Pilgrim Seasonings

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

Peasecods

June 23rd, 2012 by KM Wall

Peasecod – the cod, or pod, of the pea

There are peasecods and then there are peasecods…….

Peasecods are, at their most basic, the little green containers that will grow up to hold pease on the pea plant. In the seventeenth century these were being used in a variety of ways – not unlike now…. – but these were dainty dishes. Most of the time most people wanted the pease, fully grown and mature and dried, to make into pottages to keep them fed. But every now and again, if there were some early summer occasion that called for something nice, like a sallet of peasecods or a boiled chicken with peascods.

But sometimes peasecods were little pastries in the shape of peasecods like this:

To Make Peascods in Lent

Take figs, Raisons, and a few Dates, and beate them very fine, and season it with Cloves, Mace, Cinamon and Ginger, and for your paste seeth faire water and oyle in a dish uppon coales, put therein saffron and salt and a little flower, fashion them then like peasecods, and when ye will serve them, frye them in Oyle in a frying panne, but let the Oyle bee verie hotte, and the fire soft for burning of them, and when yee make them for fleshe dayes, take a fillet of veale and mince it fine, and put the yolkes of two or three rawe egges to it, and season it with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, honie, suger, cinamon, ginger, small raisons, or great minced, and for your paste butter, the yolke of an egge, and season them, and fry them in butter as yee did the other in oyle.
- Thomas Dawson, The Good Huswifes Jewell, 1596

Redaction for flesh days version:

Pastry
Flour, butter, 1 egg and salt

Filling
Minced veal (we use chicken);

Figs, raisins,dates (we use mostly, and sometimes only, raisins)

Season with salt, pepper, cloves, mace (or nutmeg), honey, sugar, cinnamon, ginger,  butter and one egg yolk.

Make into finger sized pies, shaping them like peasecods (pea-pods), and fry them in yet more butter or bake them in a 375 oven until they’re golden brown.

If you bake them, brush them with another egg yolk, beaten, to give them a richer golden color.

Peasecod – the little pie

Peasecod – supersized

The ones for sale at Patuxet Cafe are more turnip sized then pea-pod size. It had to do with an earlier interpretation of the recipe, with the thinking it was more of a Cornish pasty the a dainty nibble. And boy, are they popular.  And  tasty. When you make them at home you can make them pinky pea-pod size or full-fisted larger. Whichever you’ll enjoy best.

Peasecods – natural habitat

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2 Responses to “Peasecods”

  1. KM Wall says:

    Apologies to subscribers – it sent out the notice multiple times….I should be more patient….

  2. Michelle Angers says:

    Thank you for this recipe!! I went to Plimoth Plantation and had this for lunch not knowing what I’d be getting. It was wonderful! I couldn’t wait to find a recipe for this as it was not in any of the cookbooks they had in the Museum gift shop. I will now see if I can find a recipe for the “Sallet” and the “stewed Pompion”. (I had my daughter take a photo of the order board at the cafe so I would have the names but I could not get a clear reading of the words). thank you, again!

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