Pilgrim Seasonings

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

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)

XXX

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6 Responses to “Eat Like A Pilgrim: Bill of Fare”

  1. Kathleen Fitzgerald says:

    This is great Kathleen

  2. Ellie Donovan says:

    Loved the bit about using a tablecloth. My mother (who was born in 1915) cringed at the thought of anyone eating off, as you say, bare wood. It just wasn’t dinner without a tablecloth. She’d say “Don’t eat off the bare table!” and I’d say, “I’m not, I’m eating off a plate.” She’d just shudder at that and shake her head a little hopelessly at her ill-mannered and uncomprehending child. Placemats were only slightly better than nothing to my mother, and to this day I can’t help feeling rather coarse whenever I put plates on a bare wood table! Thanks for the memory (17th and 20th century).

  3. Yvonne says:

    Is it possible to get the recipe for the peascod (sp?) served in the cafeteria at Plimoth Plantation? We visited in April, and it was delicious! I can’t find a recipe online.

    • KM Wall says:

      Yvonne – YES! I’ll be putting it here. It is my goal to have the historic recipes (with a 21st century translation) for all out public dining offering. Eat Like a Pilgrim was the first. I guess Peasecods will be the second.

  4. Mary Evans says:

    I too would love to have the peascod recipe as served at the cafe. Will it be posted soon?

    • KM Wall says:

      Pluf ‘Peasecods’ into the search slot and it should come up – don’t be fooled by the little green pea pods at the beginning of the post….

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