Tagged ‘currants’

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????



“I’ll make mincemeat out of that mouse!”

August 26th, 2013 by KM Wall

is the famous cry of Klondike Kat, referring to his arch-enemy Savoir Fare.

Klndike Kat with a wanted poster of Savoir Fare

Klondike Kat with a wanted poster of Savoir Fare

Mouse is something I haven’t found in 17th century mincemeat. Beef, mutton, veale, neat’s tongue…but no mouse.

Thank goodness.

Mince pie has also become  associated with Christmas  by the early 17th century, so some of the other aliases are

Shred or Shrid Pie or

Christmas Pie (or allegedly by some Puritans – Superstition Pies – I just have this one on say so)

and then all the variations of mince/minced/minst/minc’d/mincemeat pies.

To make minst Pyes.

Take your Veale and perboyle it a little, or mutton, then set it a cooling: and when it is colde, take three pound of suit to a legge of mutton, or fower pound to a fillet of Veale, and then mince them small by them selves, or together wheather you will, then take to season them halfe an unce of Nutmegs, half an unce of cloues and Mace, halfe an unce of Sinamon, a little Pepper, as much Salt as you think will season them, either to the mutton or to the Veale, take viij (8) yolkes of Egges when they be hard, halfe a pinte of rosewater full measure, halfe a pound of Suger, then straine the Yolkes with the Rosewater and the Suger and mingle it with your meate, if ye haue any Orenges or Lemmans you must take two of them, and take the pilles very thin and mince them very smalle,   and put them in a pound of currans, six dates, half a pound of prunes laye Currans and Dates upon the top of your meate, you must take two or three Pomewaters or Wardens and mince with your meate, you maye make them ****** if you will, if you will  make good crust put in three or foure yolkes of egges, a litle  Rosewater, & a good deale of suger.

1588. The Good Houswiues treasurie. pp.7-8.


  1. This call for a leg of mutton or a fillet of veal. A Leg is quick a lot of mutton; I’m not sure how much a fillet of veal was, but pounds and pounds of meat. Mutton is  meat from sheep. Baa Ram Ewe. Lamb is fine.

    a ram from Edward Topsell History of Four-footed Beasts

    a ram from Edward Topsell History of Four-footed Beasts

  2. Suit is suet – that the fat you’ll be adding. Don’t cut too far back or it will be as dry as sawdust and tasteless to boot.
  3. Mincing would be done by hand, with a sharp knife, and it is easier to mince the meat and the fat separately because they cut differently. Then run though a second time to incorporate them. You might want to incite your friends and family and neighbors and maybe some total strangers to make a quicker go of it….. If you use a meat grinder, just don’t turn it all into mush. A little texture makes a world of difference.
  4. Unce  = ounce – this is a fairly conservative amount of spice. This recipe alone should put to rest the old “spice covered up the taste of rotten meat”, as if fresh meat were more expensive then the spicing….
  5. Hardboiled egg yolks (and why do they forever say yolkes of eggs as if they ever call for yolkes of anything else?? ) are a good medium to get the rosewater mixed into everything and not drip out the bottom while the pie bakes.
  6. Orange or lemon peel  – VERY GOOD.
  7. Pomewater is a kind of apple, warden is a sort of pear.
  8. ****** is a word I can’t for the life of me make out, between 16th century spelling and typeface, and photocopy  fuzzyness.
  9. ‘a good deal of suger’  – hard to go wrong.

Sorry for the earlier recipe re-call – so many buttons……

Neat Feet

August 17th, 2013 by KM Wall

Back to bits…..the feet of Neat become a pie…

Somehow it seems wrong to insert images of hairy hooves…..check out the blog roll – both of these cookbooks are now linked.

How to bake pyes of Calves feet.

Take Calves feet and wash them, boyle and blanch the haire of them, season them with cloves and mace, and a little pepper, vergious and sugar, dates, prunes, corance, and sweet butter, then make your paste of fine flower with yolkes of Egges, and raise the Coffin square, when it if halfe baked, then take it out and put in Vergious and sugar with the yolks of hard Egs strained.

1591 .A.W  Book of Cookrye.


coffin square

coffin square – Robert May

To bake Calues feet.

Take Calues feet and seeth them tender, pull off the haire, then slit them, and make your paste fine, and when you haue made your coffin, before you put in your feet take great Raisons and mince them small, and plucke out the kernels, and strawe them in the bottome of your pie: then season your feete with Pepper, Salt, cloues and Mace, then lay in the feet, and straw Corrans on them, and Sugar, and a good peece of Butter in it, and close it vp, and make a litle hole in the lid, and when it is almost baked ynough, put in a messe of Uergious, and so serue them.

1594, 1597. The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin


To bake Calues feet after the French fashion.

Take the feete, pull off the hair, and make them cleane, and boyle them a litle till they be somewhat tender, then make your paste, and season your Calues feet with pepper, Salt, and Synamon, and put them in your paste, with a quantitie of sweet Butter, Parsley and Onions among them, so close it vp, and set it into the Ouen til they be halfe baken. Then take them foorth, and open the crowne, and put in more butter & some Uinegar, so let them stand in the Ouen til they be thoroughlie baken.

1594, 1597. The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin

Pie with a vent hole

Pie with a vent hole – illustration from Robert May

Lettuse stand half amazed…

August 14th, 2013 by KM Wall

…at these poor peoples humble condition….to paraphrase Governor William Bradford as he contemplates the condition of the colony in early 1621.  ‘Lettuse’ is part of the  paraphrase, which brings us to


Lettuce seeds - the first step of the plant - and the last step of the plant...all the tasy goodness is between these two points.

Lettuce seeds – the first step of the plant – and the last step of the plant…all the tasty goodness is between these two points.


To make a Lettuse Pye.

Take the best leaved Lettuse you can gett, perboyle and quarter them, then tak the yelkes of 3 hard egges mince them smale, and Reasons of the sunne, Currans Nutmege, sinamonde, suger and a little pepper, season your Lettuse with this and put them in the pye with a good peece of sweete butter, when the pye is baked make a sirrope of clarrette wine, suger, and vinegar with the yealke of an ege, beate it all together and put it into the pye and so sarve him to the boarde.

- The Complete Reciept Book of Elinor Fettiplace. Vol. 3, p. 6. Stuart Peachy

If you ignore the bread and cheese bookends, this sort of loose leaf mix could be right at home in a 17th  century lettuce salad

If you ignore the bread and cheese bookends, this sort of loose leaf mix could be right at home in a 17th century lettuce salad. It was harder then you would think to find an image of lettuce that wasn’t iceberg.

Continuation of the wedding feast of William and Alice Bradford….

If you’ve got deer, you’ve got to get humble……the humbles, or umbels or the numbels are the inward bits.

And a great name for a Rock Band.



To bake the Humbles of a Deere.

Mince them verie small, and season them with pepper, Cinamon and Ginger, and suger if you will, and Cloues and mace, and dates and currants, and if you will, mince Almondes and put vnto them, and when it is baked, you must put in fine fat, and put in suger, cinamon and Ginger, and let it boile, and when it is minced, put them together.

1596. Thomas Dawson. The good Huswifes Iewell.  p. 20.

Happy First Thanksgiving !

August 6th, 2013 by KM Wall

August sixth is the anniversary of the First Thanksgiving.  No, not THAT First Thanksgiving, what with 1621 being a little more then 150 years in our past, but the first declaration of a National Thanksgiving. In these United States.

We can thank old Honest Abe for this, and for his repeating the whole Thanksgiving thing again in November of 1863, beginning the holiday that we all know and love and cook too much and eat our fill and more on.

Abraham Lincoln in 1863

Abraham Lincoln in 1863

The confusion lies in that thanksgiving is a concept as well as a holiday. So, giving thanks is something that goes back long before 1621 and is practiced by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons. Secular holidays are really a product of the modern era, and get their start in the early modern era. For Europeans – and Englishmen are European regardless of the whole island thing -  holidays – that is Holy Days - go back to the medieval (make that Roman Catholic) Church. The quarter days and cross quarter days that divide up the calendar are holidays, every one, starting with the start of the year March 25 which is Ladymas, through Christmas and onto Candlemas.

So, what happens when people protest the form of the Church, and try to reform it, to purify it? They start to ditch the holidays….but when do they get to get together and celebrate, rejoice, let off some steam?

Oops. Major Glitch.

In England, some start to celebrate Elizabeth’s Coronation – her Crownaton Day (November 17) on a regular basis after her coronation. A state holiday is born! Under James I there is his (and Parliaments) salvation from certain death and destruction by gunpowder with November 5th being a day of thanksgiving.

Gunpowder Plot conspirators - burn the Guy!

Gunpowder Plot conspirators – burn the Guy!

Gunpowder Plot Day being celebrated in England 2010

Gunpowder Plot Day being celebrated in England 2010

And because August is all things piewise….well, Thanksgiving and pie isn’t much of a leap. There are the usual suspects  – apple, pumpkin, cranberry, mince – but today it’s about

Chicken Pie.

Chicken Pie shows up in 19th century Thanksgiving tables, and chicken pie show up on 17th century tables…..


 To bake a chicken pie.

To bake a chicken pie: after you have trussed your chickens, broken their legs and breast bones, and raised your crust of the best paste,  you shall lay them in the coffin close together with their bodies full of butter. Then lay upon them, and underneath them, currants, great raisins, prunes, cinnamon, sugar, whole mace, and salt: then cover all with great store of butter, and so bake it; after, pour into it the same liquor as you did your marrow bone pie, with the yolks of two or three eggs beaten amongst it, and so serve it forth.

-1631. Gervase Markham. The English Housewife , Best ed. p. 100.

Note: marrow bone pie liquor: ….white wine, rose-water, sugar, cinnamon, and vinegar mixed together….

Chickens – plural – once again indicates tiny birds. Truss is to tie them up. Breaking the bones release the marrow which makes a richer pie. It also makes it messier by 21st century standards, what with jagged bone bits and all. There is also something that is both primitive and goofy about beating a dead chicken in the kitchen.  Make raised coffins – and don’t forget a vent hole in the lid on it. Fill their bodies with butter (use your judgement – a good housewife should not be butter fingered – HA ) and surround them with raisins, currents (the dried ones, not the fresh ones) and prunes (now labeled dried plums, which they are, but still…) and cinnamon and sugar and salt and whole mace – if you don’t have a blade or two of mace to drop in, a little ground nutmeg will sub. More Butter! Put a lid on it (don’t forget the vent hole) and bake  long enough for the chicken to be done. Mix up the liquor – 2 or 3 beaten egg  yolk, some white wine, some rosewater, sugar cinnamon and vinegar. This is going to mix and mingle with the fruit, spice and BUTTER that’s already in the pie. Pour it into the pie.

Let cool enough before serving for the the sauce to settle (those egg yolks will cook in the hot butter and chicken juices) and not squirt hot butter all over the place – and you. Don’t ask me how I know this.

Serve it forth and be thankful.


Chicken Pie

Chicken Pie – thoroughly modern


Proclamation 103 – Day of Thanksgiving, Praise, and Prayer, August 6, 1863
July 15, 1863

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and prayers of an afflicted people and to vouchsafe to the Army and the Navy of the United States victories on land and on the sea so signal and so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confidence that the Union of these States will be maintained, their Constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently restored. But these victories have been accorded not without sacrifices of life, limb, health, and liberty, incurred by brave, loyal, and patriotic citizens. Domestic affliction in every part of the country follows in the train of these fearful bereavements. It is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the Almighty Father and the power of His hand equally in these triumphs and in these sorrows:

Now, therefore, be it known that I do set apart Thursday, the 6th day of August next, to be observed as a day for national thanksgiving, praise, and prayer, and I invite the people of the United States to assemble on that occasion in their customary places of worship and in the forms approved by their own consciences render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the nation’s behalf and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion, to change the hearts of the insurgents, to guide the counsels of the Government with wisdom adequate to so great a national emergency, and to visit with tender care and consolation throughout the length and breadth of our land all those who, through the vicissitudes of marches, voyages, battles, and sieges, have been brought to suffer in mind, body, or estate, and finally to lead the whole nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the divine will back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal peace. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 15th day of July, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State .




May 24th, 2013 by KM Wall
Hedeoma pulgiodes - false pudding grass

Hedeoma pulgiodes – false pudding grass

Mentha pulegium - Pudding Grass!

Mentha pulegium – Pudding Grass












Parkinson Paradisus 477 Pennyroyall..vsed to be put into puddings,..and therefore in diuers places they know it by no other name then Pudding-grasse.

Now, dear Mr. Parkinson, how is that this herb that is named for it’s use  in puddings so seldom shows up in pudding recipes?

And frankly – GOOD THING:

Pregnant women and children under the age of 15 should not use this herb.  Do not use oil extract orally as it is highly toxic.  Do not exceed dosage amounts.

With any herb, there is the risk of an allergic reaction. Small children and pregnant women should use additional caution when considering the use of herbal remedies.

Which begs another question – how can the people of the past get away eating and otherwise ingesting things that we now know to be unsafe?

  1. Toxic load is different for different people in different times and in different place. Possibly there was a less toxic form of the herb available or perhaps we’re now exposed to things that make what was once inert, very dangerous OR
  2. When the leading cause of death is ‘suddenly’ appropriate cause and effect relationships aren’t always noted.

So this is a caveat – before we continue in the garden, before we try things merely because someone in the past wrote it down, before we try to be authentic in every detail in recreating old recipes, we must be safe.

Safety First.

Live to tell about it.

All the lovely herbals and books of medicine and even the cookbooks and commonplace books and receipt-books of the past are a great place to start BUT find a good modern herbal reference and use it often before ingesting anything.

There are websites (American Botanical Council or ABC) and books (John Lust The Herb Book is a personal quick and easy reference guide). Check them out before you eat! When in doubt, DON’T.


Skull and Crossbones - warning of  poison  AND sign of Cemetary entrance

Skull and Crossbones – warning of poison AND sign of Cemetery entrance


“256. A Pennyroyall Puding.

Take 6 Eggs beat them very well and halfe a pint of creame one Nutmeg grated a litle sugar and salt then take a good quantity of parsley penyroyall Marygold flowrs shred very small put them to the creame and Eggs with 4 spoonfulls of sack half a p[ound] of Corance and almost a p[ound] of Beefe suet shred a topeny loafe grated stir all well together then flowr the Bagge or pot tye it up close and it will be boyled in an hours time[.]

for the sauce take a litle rose water and sugar a litle vinegar and butter beat together poure it upon it then serve it in this is esteemed a good puding[.]”

-John Evelyn, Cook. C.Driver, ed. Prospect Books, 1997. p. 143.

For the Pudding, sans pennyroyal….

6 eggs, beaten

1 cup cream

nutmeg, sugar, salt

parsley and caledula flowers (not French marigolds, which taste as nasty as they smell – look them up…)

a little wine (a sack is not a bag, although sack in a bag pudding sounds like the punchline of a 17th century riddle)

suet and grated bread, I mean Bread Crumbs.

This is one pudding that can be boiled in a bag or a basin – basin being a category the I hadn’t noticed in Robert May. hmmmm.

The rosewater, beaten butter and vinegar sauce sounds very very very nice indeed. Not too much rosewater or it will taste like the soaps your Nana put out for company smells.


May Pudding Baggage

May 21st, 2013 by KM Wall
Robert May

Robert May


May. Robert May, that is. Robert May The Accomplist Cook author. And what do I mean by Baggage? Why, the things you use to put bag puddings in!

But first,  a word, or two – actually a little poem – in praise of Robert May

Whats wouldst thou view but in one face

all hospitalitie, the race

of those that for the GUSTO stand,

whose table, a whole Ark command

of  Nature plentie, wouldst they see

this sight peruse MAYS booke, ’tis hee.

This is the little ditty in the frontispiece underneath his portrait. Let us all stand for GUSTO!

Back to baggage.

In The Accomplist Cook, which was first published in 1660 , and continued to be revised and printed even after Mr May’s death, there are chapters devoted to different kinds of foods. This is a HUGE and pleasant change from the way many  earlier cookbooks were set-up, where there was a continuation, rather in the way they might come to the table. That is there would be several boiled meats (which might include chicken) and then fricassees (which may or may not include chicken) and then baked meats (which are pies) and again there might be chicken there, and then some sweets and then maybe some roasted things that got forgotten with the other roasted things, and then sauces for the roasted things…..and there are no real category headings.

Mr May has sections, such as

Section 7

The most Excellent Ways of making all Sorts of Puddings.

Way cool.

In this section (because there are other puddings in different places, but only a few).  In looking only at the boiled puddings (not the baked ones, or the ones baked in a pie or the fried ones), puddings are boiled in the following things:

1)    Guts. Formes. Skins (we’ll come back to these, but remember, the oldest forms of puddings are guts)

2)    Bag, Napkin, Cloth

  1. Bag :5
  2. Bag or napkin: 2
  3. Napkin: 11
  4. Napkin or cloth: 1
  5. Cloth: 6
  6. Napkin or paunch: 1
  7. Total: 26 specific mentions.
Flemish 17th century Napkin at the MFA

Flemish 17th century Napkin at the MFA

Table napkin

  • Flemish, early 17th century
102 x 70.5 cm (40 3/16 x 27 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Linen damask

This is a table napkin – this is more suitable, although to use something so lovely for a pudding would be a pity – there were plainer napkins.  Notice the size -  40 inches by 28 inches – and it’s made of linen. If a pudding had been made in this napkin, there would be a greasy circle in the middle, reminiscent of the image in the Shroud of Turin.




To make  a Quaking Pudding either boild or baked.


Take a penny white loaf , pare off the crust, and slice the crumb, steep in a quart of good thick cream warmed, some beaten nutmeg, six eggs, whereof but two whites, and some salt. Sometimes you may use boild currans, or boild raisins.

If to bake, make it a little stiffer, sometimes add saffron; on flesh days use beef-suet, or marrow; (or neither). for  a boild pudding butter the napkin being first weted in water, and binde it up like a ball, an hour will boil it.

        1671. Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. Third edition. p. 180.

This is a money bag - this is NOT a suitable thing to boil a pudding in

This is a money bag – this is NOT a suitable thing to boil a pudding in, although the shape is good…

Pies for the month of May

May 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

If the 1627  Winslows had wanted to celebrate their six years of marriage with six pies, they had some spring-time options, based on what is available in May and in New England.

Pie the first:

An herb tart

Take sorrel, spinach, parsley, and boil them in water till they be very soft as pap; then take them up, press the water clean from them, then take good store of eggs boiled very hard, and, chopping them with the herbs exceedingly small, then put in good store of currants, sugar, cinnamon, and stir all well together; then put them into a deep tart coffin with a good store of sweet butter, and cover it, and bake it like a pippin tart*, and adorn the lid after the baking in that manner also, and so serve it up.

-         Markham, Best ed. p. 109


Pippin Tart design from Robert May

Pippin Tart design from Robert May

To make Sorrell Cream

May 2nd, 2013 by KM Wall

It’s too early for raspberries here in Plymouth, but there are some warm days, and sorrel can be as refreshing as fresh fruit…..

Raspberry in bloom -they're not quite ready yet, but sorrel is!

Raspberry in bloom -they’re not quite ready yet, but sorrel is!


Take a pinte of cream & boyle it with 3 whites of eggs beaten well with warme cream, put in a blade or 2 of mace & some leamon pill, & when it is pritty well boyled take it of & season it with sugar & put in some Jiuce of rasberries. stir it well together & when it is cold serve it up. thus you may make curranberrie, sorrell, or leamon cream.

-          MW Booke of Cookery, Hess ed. C125. p.142.

Rumex acetosa - garden sorrel

Rumex acetosa – garden sorrel

Rice puddings

April 24th, 2013 by KM Wall



Spring is a season where things change fast. One minute it’s all about dragons, the next there’s an abundance of milk and eggs to use. Rice was a common commodity to take to sea, but also a special treat when made into puddings.

Pudding funnel (these are white puddings or boudin blanc) from Ivan Day's site

Pudding funnel (these are white puddings or boudin blanc) from Ivan Day’s Historic Food site


Rice puddings

Take half a pound of Rice, and steepe it inn new milke a whole night and in the morning drain it, and let the Milke drop away; then take a quart of the best sweetest and thickest Creame, and put the Rice into it, and boyle it a little; then set it to cool an hower or two, & after put in the Yelkes of half a dozzen Egges, a little Pepper, Cloves, Mace, Currants, Dates, Sugar and Salt; and having mixt them well together, so serve it into the farms[1], and boil them as before shewed, and serve them after a day old.

1631.  Gervase Markham, Best ed. English Housewife. p. 72.

[1] ‘farms’ or forms a/k/a guts or puddings


To make Rice Puddings.

Boyle halfe a pound of Rice with three pintes of Milke, a little beaten Mace, boyle it untill your Rice be drie, but never stirre it, then you must stirre it continually or else it will burne: powre your Rice in a Collinder, or else into a strainer, that the moisture may runne cleane from it: then put to it sixe Egges, and put away the whites of three, halfe a pound of Sugar, a quarter of a pinte of Rose-water, a pound of Currans, a pound of Beefe suet shred small, season it with Nutmeg, Sinamon, and a little Salt, stirre all this together with a spoone thinne, drie the smallest guts of a Hog in a faire cloth being watered and scoured fir for the Puddings, and fill them three quarters full, and tie both ends together, let them boyle softly a quarter of an houre or scarce so much, and let the water boyle before you put them in, and doe as the other Puddings last spoken of.

Note: the previous puddings were Liverie Pudding and the notes are:

…cut the small guts of a Hogge about a foot long, fill them three quarters full of the aforesaid stuffe, tie both ends together and boyle them in a kettle of faire water, with a pewter Dish under them, with the bottome upward, and it will keepe your Puddings from breaking:…(p. 26)

1638. John Murrell. The Second Booke of Cookerie. Stuart Press: 1993.p. 27.


A Ryce Pudding.

Steep it in faire water all night: then boyle it in new Milke, and draine out the Milke, through a Cullinder[1]: mince beefe Suit [2]handsomely, but not too small, and put it into the Rice, and parboyled Currins[3], yolkes of new layd Egges, Nutmeg, sinamon, Sugar, and Barberryes[4]: mingle all together: wash your scoured guttes, and stuffe them with the aforesaid pulp: parboyle them, and let them coole.

1615. John Murrell. A New Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood Press. 1989. p. 18.


[1] colander

[2] that’s suet – a beef/sheep fat

[3] currents

[4] a small, red, sour berry much like a cranberry…..

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