Tag Archives: anniversary


There are Marshmallows the plant…..with a lovely white flower


Marshmallow – Althea officinalis. Officinalis in a plant name usually means it has/had a medicinal use.

Marshmallows the plant is pretty good for whatever seems to be ailing you – breathing issues, gastric ulcers, burns or wounds. In some cases the roots are used.

marshmallow roots

The extract of the root is known as halawa extract and is sometimes used as a flavoring in  halva.


Halva  – another sort of confection altogether….

back to Marshmallows

Because it’s the hot cocoa/chocolate time of year….today is more like the Iced Tea sort of day, but any day in Winter that doesn’t have snow is a good day for me….I wanted some marshmallows to go on top of the seasonal hot beverage. A  jar of Fluff would do…..but mini marshmallows are the just right for a cup of hot.


Here in Plymouth you can also get a cup of Not-Hot Chocolate. It is HOT; what it’s not is chocolate. It’s car0b.

carob tree330px-Illustration_Ceratonia_siliqua0

Carob beans were what Europe had before the Spanish Conquistadors came to  MesoAmerican and found chocolate

Carob is sooo another story. With chocolate. And without it….

Back to Marshmallows  



dandies marshmallowsmini

The little Dandies were on sale – on sale marshmallows are the BEST sort of marshmallows.

Vanilla??? Marshmallows have a ….flavor? Aren’t they all about the sweet and the fluffy and the texture and the look…..but the taste?

These mini Dandies were indeed fine and dandy little marshmallows. Tasty. SO tasty, I checked how many marshmallows in a serving (90 for 1 ounce) to stop myself from eating the whole bag. Usually, stopping isn’t an issue.  Marshmallows are so much better in things or on things they they are by themselves. Unless they’re toasted…


Doesn’t even need a graham cracker….

But marshmallows start getting all sorts of press around Thanksgiving, thank you Sweet Potato Casserole, which IF  it has to have marshmallows on top, put it in a crust and call it PIE and serve it for dessert.

marshmallo - sweet potbake Kraft

How is this NOT dessert??

One of the problems with moving house is that nothing is where you can find it….easily. So a pie or a casserole for the Thanksgiving potluck – I wasn’t even sure where my knives where….pots, pans, bowls – measuring cups????? Too may things – what was a minimalist thing to do? I’d already suggested the ubiquitous can of cranberry sauce to several people (most of whom did not believe that since SOMEONE has to bring it, it could just as well be them.  The one who couldn’t bear the thought of T day without it was the one that brought the cans.) And then I found……

Sweet potato chips with a marshmallow dip – Much easier!

1 large container of fluff and 1 pound of sour cream, beaten together

2 bags sweet potato chips….done!

This isn’t exactly the Food Network Magazine recipe

FNM Nov2015cover

…but I realized I didn’t have lids and bowls that matched, nor did I have tin foil or plastic wrap in the house, so by making a double batch of dip I could pack it up in the (nicely washed out) Fluff container.

Broil the top – less easy, easy to live without,


if you have a blow torch, and brown the top in front of everyone,  it becomes and event, and a memorable one, at that.

Sweet potato fries also good suggestion, but more work. Sweet potato chips are also gluten free.

Internet search has some suggesting fruit with this dip, but that is just plain too sweet. Chips, with the lovely salty crunchy aspect – OR – since we make PUMPKIN BREAD why not sweet potato bread…hmmmmmmmm – with mini marshmallows mixed in OR sliced and served with fluff……

Thank you Food Network Magazine

chip off the old casserole Nov 2015 FNM

Chip off the Old Casserole Food Network Magazine Nov 2015 p. 69.

Now it’s time for cocoa….with marshmallows.


P.S. – WordPress just sent me a message – it’s 2 years ago today that this blog  began – thanks for reading!


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Filed under Recipe, winter

Extraordinary Pie

From Samuel Pepys diaries:

6 January 1662.

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.


Is what he saying that….

1) Wedding anniversaries are solemn feast days, which means the Puritan curse of not celebrating anniversaries has somewhat lifted in London in the 1660’s and

2) You celebrate with the number of pies to correspond to the number of years married?


And being Samuel Pepys, there’s more.

 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.

What have we here? A certain friskiness, for one.

Also,another occasion where the number of pies corresponds to the number of years married.

Notice also – eating the pies with a spoon. Before pies were cut into wedges, which is a relatively recent phenomenon in pie history, pies were broken open from the top and more or less scooped out.


Heda 1642

Willem Clauszn Heda 1642

Still Life by Willem Clauszn Heda

Still Life by Willem Clauszn Heda

and then there’s this:

William Playfair - 1789 - the first pie chart

William Playfair – 1789 – the first pie chart

And they’re using the pastry to drink wine from – a pint of wine. It’s like drinking champagne from a slipper…only more so.

Robert May in The Accomplist Cook RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispiecehas a section called:

“To make an extraordinary Pie, or a Bride Pye of several Compounds being several distinct Pies all on one bottom”

bride pie mayround234



Robert May has a few notes on these pies:

“…..you may bake the middle one full of flour, it being bak’t and cold, take out the flour in the bottom, & put in live birds, or a snake, which will seem strange to the beholders, which cut up the pie at the Table. This is only for Weddings to pass away the time.” (235)

I was at a wedding last week and I for one am so grateful they chose skywriting over snakes or birds to dazzle and entertain us.


Skywriting is SO much nicer then snakes in a pie!

But today is the anniversary of John Jenney and Sarah Carey, the Sarah Jenney I play in 1627. According to the Leiden records:

Aengeteyckent de v. septemb 1614
tjee de 6 . 9 . 1614 Johan Jene Jongman brouwersinecht van
tije de 13 . 9 . 1614 noorwiets In engelant nu woonende te Rot
tiije de 20 9 . 1614 terdam verselschapt met Rogier Wilson syn zyn Getrout voor bekende Jasper van Bauchem met
& Jacob Paedts Sche- Sara kaire Jonge Dochter van moncksoon in
pene Dese eerste engelant verselschapt met Johanne Leyns
Novemb xvi veertien haer bekende

and now in English…

Entered on 5 September, 1614.
John Jenney, single man, brewer’s man, from Norwich in England, now dwelling at Rotterdam, accompanied by Roger Wilson, his acquaintance, with Sarah Carey, single woman, from “Moncksoon” in England, accompanied by Joanna Lyons, her acquaintance.
They were married before Jasper van Bauchem and Jacob Paedts, Sheriffs, this first of November, 1614.

The entries “tje de 6 . 9 . 1614” &c. show that the banns were published three times, on 6, 13 and 20 September, 1614

November 1, 1614 was the wedding day. Thirteen years for 1627. 400 years for the rest of us.

What would their culinary biography be if told pie-wise?

Every pie has a story.

Table-Talk time.

Table talk pie pan

What’s in YOUR pie plate?

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Filed under Eating, Perception ways, The 17th century