Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

To boile Onions.

February 9th, 2012 by KM Wall

To boile Onions.
Take a good many onions and cut them in foure quarters, set them on the fire in as much water as you think will boyle them tender, and when they be clean skimmed, put in a good many small raisons, halfe a spooneful grose pepper, a good peece of Suger, and a little Salte, and when the Onions be through boiled, beat the yolke of an Egge with Vergious, and put into your pot and so serve it upon soppes. If you will poch, Egges and lay upon them.
- Thomas Dawson. The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewell. London:1597.
Grose pepper means either large or grocer’s
Vergious is a liquid made from unripe grapes or apples, ie green fruit, therefore ‘green juice’. Vinegar as a good substitute.
Soppes are slices of bread that are either toasted or fryed.

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3 Responses to “To boile Onions.”

  1. Kim says:

    One of my favorite recipes! Much more delicious than you might think.

  2. Ron says:

    Does saying something to the effect “sop up the gravy” somehow come from the word soppes?

    • KM Wall says:

      Yes – the noun and the verb sop both come from a common root. Generally, the sop is the piece of bread on the bottom; a small sop is a sippet. Seriously – in the dictionary under ‘sippet’ it says a small sop. Sops can also go in wine, and are the common name for a pink that is red and white, a pink also known as a gillyflower, a flower in the carnation family. And to add to the confusion – gravy in the 17th century is generally the drippings that come from the meat, that are then seasoned and used as a sauce over the meat, pretty much the thing that WE call gravy.

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