Pilgrim Seasonings

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

Eat Your Veggies ….in a PIE

August 29th, 2013 by KM Wall

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.
    from John Gerard  The Herbal

    from John Gerard The Herbal

    Skirrets a little larger then fingers - good loose soil and well separated when smaller

    Skirrets a little larger then fingers – good loose soil and well separated when smaller

     

    Parsnips - similar, but not the same with skirrets

    Parsnips – similar, but not the same as skirrets

     

  •  Michaelmas is the 29th of September, a quarter day on the Englsih calender and the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.
    Guido Reni - 1636 - Saint Michael weighing souls - by the 18th century, many Protestant inages have him slaying evil in the form of a dragon.

    Guido Reni – 1636 – Saint Michael weighing souls – by the 18th century, many Protestant images have him slaying evil in the form of a dragon.

    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

    One flowering form of the Eringo or seas holly family

    One flowering form of the Eringo or seas holly family

     

    Ringo Starr - not to be confused with Ringo root - one is good IN a pie; one is good company WITH a pie

    Ringo Starr – not to be confused with Ringo root – one is good IN a pie; one is good company WITH a pie

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Eat Your Veggies ….in a PIE”

  1. Abigail says:

    Now I know to harvest my skirrets at Michaelmas!

    • KM Wall says:

      Yea! for growing skirrets! The tops dieing down is the truer sign. They can stay good in ground for a while, I keep using them through November.Peeled, cored and fried in butter is the quick and easy 17th manner for skirrets, and still tasty for the 21st century.

  2. Buddy says:

    The Elder was kind enough to offer me a brief portion of his colwart pie yesterday. It was sublime, thanks Jess.

    Buddy

    • KM Wall says:

      Technically, that was a tart, albeit one with a top on….and the difference between tarts and pies? Still trying to figure that one out.

Leave a Reply

© 2003-2011 Plimoth Plantation. All rights reserved.

Plimoth Plantation is a not-for-profit 501 (c)3 organization, supported by admissions, grants, members, volunteers, and generous contributors.