Tagged ‘butter’

Sweet! Potato Pie

November 24th, 2013 by KM Wall
Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

To make a Potato Pie.
Boyl your Spanish Potaoes (not overmuch) cut them forth in slices as thick as your thumb, season them with Nutmeg, Cinamon, Ginger, and Sugar; your Coffin being ready, put them in, over the bottom, add to them the Marrow of about three Marrow-bones, seasoned as aforesaid, a handful of stoned Raisons of the Sun, some quartred Dates, Orangado, Cittern, with Ringo-root sliced, put butter over it, and bake them: let their lear be a little Vinegar, Sack and Sugar, beaten up with the yolk of an Egg, and a little drawn Butter; when your Pie is enough, pour in, shake it together, scrape on Sugar, garnish it, and serve it up.
- 1661. William Rabisha. The Whole Body of Cookery, Dissected. London.

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

Now, about this pie……

Although sweet potato pie is much more of a mainstay in the South, but pies made from potatoes go back to the 17th century in England.

And not a marshmallow to be found.

  1. Boil the potatoes. Last winter, in the Hardcore Hearth Cooking Workshop, we boiled five pounds of sweet potatoes. Boil them whole so that they don’t get waterlogged. Drain, cool, and peel.
  2. Slice them as thick as tour thumb…I took this to mean in one inch slices – larger chunks versus smaller bits. There’s still some cooking to come, and you don’t want paste.
  3. Powder your spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar – sounds an awful lot like pumpkin pie spice……
  4. Put the spices and sugared potato slices in a pastry lined dish, like this:
  5. Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie - Debra Samuels  photo credit

    Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie – Debra Samuels photo credit

  6. If you have marrow from marrow bones, add it now. If you do not have marrow, do not panic – add some generous dollops of butter.
  7. Add raisins of the sun without there stones (thank you seedless grapes that make seedless raisin!); quartered dates – it’s 5 pounds of potatoes, be generous.
  8. Orangeo, cittern and eringo root are probably not on your shelf…leave them out – a little grated orange rind or candied orange peel would not be amiss. Add a little more butter on the top to melt down   on the whole thing, put on the top crust and cut a vent in the center.
  9. Bake. Start at 450 and turn the oven down to 375 after 10 or 15 minutes (you know your oven better then I do). The top should be golden brown and the insides should smell GLORIOUS….but wait, we’re not done yet….this is the part that puts it over the top
  10. When the pie pan is cool enough to lift, beat and egg yolk with some sack wine, sugar, a little vinegar and drawn butter . Pour this lear into the vent hole, and shake it up . Another word for this is to shog it – sprinkle some sugar on the top, and serve.

 

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version...

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version…

Sweet Potato Pie - music to cook by?

Sweet Potato Pie – music to cook by?

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Pie - Brand New Day

Sweet Potato Pie – Brand New Day

National Indian Pudding Day

November 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

Sampe Fest wasn’t just about Jonnycakes….

It was also about Indian Pudding. Or as it was sometimes referred to:

Indian-meal Pudding

Samp Fest 2013

Samp Fest 2013

Big Batch Indian Pudding

3 Quarts milk

2 cups cornmeal (Plimoth Grist Mill cornmeal is the best!)

1 jar (12 ounces) molasses (non-sulphered or mild)

1 stick butter (1/4 pound)

6 eggs

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

 

 

Butter a large slow cooker and pre-heat on high.

Use a large heavy bottomed pan on the stove (so the milk doesn’t scorch). The milk will rise up when it heats, so give it plenty of room. When the milk is just under a boil (lots of bubbles forming), whisk in the cornmeal; keep stirring until the cornmeal thickens about 10-15 minutes. Add the rest of the butter, turn off the heat and cover the pan.

Beat the eggs with the molasses and the spices.

Add some of the hot corn/milk mixture to temper the eggs and then add that to the rest of the corn mixture. Blend thoroughly. Scrape into the buttered, pre-heat slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or light cream…..

 

Options:

Raisins, cranberries or chopped apples may be added into the slow cooker, either a little or a lot.

There’s a real divide with the fruit people – they love it or hate it!

 

It’s also good re-heated for breakfast.

 Cinnamon whipped cream is also pretty heavenly….

plimoth grist mill prodcut

 

 

 

Jonnycakes, or what’s in a name

November 6th, 2013 by KM Wall

127_1196

Sampe Fest 2013 was a great hit!

Sampe, of course, is course ground corn meal, the best being from Plimoth Grist Mill. Cornmeal, fine ground and course were the backbone of the New England diet in the 17th century, both Wamponoag and English.

Jonnycakes were at one time common all along the Eastern seaboard, and even into the Carribean. They look like pancakes, but they act like bread.

They start with fresh ground whole corn meal…..after this. the variations/disagreements begin…

In Rhode Island, the last bastion and fiercest defender/supporter state for the jonnycake they insist on Flint Corn and flint corn alone. Flint corn is one of several varieties of corn – Zea mays indurata – and was the commonest kind of corn grown in New England until the 1930′s.

200px-Corncobs

Flint corn is now either yellow or white….although the mufti-colored corn was not uncommon in 17th century New England

Now, with the freshly ground corn, you have to choose- water or milk as the liquid. Either is right and either is wrong.

Sigh.

I picked water.

The real secret is that it is HOT milk or boiling water. It really does react with the cornmeal and improves the whole process.

 

 

Corn meal and boiling water

Corn meal and boiling water…

Start with 1 cup corn meal to 1 – 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Add a pinch of salt. Some will add a little sugar, and arguments will ensue. Mix well.

 

Bacon drippings....

Bacon drippings….

Now – to bake or to fry? According to one source, proper jonnycake is baked in front of an open fire on the center  red oak plank of a flour barrel…..or fried in a pan, with either butter or bacon drippings. For Saturdays demonstration I used bacon drippings.

Cast iron skillet - well seasoned it's non-stick with the nonstick surface issues

Cast iron skillet – well seasoned it’s non-stick with the nonstick surface issues

 

A cast iron pan is best, because you want it hot. According to some sources the proper size for a proper Rhode Island jonnycake is “3″x3″x1/2″ in size” – I didn’t measure mine…..and they were probably too thin.

The first recipe for jonnycakes shows up in Amelia Simmons American Cookery of 1796 . She is from Connecticut and not Rhode Island. Then she moves to New York, which is also not Rhode Island. :

Johny Cake, or Hoe Cake

Scald 1 pint of milk and put to 3 pints of indian meal, and half pint of flower — bake before the fire. Or scald with milk two thirds of the indian meal, or wet two thirds with boiling water, and salt, molasses and shortening, work up with cold water pretty stiff, and bake as above.

1796. Amelia Simmons. American Cookery. Hartford (Dover reprint edition) p. 34.

SOOOO – who is Jonny (however you might spell his name) and how does he rate his own cake?

There are several theories……

Jonny is short for journey….or Jonakin or jannock…and who has mentioned  jannock before?????

Why, none other then our dear friend Gervase Markham!

Chapter VII

The excellency of oats, and the many singular virtues and uses of them in a family

The virtues of oatmeal.

…..:also with this small oatmeal is made in divers* countries six several kinds of very good and wholesome bread, every one finer than other , as your annacks, janacks, and such like. Also there is made of it both thick and thin oaten cakes, which are very pleasant in taste, and much esteemed: but if it be mixed with a fine wheat meal, then it maketh a most delicate and dainty oatcake, either thick or thin, such as no prince in the world but may have served to his table;…

1631. Gervase Markham. The English Housewife. Michael Best, ed. p. 202.

* divers in this instance means diverse, not

Llyod Bridges, Sea Hunt

Lloyd Bridges, Sea Hunt

 

 

Flip and keep cooking. They take their own sweet time. These are NOT pancakes.

Flip and keep cooking. They take their own sweet time. These are NOT pancakes.

 

And how do you serve them ?  Hot,  hot, hot. Some  say with butter and maple syrup. Some say with butter and honey. Some say you can’t eat them cold …..but I have, with cranberry sauce, and I’m none the worse for it.

They smell and taste better then I’m able to make them look.

-  Yaniqueques  (sound it out...) from the Dominican Republic

– Yaniqueques (sound it out…) from the Dominican Republic

I met people from Maine who were fond of jonnycakes, and people from Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well as one woman from Bermuda….in the South they call them hoe-cakes ( a hoe being a kind of a pan, not the garden instrument).

plimoth grist mill prodcut

Where there’s a MILL there’s a way!

PIE-Anxiety!

October 24th, 2013 by KM Wall

Fashion has the September Issue, but Thanksgiving is all about the November Issues….the stories and angles that magazines think will sell/mark/brand the Thanksgiving holiday in any given year.

The marketing of today is the myth of tomorrow…..

Other then only the briefest mention of Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah is a pop-culture portmanteauneologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013 – wiki

Thanksgivokkah

The through line for 2013 seems to be:

PIE IS DIFFICULT.

PIE IS HARD.

PIE IS TRICKY.

Pi Pie

Pi Pie

And then they suggest all sorts of easy outs, like BUY PIE or make cake or have some one else bring it or…..

The real hangup, the sticking point, the detail that is the Devil, is the crust.

Butter v. Lard

Precise measure

Chilling.

Vodka even.

 

Don’t they know

Print

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie is not difficult – pie is easy . Our Early Modern English Housewife made pies all the time.

Without measuring cups.

Without refrigerators.

Without dread or whining.

Often the crust preparation was referred to as ‘paste’. Paste is easy. Really.

So from now through Twelfth Night, Fridays are Pie Days  – each Friday a little lesson in making pie.

Except for this Friday, which is the feast of Crispin Crispinian, and I’ve been waiting all year to go once more into the breech, dear friends.

menurkey

 

Salletday – Carrots

October 19th, 2013 by KM Wall

“ In the two months of October and November, when you have leisure in drie weather, then provide a vessel or wine caske, or some other:  then lay on course of sand on the bottome of the vessel two inches thicke, then a course of carret rootes, so that  the rootes do not touch one another:  then  another course of sand to cover those rootes, and then another course of sand, and in this manner untill the vessell bee full to the top, and if you have a ground seller, you may packe them in some corner in this manner, you must cut away all the branches of the carrets close by the roote, and somewhat of the small endes of the Carrets, and they must be so packed in sand unwashed and about the last of December:  sometime when there is no frost, you must then unpacke them againe, and then the carret rootes will begin to spring in the top of the roote, then if you desire to keepe them untill a longer time, then you must pare off the upper ende of the roote, that they cannot spring any more in the top, and then packe them again in sande as aforesaid, so you may keepe them well till Lent or Easter.”

- 1603. Richard Gardiner of Shrewsberie. Profitable Instructions for the Manuring , Sowing and  Planting of Kitchin Gardens. Folio D2.

Here’s what Pilgrim garden carrots  look like this week:

Yellow carrot from the Alden House Garden - thank you!

Yellow carrot from the Alden House Garden – thank you!

Englsih carrots in most of the 17th century were yellow carrots or red carrots or sometimes black or violet carrots, but they weren’t orange carrots. Orange carrots were far more popular in the Netherlands and France. No less  an authority then John Aubrey said of orange carrots:

  “Carrots were first sown at Beckington in Somersetshire. Some very old Man there [in 1668] did remember their first bringing hither.”

Oliver Lawson Dick, ed. Aubrey’s Brief Lives. Edited from the Original Manuscripts, 1949, p. xxxv.

John Aubrey (12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697)

John Aubrey
(12 March 1626 – 7 June 1697)

Many sallets in the 17th century are boiled….some into dishes that seem familiar now, but we just don’t call them salads, we just call them ‘vegetables’ or ‘side dishes’  or just ‘sides’.

Boyled Sallets.

Scrape boyld Carrets, being ready to eate, and they will be like the pulp of a roasted Apple, season them with a little Sinamon, Ginger, and Sugar, put in a handfull of Currans, a little Vinegar, a peece of sweet Butter, put them into a Dish, but first put in another peece of Butter, that they burne not to the bottome: then stew your rootes in the Dish a quarter of an houre: if they beginne to drie, put in more Butter: if they be too sweete, put in a little more Vinegar. The same way you may make a Sallet of Beetes, Spinnage, or Lettuce boyled: beate any of these tender, like the pulp of a roasted Apple, and use them as before shewed.”[1]


[1] Murrell, John. The Second Booke of Cookerie. 1638: London: fifth impression. Stuart Press (tran) 1993. pp.24-5.

Once again, the secret 17th century English ingredient is vinegar. The raisins and vinegar together give a nice sweet/sour taste boost.

To make a boiled salad of carrots:*

  • Boil carrots.  Peel them (if you peel them first and then boil them, that will work out in the end).
  • They should be as tender as the pulp of a roasted apple – forget this crispy or al dente or to the bite modern nonsense – these carrots need to be good and cooked!
  • Season them with cinnamon, ginger – these should be in powdered or ‘beaten’  form, just like they come from the  box or jar.
  • A typical American spice shelf - there's some cinnamon and ginger in there somewhere. Notice how the herbs are tucked in with the spices and the sugar is nowhere to be found.

    A typical American spice shelf – there’s some cinnamon and ginger in there somewhere. Notice how the herbs are tucked in with the spices and the sugar is nowhere to be found.

  • Add some currents or raisins. Put some butter in a a heavy bottomed saucepan. Put in the spiced carrots. Add a little vinegar and a little sugar. Let them soak up the butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Serve.
Carrots

Carrots, not English ones

English Bisket

October 11th, 2013 by KM Wall

All good things start at home, so let’s take a look at the international biskets of 17th century England, by looking at the one that is called

ENGLISH BISKET

btw, ‘BISKET” is by far and by large the most common spelling of the biscuit in the 17th century. In England. Results may vary by country.

 

 

To make English Bisket.

Take eight new layd egges, taking away the whites of foure of them, beate the eight yoalks and the other foure whites in a faire bowle the fourth parte of an houre, then take a pound of fine flower being dryed in an earthen pot closed covered : then take eight ounces of hard sugar beaten fine, and beat them into your egges with the end of a rowling pin, and beat it so very hard for the space of an houre, but by no meanes let it stand still, always beating it, then haue an Ouen as hot as for manchet ready cleane, hauing some saucers of flate plates, or little tine Coffins buttered over with a feather as thinne as you can strike it over, then put into yoru forsaid paste Coliander-seed, sweet Fennel seede, and Caroway seed, of each the fourth part of an ounce, when you have beaten these into your paste, put it into your saucers, and set them presently into the Ouen, and when you see it rise vp and look white, you may take down your lid, and in a quarter of an houre they will be made, then box it vp and keep it all the yeare.

1621. John Murrell. The Delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen. Falconwood Press: 1990. p. 3.

A whole lot of beating going on - these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

A whole lot of beating going on – these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

Coriander seed - we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

Coriander seed – we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

 

 

Fennel seed - all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

Fennel seed – all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

 

Our old friend caraway, up close,. You might remember him as Kimmel....

Our old friend caraway, up close. You might remember him as Kimmel….

On the Culture, and Use of Maize Continues

October 7th, 2013 by KM Wall

Another post that’s very readies,( that is, there’s rather a lot to read)  but you’ll be coming back to dip in this pool again and again…..

Maize

Maize – the rubber band is so not 17th century….

The stalks of this corn, cut up before too much dried, and so laid up, are good winter-fodder for cattle. But they usually leave them on the ground for the cattle to feed on. The husks about the ear are good fodder, given for change sometimes after hay. The Indian women slit them into narrow parts, and so weave them artificially into baskets of several fashions. This corn the Indians dressed several ways for their food. Sometimes boiling it whole till it swelled and became tender, and so either eating it alone, or with their fish or venison instead of bread. Sometimes bruising in mortars, and so boiling it. But commonly this way, viz. by parching it in ashes, or embers, so artificially stirring it, as without burning, to be very tender, and turned almost inside outward, and also white and floury. This they sift very well from the ashes, and beat it in their wooden mortars, with a long stone for a pestle, into fine meal. This is a constant food at home, and especially when they travel, being put up in a bag, and so at all times ready for eating, either dry or mixed with water. They find it very wholesome diet, and is that their soldiers carry with them in time of war. The Indians have another sort of provision out of this corn, which they call sweet-corn. When the corn in the ear is full, while it is yet green, it has a very sweet taste. This they gather, boil, and then dry, and so put it up into bags or baskets, for their use: boiling it again, either whole or grossly beaten, when they eat it, either by itself, or among their fish or venison, or beavers, or other flesh, accounting it a principal dish, These green and sweet ears they sometimes roast before the fire or in the embers, and so eat the corn; by which means, they have sufficient supply of food, though their old store be done. The English, of the full ripe corn ground make very good bread. But it is not ordered as other corn; for if it be mixed into stiff paste, it will not be so good, as if made only a little stiffer than for puddings; and so baked in a very hot oven, standing therein all day or all night. Because on the first pouring of it on the oven floor, it spreads abroad; they pour a second layer or heap upon every first, and thereby make so many loaves. It is also sometimes mixed with half or a third part of rye or wheat meal, and so with leaven or yest made into loaves of very good bread.

Before they had mills, having first watered and husked the corn, and then beaten it in wooden mortars, the coarser part sifted from the meal, and separated from the loose hulls by the wind, they boiled to a thick batter: to which being cold, they added so much of the fine meal, as would serve to stiffen it into paste, whereof they made very good bread. But the best sort of food which the English make of this corn, is that they call samp. Having first watered it about half an hour, and then beaten it in a mortar, or else ground it in a hand or other mill, into the size of rice, they next sift the flour, and winnow the hulls from it. Then they boil it gently till it be tender, and so with milk or butter and sugar, make it into a very pleasant and wholesome dish. This was the most usual diet of the first planters in these parts, and is still in use amongst them, as well in fevers, as in health: and was often prescribed by the learned Dr. Wilson to his patients in London. And of the Indians that live much upon this corn, the English have been informed by them, that the disease of the stone is very seldom known among them. The English have also found out a way to make very good beer of grain: that is, either of bread made hereof, or else by malting it. The way of making beer of bread, is by breaking or cutting it into great lumps, about as large as a man’s fist, to be mashed, and so proceeded with as malt, and the impregnated liquor, as wort, either adding or omitting hops, as is desired.

To make good malt of this corn, a particular way must be taken. The barley, malt-masters have used all their skill to make good malt of it the ordinary way,, but cannot effect it; that is, that the whole grain be malted, and tender and floury, as in other malt. For it is found by experience, that this corn, before it be fully malted, must sprout out both ways, i. e. both root and blade, to a great length, of a finger at least: if more, the better; for which it must be laid on a heap a convenient time.

To avoid all difficulties, this way was tried and found effectual. Take away the top of the earth in a garden or field 2 or 3 inches, throwing it up half one way and half the other. Then lay the corn for malt all over the ground, so as to cover it. Then cover the corn with the earth that was pared off, and there is no more to do, till you see all the plot of ground like a green field covered over with the sprouts of the corn, which will be within 10 or 14 days, according to the time of the year. Then take it up, and shake the earth from it and dry it. This way every grain that is good will grow, and be mellow, floury, and very sweet; and the beer made of it be wholesome, pleasant, and of a good brown colour. Yet beer made of the bread, as aforesaid, being as well coloured, wholesome, pleasant, and more durable, is most in use; because the way of malting this corn, last described, is as yet but little known among them.

Corn in traces in an English House

Corn in traces in an English House

Pilgrim-style Squash on Sippets

September 26th, 2013 by KM Wall

This is a redaction of Robert May’s recipe  – come see me at the Plymouth Farmers Market this afternoon at 4 for the live, in person, interactive version

First, the 17th century version

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.

We’re going to stick with the pompions – or pumpkins or squash as we call them now. Boiling cucumbers or muskmelons just doesn’t sound like a happy ending.

Nice pompion

Nice pompion

 

Acorn squash is an alias for a  vine apple

Acorn squash is an alias for a vine apple

Harvest or buy a squash/pompion/punkin.

  1. Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them;
  2. 127_0951

    Cut in half to remove the seeds

  3. 127_0955

    I use a spoon to scrape them out

  4. 127_0956

    I cut them into strips before trying to pare the peels off them

  5. 127_0958

    I find it easier to pare and clean out the seeds first and chop into pieces after. These pieces are about the size of a dice, the kind you toss and roll…..

  6. then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c.
  7. In a pan of boiling water - don't forget to salt the water BEFORE you toss the squash in. It makes me think of macaroni.....

    He means a pan of boiling water. In a pan of boiling water – don’t forget to salt the water BEFORE you toss the squash in. It makes me think of macaroni…..

     

  8. with some salt,
  9. being boil’d, drain them well from the water,
  10. Scoop them up with a slotted spoon or drain through a colander - they should be al dented to tender, not crispy or mushy

    Scoop them up with a slotted spoon or drain through a colander – they should be al dente to tender, not crunchy  or mushy

    Drained, in a bowl, steaming hot - they can be used right away or put aside to be buttered later

    Drained, in a bowl, steaming hot – they can be used right away or put aside to be buttered later

     

  11. butter them,
  12. Melt some butter in a pan - I used about a tablespoon of butter for each cup of squash . Add the drained squash. spread it out and leav it alone for 2 minutes - let the bottom layer get a nice crispy coat.

    Melt some butter in a pan – I used about a tablespoon of butter for each cup of squash . Add the drained squash. spread it out and leav it alone for 2 minutes – let the bottom layer get a nice crispy coat.

    If it needs more butter, add more butter - don't be afraid of butter! - and toss until coated. The squash will absorb the butter and get crispy bits.....

    If it needs more butter, add more butter – don’t be afraid of butter! – and toss until coated. The squash will absorb butter and get crispy bits…..

     

  13. and serve them on sippets
  14. Toast bread for the sippets - you can also fry bread for sippets... In the 17th century a sailor was rationed a pound of butter a day. You'll probably want a little less.

    Toast bread for the sippets – you can also fry bread for sippets… In the 17th century a sailor was rationed a pound of butter a day. You’ll probably want a little less.

  15. with pepper.
  16. Grind some black pepper on, pile it on the toasted bread

    Grind some black pepper on, pile it on the toasted bread

 

But wait, there’s MORE

Otherways.

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.

Otherways.

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.

 

This is how they looked at the Bride-ale last week. That pumpkin cooked up very pale, and someone wondered if it were pineapple ....

This is how they looked at the Bride-ale last week. That pumpkin cooked up very pale, and someone wondered if it were pineapple ….

 

For most of the 17th century a pineapple was another name for a pine cone or clogg. The pine apple was where the pine nuts came from.

For most of the 17th century a pineapple was another name for a pine cone or clogg. The pine apple was where the pine nuts came from.

 

 

1675 - Charles II, King of England, with the first pineapple grown in England by his royal gardener  John Rose

1675 – Charles II, King of England, with the first pineapple grown in England by his royal gardener John Rose

 

National Apple Dumpling Day

September 18th, 2013 by KM Wall

was September 17th, and apple dumpling were in my dreams. And dumplings in general.

In almost every internet blurb about dumplings or apple dumplings was

Apple dumplings are an ancient British food, described in print from the 17th Century. They were even more popular in the American colonies and Early American period because apples grew well here, dumplings can be made from dried apples as well, and vast boiling pots were the easiest form of cooking to tend and add to in the hearth cooking days.

This is a copy and paste sort of way of tossing some ‘history’ in without doing much heavy lifting. Sigh. and blah blah blah.

Now, since 17th food stuff in print is my bread and butter, as it were,  I know that dumpling recipes are few and far between. There are a few more  dumpling references, indicating that dumplings are the sort of thing that isn’t  likely to find it’s way into a book of cookery, like Capon in the French Fashion or Oxfordshire cakes , because dumplings  are, like their lowly sounding name, common and ordinary fare for the common and ordinary sort.  But there are some references and recipes…..

Very modern (and lovely) apple dumplings - worth having a their own day!

Very modern (and lovely) apple dumplings – worth having a their own day!

I would like to say right here, right now, that I haven’t properly researched dumplings – this is rather random information that a day of looking at apple dumpling images has led me to.

This is the earliest 17th century recipe for dumplings that I found (I haven’t referenced the earlier material). It was in the same section as paste for pies.

To make Paste for Dumplins.

Season your flower with Pepper, Salt, and Yest, let your water be more then warm, then make them up like Manchets, but them be somewhat little, then put them into your water when it boyleth, and let them boil an hour, then butter them.

1653. W. I.  A True Gentlewomans Delight. Falconwood Press: 1991. p. 43.

Essentially, it sounds like a plain dumplings that would be great with chicken….. . Easy, filling, and but no apples.

Chicken and dumplings - or dumplins.....

Chicken and dumplings – or dumplins…..

But, wait, there’s another dumpling recipe, and  it’s a little fancier…..

 

To make a Dumplin.

Take a pint of Cream and boyl it with a blade of Mace;  then take twelve spoonfuls of grated bread, five spoonfuls of flower;  then take six yolks of Eggs and five whites;  beat them very well with two spoonfuls of Rosewater and as much fair water, season it with sugar, Nutmeg and salt, mingle them altogether with the Cream, tye it in a cloth, and when your water boyles, put it in and boyl it one hour and half, and when it is enough, serve it in with Rosewater, butter and sugar.

1664. Hannah Wolley. The Cooks Guide. p. 34-5.

Still no apples, but this is richer, nicer, sweeter…..and it’s a dumplin in tied up in a cloth. Dumplin is a word we shouldn’t have shucked.

So what’s the difference between this dumplin and a bag pudding?

 

To boil a Pudding which is uncommonly good.

Take a pond and [a] half of Wheat-flour, three-quarter pond of Currants washed clean, a half pond Kidney-suet, cut it very small, 3 Eggs, on and half Nutmegs, grated fine, a little Salt, mix it with a little sweet Milk so dry that one kneads it like a Bread and tie it in a clean cloth rather close and throw it into a pot with boiling water and let it boil for two hours, then it is done.

Peter Rose, trans. The Sensible Cook. p.79.

This pudding IS uncommonly good. Because The Sensible Cook is a translation of a Dutch cookbook, among our Pilgrim selves we sometimes refer to this a a Dutch Pudding.  But the difference between the dumplin and the bag pudding……too close to call.

If you’d like to see this pudding up close and in person, join us this Saturday afternoon. This pudding is one of the dishes scheduled to be on the table for the Bride-ale feasting.  I should have photos after that to share.

But apples, where are the apples?

 

Another apple dumpling

Another apple dumpling

 

To make Apple pufs.

Take a Pomewater or any other Apple that is not hard, or harsh in taste: mince it small with a dozen or twenty Razins of the Sunne: wet the Apples in two Egges, beat them all together with the back of a Knife or Spoone. Season them with Nutmeg, Rosewater, Sugar, and Ginger: drop them into a Frying-pan with a Spoone, fry them like Egges, wring iuyce of an Orenge, or Lemmon, and serve them.

1615. John Murrell. A New Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood press: 1989. p. 21.

Not a dumpling, but very good and easy…..rosewater is a great enhancer of apple flavor, and the squeeze of lemon or orange juice (iuyce)  – genius.

 

Apple Dumplng Gang- the Movie

Apple Dumpling Gang- the Movie – looking for apple dumplings throughout history????

 

 

Pompion Bread

September 12th, 2013 by KM Wall

in the 17th century is not your granny’s pumpkin bread .

This is  modern pumpkin bread - this is not a 17th century style bread.

This is modern pumpkin bread – this is not a 17th century style bread.

First, you need your pompion.

Great Green (as in un-ripe) pompion, Hopkins garden late august 2013

Great Green (as in un-ripe) pompion, Hopkins garden late august 2013

Great riper pompion, same garden, same day

Great riper pompion, same garden, same day

Acorn squash, a/k/a 'vine apple OR yet another sort of pompion, same day, different garden bed

Acorn squash, a/k/a ‘vine apple OR yet another sort of pompion, same day, different garden bed

Great green pompion,  a little bashful behind that leaf, but "ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille"

Great green pompion, a little bashful behind that leaf, but ” ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”

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.

Untoast and Toast  - lacking topping to make the sop

Untoast and Toast – lacking topping to make the sop

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.

Otherways.

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 )

Otherways.

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:

  1. 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?)
  2. fried, served with beaten butter and a litle vinegar
  3. fried, served with beaten butter and orange juice
  4. fried with beaten butter
  5. fried, with fried parsley
  6. fried with fried alexanders
  7. fried with fried apples
  8. fried with fried onions
  9. fried with sweet herbs sage, or rosemary thyme….
alexanders, Smyrnium olustrum

alexanders, Smyrnium olustrum

 

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