Tagged ‘New England’

In for a Penny (Loaf)….

October 16th, 2013 by KM Wall

….in for a pound.

In celebration of National B read Day, a smidgeon more on Maize, Indian corn and bread in New England before there were mills, corn bread being the most common sort of bread, maize being the most common sort of corn.

“It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden; they put of this into Milk, and so eat it. Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it, cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf, and then turn it out upon the Peel, and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad; the Flower makes excellent Puddens.”

- Josslyn, John. New Englands rarities. 1672. Mass. Historical Society, 1972, p. 52.

And now with pictures….Kathy Devlin, Colonial Foodways Artisan, took these photos in the modern kitchen making the back-up bread.

It [maize] is light of digestion, and the English make a kind of Loblolly of it, to eat with Milk, which they call Sampe ; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the flower out of it; 

Maize

Maize – before it is beaten

and sift the flower out of it;

the remainder they call Homminey, which they put in a Pot of two or three Gallons, with Water, and boyl it upon a gentle Fire till it be like Hasty Pudden;

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil...

Ground corn, flour gone, in a pot with water, waiting to boil…

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Boiling

Like Hasty Pudden

Like Hasty Pudden

 

Their Bread also they make of the Homminey so boiled, and mix their Flower with it,

Flour and cooked corn groats together - wait till it isn't hot enough to burn you....

Flour and cooked corn groats together – wait till it isn’t hot enough to burn you….

cast it into a deep Bason in which they form the loaf,

A  bowl - size bases on the the size of the oven and the size we'd like of the finished loaf....

A basin (or bowl) – size based on the the size of the oven and the size we’d like  the finished loaf….

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl.....

Flour, cooked samp or homminey together in a bowl…..

and then turn it out upon the Peel,

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it'll be baked on in the modern oven

Not exactly a peel, rather the silpat sheet it’ll be baked on in the modern oven

and presently put it into the Oven before it spreads abroad

Bread in the modern oven

Bread in the modern oven

The finished loaves

The finished loaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their former Pumpkin Pies

August 3rd, 2013 by KM Wall

 

Tourte of pumpkin.
Boile it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste; bake it. After it is baked, besprinkle it with sugar and serve.”
- Francois Pierre La Varenne. The French Cook [1653], Translated into English in 1653 by I.D.G., Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [East Sussex: Southover Press} 2001 (p. 199-200)

This will make a pie that’s amazing like a most of the Pumpkin Pies that will be on our Thanksgiving tables. It does  seem a little ironic that the earliest pumpkin pie recipe to show up in England is from a translation from a French cookbook. And the ones that show up in English cookbooks are very different then the pumpkin pies we now know and love.

Edward Johnson in The Wonderworking Providence of Sion’s Savior in New England of 1654 says, “…so that in this poor Wilderness hath not onely equalized England in food, but goes beyond it in some places for the great plenty of wine and sugar, which is ordinarily spent, apples, pears, and quince tarts instead of their former Pumpkin Pies.” (p. 210, 1910 ed.)

Apple pie we still love; Pear pies we really don’t love enough; and as for Quince….when was the last time you had a really great Quince tart? Or even a meh one? But former Pumpkin Pies? Did New England give up Pumpkin Pie  – even when the fruit trees came in?

 

SMELTS

April 21st, 2013 by KM Wall

 

smelt

smelts

“With rainbow colors, the frost fish and the smelt,

As good as ever Lady Gustus felt.”

-         1634. William Wood. New Englands Prospect. UMass Press:1977. p. 54.

 

“[Roxbury] …having a clear and fresh brook running through the town, up which there come no alewives yet there is great store of smelts, and therefore is called Smelt Brook.”

- 1634. William Wood. New Englands Prospect. UMass Press:1977. p. 58.

 

800px-Pond_smelt_illustration

“Of Smelts there is such abundance, that the Salvages doe take them up in the rivers with baskets, like sives.”

-         1636. Thomas Morton, New English Canaan. p.89.

 

Catching fish in a basket - European style, 1555

Catching fish in a basket – European style, 1555

“ …Shrimps   Smelt   Spurlin….”

(1674) John Josslyn, Colonial Traveler . University Press of New England. 1988. p.82.

Red Alert!

April 22nd, 2012 by Carolyn

 

As some of you may be aware Plymouth County has been on a red alert for wildfires going on at least two weeks, but luckily as of this second, we are finally getting some rain. The plants and pilgrims couldn’t be happier. I thought this would be a good time to post some pictures I’ve promised, and some great new activity going on in the village.

 

Before

 

 

 

 

 

The Alden house before it’s recent renovation; notice, no window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After

 

 

 

Master Alden did a pretty nice job, and the house is still standing! I call that a success. When asked he said it was for more light….but we think he just wanted to bump up his real estate value with a sea-veiw window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to eat asparagus in the Winslow garden this past week, Susanna Winslow said it was wonderous good.

 

 

 

A few months back we started posting about our new clome oven in the village and our multiple test bakes. After a month of once a week pilgrim use it’s looking pretty broken in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be ready for next week’s photo post including…….. corn planting, goat walking and more!

Coney rhymes with money and honey

April 10th, 2012 by KM Wall

“Here [New England] there are great store of Coneys in these parts, of diverse colors: some white, some black, some gray. Those towards the southern parts are very small, but those to the north are as big as the English Cony: their ears are very short. For the meat the small rabbit is as good as any that I have eaten of elsewhere.”
- Thomas Morton. New English Canaan. 1637. Dempsey ed. p. 76.

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