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.
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.