Tagged ‘salt’

National Indian Pudding Day

November 13th, 2013 by KM Wall

Sampe Fest wasn’t just about Jonnycakes….

It was also about Indian Pudding. Or as it was sometimes referred to:

Indian-meal Pudding

Samp Fest 2013

Samp Fest 2013

Big Batch Indian Pudding

3 Quarts milk

2 cups cornmeal (Plimoth Grist Mill cornmeal is the best!)

1 jar (12 ounces) molasses (non-sulphered or mild)

1 stick butter (1/4 pound)

6 eggs

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

 

 

Butter a large slow cooker and pre-heat on high.

Use a large heavy bottomed pan on the stove (so the milk doesn’t scorch). The milk will rise up when it heats, so give it plenty of room. When the milk is just under a boil (lots of bubbles forming), whisk in the cornmeal; keep stirring until the cornmeal thickens about 10-15 minutes. Add the rest of the butter, turn off the heat and cover the pan.

Beat the eggs with the molasses and the spices.

Add some of the hot corn/milk mixture to temper the eggs and then add that to the rest of the corn mixture. Blend thoroughly. Scrape into the buttered, pre-heat slow cooker.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or light cream…..

 

Options:

Raisins, cranberries or chopped apples may be added into the slow cooker, either a little or a lot.

There’s a real divide with the fruit people – they love it or hate it!

 

It’s also good re-heated for breakfast.

 Cinnamon whipped cream is also pretty heavenly….

plimoth grist mill prodcut

 

 

 

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

The Feast of Crispian

October 25th, 2013 by KM Wall

If it weren’t for William Shakespeare would we remember the feast of Saint Crispian?

Henry V - from the First Folio of 1623

Henry V – from the First Quarto of 1600

 

KING HENRY V

What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Henry5

Henry V

Kenneth Branagh as Henry V

Kenneth Branaugh as Henry V

Feast means celebration of the of the life of the saint, which isn’t necessarily stopping everything  to eat lots of food….but is often an excuse. Apprentices could and would expect to have the patron saint’s day free from work  and obligation. At one time they might have had a church service or a mass to attend, but in Early Modern England a saints day seemed more a reason to run riot.

Saints Crispian and Crispianian (there are actually 2 saints with similar names )  are the patron saints of shoemakers.

Saints Crispin Crispianian

Saints Crispin Crispianian

and I just so happen to have a recipe for

SHOES.

Not the Charlie Chaplin Gold Rush  eating shoes sort of thing

Charlie Chaplin  The Gold Rush

Charlie Chaplin
The Gold Rush 1925

To make Shoes.

Take a rumpe of beyfe and let it boyle an houre or two, and put therto a greate quantitye of cole wortes, and lette them boyle together thre houres, then putte to them a couple of ſtockedoues, or teales, feaſande, petriche, or ſuche other wylde foules, and let them boyle al together, then ceaſon them wyth ſalte, and ſerue them forthe.
c. 1557. The Proper Newe Booke of Cookerye .

  •  A rump of beef is – a piece of the back end of a cow

    Meat Guide - look at the back end to find a rump....

    Meat Guide – look at the back end to find a rump….

  • Coleworts are a 17th century way of saying ‘collards’, although cabbage could also be used. Yes, so far this is un-corned beef and cabbage……

    Coleworts from a Pilgrim garden

    Coleworts from a Pilgrim garden

  • Adding the wildfowl – stock dove, teal, pheasant or partridge (fesands or petriches – read them out loud and listen to the words) puts this over the top in terms of meaty goodness.
  • Season them with salt.
  • Serve them forth.
  • Wonder what is shoe-ish about this? Is it is because it made from beef and cows also give leather? (Probably NOT) Is it something else so far-fetched for the 21st century mind can’t begin to wrap around it? Is it something soooooo obvious that one of you is smacking your forehead like you coulda had a V-8 and you say,”………..”?
  • Speak up, and thus,  “Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;”

Italian Pudding bakte

October 14th, 2013 by KM Wall

It IS Columbus Day, after all. And although there is Italian bisket to consider, and how or how not, it is different from Naples bisket…..

Coat of Arms the House of Colon (that would be Christopher Columbus)

Coat of Arms the House of Colon (that would be Christopher Columbus, his house)

As I was looking at baked goods, and baked pudding in particular, I found not one, not two, but  THREE Italian puddings.

  1. They are all baked (or bakte – say it as it is spelled….now you’re talking like Shakespeare!)
  2. They all have bread cut into a dice, like a die, the little thing you toss in games of chance.
  3. Two of the three are from the same author – John Murrell – in different cookbooks  BUT they’re not exactly the  same. No cut and paste from John Murrell. I thought there were three from John Murrell, but the New Book of Cookerie and Book 1 of Two Books of Cookerie and Carving are the same book.  Three citations, two recipes.

All three, in chronological order:

To make an Italian Pudding

Take a Penny white Loafe, pare off the crust, and cut it in square pieces like unto great Dyes, mince a pound of Beefe Suite small: take halfe a pound of Razins of the Sunne, stone them and mingle them together with, and season them with Sugar, Rosewater, and Nutmegge, wet these things in foure Egges, and stirre them very tenderly for breaking the Bread: then put it into a Dish, and pricke three or foure pieces of  Marrow, and some sliced Dates: put it into an Oven hot enough for a Chewet: if your Oven be too hot, it will burne: if too colde, it will be heavy: when it is bakte scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot at Dinner, but not at Supper.

1615. John Murrell. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. Falconwood Press: 1989. p. 22.

This is the one you’ve seen before here  in If your Oven be too hot….(Sept 15, 2013)

And now John Murrell’s second Italian Pudding:

A bakte Pudding after the Italian fashion.

Pare off the crusts from a penny white loafe, cut it in square peeces like dice, put to it halfe a pounds of dubbing suet minct small, halfe a pound of Raisins of the Sunne, the stones taken out, two ounces of Suger, five or sixe sliced Dates, a graine of Muske, five or sixe lumps of Marrow : season these with Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, and Salt, but a very little Salt is sufficient, beate a couple of Egges, with foure or five spoonefuls of Creame, power it upon your seasoned bread, and stirre very  gentley for breaking, so as the peeces may be wet, but not so wet that you can see any moisture in them: lay a Pomewater in the bottome of the Dish, or some sort of soft Apple pared, and sliced thinne, put your Pudding also upon the Apple, and so set the Dish into an Oven, as hot as for Manchet, or small Pies, when you see it rise yellow take downe your Oven lidde to coole your Oven, it will be bakte in half an houre: if the Oven be too hot, it will be burnt, if it be too cold, it will be too heavy, when it is bakte draw it forth, and scrape on Sugar, and serve it hot to the Table.

- 1638. John Murrell. The Second Book of Cookerie. Fifth Impression. Stuart Press: 1993. p. 25.

Square pieces of bread – check. Dubbing suet?? – I’m coming up cold; Muske – this is taking it up a notch; Cream as well as eggs – makes this richer; taking down tour oven lidde to cool the oven – nice detail! This is how you control the heat in a woodfired oven. The same advice about too cold and too hot, making me think this is a real Goldilocks moment.

Once again, you are asked to stone the raisins. Thank you Sun Maid for drying seedless raisins, so we don’t have to do that anymore!

130px-Sun-Maid_1916The Pomewater is a type of apple – nice of him to mention that any soft apple will do.

A few of the many Apples in Gerard's Herbal

A few of the many apples in Gerard’s Herbal

The third Italian Pudding comes from someone else, a little later…..

To make an Italian Pudding.

Take a manchet, and cut it into square pieces like a Die, then put to it half a pound of beef suet minced small, Raisins of the Sun the stones picked out, Cloves, Mace, minced, Dates, Sugar, Marrow, Rose-water, Eggs, and Cream, mingle all these together, and put them into a dish fir for your stuffe, in less then an hour it will be baked, then scrape on Sugar, and serve it.

- 1653. W.I. A True Gentlewomans Delight. Falconwood Press: 1991. p. 45.

 

 

 

French Bread, English style in the 17th century

September 30th, 2013 by KM Wall

If I say French bread, you probably think:

Baguette

 

Baguettes

Baguettes

BUT…

There’s more then one French bread, and baguette is a relative newcomer in the French Bread world.

Boule - which rather resembles Englsih 17th century household bread

Boule – a more traditional loaf which rather resembles English 17th century household bread

Pain de campagne - french country bread, a mix of grains, with some sour leaven and ranging in size from 4-12 pounds. This whole description could have been lifted from Gervase Markham's  Cheate Bread

Pain de campagne – french country bread, a mix of grains, with some sour leaven and ranging in size from 4-12 pounds. This whole description could have been lifted from Gervase Markham’s Cheate Bread

The more traditional French breads are like 17th century English breads in that they have four essential ingredients:

Flour (sometimes spelled flower, as in ‘the flower of the grain’)

Flours

Flours

Water

 

Water in it's three forms - liquid is the form used in bread making

Water in it’s three forms – liquid is the form used in bread making

Leaven

Jan Luyken etching - Parable of the leaven

Jan Luyken etching – Parable of the leaven

 

Luke 13:20-21

1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

20  And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?

21 It is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three pecks of flour, till all was leavened.

and Salt

salt production, 1670 in Halle or Halle an der Saale a city in the German state Saxony-Anhalt.

Salt production, 1670 in Halle or Halle an der Saale a city in the German state Saxony-Anhalt.

But 17th century English recipes for French bread have something more

Milk

and  Eggs or Butter.

French bread, for our 17th century English men, was an enriched bread.

Hear France say, “Oh, la, la!”

269. To make French Bread.

Take 3 qrts of fine flower two Eggs a litle salt halfe a pint of Ale yest and a halfe a pint of milk a litle warme put all these together and work them up to a dough, then put them into litle dishes and let them rise halfe an houre, after bake them this quantity will make on Dozen and halfe of loaves.”

-         Driver, Christopher, ed. John Evelyn, Cook. Prospect Books: Devon, 1981. p. 149.

 

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

 

Yet Another Manchet Monday

September 23rd, 2013 by KM Wall

Lady of Arundels manchet.

Take a bushel of fine Wheat-flower, twenty eggs, three pound of Fresh butter, then take as much Salt and Barme, as to the ordinary Manchet, temper it together with new Milk prettie hot, then let it lie the space of half an hour to rise, so you may work it up into bread, and bake it, let not your Oven be too hot.

- 1653. A True Gentlewomans Delight. W.I, Gent. London. (Falconwood Press:1991.(trans) p. 54

Very interesting bread.

  1.  Butter, milk and eggs make this a very different sort of manchet. This really falls into the sweetbreads category.
  2. And then there’s the Arundel family. Jjust who is Lady Arundel? What’s her  backstory?
Arundel Castle in West Sussex

Arundel Castle in West Sussex

The castle goes back to 1067….as does the earldom title.

The town of Arundel

The town of Arundel – you can see the castle up on the hill

The interesting  thing about the title is that succession issues get a little mired – in the 17th century, but of course!

22nd Earl of Arundel

22nd Earl of Arundel – Henry Howard

 

I think this might be the husband of the Lady the recipe came from. She was Lady Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of Esme Stuart,Third Duke of Lennox. There is no image of her that I could find. They marry in 1626 and have 9 children. BTW, there is a portrait or two of Henry Howard’s  godmother:

Anne of Denmark, also married to James I and VI, King of England and Scotland, &cetera

Anne of Denmark, also married to James I and VI, King of England and Scotland, & cetera

But this is one of things were timing is EVERYTHING. Henry Howard, 22nd Earl  of Arundel dies 17 April 1652. So, has our mysterious gentleman, W. I. already moved on to the next Lady Arundel or ….

The story of these offspring would make a GREAT mini-series for Masterpiece Theater, once they run through the Downton Abbey crew. Insanity, Roman Catholic Cardinals…..Really – you can’t make this stuff up.

AND

Lady Arundel’s Manchet has it’s own Wikipedia entry.

Which doesn’t include the recipe.

What the Wiki entry misses is how different from other period manchets this bread is. Which you already know. But also, how much this manchet is like 17th century English French Bread.

 

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????

 

 

Just another Manchet Monday

September 16th, 2013 by KM Wall

Manchets are regulated by the Books of Assizes, which means the price is set, but the size varies according to the price of wheat.That is, when they are made and sold by members of the Baker’s Guild in bake shops.

But manchets are also are being made in individual households. Some of the recipes for manchets are attributed to specific ladies. So there is a range of what manchet can mean when it’s made  outside of the Bakers Shops.

The making of manchets after my Ladie Graies use.
Take two peckes of fine flower, which must be twise boulted, if you wil haue your manchet verie faire: The lay it in a place where you doe use to lay dowe for your bread, and make a litle hole in it, and take a quart of faire water blood warme, and put in that water as much leaven as a crab, or a pretie big apple, and as much white salt as will fill an Egshell, and all to breake your leuen in the water, and put into your flower halfe a pinte of good Ale yest, and so stir this liquor among a litle of your flower, so that you must make it but thin at the first meeting, and then cover it with flower, and if it be in the winter, ye must keepe it verie warm, and iin summer it shall not need so much heate, for in the Winter it will not rise without warmeth. Thus let it lie two howers and a halfe: then at the second opening take more liquor as ye thinke will serue to wet al the flower. Then put in a pinte and a halfe of good yest, and so all to breake it in short pieces, after yee have well laboured it, and wrought it fiue or sixe tymes, so that yee bee sure it is throughlie mingled together, so continue labouring it, till it come to a smooth paste, and be well ware at the second opening that yee put not in too much liquor sodenlie, for then it will run, and if ye take a litle it will be stiffe, and after the second working it must lie a good quarter of hower, and keep it warme: then take it up to the moulding board, and with as much speede as is possible to be made, mould it up, and set it into the Oven, of one pecke of flower ye may make ten caste of Manchets faire and good.”
- 1594. The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kichin. London fasc ed. pp. 51-2.

 

NOTES:

  • Great details in this version, especially of measurements
  • Two pecks is half a bushel – this is still making quite a bit of bread
  • Twice bolting – or sifting – would make the flour fair because more of the darker germ and husk would have been removed. The whiter the flour, the fairer the bread.
  • dowe = dough
  • leaven as much as a crab – which I believe in this case is a crab apple, because apple are the next measure.
  • European crabapples

    European crabapples

  • as much salt as will fill an egg shell – that’s still fairly salt-free compared to modern breads
  • Eggshell

    Eggshell

  • Notice that the leaven seems to be something somewhat solid (perhaps a piece of sourdough) and there is also ale-yeast,which has a liquid measure
  • The section about keeping it covered in Winter so it will rise make this sound like a 17th century ‘quick’ bread – you want a fast rising, no long slow rise – and therefore a very different flavour profile.
  • More yeast, and lots of kneading. This is going to make a firm crumb – none of this big, irregular holes of the modern artisan  – this is bread that has been touched – a lot – by human hands.
  • Biscuit brake

    Biscuit brake -another tool to help really,really knead your bread. Or you can have your apprentices tread the dough with their bare feet….

  • The moulding board is not a nasty, mildewy place, but rather where the loaves are moulded -or shaped . Lady Graie is have you go tout suit on this; no second rising, get them into shape and pop them into the oven.
  • I’m still unclear how the math works out for year. If one peck of flour  makes 10 caste of Manchets fair and good, the two pecks here should make 20 caste, so how many loaves in a caste?
  • More mysteries…
This is definitely a white bread...but is it a manchet - or whatever the Dutch equivalent would be

This is definitely a white bread…but is it a manchet ? – or whatever the Dutch equivalent would be – noticed how the loaf kissed the one beside it in the oven

 

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

 

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