April, 2012

Two New England Bread Accounts

April 26th, 2012 by KM Wall

Wintrop, John. July 29, 1662. Letter to Robert Boyle. published Philosophical Transactions, 142 (1678), 1065-1069. reproduced in John Wintrop ,Jr. on Indian Corn. Fulmer Mood, The New England Quarterly. Vol. X, number 1. March, 1937.p.129.
“The English make very good Breade of Meale, or flower of it being Ground in Mills, as other Corne, but to make good bread of it there is a different way of ordering of it, from what it is used about the Bread of other Graine, for if it be mixed into stiff past, it will not be good as when it is made into a thinner mixture a little stiffer then the Battar for Pancakes, or puddings, and then baked in a very hott oven, standing all day or all Night therein, therefore some used to bake it in pans like puddings. But the most ordinary way is this, the Oven being very hott they may have a great Wooden dish fastened to a long staff, which may hold the quantity of a Pottle, and that being filled, they empty it on an heape in the Oven, upon the bare floore thereof cleane Swept, and so fill the Oven, and usually lay a second laying upon the top of the first, because the first will (p130) otherwise be too thinn for the proportion of a Loafe because it will spread in the oven at the first pouring of it in: if they make it not too thinn it will ly in distance like Loaves, onely in some parts where they touch one another will stick together but are easily parted but some will fill the whole floore of the Oven as one intire Body and must cut it out in greate pieces; In just such manner handled it wilbe (if baked enough) of a good darke yellow Colour, but otherwise white which is not so wholesome nor pleasant, as when well baked of a deeper Colour. There is also very good Bread made of it, by mixing half, or a third parte, more or less of Ry or Wheate-Meale, or Flower amongst it, and then they make it up into Loaves, adding Leaven or yeast to it to make it Rise, which may also be added to that other thinner sorte beforementioned.”


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

“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.”



Multi-colored Indian corn - amazing maize

Hasty pudding......









add the flour......











well baked of a deeper color.....


Red Alert!

April 22nd, 2012 by Carolyn


As some of you may be aware Plymouth County has been on a red alert for wildfires going on at least two weeks, but luckily as of this second, we are finally getting some rain. The plants and pilgrims couldn’t be happier. I thought this would be a good time to post some pictures I’ve promised, and some great new activity going on in the village.








The Alden house before it’s recent renovation; notice, no window.















Master Alden did a pretty nice job, and the house is still standing! I call that a success. When asked he said it was for more light….but we think he just wanted to bump up his real estate value with a sea-veiw window.











Ready to eat asparagus in the Winslow garden this past week, Susanna Winslow said it was wonderous good.




A few months back we started posting about our new clome oven in the village and our multiple test bakes. After a month of once a week pilgrim use it’s looking pretty broken in.








Be ready for next week’s photo post including…….. corn planting, goat walking and more!

National Garlic Day – April 19th

April 19th, 2012 by KM Wall

Garlic in the Warren garden - it's grown a lot in a month! Time to set it out.









Foodways looks at the the food and cooking that tradition come from, as well as where they go – precedent and persistence.

A very early salad recipe:

Take parsel, sawge, garlec, chibollas, onyons, leeks, borage, myntes, porrectes, fenel, and ton tressis , rew, rosemarye, purslyne. Lave, and waishe hem clene; pike hem, pluk hem small with thyn honde and myge him wel with raw oile. Lay on vynegar and salt, and serve forth.
- Hieatt, Constance B and Butler, Sharon. Pleyn Delit. University of Toronto Press: 1976, 1985. #44 from Forme of Cury, 1390.


Take parsley, sage, garlic, chives, onions, leeks, borage, mints, (some sort of leek),  fennel. and ____. rue, rosemary, purslane. Wash, and wash him clean; pike him, pluck him small with thine hand and (mingle)  him well with raw oil. Lay on vinegar and salt, and serve forth.

Eat Like A Pilgrim: Bill of Fare

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

and a few other notes…….

There are no forks, just spoons and knives and fingers – be sure to wash you hands before the start of the meal!

Napkins are a good size and belong in your lap, or for the men if they so choose, over the left shoulder.

The table has a tablecloth, because eating off of bare wood is for hogs at a trough.

Salt and bread are placed on first – they are the least hospitality. They will also be the last things removed.
This bread is known as cheate bread. It is made from wheat that hasn’t been sifted; that is, whole wheat flour. In the 17th century there is also white bread (sifted flour) and brown bread (sometimes dried pease or dried beans were ground and added to the unsifted flour). Cheate is the common household bread. In New England cornmeal is added as well as wheat.

A platter of grapes, prunes (dried plums) and cheese are set to daintily eat while conversing.

A sallet of cucumbers is a salad made from cucumbers, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Salads are more like condiments then side dishes in the 17th century; they add flavor and variety to the meal.

The commonest drink in early New England is water. The Wampanoag name for Plymouth is Patuxet, meaning place of many springs.

Turkey is served with a sauce of onions and breadcrumbs. (Sauce for Turkie)

Squash is served stewed (Stewed Pompion).

Indian Pudding is called that because it uses Indian, or corn meal. (Indian Pudding)


Eat Like A Pilgrim: Good Manners

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall


The rhyme and the translation

As the proverb goeth, Measure is Treasure.

“For rudnes is thy pottage to sup,
Or speake to any, his head in his cup.
(Look up and swallow before speaking.)

Thy knife be sharpe to cut fayre thy meate:
Thy mouth not be full when thou dost eat.
(Don’t hack away at your food and swallow
one mouthful before taking another.)

Pyke not thy teethe at the table syttnge,
Nor use at thy meate Overmuche spytynge;
(Save the teeth picking for later, away from the table, and as for spitting – moderation.)

this rudeness of youth is to be abhorred;
thy self mannerly Behave at the borde.


From Schoole of Vertue and Booke of Goode Nourture for Children by
Francis Seager, 1557.



Eat Like A Pilgrim: Sauce for a Turkie

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

Sauce for a Turkie
Take faire water and set it over the fire, then slice good store of Onions and put into it, and also Pepper and Salt, and good store of the gravy that comes from the Turkie, and boyle them very well together: then put to it a few fine crummes of grated bread to thicken it; a very little Sugar and some Vinegar, and so serve it up with the Turkey:
Gervase Markham , The English Huswife, 1623

To make this at home:

6 medium onions, sliced thinly
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)

Follow your favorite recipe for roast turkey. Remove the turkey to a platter reserving the pan juices.

Place thinly sliced onions in a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the onions are tender but not mushy. A good deal of the water should have boiled away. Set aside for a moment.

Place the roasting pan over medium heat and stir to loosen any brown bits. Stir in the onion sauce, sugar, vinegar and breadcrumbs if desired. Pepper? Taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, pour over sliced turkey or serve alongside in a separate dish.



The gravy is the drippings.
Onions are mentioned in William Bradford’s garden verse :

” All sorts of roots and herbs in gardens grow,
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, or what you’ll sow,
Onions, melons, cucumbers, radishes,
Skirrets, beets, coleworts, and fair cabbages.”
- 1654. Bradford, William. Verses.
- Massachusetts Historical Society. p. 61.

“ 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.

- 1637. Thomas Morton. New English Cannan. Jack Dempsey, ed. 1999. p. 64.


Eat Like A Pilgrim: Stewed Pompion

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

Stewed Pompion
The Ancient New England standing dish
But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew’d enough, it will look like bak’d Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh:…

- Jossyln, John.New Englands Rareties.1672.
To make this at home:
4 cups of cooked squash, roughly mashed
3 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 or 2 teaspoons ground ginger (or nutmeg, cloves, or pepper, to taste, if preferred)
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir and heat all the ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve hot.

Cooks with a bumper crop of pumpkins and a large pot may want to try the housewives’ technique described by Josselyn. For the rest of us, it is practical to begin with pared, seeded, and steamed or baked squash.
Pompion is a pumpkin. Squashes can also be used.
An ancient is another way to say banner, or standard.
A standing dish is one that is very common, seen on table perhaps daily.
An ancient standing dish would be the food that all but shouts out, “Hello! We’re in NEW England; we’re not in England anymore.”
Baked apples are a good visual clue as to what the final dish should look like, and the little bit of vinegar is a taste clue.
Serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh means it’s good with everything.


Eat Like A Pilgrim: Indian Pudding

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

(recipe from The Plimoth Plantation New England Cookery Book by Malabar Hornblower, The Harvard Common Press, 1990)

This is a true regional New England dish. The first written version of this recipe does not appear until 1796 in the first American cookbook, but there were references to it as a common dish years earlier. John Jossyln refers to the corn meal and milk portion as hasty pudding in 1672, and the addition of molasses as a sweetener isn’t far behind.
BTW, the ‘Indian’ in the Indian Pudding identifies the grain used – cornmeal or Indian meal.

4 cups milk
2/3 cup molasses
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

optional — cream, whipped cream or ice cream when serving

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large saucepan, heat the milk molasses and butter, stirring to blend them. Over moderate heat, bring them slowly to just under a boil, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt and sift them into a bowl. When the milk and molasses are close to– but not quite—boiling, gradually stir in the cornmeal mixture. Cook mixing constantly so that no lumps form, until the pudding thickens enough to hold its shape when stirred.
With a rubber spatula, scrape the pudding into the buttered baking. Add the 2 cups milk, but do not mix it in; let it float on the top. Bake the pudding 1 hour without stirring. Then stir in the milk and bake two hours longer,

Serve the pudding with cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.



To compound an excellent sallat

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

To compound an excellent sallat, and which indeed is usual at great feasts, and upon princes’ tables: take good quantity of blanched almonds, and with your shredding knife cut them grossly; then take as many raisins of the sun, clean washed and the stones picked out, as many figs shred like the almonds, as many capers, twice so many olives, and as many currants as all the rest, clean washed, a good handful of the small tender leaves of red sage and spinach; mix all these well together with good store of sugar, and lay them in the bottom of a great dish; then put unto them vinegar and oil, and scrape more sugar over all; then take oranges and lemons, paring away the outward peels, cut them into thin slices, then with those slices cover the sallet all over; then over those red leaves lay another course of old olives, and the slices of well pickled cucumbers. Together with the very inward heart of your cabbage lettuce cut into slices; then adorn the sides of the dish with more slices of lemons and oranges, and so serve it up.

Gervase Markham. Country Contentments or the English Huswife. 1615.


raisins,currents,olives,old olives,shredded almonds dried cranberries,hard boiled eggs


pea tendrils

An excellent sallat (eye candy)

April 14th, 2012 by KM Wall

An excellent sallat

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