December, 2009

Snippets of sippets

December 19th, 2009 by admin


Or another way to say Toast
Not just any toast, toast with a tasty topping. In the program it was titled Snippets of Spinach, snippets being a misreading of sippets, which I’m sure you all remember is a small sop. And a sop? A slice of bread that is sometimes toasted or sometimes fried that goes first in the dish to sop up the sauce or the broth. Sometimes the sop gets its own topping and served to fill in the edges of a meal. Am I the only on who hears bread with tasty topping and thinks bruschetta? This 17th century recipe is as easy as toast!

To make a fried toste of Spinage.
Take Spinnage and seeth it in water and salt, and when it is tender, wring out the water between two Trenchers, then chop it small and set it on a Chafing-dish of coles, and put thereto butter, small Raisons, Sinamon, Ginger, and Sugar, and a little of the iuyce of an Orenge and the two yolkes of rawe Eggs, and let it boil till it be somewhat thicke, then toste your toste, soake them in a little Butter, and Suger, and spread thinne your spinnage upon them, and set them in a dish before the fire alitle while, & so serve them with a little suger upon them.
- Dawson, Thomas.

Cook the spinach and wring out the water – put it in a clean towel and wring the ends over a sink. Chop the spinach, put in a saucepan with some butter, a few raisins or currents, some cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Squeeze in some lemon juice (or use about a tablespoon of orange juice and skip the sugar. They were using Seville oranges in the 17th century, so lemon juice is a better choice then sweet or navel orange juice in this case). The 2 egg yolks are to thicken the sauce. There are variations of this recipe that use 2 or 3 cooked egg yolks as well. Cook it till it thickens up somewhat. In the mean time, toast your bread – a thinly sliced baguette make a great base. You want something that isn’t going to dissolve instantly. Butter the spread, spread on some of the spinach and give it a minute or two to to meld. If you do this part ahead of time, you can run them under the broiler for just a minute to reheat them befoer serving. Now for sugar on top….A 17th century housewife would be scraping her sugar from a sugarloaf, which gives you very fine sugar, a very little at a time. So a pinch of superfine sugar is all you need here, and if you are using orange juice, it’s probably sweet enough or a very small pinch of granulated sugar, just enough to bring out the contrast between the sour of the lemon/orange juice and the flavor of the spinach (which I keep spelling ‘spinnage’, thank you very much Mr Dawson) and of course the bread.

There are some wonderful images of the Embroidered Jacket on the Embroiderers blog, and I’m going to try this whole link thing again.

Colonial Foodways Culinarian


December 15th, 2009 by admin


Since I didn’t ask for food pictures at the Embroidered Jacket event, there really aren’t any. People are gathered around what I know is the food, but the food itself isn’t really showcased. And it was really good. Kenny and the Creative crew did a fantastic job.
It looks like we’ll have to cook everything again for a photo shoot. Yep, somebody’s got to do it. Oh, the life of a Foodways Culinarian.
But on to mussels

To seeth Muscles.
Take butter and vinegar a good deale, parsley chopt small and pepper, then set it on the fire, and let it boile a while, the see the Muscles be cleane washee, and put them in the broth shelles and all, and when they be boyled a while, serve them shelles and all.
Thomas Dawson. The Second part of the Good Hus-wifes Jewell. 1597.
Mussels are easy. And this recipe is almost all you need to know.
To seethe mussels
Wash and pick over you mussels. Make sure the shells fit together tightly – no mud mussels or dearly departed for the pot. Scrub/tug the little beards off.
In a pot with a lid big enough to hold the mussels, put 1/2 cup butter (one stick) and 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar. Add 1/2 a bunch chopped fresh parsley. Bring to a boil. Add the mussels, shells and all. Put the lid on tight. After 5 minutes, carefully toss them withing the pan.It should take under 10 minutes for them to cook. You’ll know they’re done when they’re open. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and enjoy.

Somethings never change. It’s not just the food, it’s the ways.

Colonial Foodways Culinarian

Pears in Broth

December 14th, 2009 by admin


To make Peares to be boiled in meate.
Take a peece of a legge of Mutton or Veale raw, being mixed with a little Sheepes sewet, and half a manchet grated fione, taking four rawe egges yolkes and al. The take a little Time, & parsley chopped smal, then take a few gooseberries or barberries, or green grapes being whole. Put all these together, being seasoned with Salte, saffron and cloves, beaten and wrought together, then make Rowles or Balles like to a peare, and when you have so done, take the stalke of sage, and put it into the ends of your peares or balles, then take the freshe broth of beefe, Mutton or veale, being put into an earthen pot, putting the peares or balles in the same broth with Salt, cloves, mace, and Saffron, and when you be ready to serve him, put two or three yolkes of egs into the broth. Let them boile no more after that but serve it forth upon soppes. You may make balles after the same sort.
Thomas Dawson. The Second part of the Good Hus-wifes Jewell. 1597.

Francine Sagen wrote Shakespeare’s Kitchen and came here for a book signing that included a dinner based on her versions of 17th century recipes. That was the first time that Kenny, our wonderful chef in Creative Gourmet used this recipe, which you can see at Francine Segan
Pretty much these little meatballs are a little conceit, a joke. By making them pear shaped (with the detail of the the sage leaf – you’ll want tiny sage leaves for the best effect) is the first joke, And if you shape the meat around a grape….you have a little surprise within your surprise.
If this link doesn’t work, I’ll be back with a translation. I’m also working on getting some photos, and I suppose a recap of the Embroidered Jacket event will eventually be necessary, too.

It seems I’ve turned everything after the link into a link…..L is for Luddite…..
Colonial Foodways Culinarian

edit-I fixed it.

Peasecods – from Jacket to Plate

December 11th, 2009 by admin

Here’s a recipe for a lovely little 17th century treat.
To Make Peascods in Lent

Take figs, Raisons, and a few Dates, and beate them
very fine, and season it with Cloves, Mace, Cinamon
and Ginger, and for your paste seeth faire water and oyle
in a dish uppon coales, put therein saffron and salt and
a little flower, fashion them then like peasecods, and
when ye will serve them, frye them in Oyle in a frying
panne, but let the Oyle bee verie hotte, and the fire soft
for burning of them, and when yee make them for fleshe
dayes, take a fillet of veale and mince it fine, and put the
yolkes of two or three rawe egges to it, and season it
with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, honie, suger, cinamon,
ginger, small raisons, or great minced, and for your paste
butter, the yolke of an egge, and season them, and fry
them in butter as yee did the other in oyle.
Thomas Dawson, The Good Huswifes Jewell, 1596

Redaction for flesh days version:
Flour, butter, 1 egg and salt


Minced veal (we use chicken); season with salt, pepper, cloves, mace (or nutmeg), honey, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, raisins, butter and one egg yolk.
Make into little pies, shaping them like peasecods, and fry them in yet more butter or bake them in a 375 oven until they’re golden brown. If you bake them, brush them with another egg yolk, beaten, to give them a richer golden color.

More recipes from the Embroidered Jacket Revel to follow.

Colonial Foodways Culinarian

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