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