Prithhee, mayhaps it be somewhat early for skirworts; they’re usually come round Michaelmas…. .
Sorry, I caught up in a little too much 17th century Englishspeak:
- Skirwort. Skirret, skerwort, Skirret etc are a root vegetable not uncommon in early modern English gardens and fairly uncommon in modern ones. (spellcheck wants to correct skirrets to skirts; should you see skirts in the text, think skirret and tell me)
- John Winthrop Junior brought seeds to grow them to the Massachusetts Bay Colony: 3 oz skerwort seed 3d. per oz
- Skirrets are sometimes confused by modern writers with parsnips; parsnips are often combined or used interchangeably with skirrets in the early modern period. Parsnips and skirrets are not the same thing.
- The little cluster of rooty bits is the part you eat. For size, they’ve been compared to fingers. The neat thing is that you take the larger parts, and leave the rest to keep growing. And they will.
- Michaelmas is the 29th of September, a quarter day on the Englsih calender and the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.
A Skerret Pie.
Take a quarter of a peck of Skerrets blanched, and sliced, season them with three Nutmegs, and an ounce of Cinnamon, and three ounces of Sugar, and ten quartered Dates, and the Marrow of three bones, rouled in yolks of Eggs, and one quarter of a pound of Ringo roots, and preserved Lettice, a sliced Lemon, four blades of Mace, three or four branches of preserved Barberries, and a half a pound of Butter, then let it stand one hour in the oven, then put a caudle made of white Wine, Verjuyce, Butter, and Sugar, put into the pye when it comes out of the oven.
1653. W.I. A True Gentlewomans delight. Falconwood Press. p. 57.
Ringo root is preserved eringo root
Tags: butter, caudle, cinnamon, dates, eringo root, Johjn Winthrop jr, John Gerard, lemon, lettice, mace, marrow, marrow bones, nutmegs, oven, parsnip, pie, preserved barberries, preserved lettice, pye, recipe, ringo root, Ringo Starr, skerrets, skerwort, skirrets, skirwort, suagr, verjuice, W.I. A True Gentlewomans Delight, white wine, yolks of eggs