My So-Called Pilgrim Life

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A chronicle of daily life in the 1627 English village at Plimoth Plantation from both a modern and historical perspective.


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

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2 Responses to “Mussels”

  1. Stacy says:

    Yeah feel bad about missing the jacket revealing. Glad the food was good though, and I saw the pictures and it looked great.
    And this recipe does seem oddly familiar….

  2. KMWall says:

    I didn’t mention that the most frequently named fish in William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation is shellfish…maybe next July our something fishy should be of the shell variety. And seethed mussels are easy to do no matter what kind of heat you cook with. KMW

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