Tag Archives: pigeons

May on August

Another Wicked Way-back Wednesday….a 17th century bill of fare for the month of August. Notice – Neither a hot dog nor hamburger to be see; no ice cream or gelato or potato salad or ketchup or Popsicle, but it does start with melons  ….. but after that it’s a little more unfamiliar.

A Bill of Fare for August.

Muskmelons.

All cantaloupes are musk melons, but not all musk melons are cantaloupes

All cantaloupes are musk melons, but not all musk melons are cantaloupes

1 Scotch collops of Veal.(COLLUPS: slices of meat, such as bacon. Randle Holme defines Scotch or Scots collups as thin, salted slices of mutton or beef, broiled and served with vinegar and butter. (Richard Bradley, 1736) Prospect Books: Glossery (this is the address – it doesn’t want to link for me –  https://prospectbooks.co.uk/glossary/c)

2 Boil’d Breast of Mutton.
3 A Fricase of Pigeons.
4 A stewed Calves head.

Tête-à-tête de veau. Credits: L. John Harris zester 2011

Tête-à-tête de veau.
Credits: L. John Harris zester 2011

5 Four Goslings.(baby geese)
6 Four Caponets.(baby capons – which are rooster with their boy bits removed)

A Second Course.

1 Dotterel twelve, six larded

Dotterel_from_the_Crossley_ID_Guide_Britain_and_Ireland

Dotterals – these could be the six larded…or not

2 Tarts Royal of Fruit.
3 Wheat-ears.

An ear of wheat - not the wheat ear he means

An ear of wheat – not the wheat ear he means

Wheatear - yet another tiny, tasty bird

Wheatear – yet another tiny, tasty bird

4 A Pye of Heath-Pouts.
5 Marinate Smelts.
6 Gammon of Bacon.
Selsey Cockles.

Cockles (French, not necessarily the same as East Sussex)

Cockles (French, not necessarily the same as East Sussex)

Robert May

Jan Davidsz de Heen

Jan Davidsz de Heen Still-life with Fruit and Ham 1648 – In my minds eye this is Robert May’s August table

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Filed under The 17th century

Recipes, now and then

Andrew Zimmern

The recipe, which came in a Twitter update from the chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern, was succinct, as the form requires: “Brown 8 thighs, 3 C shallots. Add wine, tarragon, Dijon, sim 30 min covered. Remove lid, reduce. Add 2 C cut cherry toms.”

There was no photograph attached, but he was clearly writing about chicken. An image of the dish was instantly in my mind: the burnished brown of the skin peeking out of a sauce the color of goldenrod, with flecks of green from the tarragon and bright red from the wilted tomatoes. Such is the power of a great recipe in whatever form. The dish seemed obviously cookable. Better yet, it was deeply appetizing. I made it for the family right away.”

Sam Sifton, New York Times Magazine Chicken with Shallots, Chef Style March 19, 2014.

Sam Shifton also wrote a book on Thanksgiving

Sam Sifton also wrote a book on Thanksgiving, a great primer for the day’s cooking

Sifton goes on to say how he knows it’s chicken and how he cooks it and cooks it again, and that the twitter has the essence of the recipe.

Chicken, shallots,

Shallots

Shallots

tarragon

tarragon

tarragon

and cherry tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

 

The photo to the NY Times

The photo to the NY Times article

Now, if Sifton didn’t know from chicken or tarragon or cherry tomatoes….this might not have been the image he  would have conjured up. But since he had an image and an impression of the dish, he knew how to cook it. So much of cooking is memory.

So much the same for cooks of the past. Just a few words could conjure up an image, and then they’d know what to do, if they even want to do this at all.

In the 17th century they didn’t have Twitter, but some of their recipes  are succinct enough for the form.  And the spelling is totally creative.

Parboyl them with beaten Parsley and Butter in their Bellies, then put them into your Boyler with strong Broth, add a blade of Mace, and some gross pepper, with half a pint of white-wine, grate a little bread into the broth to whitten the Fowl; and so serve them up with the Gravy and a dissolved Anchovy, Garnish’d with Parsly and Violets, or their leaves.

The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696

This is a recipe for………

Pigeons or any small Fowl to Boyl.

It would work equally well with chicken.  Not too far from the the first recipe either – bird, wine, herb.

Violets are edible, as are their heart shaped leaves

Violets are edible, as are their heart shaped leaves

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Filed under Eating, Perception ways, Thanksgiving