in the 17th century is not your granny’s pumpkin bread .
First, you need your pompion.
Then you need a reference or a recipe.
Sometimes you can’t tell what’s going on in a recipe by the title…Otherways, a fairly common title only makes sense if you read the recipe before. And in the back of Robert May’s The Accomplist Cook there is a section, Section XX (that’s 20 to you non-roman numeral readers) To make all manner of Pottages for Fish Days, which also include caudles (an egg dish, not a pottage) and buttered beer (an egg and beer dish, actually BOWL, and much better tasting then it sounds, but also not a pottage) as well as sops, soops and butter things.
For long years, having not read this closely, I assumed the ‘soops‘ were early soups, hence the pottage section.
In my defense, for long years I was young and stupid, and not focused on only the foodways end of things.
My first revelation was that soop was another variation of sop.
Yes, our old friend sop, the big brother to the sippet, perhaps even the supersize version of the sippet.
In other words, toast plus.
Sometimes the sop isn’t apparent from the title. Buttered gourds are served on sippets…..and that’s the story of 17th century Pompion Bread.
To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.
Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.
Bake them in an oven, and take out the seed at the top, fill them with onions, slic’t apples, butter, and salt, butter them, and serve them on sippets.
(Note – this would work very nicely with little punkins, juicy apples and onions sliced thin, baked and when all schlumpy, scooped up and served on toasted bread )
Fry them in slices, being cleans’d & peel’d, either floured or in batter; being fried, serve them with beaten butter, and vinegar, or beaten butter and juyce of orange, or butter beaten with a little water, and served in a clean dish with fryed parsley, elliksanders, apples, slic’t onions fryed, or sweet herbs.
For this last Otherways, let us review the ways:
- Sliced and fried, either floured or battered (this sounds like pumkin fritters – why aren’t they serving this at Fairgrounds with the all the other fried things?)
- fried, served with beaten butter and a litle vinegar
- fried, served with beaten butter and orange juice
- fried with beaten butter
- fried, with fried parsley
- fried with fried alexanders
- fried with fried apples
- fried with fried onions
- fried with sweet herbs sage, or rosemary thyme….