Tagged ‘pilgrims. recipes’

Two New England Bread Accounts

April 26th, 2012 by KM Wall

Wintrop, John. July 29, 1662. Letter to Robert Boyle. published Philosophical Transactions, 142 (1678), 1065-1069. reproduced in John Wintrop ,Jr. on Indian Corn. Fulmer Mood, The New England Quarterly. Vol. X, number 1. March, 1937.p.129.
“The English make very good Breade of Meale, or flower of it being Ground in Mills, as other Corne, but to make good bread of it there is a different way of ordering of it, from what it is used about the Bread of other Graine, for if it be mixed into stiff past, it will not be good as when it is made into a thinner mixture a little stiffer then the Battar for Pancakes, or puddings, and then baked in a very hott oven, standing all day or all Night therein, therefore some used to bake it in pans like puddings. But the most ordinary way is this, the Oven being very hott they may have a great Wooden dish fastened to a long staff, which may hold the quantity of a Pottle, and that being filled, they empty it on an heape in the Oven, upon the bare floore thereof cleane Swept, and so fill the Oven, and usually lay a second laying upon the top of the first, because the first will (p130) otherwise be too thinn for the proportion of a Loafe because it will spread in the oven at the first pouring of it in: if they make it not too thinn it will ly in distance like Loaves, onely in some parts where they touch one another will stick together but are easily parted but some will fill the whole floore of the Oven as one intire Body and must cut it out in greate pieces; In just such manner handled it wilbe (if baked enough) of a good darke yellow Colour, but otherwise white which is not so wholesome nor pleasant, as when well baked of a deeper Colour. There is also very good Bread made of it, by mixing half, or a third parte, more or less of Ry or Wheate-Meale, or Flower amongst it, and then they make it up into Loaves, adding Leaven or yeast to it to make it Rise, which may also be added to that other thinner sorte beforementioned.”


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

“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.”



Multi-colored Indian corn - amazing maize

Hasty pudding......









add the flour......











well baked of a deeper color.....


Stewed Pompion

November 10th, 2011 by KM Wall

The Ancient New England standing dish. But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe (that would be the pompions or pumpkins), and cut them into a dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire for a whole day, and as they sink, they fill again with fresh Pompions, not putting any liquor to them; and when it is stew’d enough, it will look like bak’d Apples; this they Dish, putting Butter to it, and a little Vinegar, (with some Spice, as Ginger, &c.) which makes it tart like an Apple, and so serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh: It provokes Urin extreamly and is very windy.”


And he’s right – this is a very tasty dish to make when you have a cast iron pot and a gentle fire going all day long….but what about when you don’t have all day to cook one dish, or no gentle fire burning in your hearth or even a cast iron pot of two or three gallons to cook in and just where do you get a pumpkin when it’s not Halloween? First about the pumpkin: fresh squash is generally available throughout the winter, and is a delicious and appropriate substitute. Instead of stewing it all day, bake, roast or steam it, which ever way is easier for you, separating the flesh from the seeds and skin. That’s what the first part this description  is saying – that the housewives are cooking in a way that takes little of their attention and effort. You can even do this part ahead of time, and refrigerate for several days, or freeze it until you need it. The second part of this description is the seasoning and finishing before it goes to table. At this point you want the  golden goodness of  squash or pumpkin,   cooked to a pulp. Put it into a pan and heat gently. If you have 4 cups of squash, add 3 tablespoons of butter.When the butter melts and you’ve mixed it through, add 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar.


Again, mix it through. Now add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix a little more. Now taste – is it tart like an apple? Add more vinegar if you’d like, a half teaspoonful at a time. A little flat? Add more spice – perhaps a teaspoon of cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Too tart? Add a little more butter, a teaspoon at a time. Serve hot with just about anything.  


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