Tagged ‘native’


July 16th, 2012 by Carolyn

When you hear the extraordinary word CHEESECAKE, a lot of us think about New York Cheesecake with strawberries on top or a chocolate drizzle, or this place:





Yes… that place, the one where you eat until you hate yourself, and then you get 3 more slices for the way home.







You read that right, the way home. Apparently our cheesecake loving roots go way back, here in the Colonial Foodways Dept. we have quite a few 17th century cheesecake recipes, including this one…




To make Cheesecakes.

Take 6 quarts of stroakings or new milke & whey it with runnet as for an ordinary cheese, then put it in a streyner & hang it on a pin or else press it with 2 pound weight. then break it very small with your hands or run it through a sive, then put to it 7 or 8 eggs well beaten, 3 quarters of a pound of currans, half a pound of sugar, a nutmeg grated or some cloves & mace beaten, 2 or 3 spoonfuls of rosewater, a little salt. then take a quart of cream, & when it boyl thicken it with grated bread & boyle it very well as thick as for an hasty pudding. then take it from the fire & stir therein halfe a pound of fresh butter, then let it stand until it be almost cold, & then mingle it with your curd very well; then fill your coffins of paste & when they are ready to set into the oven scrape on them some sugar & sprinkle on some rosewater with a feather. If you love good store of currans in them, you may put in a whole pound, & a little sack If you please. & soe bake them.

-Hess, Karen. Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. C 106.


This is very different from the “traditional” New York Cheesecake, but still absolutely delicious. According to Robert May in his book, The Accomplisht Cook, in 1685, these images below are how you could form your cheesecakes. No pie plates here, they would either be free-form pies, or they would have used a pie mold.



Being the daredevil I am, I chose the triangular option, because when making 17th century cheesecake why would you do it the old boring circle way? Next we need a special occasion to make this, because a treat like this would have been rare in 1627 New Plimoth. Thankfully Mary Warren and Robert Bartlett got married this past Saturday!

Here’s what it looked like coming out of the modern oven….



Our sources say that once presented and shown off you cut it up in lozenges sized pieces and eat!


Those square pieces on their plates are the delectable cheesecake. Photo Courtesy of Miriam Rosenblum

Here's Martha getting her cheesecake fix. Photo Courtesy of Miriam Rosenblum






























A great time was had, and all had good belly cheer.

They didn’t eat people, but they did eat kids.

June 20th, 2012 by Carolyn

Kids, as in goats that is. Nowadays in a world of grocery stores most people see animals as pets rather than a tool, or food source. When in 1627, in New Plimoth, each animal had it’s uses, goats for milk and meat, cattle for milk and field work ( as of 1627 there were not enough cattle to consider slaughtering them yet), dogs for hunting, cats as mousers, etc, etc.



This little guy, whom WE ARE NOT GOING TO EAT, in the 17th century would most likely be headed to the table, if not used for breeding. In New Plimoth you would let him grow up first because there would be more meat, but back in England the higher classes were likely to indulge in dishes such as a kid pie, or in a pottage. Gervase Markham has a recipe in his book The English Housewife, from 1615, describing just that:


“Pottage with whole herbs.

If you will make pottage of the best and daintiest kind, you shall take mutton, veal, or kid, and having broke the bones, but not cut the flesh in pieces, and washed it put it into a pot with fair water; after it is ready to boil, and is thoroughly scummed, you shall put in a good handful or two of small oatmeal, and then take whole lettuce, of the best and most inward leaves, whole spinach, whole endive, whole succor, and whole leaves of cauliflower, or the inward parts of white cabbage, with two or three sliced onions; and put all into the pot and boil them well together till the meat be enough, and the herbs so soft as may be, and stir them oft well together; and then season it with salt and as much verjuice as will only turn the taste of the pottage; and so serve them up, covering the meat with the whole herbs, and adorning the dish with sippers.” pg 76


As seen above Markham also mentions veal could be used, sorry baby cattle you weren’t safe either, and neither were this guys…


I know the cuteness meter is off the charts, but once again Gervase Markham, and his The English Housewife, with another traumatizing recipe:


“To stew a lamb’s head and purtenance.

Take a lamb’s head and purtenance clean washed and picked and put into a pipkin with fair water, and let it boil well till the meat be enough: then take up the lamb’s head and purtenance, and put it into a clean dish with sippets; then put in a good lump of butter, and beat the yolks of two eggs with a little cream, and put it to the broth with sugar, cinnamon, and a spoonful or two of verjuice, and whole mace, and as many prunes as will garnish the dish, which should be put in when it is but half boiled, and so pour it upon the lamb’s head and purtenance, and adorn the sides of the dish with sugar, prunes, barberries, oranges, and lemons, and in no case forget not to season well with salt, and so serve it up.” pg 85


For those of you wondering purtenance means the innards of said animal, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.Yes I know, ew. Thankfully for all our animals its the 21st century and they will live long happy lives with us, even if the pilgrims say otherwise. So go hug your pet, whatever species, and be thankful it’s not 1627.




Moxie sure is…. kind of.

Hustle ‘n’ Bustle

April 9th, 2012 by Carolyn


Goodwife Brewster heading to fetch water for the day.


The gardens are growing and lots of baby animals are about this spring morning, and the village is very busy. The housewives are cooking, cleaning and mending, Master Alden built himself a new sea-view window in his house, and Lucretia Brewster is expecting!



The Bradford's are airing out their bedding on a fine day.




Mistress Brewster is making sops, which are bread fried in butter, vinegar and salt. We have many recipes which include these, one of them sops of onions, where cooked onions are placed on top of the finished bread and then eaten. Yum!




This is John Jenny's Grist Mill (pre recent paint job done by the new owners), it's located about 2 miles from Plimoth Plantation. They still grind corn and sell the corn meal different places including our own gift shop, it makes some really great indian pudding.




Something old; something new.

April 2nd, 2012 by Carolyn


A few weeks ago these little guys joined the cast of animals at Plimoth Plantation, as part of Captain Standish’s flock of sheep. They are still this cute.



Good Houswife Howland farced a young hen the other day, which is a chicken stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, bacon, and ground spices, and is then stewed. YUM!



This is our future bake/brew house. The artisans are working hard on it, and the faster it’s done the faster they get pies. Not a bad trade. To learn more about them, and what they do, you can visit their blog The Riven Word.



Rumor around the village is that more baby goats and even a few chicks are on their way…. stay tuned!


March 26th, 2012 by Carolyn

Throughout the days we take lots of pictures and document every thing

we make and do in the foodways department. Unfortunately we can’t blog about everything so

once a week we’ll do an entry devoted to these moments.



It can get pretty dark on a cloudy day in the village.




Gracefully grazing goats.




Onions and drying herbs.




Stuffed goose roasting by the fire.


Happy National Indian Pudding Day!

November 13th, 2011 by Carolyn

Indian Pudding is a New England regional dish, which we do not see in a written form until 1796, but there is information that the dish was popular in New England long before it appears in cookbooks. This version of Indian Pudding, by Kathleen Wall, contains two staple ingredients found in New England – cornmeal and molasses, which was often baked or boiled for hours. No worries though, this recipe uses a slow cooker instead.



Indian-Meal Pudding


3 cups milk

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

2+ tbl butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup molasses

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

Optional: 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Butter the inside of slow cooker and preheat on high for 15 minutes.



Whisk milk, cornmeal, and salt in a large heavy bottomed pan and bring to a  boil. (It will rise up somewhat as it heats, so give yourself lots of unless you like  cleaning up scorched milk off your stovetop.) After it comes to a boil, continue  whisking for another 5 minutes.



Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes and then take off the burner. Add the butter.







Combine the eggs, molasses and spices. Take some of the hot cornmeal mixture and temper the egg mixture, combine both in to the pot.








(Stir in the cranberries as this point if you would like. You can also top this with  plastic wrap, cool and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, and then continue at this point.) Scrape final mixture into the buttered slow cooker and cook on high for  2-3 hours or on low for 6-8.









The finished pudding will be firm around the edges than the center. Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or light cream. Leftovers make a great breakfast.


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