Monthly Archives: April 2017

Pie Day!

Above is the shorthand in Samuel Pepys dairy.

Samuel_Pepys

Sam, himself

and he wrote VOLUMES about himself and living in London in the 17th century and himself and a little more about himself….

Samuel_Pepys_diary_manuscript_volumes330px

Volumes!

So when he writes about celebrating wedding anniversaries with

PIES

you want to pay attention…

Monday 3 February 1661/62

After musique practice I went to the office, and there with the two Sir Williams all the morning about business, and at noon I dined with Sir W. Batten with many friends more, it being his wedding-day, and among other froliques, it being their third year, they had three pyes, whereof the middlemost was made of an ovall form, in an ovall hole within the other two, which made much mirth, and was called the middle piece; and above all the rest, we had great striving to steal a spooneful out of it; and I remember Mrs. Mills, the minister’s wife, did steal one for me and did give it me; and to end all, Mrs. Shippman did fill the pye full of white wine, it holding at least a pint and a half, and did drink it off for a health to Sir William and my Lady, it being the greatest draft that ever I did see a woman drink in my life.

I’ve mentioned this before, but some things bear repeating. Celebrating with a pie for each year of marriage.

And so when the 1624 Plimoth couple, Jane and Anthony Annable  have a wedding  anniversary on April 26th, being married on that day in 1619 at All Saints Church, Cambridge, might there be pie in Plimoth? Five pies, perhaps?

All_Saints'_Church,_Cambridge

This is the 19th century All Saints in Cambridge – the actual building that the Annables were married in was torn down. Nice spire!

 

CambridgeCastle17thCentury

This view might be a little closer to what Jane and Anthony remember of Cambridge. And William Brewster – he was at Peterhouse College. And John Robinson. And the Blossoms….lots of Cambridge connections in Plimoth Colony.

So although we don’t know if the Annables remembered their anniversary in any particular way…and with their future Puritan leanings, they might not have been so inclined to celebrate the anniversary of things,

We do know an actual marriage date. And it’s always nice to draw attention to the things we ACTUALLY do, document-wise, know.

A little more Sam on pie:

6 January 1662.

This morning I sent my lute to the Paynter’s, and there I staid with him all the morning to see him paint the neck of my lute in my picture, which I was not pleased with after it was done.

Thence to dinner to Sir W. Pen’s, it being a solemn feast day with him, his wedding day, and we had, besides a good chine of beef and other good cheer, eighteen mince pies in a dish, the number of the years that he hath been married.

pies

Shapes for 17th century pies. Notice the Mince on a Dish.

bride pie mayround234

Robert May’s Bride Pie in The Accomplist Cook – each ring is a different pie piled on the one below….a tier of pies – a tower  of tarts –

pie eater closeup

These people look like they’re having a good pie time. Notice the woman eating in the pie with a her fingers.

SOOOO

One man mentions a type of celebration twice, although it does involve two different couple.

On the other hand – EIGHTEEN mince pies….

If anyone knows a play or a poem or a song or an actual reference of someone who isn’;t hanging out with Samuel Pepys..

SPEAK NOW

and for heaven’s sake,

DON’T HOLD YOUR PEACE.

Unless it’s a piece of pie…..

 

pie eater closeupalone - Copy

She looks pretty happy to have pie. And she’s sharing.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

9 November 1665

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#ShakespeareSunday

Today is the last day of a yearlong celebration celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare – #BardYear.

Title_page_William_Shakespeare's_First_Folio_1623

First Folio

April 23rd 1616 is the day he died. It might also be the day he was born. We have his baptismal date, so we know he was born by when. But funerals are a bigger deal, celebration wise, in the 17th century then births (infants are considered to be lumps of flesh in search of their humanity; if you live to adulthood, you’re a person).

A quick run through of a few, very few selected Shakespeare and food books:

Shakeontoast

Last one read, first one mentioned – Shakespeare on Toast

I need to find out what the English “on toast” reference is, but it was well written, fast paced and enormously entertaining and informative   (words that belong together especially when dealing with Shakespeare). Not about food, how to read Shakespeare (aloud – they’re plays, not novels!) and other tips, tricks and insights.

And to continue the reverse chronological order in which I’ve read/ discovered them….

Shakescookbook

The Shakespeare Cookbook. Andrew Dalby and Maureen Dalby.The British Museum Press: 2012.

Lovely illustrations from the British Museum collection, like 17th century fruit trenchers…and lots more. Great food, too and adaptations.

fruit trencher BM

Fruit trencher or roundel from the 17th century- not just any wooden plate! from the British Museum

Shakespeare, not Stirred. Cocktails for Everyday Dramas. Caroline Bick, PhD, and Michelle Ephriam, PhD. Perigee Books: NY 2015.

shakesnotstirred

Quite possibly the most fun of the bunch…. Shall I Campari to a Summer’s Day?….Oh, yes!

Shakespeare’s Kitchen. Francine Sagen. Random House NY 2003.

Shakeskitchen

The photo’s in this are lovely and the recipes work extremely well in a modern kitchen, even if one or two are so adapted as to be unrecognizable from their Shakespeare time form….if you like good food, cook it all; if you want good history, cook the ones with period recipe mentioned….

dining with shakesespare

Dining With William Shakespeare. Marge Lorwin. Atheneum: NY 1976. has been part of my life for decades…it was my introduction to food in the time of Pilgrims, and the scholarships – and readability –  have help up well through the decades. I always find something new when I go back.

shakesplantssimmons

Plants of Shakespeare. Adelma Grenier Simmons.   1987. Caprilands Coventry Conn.

I got this little book when I visited Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry Connecticut in the early ’80’s….might be time for a field trip….

Adelma_at_Hilltop

 

 

and this, too!

Shakesflowers

 

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Grapenuts Pudding

 

While brewing a little beer at work recently…..

All in the name of research and history….

We had some malted barley and malted wheat brewing and we all noticed how much it smelled like Grape-Nuts.

The healthy, crunchy, good for you cereal.

grapenuts current

And I started to think, ponder, dwell, fantasize, dream  about

GRAPENUTS PUDDING

Not the Puff Pudding, just plain old Grape-nuts custard……

But first to find the Grape-nuts….

Kathy went to the store first and found Grape-nuts Flakes….do they even make grape-nuts any more?????

Another store, with some poking and searching  – Grape-nuts! And a store brand that had much more sugar and salt…..

So the Grape-nuts come home, but the pudding recipe is no longer on the box.

The internet offered several solutions:

grapenut pudding rx

The thin layer of grape-nuts at the bottom is not the layer I’m looking for….keep looking

grape-nut-pudding-Parade mag

This is from Parade Magazine – thicker layer at the bottom, and thinner, crispier layer at top. I hope.

  • INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 large eggs

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • Grape-Nuts cereal

  • whipped cream

 

  1. Butter a 2-quart baking dish and preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Whisk eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in milk.
  3. Pour a thin layer of Grape-Nuts cereal into baking dish, barely covering bottom of dish. Pour in milk mixture.
  4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until mostly set but jiggly in center. Serve with whipped cream.

By Sarah DiGregorio  May 10, 2014

https://communitytable.parade.com/288844/sarahdigregorio/grape-nuts-pudding/

 

Still not the thick layer at the bottom I remember, the layer of soggy grape-nuts….

Savour has a version that promises the bottom layer….

December 19, 2007 Saveur

serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

1 qt. milk

4 eggs

12 cup sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

14 tsp. fine salt

Grated nutmeg

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart glass loaf pan with 1 tsp. butter; set aside. Put cereal into a bowl; set aside.

Bring milk just to a boil over medium heat; pour over cereal and set aside to let soak for 5 minutes.

Beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour egg mixture into milk mixture while whisking constantly. Transfer to reserved pan; set in a deep roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan that it reaches halfway up pudding pan. Bake until just set, about 1 14 hours. Let cool; sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Grape-Nuts-Pudding

 

But now that Spring has finally come, and the weather is in the 70’s, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven and fuss with a  water bath  – even calling it bain marie doesn’t make it more attractive.

Pea shoots, micro-green salads, pasta with seasonal pestos, eggs with greeny things….It’s still April; there’ll be a day for custard before May.

 

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Hallelujah!

Happy Easter

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Goldenrods

Goldenrods

as in Goldenrod Eggs….

Martha Stewart Living April 2017 featured a story about Goldenrods…. not the weeds, the  eggs

msl-April2017cover-225x300

goldenrod eggs Betty Crocker

This is the photo from the Betty Crocker version.

Reading the article I had a Remembrance of Things Past moment, except it was for something that I had never eaten….it was something I’d read about.

It was a book I read when I was nine. Or ten. Definitely before 11.

I think it was called

“Two in Patches”.

Patches was the name of the car. More properly, a roadster. I’m pretty sure it was written in the 1930’s.

roadster

a 1930’s roadster

There was a brother – who was old enough to drive – and a little sister. She was close to my age – 9 or 10 or 11.  They had to drive cross country to get their parents who had been working in the steamy, vine-tangled jungles of Peru. Or hottest Brazil. One of those exotic, faraway places. They had a grown-up, who might have been Grandpa, that they picked up somewhere. They ended up in California, and there was a happily ever after reunion. It would probably be a good companion piece for The Grapes of Wrath.

There were hobos, and not all of them were friendly.

Sometimes they had to beg for work to earn food or gas money. I believe “beg” was their word for it. They gave people rides in exchange for food or gas.

Beret-e1457039149493

This is pretty close to what I remembering  what the girl might have looked like.

It was not a picture book, but there were line drawings.

ANYHOW….

…..at one point they are really hungry and they break into a hen-house. They get caught, and the cagey old farmer invites them in, and the girl cooks up a big old batch of……

EGGS GOLDENROD

So I looked up a recipe,  Thank you Betty Crocker

and merrily went on with my life. It seemed rather like egg sauce on toast, and I can’t say that I craved it or even thought about it again until I opened up Martha Stuart Living.

So, thank you for a trip back in time. Now I need to make some bread to have the toast to make the eggs….

A version roughly contemporary with my remembered childhood volume:

Goldenrod Eggs

Make a thin white sauce by melting

1 Tbls of butter then adding

1 Tbls flour. Add

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt and

Fg pepper. Stir until thick and smooth. Chop the white of

3 hard cooked eggs and add to white sauce. Cut

4 slices of toast in halves lengthwise.

Arrange on a platter and pour sauce over them. Force yolks through a strainer or potato ricer, letting them fall upon the sauce making a mound of yellow. Garnish with parsley and toast points. This may be served on individual dishes.

Serves four.

Wakefield, Ruth Graves. Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. M. Barrows and Co.: New York. 1937. p. 61.

Ruth Wakefield Tried and True

Evidently, Fanny Farmer published the first Eggs Goldenrod recipe back in 1896. This is based on other peoples say-so. I’ll be on the look-out.

Eggs à la Goldenrod.

3 hard boiled eggs.

1 tablespoon butter.

1 tablespoon flour.

1 cup milk.

1/2 teaspoon salt.

1/8 teaspoon pepper.

5 slices toast.

Parsley.

Make a thin white sauce with butter, flour, milk, and seasonings. Separate yolks from whites of eggs. Chop whites finely, and add them to the sauce. Cut four slices of toast in halves lengthwise. Arrange on platter, and pour over the sauce. Force the yolks through a potato ricer or strainer, sprinkling over the top. Garnish with parsley and remaining toast, cut in points.

bost127

Boston Cooking School 1896

 

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Boston Brown Bread – Slow and Easy

What’s so Boston about it? Probably the molasses…No one says….

Recipes for steam brown bread go back to the 1830’s…..and they mention lots of different containers. I think there’s a  timeline….

Pudding basins :

pudding basin

Pudding basins look like bowls and sometimes are – but that lip is to tie a top down so you could steam

Pudding molds:

steamed pudding mold

This is a steamed pudding mold – pour the batter in, snap on the lid and put it in boiling water

Baking powder tins

Clabber_Girl

Baking powder tins seem to be the first substitute from pudding molds

Coffee cans

coffee-cans

They need to be METAL coffee cans and not the plastic ones.

Then there was a more recent suggestion to save  cans that had safe seams….but I don’t buy that much food in cans, so I was perfectly contented to buy Boston Brown Bread in cans.

bbrown bread

But then I saw a recipe for

MASON JARS BROWN BREAD MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER

GENIUS

The recipe is pretty much the same though the decades…

Good Housekeeping cb

Good Housekeeping (1960’s)

beard on bread

Beard On Bread (1970’s)

KAF 200th anniversary

And King Arthur Flour (1990’s)

and the KAF website – all the same ingredients, different containers and method of cooking

BOSTON BROWN BREAD

SLOW AND EASY

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup rye flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

¾ cup dark, unsulphured molasses

(up to 1 cup of raisins is optional. I usually opt in)

 

  1. Mix the flours with the baking soda. Put aside.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and molasses. Add the wets to the drys.
  3. Grease 4  1 pint WIDE MOUTHED mason jars. (see the illustrations below)
  4. Grease the lids, too.
  5. Divide the batter between the four jars – I used a canning funnel.
  6. Wide them off.
  7. Put the greased lids on.
  8. Put the jars in a slow cooker. Fill the cooker halfway up the sides f the jar.
  9. Put on the lid and turn up the heat.
  10. Cook on high 2-3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Us potholders (mine are silicon) and take the jars out of the water.
  12. When they’re cool enough, shake the bread out of the jars and cool on a rack.
  13. Slice and serve. Eat with butter or cream cheese.
  14. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. It’s usually magically gone so very soon…..

 

BLUE_WM_PINT_JAR_1

This is the wide-mouth jar. Notice the straight side up to the opening. If you steam bread in here, the bread will come out when it’s done. This is an important detail. Should you use the wrong jar, serve it with a spoon……..like you meant to do it the whole time.

ball-blue-heritage-regular-mouth-pint-16oz-mason-jar

This is the regular jar – notice that while you could fish a pickle out, a bread would have a hard time slipping out. Hence the serve with a spoon option…..

canning funnel

I love my canning funnel. I use it all the time, wets and drys. Sometimes I can, too.

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rabbit rabbit rabbit etc.

Rabbits (Les lapins)

Lucien Pissarro (1863 – 1944)

wood engraving in black on Japan paper, 16.3 cm x 23.8 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

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