pound of Beefe Suite small: take halfe a pound of Razins of the Sunne, stone them and mingle them together with, and season them with Sugar, Rosewater, and Nutmegge, wet these things in foure Egges, and stirre them very tenderly for breaking the Bread: then put it into a Dish, and pricke three or foure pieces of  Marrow, and some sliced Dates: put it into an Oven hot enough for a Chewet: if your Oven be too hot, it will burne: if too colde, it will be heavy: when it is bakte scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot at Dinner, but not at Supper.

1615. John Murrell. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood Press: 1989. p. 22.

This is the one you’ve seen before here  in If your Oven be too hot….(Sept 15, 2013)

And now John Murrell’s second Italian Pudding:

A bakte Pudding after the Italian fashion.

Pare off the crusts from a penny white loafe, cut it in square peeces like dice, put to it halfe a pounds of dubbing suet minct small, halfe a pound of Raisins of the Sunne, the stones taken out, two ounces of Suger, five or sixe sliced Dates, a graine of Muske, five or sixe lumps of Marrow : season these with Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, and Salt, but a very little Salt is sufficient, beate a couple of Egges, with foure or five spoonefuls of Creame, power it upon your seasoned bread, and stirre very  gentley for breaking, so as the peeces may be wet, but not so wet that you can see any moisture in them: lay a Pomewater in the bottome of the Dish, or some sort of soft Apple pared, and sliced thinne, put your Pudding also upon the Apple, and so set the Dish into an Oven, as hot as for Manchet, or small Pies, when you see it rise yellow take downe your Oven lidde to coole your Oven, it will be bakte in half an houre: if the Oven be too hot, it will be burnt, if it be too cold, it will be too heavy, when it is bakte draw it forth, and scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot to the Table.

- 1638. John Murrell. The Second Book of Cookerie. Fifth Impression. Stuart Press: 1993. p. 25.

Square pieces of bread – check. Dubbing suet?? – I’m coming up cold; Muske – this is taking it up a notch; Cream as well as eggs – makes this richer; taking down tour oven lidde to cool the oven – nice detail! This is how you control the heat in a woodfired oven. The same advice about too cold and too hot, making me think this is a real Goldilocks moment.

Once again, you are asked to stone the raisins. Thank you Sun Maid for drying seedless raisins, so we don’t have to do that anymore!

130px-Sun-Maid_1916The Pomewater is a type of apple – nice of him to mention that any soft apple will do.

A few of the many Apples in Gerard's Herbal

A few of the many apples in Gerard’s Herbal

The third Italian Pudding comes from someone else, a little later…..

To make an Italian Pudding.

Take a manchet, and cut it into square pieces like a Die, then put to it half a pound of beef suet minced small, Raisins of the Sun the stones picked out, Cloves, Mace, minced, Dates, Sugar, Marrow, Rose-water, Eggs, and Cream, mingle all these together, and put them into a dish fir for your stuffe, in less then an hour it will be baked, then scrape on Sugar, and serve it.

- 1653. W.I. A True Gentlewomans Delight. Falconwood Press: 1991. p. 45.

 

 

 

A little more french bisket

October 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

Are these more biskets or are these more french?

La Varrene

La Varrene – The (original) French Chef!

La Varenne  brought his cookbook out in 1651. By 1653 it had been ‘Englished”  and was for sale in London.

He also has a recipe for bisket. Two, in fact. If it’s in a French cookbook does that make it a French biscuit even if they don’t call it that?

How to make bisket.

Take eight eggs, one pound of sugar into powder, with three quarters of a pound of flowre. Mix all together and thus it will be neither too soft nor too hard.

- 1653. Francois Pierre La Varenne. Englished by L.D.G The French Cook.  intro by Philip and Mary Hyman. Southover Press: 2001. p.240.

These are more like the just plain bisket – or English bisket – then the french bisket. Notice how they don’t get boiled first. Note also that although La Varenne is considered THE man to talk about when talking about modernized (as opposed to medieval), codified French cuisine, there are still lovely vaguenesses as “thus it will be neither too soft nor too hard”. Maybe that’s just the translator talking.

The very last recipe in the book is another bisket.

How to make bisket of Savoy.

Take six yolks and eight whites [of] eggs, with one pound of sugar in powder, three quarters of a pound of good flower made of good wheat, and some aniseed, beaten all well together; and boile it. Make a paste neither too soft nor too hard, if it is too soft, you may mix with it some flowre of sugar for to harden it. When it is well proportioned , put it into moules of white tinne made for the purpose and then bake them half in the oven. When they are half baked, take them out, and moisten them at the top with the yolks of eggs ; after that, put them in the oven again for to make an end of baking. When they are so baked that they are not too much burned, nor too soft, take them out, and set them in a place which is neither too cool nor too dry.

1653. Francois Pierre La Varenne. Englished by L.D.G The French Cook.  intro by Philip and Mary Hyman. Southover Press: 2001. p. 246.

The little tin molds fascinate me, in part because it’s about 100 years earlier then I thought I’d ever see them. I should have been paying more attention to sweetmeats! The end-note of a place “neither too cool nor too dry”……is almost as good as “not too much burned, nor too soft”.

Savoy can be one of several things.

Savoy palace - drawing of 1650

Savoy palace – drawing of 1650

Savoy Record Company NOT the savoy of the 17th century bisket!

Savoy Record Company NOT the savoy of the 17th century bisket!

 

 

Arnotts Biscuit  - they carry a Savoy biscuit in the 20th century

Arnotts Biscuit – they carry a Savoy biscuit in the 20th century

The modern day Savoy biscuit is a cracker sold in parts of Australia. It’s by the same company that makes Tim-Tams. Among others.

Tim-Tams....mmmm

Tim-Tams….mmmm

There’s still Prince bisket and Italian bisket, and a more careful look at bisket bread ahead in the bisket trail.

Why did we change the spelling of bisket? Why don’t we change it back?

 

 

 

 

french Biskets

October 12th, 2013 by KM Wall

To continue with biskets…..no less an authority then the late Alan Davidson in The Oxford Companion to Food states that biscuit  means  different things to  different people, in the past as well as the present,  from the UK/USA what means biscuit now (the one to dunk in your tea, the other to put under your gravy) and then the whole sea bisket/ship’s biscuit/hardtack sidebar…..and of course, there’s MORE

The Oxford Companion to Food - the update paperback version is called the Penguin Companion to Food - if you're serious about food history, you need one of these nearby.

The Oxford Companion to Food – the updated paperback version is called the Penguin Companion to Food – if you’re serious about food history, you need one of these nearby.And there are beets on this cover….you know how much beets mean to me….

Back to England, back to some 17th century recipes……

I’ve found only one bisket recipe that’s named English bisket. More common are French bisket recipes , and also those for bisket bread, bisket bread which is sometimes also called French bisket. But not always.

But of course.

French Bakers banner

Probably loaves of bread on these peels, but it’s the right shape so it could be French biscuit.

 

To make French Biskets.

Take two pounds of fine flower, being baked in an Ouen, take eight ounces of Suger baten and cersed, Coliander-seed, sweet Fennell-seede, and Caraway-seede, of these, each an ounce, worke all these up into a lythe paste with eight new layd egges and a little Rose-water, then roule it vp in a faire cloath like a pudding, as big as your Legge, and put it vp close and tye it fast at both ends, that no water get in, then put it into a Kettle of boyling water, letting it boyle two houres stirring it now and then that it burne not too, then take it vp and cut it in thicknesse of an ordinary trencher in round pieces, then lay it vpon a wyar lattice and sette it in a warme Ouen, and when it is drye that you may beat to a powder, then take a pound of double refined Sugar, and boyle it to a Candie height with as much Rose-water as will desolve it, then take your foresaid dry bisket and dip it in your hot Sugar, & lay it vpon your wyars againe, and set it in a warme ouen three or foure houres after the bread is drawn out, and within an houre turn it and when it is dry it will bee like candied all over, so box it and it will keepe all the yeare.

- 1621.John Murrell. A Delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewoman. Falconwood Press: 1990. p. 4.  

All that seedy goodness makes this seem an awful lot like English bisket, as well the insistence for new layd eggs and beaten  – I mean – baten  – and cersed sugar. Cersed is sifted.

The other Elizabeth Sieve Portrait - I'm assuming this isn't to show us her domestic side....but these are the sorts of sieves that you'd sift the beaten sugar through, the finest sieves being made of silk cloth, the courser one of horsehair.

The Elizabeth Sieve Portrait – I’m assuming this isn’t to show us her domestic side….but these are the sorts of sieves that you’d sift the beaten sugar through, the finest sieves being made of silk cloth, the courser ones of horsehair. This is most definitely NOT horsehair.

The tying up the batter in a cloth and boiling it in a kettle – shaped like a leg, which make me think of roly poly puddings, or at least the one in The Thornbirds, which is boiled in mother’s cotton stocking….

Novel and min-series...great food....

Novel and min-series…great food….

But I digress….

The two step boiled and then baked technique puts this French bisket in the same catagory as  some of the jumbles, simmels  and cracknels.  Pretzels also fall into this catagory.

An ordinary trencher....

An ordinary trencher….cut the pieces about this thick

The George Gower Elizabeth Sieve portrait

The George Gower Elizabeth Sieve portrait

 

 

 

 

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