Tagged ‘plant’

And the answer is…..

July 9th, 2012 by Carolyn





“The leaves or the blades of the Leek be long, somewhat broad, and very many, having a keel or crest in the backside, in smell and taste like to the onion. The stalks, if the blades be not often cut, do in the second or third year grow up round, bringing forth on the top flowers made up in a round head or ball as doth the Onion.”  (Gerard, John “The Herbal” 1633)

Onions and leeks look very similar when they flower. They way to tell them apart is that the leaves of the leeks are board and flat, while those of the onion are round and hollow. Here is a full length view:



Leeks were used in cookery, but beware they are very “hot” in temperature and may offset your humors as this passage warns:


“The Hurts

It heateth the body, ingendreth naughty bloud, causeth troublesome and terrible dreams, offendeth the eyes, dulleth the sight, hurteth those that are by nature hot and choleric, and is noysome to the stomach, and breadth windiness.” (Johnson, Thomas ed. Gerard, John “The Herbal” 1633, pg. 174-175)


So go ahead enjoy your leeks, but beware of impending windiness.


Goodwife Godbertson’s Hollyhock

July 5th, 2012 by Carolyn

Recently Cate M, one of the role-players in the 1627 English Village, made us all these great new garden reference books. From A-Z all the plants we have and their many names, uses, and sources.



New favorite reference book.


So today Goodwife Godbertson, aka. Kelley A, showed me her new gorgeous hollyhock plant in her garden. Which I then realized I didn’t know too much about, so I went back to our new book and learned a few things.





“Hollihock riseth high, seedeth and dyeth; the chief use I know, is ornament.”    -Lawson,”The Country House-wife’s Garden”, 1617-

It goes by the names of hollyhock, hockes, garden mallows, and more. The most common use for it is medicinal, especially in binding and bleeding.



Hollyhock Close-up


And it wouldn’t be a pilgrim seasonings post without a word from Gervase Markham:

“A powder for the stone in the bladder.

For a stone in the bladder take the kernels of sloes and dry them on a tile stone, then beat them to powder, then take the roots of alexanders, parsley, pellitory, and hollyhock, of every of their roots a like quantity, and seethe them all in white wine, or else in the broth of a young chicken: then strain them into a clean vessel, and when you drink of it, put into it half a spoonful of the powder of sloe kernels. Also if you take the oil of scorpion, it is very good to anoint the member, and the tender part of the belly against the bladder.”  -  Gervase Markham, “The English Housewife”, 1615 (Do not try this remedy at home it was the 17th century, just don’t do it.)


So that’s a little information about hollyhocks, who knew? Can anyone guess what this plant on the right is?



Can you guess what this is?



Meddling with the Medler Recipe

July 2nd, 2012 by Carolyn





First things first a medler, or medlar, is a kind of fruit, which is  shown in the bottom left corner of the illustration to the left. The meddling part I discovered when transcribing some medlar tart recipes.







Now look back on your school days, no matter how long ago and remember always hearing things like don’t cheat or…



Well seeing as there was no email, no internet, no texting, or phones in general people could get a away with a lot more back in the 17th century as far as copycatting. Not everyone could read then, nor could everyone afford to buy multiple books on the same subject. So something that now seems quite obviously copying to me now may not have been so visible to the consuming masses then.

Like I said I was transcribing these recipes from different sources we have here, at the plantation, and they sounded similar… really similar, so I thought I may do a little experiment for you. I’ll copy the recipes in chronological order and bold the text, in the next recipe that is the same (or saying the same thing) as the last. Sort of a visual game of telephone.


Number 1

“The Good Housewife’s Handmaide for the Kitchin”; 1594; page 31

To make a tarte of Medlers.

Take medlers that be rotten, and strain them then set them on a chafing dish of coals, and beat it in two yolks of eggs, and let it boil till it be somewhat thicken season it with cinnamon, ginger, and sugar, and lay it in paste.


Number 2

“The Good Housewife’s Jewell”; Thomas Dawson; 1596; page 34

To make a Tarte of Medlers.

Take medlers that be rotten, and stamp them, then set them upon a chafing dish and coals, and beat in two yolks of eggs, boiling it till it be somewhat thick, then season them with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and lay it in paste.


Number 3

“A True Gentlewoman’s Delight”; W.I. Gent; 1653; page 51

To make a Tart of Medlers.

Take medlers that be rotten, then scrape them, then set them upon a chafing dish of coals, season them with the yolks of eggs, boiling it till it be somewhat thick, then season them with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and lay it in paste.


Number 4

“The Accomplisht Cook”; Robert May; 1685; page 246

To make a Tart of Medlers.

Take medlers that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chafing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart; being baked scrape on sugar.


So lesson to the story is sometimes as a historian you may think you have four great references for something, but in fact you have one reference tweaked three more times over the years.


So listen to Moxie and…


Don’t be a pirate reference your sources, for future historian’s sake!




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.








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















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!

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