“…. for chickens to make him broth ….’” Good Newes, Applewood ed, p. 24
This reference to chickens in the Plymouth sources is by Edward Winslow about a visit he made to Packanokick to visit a sick Massasoit. His sends a letter by messenger back to Patuxet (a/k/a/Plymouth) - at two o’clock in the morning no less – which requests the chickens and other physic as the surgeon might send.
But before the messenger returns, Massosit is feeling better and requests the Winslow use his piece (gun) to kill some fowl and make some English pottage.
This little reference is foodways HEAVEN. Not only are they mentioning specific foodstuffs, they are mentioning how they use them and when. Chicken broth is good for those who are ill. Chickens are in Plymouth. Pottage was served to Massasoit – and he liked it.
The Plymouth sources are the alpha and omega of the foodways search. This is the foodways A-list – what are the things they say they have. Archaeology is also the A-list, because sometimes they have things and don’t mention them, and court documents, inventories, even extant objects. This is the beginning. This is the stuff that is documented as there.
So then the $64,000 questions here are – just what the heck is ‘pottage’? And is chicken broth in 1623 like chicken broth now?
Cookbooks will help answer these questions. They help supply the background, and that’s why they’re on my B-list.