Tagged ‘tansy’

Blooming Village – autumn edition

October 10th, 2012 by KM Wall

The Harvest is in – the CORN harvest, that is, but the gardens continue to perform. Perhaps we should call this Mellow Yellow……

Calendula - pot marigolds, blooming on the calends of the month

Tansy flowers




















Fennel flowers











Fennel flowers with friends


Southerwood - also known as Lad's Love - in bloom










Hop flower









Lettuce Bloom






NOW they flower - too late dear vines!


Fish to fry or fricassee

July 13th, 2012 by KM Wall

Jakob Gilling Freshwater Fish

Of simple Fricasese.

Your simple Fricases are Egges and Collups fried, whether the Collops be of Bacon, Ling, Beefe, or young Porke, the frying whereof is to ordinarie, that is needeth not an relation, or the frying of any Flesh or Fish simple of it selfe with Butter or sweere Oyle.

- 1623. Gervase Markham. Covntry Contentment, or The English Huswife. London. p. 63.

To make a Fricace of a good Haddock or Whiting.

First seeth the fish and scum it, and pick  out the bones, take Onions and chop them small then fry them in Butter or Oyle till they be enough, and put in your fish, and frye them till it be drye, that doon : serue it forth with powder of Ginger on it.

- 1591. A.W. A Book of Cookrye. London. p. 27.

Ordinary, a fricassee is a dish of meat that is first boiled and then fried. Gervase Markham upsets this apple cart by identifying two sorts of fricassees: simple and compound. Simple fricassees for him are fried meats or fried eggs (some with meat) or plain fried fish. Tansys , fritters and pancakes and quelquechoses are what he is calling compound fricassees, none of which involve a boiling first step.

Since Plimoth is right on the ocean, ocean fish are common on Plimoth tables for half the year – the summer half. One account states that they send a boat out with 5 or 6 men in the morning, and they’re back in a few hours with enough fish to feed the town.

There will be several fish dishes on the bride-ale table on Saturday, including these two fried  dishes.

The fricassee with the powdered ginger on top is also very healthy, according to the Doctrine of Humours : the hot, dry ginger counters the effects of eating the cool, wet fish.

And the flavor is divine.

What’s good in the garden in May…..

May 8th, 2012 by KM Wall

A few things that have wintered over…


Good King Henry - more like spinach, before there was spinach

Close up of Good King Henry

Spinach a/k/a 'spinage' - this was planted last fall.

Orach, aslo known as 'orage' - sometimes in the 21st century called mountain spinach. This is a red variety - there is also a green variety.












New growth…..

Sorrel - makes a great sauce for sops, chicken and fish.












Clary sage - these leaves are used in tansys, and can be fried.

Clary sage

Walnut buds - these are also used in tansys


It’s also corn planting time.


Corn hills - waiting for herring

More corn ground.....

To make the best tansy

First then for making the best tansy, you shall take a certain number of eggs, according to the bigness of your frying pan, and break them into a dish, abating ever the white of every third egg; then with a spoon you shall cleanse away the little white chicken knots which stick unto the yolks; then with a little cream beat them exceedingly well together; then take of green wheat blades, violet leaves, strawberry leaves, spinach, and succory, of each a like quantity, and a few walnut tree buds; chop and beat all of these well, then strain out the juice, and, mixing it with a little more cream, put it to the eggs, and stir it all well together; then put in a few crumbs of bread, fine grated bread, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, then put some sweet butter into the frying pan, and so soon as it is dissolved or melted, put in the tansy, and fry it brown without burning, and with a dish turn it in the pan as occasion shall serve; then serve it up, having strewed good store of sugar upon it, for to put in sugar before will make it heavy. Some use to put of the herb tansy into it, but the walnut tree buds do give better taste or relish; and therefore when you please to use the one, do not use the other.

-Markham, G. The English Housewife. Best ed. p. 68.


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