Parkinson Paradisus 477 Pennyroyall..vsed to be put into puddings,..and therefore in diuers places they know it by no other name then Pudding-grasse.
Now, dear Mr. Parkinson, how is that this herb that is named for it’s use in puddings so seldom shows up in pudding recipes?
And frankly – GOOD THING:
Pregnant women and children under the age of 15 should not use this herb. Do not use oil extract orally as it is highly toxic. Do not exceed dosage amounts.
With any herb, there is the risk of an allergic reaction. Small children and pregnant women should use additional caution when considering the use of herbal remedies.
Which begs another question – how can the people of the past get away eating and otherwise ingesting things that we now know to be unsafe?
- Toxic load is different for different people in different times and in different place. Possibly there was a less toxic form of the herb available or perhaps we’re now exposed to things that make what was once inert, very dangerous OR
- When the leading cause of death is ‘suddenly’ appropriate cause and effect relationships aren’t always noted.
So this is a caveat – before we continue in the garden, before we try things merely because someone in the past wrote it down, before we try to be authentic in every detail in recreating old recipes, we must be safe.
Live to tell about it.
All the lovely herbals and books of medicine and even the cookbooks and commonplace books and receipt-books of the past are a great place to start BUT find a good modern herbal reference and use it often before ingesting anything.
There are websites (American Botanical Council or ABC) and books (John Lust The Herb Book is a personal quick and easy reference guide). Check them out before you eat! When in doubt, DON’T.
“256. A Pennyroyall Puding.
Take 6 Eggs beat them very well and halfe a pint of creame one Nutmeg grated a litle sugar and salt then take a good quantity of parsley penyroyall Marygold flowrs shred very small put them to the creame and Eggs with 4 spoonfulls of sack half a p[ound] of Corance and almost a p[ound] of Beefe suet shred a topeny loafe grated stir all well together then flowr the Bagge or pot tye it up close and it will be boyled in an hours time[.]
for the sauce take a litle rose water and sugar a litle vinegar and butter beat together poure it upon it then serve it in this is esteemed a good puding[.]”
-John Evelyn, Cook. C.Driver, ed. Prospect Books, 1997. p. 143.
For the Pudding, sans pennyroyal….
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup cream
nutmeg, sugar, salt
parsley and caledula flowers (not French marigolds, which taste as nasty as they smell – look them up…)
a little wine (a sack is not a bag, although sack in a bag pudding sounds like the punchline of a 17th century riddle)
suet and grated bread, I mean Bread Crumbs.
This is one pudding that can be boiled in a bag or a basin – basin being a category the I hadn’t noticed in Robert May. hmmmm.
The rosewater, beaten butter and vinegar sauce sounds very very very nice indeed. Not too much rosewater or it will taste like the soaps your Nana put out for company smells.