Tagged ‘pompion’

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

 

Pilgrim Wedding

September 21st, 2013 by KM Wall

There’s a wedding today in 1627…….

Jane and Experience

Jane and Experience

Turkeys seem to be the first guest to arrive...if only they know their brethren were on the Bill of Fare

Turkeys seem to be the first guest to arrive…if only they knew their brethren were on the Bill of Fare

The ripe rosehips have been gathered and baked into a tart

The ripe rosehips have been gathered and baked into a tart

If the turkeys have left anything in the garden, there will be a salad to start the first course

If the turkeys have left anything in the garden, there will be a salad to start the first course

 

Sops of Pompion is also on the Bill of Fare

Sops of Pompion is also on the Bill of Fare

 

Fu would think the whole Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving/Turkey mme would keep the birds away...... ence-sitting turkey - yo

Once fence sitting turkey. You would think the whole Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving/Turkey meme would keep the birds away……

 

Two Turkeys

Three Turkeys

 

Banns to be read for the last time today - and then a wedding!

Banns to be read for the third time today – and then a wedding!

 

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

 

Another Pumpion Pye (and a little nutmeg)

November 26th, 2012 by KM Wall

Nutmeg for John Gerard's Herbal (1597)

and a little NPR nutmeg backgrounder….before we go back to Pumpion Pye

To make a Pumpion Pye.

Take a pound of pumpion and slice it, a handful of a time, a little rosemary, () and sweet marjoram stripped off the stalks, chop them small, then take cinamon, nutmeg, pepper, and a few cloves all beaten, also ten eggs, & beat them, then mix and beat them all together, with as much sugar as you think fit, then fry it like a froise, after it is fried let it stand till it is cold, then fill your pye after this manner. Take sliced apples sliced thin roundways, and lay a layer of the froise, and a layer of the apples, with currans betwixt the layers. While your pie is fitted, put in a good deal of sweet butter before you close it. When the pye is baked, take the yolks of eggs, some white wine or verjuyce and make a caudle of this, but not too thick, cut up the lid, put it in, and stir them well together whilst the eggs and pumpion be not perceived, and so serve it up.”

-(1660)Robert May, The Accomplist Cook.

To make this pumpkin pie:

  1. It’s  the same recipe that I posted last week – except that it’s twelve years later and in a cookbook by someone else, and it’s absent a few words…
  2. It’s going to take a while – give yourself PLENTY of time.
  3. Take  a pound (not a half pound - MORE pumpkin!)  of pumpkin (or squash) and peel and slice it. Take some thyme, rosemary, (No Parsley mentioned here, that’s the ()),  marjoram, stripped off the stalk and chopped fine.
  4. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and a few cloves (not necessarily 6) cloves. They should all be powdered.
  5. Beat 10 eggs. Add the spice and some sugar to the eggs.
  6. Add some butter to a frying pan. Add the slice pumpkin and the herbs.
  7. When the pumpkin start to get soft, add the eggs with the spice. Add a little sugar, turn the eggs around the pumpkin and let it set up. Froize means fried, rather like frittata means fried…when this is cooked through you could need to let it cool. I’m tempted to serve it up  with some nice crusty bread and a glass of wine and call it a day.
  8. But wait -there’s MORE.
  9. Make a pastry case – Use a deep dish pie plate, make a bottom crust and then add the cooled froize as the first layer.
  10. Put in some dried currents (If you only have raisins of the sun, they will do) in a layer over the froize.
  11. Add a layer of thin sliced apples (cores removed).
  12. Add butter.
  13. Put the lid on the pie and bake.
  14. Make the caudle – mix 6 egg yolks with wine or verjuice and cook them together until they’re thick (but no too thick).
  15. When you take the pie out of the oven, remove the lid, add the caudle and stir it all around until the eggs and pumpkin are blended in.
  16. So serve it up.

 

To make Pompion Pye

November 16th, 2012 by KM Wall

Pompion from John Gerad The Herbal 1598

To make a Pumpion Pye.

Take about a half a pound of Pumpion and slice it, a handful of Tyme, a little Rosemary, Parsley, and sweet Marjaoram, stripped off the stalk, and chop very small. Then take Cinamon, Nutmeg, Pepper, and six Cloves, and beat them; take ten Eggs and beat them, then mix them, and beat them altogether, and put in as much sugar as you think fit, then fry them like a froize; after it is fryed, let it stand till it be cold, then fill your Pye, take sliced Apples thin roundways, and lay a row of the Froiz, and then a layer of Apples, with Currans betwixt the layer while your pye is fitted, and put in a good deal of sweet  butter before you close it; when the pye is baked, take six yolks of Eggs, some white Wine or Verjuyce, & make a Caudle of this, but not too thick; cut up the lid and put it in, stir them well together whilst the Eggs and Pumpions be not perceived, so serve it up.”

-  (1655) W.M. The Compleat Cook.

To make this pumpkin pie:

  1. It’s going to take a while – give yourself PLENTY of time.
  2. Take half a pound of pumpkin (or squash) and peel and slice it. Take some thyme, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, stripped off the stalk and chopped fine.
  3. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and 6 cloves. They should all be powdered.
  4. Beat 10 eggs. Add the spice eggs.
  5. Add some butter to a frying pan. Add the slice pumpkin and the herbs.
  6. When the pumpkin start to get soft, add the eggs with the spice. Add a little sugar, turn the eggs around the pumpkin and let it set up. Froize means fried, rather like frittata means fried…when this is cooked through you could let it cool, or serve it up with some nice crusty bread and a glass of wine and call it a day.
  7. To be continued……

Bartolomeo Bimbi The Pumpkin (although I think Barto would have called it a Zucca)

A Pumpkin Pie fit for a King (Arthur, that is)

November 15th, 2012 by KM Wall

A very modern pumpkin pie

Regional differences are inevitable of course, and the food writer Clementine Paddleford claimed to have summarized them in the 1950’s when she said, ‘Tell me where your grandmother came from and I can tell you how many kinds of pie you serve for Thanksgiving.’ If she was from the Mid-west, Ms Paddleford said, there would be two types (mince and pumpkin), if from New England, three (mince, pumpkin, cranberry), Boston, four (mince, pumpkin, cranberry and apple). 

-  Janet Clarkson. Pie: A Global History p.79.

If you’re from Plymouth, you would also have Indian Pudding, and the cranberry pie might have raisins in it and go by the name of Mock-Cherry. And you might also have a Chicken Pie, and if you have good friends who are great historical cooks, you could even be lucky enough to have Marleborough Pudding, which is actually an apple pie PLUS….and now, back to pumpkins.

There aren’t all that many pumpkin (pompion ) pie recipes in English cookbooks in the 17th century. This is one of the earliest AND easiest. It is also an English translation of a French recipe and it will be another 2 years before there is an English recipe. The first English recipe for pumpkin pie is from the cook of the Queen, Henrietta Maria, who is….French.

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)

OR

Pumpkin Pie from King Arthur Flour

you could try something totally modern and delicious from King Arthur Flour. This pumpkin pie is quick and easy and there’s a video from our friends at How2Heroes to give you all the guidance that ever so many of the seventeenth recipes lack.

 

Bring out your pompions and let the sugar be-sprinkling begin!

 

Eat Like A Pilgrim: Bill of Fare

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

and a few other notes…….

There are no forks, just spoons and knives and fingers – be sure to wash you hands before the start of the meal!

Napkins are a good size and belong in your lap, or for the men if they so choose, over the left shoulder.

The table has a tablecloth, because eating off of bare wood is for hogs at a trough.

Salt and bread are placed on first – they are the least hospitality. They will also be the last things removed.
This bread is known as cheate bread. It is made from wheat that hasn’t been sifted; that is, whole wheat flour. In the 17th century there is also white bread (sifted flour) and brown bread (sometimes dried pease or dried beans were ground and added to the unsifted flour). Cheate is the common household bread. In New England cornmeal is added as well as wheat.

A platter of grapes, prunes (dried plums) and cheese are set to daintily eat while conversing.

A sallet of cucumbers is a salad made from cucumbers, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Salads are more like condiments then side dishes in the 17th century; they add flavor and variety to the meal.

The commonest drink in early New England is water. The Wampanoag name for Plymouth is Patuxet, meaning place of many springs.

Turkey is served with a sauce of onions and breadcrumbs. (Sauce for Turkie)

Squash is served stewed (Stewed Pompion).

Indian Pudding is called that because it uses Indian, or corn meal. (Indian Pudding)

XXX

Eat Like A Pilgrim: Stewed Pompion

April 17th, 2012 by KM Wall

Stewed Pompion
The Ancient New England standing dish
But the Housewives manner is to slice them when ripe, and cut them into dice, and so fill a pot with them of two or three Gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire 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:…

- Jossyln, John.New Englands Rareties.1672.
To make this at home:
4 cups of cooked squash, roughly mashed
3 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 or 2 teaspoons ground ginger (or nutmeg, cloves, or pepper, to taste, if preferred)
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir and heat all the ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve hot.

Cooks with a bumper crop of pumpkins and a large pot may want to try the housewives’ technique described by Josselyn. For the rest of us, it is practical to begin with pared, seeded, and steamed or baked squash.
NOTES:
Pompion is a pumpkin. Squashes can also be used.
An ancient is another way to say banner, or standard.
A standing dish is one that is very common, seen on table perhaps daily.
An ancient standing dish would be the food that all but shouts out, “Hello! We’re in NEW England; we’re not in England anymore.”
Baked apples are a good visual clue as to what the final dish should look like, and the little bit of vinegar is a taste clue.
Serve it up to be eaten with Fish or Flesh means it’s good with everything.

XXX

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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