Tagged ‘pepper’

Sallet Days, Plain and Simple.

October 26th, 2013 by KM Wall

If it’s Saturday, it must be Sallet -day….

Of Sallets, simple and plain
First then to speak of Sallets, there be some simple, some compounded, some only to furnish out the Table, and some both for use and adornation: your simple Sallets are Chibols pilled, washt clean, and half of the green tops cut clean away, and so served on a fruit dish, or Chives, Scallions, Rhaddish roots, boyled Carrets, Skirrets and Turnips, with such like served up simply: Also, all young Lettuce, Cabbage-Lettuce, Purslane, and divers other herbs which may be served simply without any thing but a little Vinegar, Sallet Oyl and Sugar; Onions boyled; and stript from their rind, and served up with Vinegar, Oyl and Pepper, is a good simple Sallet; so is Camphire, Bean-cods, Sparagus, and Cucumbers, served in likewise with Oyl, Venegar and Pepper, with a world of others, too tedious to nominate.

The English Huswife
Containing the inward and outward Vertues which ought to be in a Compleat Woman…
A Work generally approved, and now the Ninth time much Augmented, Purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the general good of this NATION.
By G. Markham.
LONDON, Printed for Hannah Sawbridge, at the Sign of the Bible on Ludgate Hill, 1683

  • A simple salad is one main thing, with what we now call dressing. A compound  salad had several different elements. A tossed Garden Salad is a modern example of a compound salad construction. A modern Potato Salad is a simple salad, even if it has hard boiled eggs in it, maybe even especially so.
  • for use or adoration means  – they’re for eating or for looking at – we’re just concerned with the eating ones
  • Chibols are a green onion, scallions and chives, are oniony as well, and, like radishes, are often served right at hand

    Annibale Carracci - The Bean eater

    Annibale Carracci – The Bean eater – notice the green onions by his hand – no plate, not a dish – a spoonful of beans and a bite of oniony goodness.

  • Boil your carrots, turnips and skirrets before eating them (or not, maybe having some by the side of your plate to eat a spoonful of beans and then a crunch of carrot)…..but if you have skirrets, they really are better off cooked before eating

    Turnips lurking in a Pilgrim Village garden - ready for a salad

    Turnips lurking in a Pilgrim Village garden – ready for a salad

  • Assorted little leafy green things served with oil, vinegar and salt….Cabbage-lettuce is headed lettuce, as apposed to loose leaves.
  •   Olive oil, wine or cider vinegar and, well, salt. There’s also ‘sallet oil’ in the 17th century. It’s made from rapeseed; rapes being part of the turnip family. We now call that oil canola oil….
    Rapeseed flowers

    Rapeseed flowers

    Canola seeds

    Canola seeds

 

 

 

  • Onions, boiled, bean cods (what we call ‘green beans’ ) boild; Asparagus (not at this time of year, unless you’re living in Australia) and of, course, cucumbers, are all good with oil vinegar, salt and pepper. Perhaps a pinch of sugar. When in doubt, boil. These days, we’re more likely to try raw, but the 17th century thinking was that cooking improved things for mans body by making it more artificial. Artificial was GOOD, because the hand of man was there. Raw was how the horse and cows ate the garden, and they were looking for a little emotional distance from the barnyard animals.
  • Boil, oil; boil, oil; boil, oil.
  • Simple simple simple simple
A Gentleman buys a Turnip

A Gentleman Buys a Turnip – except they look like radishes and he’s a little skeevy. I think he’s looking for more then salad fixin’s…

 

 

Jean-Baptiste Chardin - The Turnip Cleaner - 1738 - it's a little later, and a little French, but I'm pretty sure she's about to make some turnip sallett

Jean-Baptiste Chardin – The Turnip Cleaner – 1738 – it’s a little later, and a little French, but I’m pretty sure she’s about to make some turnip sallet

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

 

Turkey in the …..PIE

August 30th, 2013 by KM Wall

Friday August 30 2013 is Free Fun Friday – Thank you, Highland Street Foundation!

It’s a great day for a song…..perhaps a little Turkey in the Straw

Well, I had an old hen and she had a wooden leg,
Just the best old hen that ever laid and egg,
She laid more eggs than any hen on the farm,
But another little drink wouldn’t do her any harm.
CHORUS
Turkey in the hay, in the hay, hay, hay!
Turkey in the straw, in the straw, straw, straw!
Pick ‘em up, shake ‘em up, any way at all,
And hit up a tune called ‘Turkey in the Straw’.

Kelley's Straw bale Turkey - from the UK

Kelley’s Straw bale Turkey – from the UK

Or perhaps a Turkey in the woods

127_0021

Or even a Turkey in a Pie

To bake Turkey, Chicken, Pea-Chicken, Pheasant-Pouts, Heath Pouts, Caponets, or Partridge for to be eaten cold.

Take a turkey-chicken, bone it, and lard it with pretty big lard, a pound and half will serve, then season it with an ounce of pepper, an ounce of nutmegs, and two ounces of salt, lay some butter in the bottom of the pye, then lay on the fowl, and put in it six or eight whole cloves, then put on all the seasoning with good store of butter, close it up, and baste it over with eggs, bake it, and being baked fill it up with clarified butter.

Thus you may bake them for to be eaten hot, giving them but half the seasoning, and liquor it with gravy and juyce of orange.

Bake this pye in fine paste; for more variety you may make a stuffing for it as followeth; mince some beef-suet and a little veal very fine, some sweet herbs, grated nutmeg, pepper, salt, two or three raw yolks of eggs, some boil’d skirrets or pieces of artichocks, grapes, or gooseberries, &c.

1674. Robert May. The Accomplist Cook.

NOTES:

  • This is a major contender in the ‘Either/Or” category.
  • Once again, the bird is boned. All those bones make for great soup.
  • Variations include our (old) new friend Skirrets. The grapes should be green, that is green not ripe, not green the color. Like gooseberries in their season, they’re to sharpen things up.

 

To bake Venison to eat colde

August 28th, 2013 by KM Wall

If  you’ve got more then one deer  …

waittaminute – If you’ve got EVEN one deer, it’s probably more deer then you can eat all at once. Bake some to eat hot, and while you’re eating that, bake some more to save for later and eat cold.

Venison pie recipes are divided between the hot and the cold, the roe deer and the fallow deer.

All of these recipes come from the 1591  A.W. A Book of Cookrye, p. 21.

 

To bake Venison to eat colde.

Take Venison and cut it as the graine goeth, and cut it in quantity as ye wil have your Pasties, and perboile it in faire water, then take Lard and cut it in length of your flesh, and therwith lard it as thicke as you can, so that one peece of the Larde touch not an other.  Then take all manner of spices, salt, and Vinagre, that doon, put it into brown paste and bake it.

Robert May  - red deer

Robert May – red deer pie

To bake Venison of red Deere.

Laye it in water, and then wash it very clean out of the water, if it be clean draw it with Larde, then take meale and sift it, and take faire licour and let it boile, & make your paste with that, then take Beefe suet, mince it and beate it, drive out your paste very thick, close it and let it bake six houres when it is half baked, take Cloves & mace and Vinagre, and so boile them togither, put them into your redde Deere, at a little hole made for that purpose.  And when you have so doon, stop the hole with some of the same dough, and then set it in againe untill it be inough.

Another way to refer to red deer is by the name roe deer. The boys are therefore Roebucks.

Roe buck fro Topsell's History of Four-footed Beasts

Roe buck from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

Roes

Roes

To bake Venison of Fallow Deere.

Lay it in water and wash it very clean, then perboile it, if it be of the side, raise the skin of it: if it be of the haunch, presse it: season it with pepper and salt, take good store of Dre Suet, and mince it very fine, when you have minced it, beat it, then take Flower, butter and Egges and make your paste stiffe, then drive it out, and then put in your suet and Venison and close it, then take the yolk of an egge and a little beere, and wet it over, and let it bake foure houres, and then serve it in.

Dre suet is a best guess….Dry suet makes little sense – ‘your’ suet isn’t really better – the point is – add some fat! A good store! and mince it fine, very fine, very fine indeed!

Fallow deer - buck

Fallow deer – buck

Fallow Deer fro Topsells

Fallow Deer from Topsell

 

 

Conies and rabets and hares (Oh, my!)

August 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

Coneys and rabbits and hares aren’t quite the same thing, although they might be used interchangeably.

Rabbits are technically baby conies.

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh - his grown-up name should be Coney

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh – his grown-up name should be Coney

 

Coney from Topsells History of Four-footed Beasts

Coney from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

Conies may be raised for food use (or for pelt use – rabbit was used to line cloaks, among other things). Hares are wild creatures that are caught (and therefore may have a more ‘gamey ‘ taste).

Hare from Topsell's History of Four-footed Beasts

Hare from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

How to bake Conies, Rabets, or Hares, with fruit or without fruit.

Season them with Pepper and Salte, Cloves and mace, and so laye them into your paste with Corance or Prunes, great Raisins and if you will: butter and a little vergious.

1591. A.W. A Book of Cookrye

Bunnies, in the 17th century, are bunions and not little woodland creatures at all.

Bugs Bunny - would have had a different name - or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

Bugs Bunny – would have had a different name – or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

“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.

 NOTES:

  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……

Bartholmew Fayre!

August 24th, 2013 by KM Wall

It’s today! and for two weeks in Smithfield in 17th century London. It’s not just a play by Ben  Jonson….

Ben Jonson by Abraham van Blyen

Ben Jonson by Abraham van Blyen

 

Title page of the play

Title page of the play

There really was a Bartholomew fair. It was suppressed in the 19th century for encouraging debauchery. St Bartholomew is the patron saint of butchers (among other things)

Saints John and Bartholomew - many of the images of Bart show him being flayed alive, hence the butcher patronage

Saints John and Bartholomew – many of the images of Bart show him being flayed alive, hence the butcher patronage.

 

In re-reading this play, and might I add when I read this in college I never for one minute thought that someday I’d have a job where I’d have to read it again, or I’d have paid more attention to the class that was essentially English playwrights who weren’t Shakespeare who had the great misfortune of working at the same time as the Bard, I remembered

U R S L A, A Pig-Woman.

On first reading I THOUGHT it said

URSLA, A PIE- Woman

but that just shows you that I have PIE on the brain…anyhow,

By Pig-Woman, did Jonson mean :

hog-faced

Tannakin Skinker, from A Monstrous Shape, or a Shapelesse Monster, 1640

Not quite – he meant a woman who cooked pigs, and sold pigs, and otherwise encouraged the eating of pig.

Swine in Edward Topsell History of Four Footed Beasts

Swine in Edward Topsell History of Four Footed Beasts – these are grown up pigs

To bake a Pigge.

Take your Pig and flea it, and draw out all that clean which is in his bellye, and wash him clean, and perboyle him, season it with Cloves, mace, nutmegs, pepper & salt, and so lay him in the paste with good store of Butter, then set it in the Oven till it be baked inough.

1591 .A.W  Book of Cookrye.

 

For to bake a Pigge.

Flea your Pigge, and take out all that is within his bellie cleane, and wash him well, and after perboyle him, then season it with Pepper, Salt, Nutmegs, Mace, and cloues, and so lay him with good store of Butter in the paste: Then set it in the Ouen till it be baked ynough.

 1597.The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin

 

 

Gala Pie

August 22nd, 2013 by KM Wall

In looking over pies, and seeking out images, I came across an English pie called a Gala Pie. And since tonight is Plimoth Plantation’s Many Hands Gala, it seemed too perfect to be true.

Gala Pie is a true thing, and an English thing, it’s just not a 17th century thing.

Sigh.

Because Gala Pie is a delightful thing.

Gala Pie - how to make - secret hard boiled egg placement - the hint is to mark the pie pan so you know where to cut

Gala Pie – how to make – secret hard boiled egg placement – the hint is to mark the pie pan so you know where to cut so it looks as if there is one egg going all around OR make the tube egg

Gala Pie is essentially a pork pie with hard boiled egg in the middle. Some will separate the yolks from the white, put all the beaten yolks in a tube and cook them and  then put the cooked yolk in a larger tube with the whites and cook them to make a giant tube egg, which you then put in the the center of the pie so that everyone gets the same view of the endless egg….this is exactly the sort of play with your food trick that would delight our 17th century housewives and husbandmen.

The Guardian has a picture by picture story, which is where these picture came from.

The finished Gala Pie

The finished Gala Pie

Gala Pie is really just a dolled up pork pie.

Pork Pie hat

Pork Pie hat

Not that pork pie….more like this220px-Pork_pie

 In the 17th century, there were also pork pies with hard boiled eggs….keep in mind that bacon can mean fresh pork, as well as salted pork.

To bake a gammon of Bacon.

Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter.

1591 .A.W  Book Of Cookrye.

 

 and for another version that starts out exactly the same, and then ends a little differently……

For to bake a Gammon of Bacon.

Boyle your gammon of Bacon and stuffe it with Parsley and Sage, and yolks of hard Egs, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, Cloues, and Mace, sticke whole Cloues fast in it: Then lay it so in your paste with salte butter, and so bake it.

1597. The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin

For a slightly different version…..

A gammon of bacon pie.

Take a gammon of bacon and only wash it clean, and then boil it on a soft gentle fire till it be boiled as tender as possible, ever and anon fleeting it clean, that by all means it may be boil white: then take off the sward, and farce it very well with all manner of sweet and pleasant farcing herbs: the strew store of pepper over it, and prick it thick with cloves: then lay it into a coffin made of the same proportion, and lay good store of butter, that as it melts, the pepper may fall upon the bacon: then cover it, and make the proportion of a pig’s head in paste upon it, and then bake it as you bake red deer, or things of the like nature, only the paste would be wheat meal.

Markham, The English Housewife, Best ed. p. 101.

Gastronomica Winter 2011 cover - gold plated pig head, not a pastry one.

Gastronomica Winter 2011 cover – gold plated pig head, not a pastry one.

 

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