Tag Archives: Samuel Pepys

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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National Coffee Day

coffee-shop-17thc-london

I went to the Coffee Club and heard very good discourse… ~Samuel Pepys, diary, 1660 January 17th

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

Coffee beans in the shape of a coffee cup. Stock Photo

A fig for partridges and quails,
ye dainties I know nothing of ye;
But on the highest mount in Wales
Would choose in peace to drink my coffee.
~Jonathon Swift

jean-baptiste-simeon-chardin_glass-of-water-and-coffee-pot_1760carnegie

      Chardin, Glass of Water and Coffee Pot, 1760, Carnegie Museum of Art

 

No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.

~Henry Ward Beecher

coffee-pot-renoir

Coffee Pot -Pierre Auguste  Renoir

A cup of coffee — real coffee — home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all. ~Henry Ward Beecher

henry_ward_beecher_-_project_gutenberg_etext_15394

 

“There was a special Nolan idea about the coffee. It was their one great luxury. Mama made a big potful each morning and reheated it for dinner and supper and it got stronger as the day went on. It was an awful lot of water and very little coffee but mama put a lump of chicory in it which made it taste strong and bitter. Each one was allowed three cups a day with milk. Other times you could help yourself to a cup of black coffee anytime you felt like it. Sometimes when you had nothing at all and it was raining and you were alone in the flat, it was wonderful to know you could have something even though it was only a cup of black and bitter coffee.

Neeley and Francie loved coffee but seldom drank it. Today, as usual, Neeley let his coffee stand black and ate his condensed milk spread on bread. He sipped a little of the black coffee for the sake of formality. Mama poured out Francie’s coffee and put milk in it, even though she knew that the child wouldn’t drink it. From time to time, she’d smell the bitter sweetness of it. That was better than drinking it. At the end of the meal, it went down the sink

Mama had two sister, Sissy and Evy, who came to the flat often. Every time they saw the coffee thrown away, they gave mama a lecture about wasting things.

Mama explained: “Francie is entitled to one cup each meal like the rest. If it makes her feel better to throw it away than to drink it, all right. I think it’s good that people like us can waste something once in a while and get the feeling of how it would be to have lots of money and not have to worry about scrounging.

This queer point of view satisfied mama and pleased Francie. It was one of the links between the ground-down poor and the wasteful rich.  The girl felt that even if she had less than anybody in Williamsburg somehow she had more.”

treegrows-in-brook-1947pb

Popular Library ed. pp. 15-16

Harper edition published August 1943; 29 printings.

tree-grows-in-brooklyn-coffee

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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.

Sooooooooooo

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?

HOW AND WHY DID WE EVER STOP DOING THIS??????

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.

A-Still-Life-Of-A-Pie-And-Sliced-Lemon-On-Pewter-Dishes-A-Vase-Of-Flowers-A-Glass-Of-Beer-And-A-Wine-Glass-Upon-A-Partly-Draped-Table

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.

skywritingIloveU

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:

[THE DUTCH RECORD]
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…

[THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION]
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