Tag Archives: The Accomplist Cook

Possets, Fools & Trifles

OR

How to eat Cream and Sugar before Ice Cream was part of  Summer  – or any other Season

Possets:

Using lemon or lime to curdle cream, which is like custard without the fuss – or egg.

Bon Apetit July 2017  which is “Posset” in the magazine – BUT

“Egg-less custard” on the web site.

They’ve been around since the 16th and 17th century, and are cousins of  syllabubs. Some are made with wine, which make them milkshakes for grown-ups.

posset cup silver

Darling little two handled posset cup. The heading image is a posset cup with a spout.

But here’s the link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/eggless-lime-custards-with-lychees

And some 17th century recipes….

To make a Compound Posset of Sack, Claret, White-Wine, Ale, Beer, or Juyce of Oranges, &c.

Take twenty yolks of eggs with a little cream, strain them, and set them by; then have a clean scowred skillet, and put into it a pottle of good sweet cream, and a good quantity of whole cinamon, set it a boiling on a soft charcoal fire, and stir it continually; the cream having a good taste of the cinamon, put in the strained eggs and cream into your skillet, stir them together, and give them a warm, then have some sack in a deep bason or posset-pot, good store of fine sugar, and some sliced 425 nutmeg; the sack and sugar being warm, take out the cinamon, and pour your eggs and cream very high in to the bason, that it may spatter in it, then strow on loaf sugar.

To make a Posset simple.

Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet, and when it boils take it off, and warm in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack, claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange; pour it into the drink, but let not your milk be too hot, for it will make the curd hard, then sugar it.

Otherways.

Beat a good quantity of sorrel, and strain it with any of the foresaid liquors, or simply of it self, then boil some milk in a clean scowred skillet, being boil’d, take it off and let it cool, then put it to your drink, but not too hot, for it will make the curd tuff.

Possets of Herbs otherways.

Take a fair scowred skillet, put in some milk into it, and some rosemary, the rosemary being well boil’d in it, take it out and have some ale or beer in a pot, put to it the milk and sugar, (or none.)

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. Accomplist Cook

No need for specialty serving ware.

But seriously – if you have an Iced Tea Spoon, why Not a Posset Pot?

As for Fools:

 

 

AN ORANGE FOOL

Take the juice of six Oranges and six Eggs well beaten, a Pint of Cream, a quarter of a Pound of Sugar, a little Cinnamon and Nutmeg; mix all together, and keep stirring over a slow Fire, till it is thick, then put in a little Piece of Butter, and keep stirring till cold, then dish it up.

  • Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery, made Plain and Easy. 1747. Prospect Books ed. 1995, p. 79.

Glasse - First catch

But since

Orange Fool

aired on the Fourth of July, some thought it was…

political, not food at all.

SO this:

There are other fools….

Robert May again:

To make a Norfolk Fool.
Take a quart of good thick sweet cream, and set it a boiling in a clean scoured skillet, with some large mace and whole cinamon; then having boil’d a warm or two take the yolks of five or six eggs dissolved and put to it, being taken from the fire, then take out the cinamon and mace; the cream being pretty thick, slice a fine manchet into thin slices, as much as will cover the bottom of the dish, pour on the cream on them, and more bread, some two or three times till the dish be full, then trim the dish side with fine carved sippets, and stick it with slic’t dates, scrape on sugar, and cast on red and white biskets.

Which leaves

TRIFLES

To make a Trifle.
Take a pinte of thicke Creame, and season it with Suger and Ginger, and
Rosewater, so stirre it as you would then haue it, and make it luke warme in a dish
on a Chafingdishe and coales, and after put it into a siluer peece or a bowle, and so serue it to the boorde.

The_Good_Huswifes_Jewell_Frontispiece_1610(1)

 

Section XII.

To make all manner of Creams, Sack-Possets, Sillabubs, Blamangers, White-Pots, Fools, Wassels, &c.

To make a Triffel.

Take a quart of the best and thickest cream, set it on the fire in a clean skillet, and put to it whole mace, cinamon, and sugar, boil it well in the cream before you put in the sugar; then your cream being well boiled, pour it into a fine silver piece or dish, and take out the spices, let it cool till it be no more than blood-warm, then put in a spoonful of good runnet, and set it well together being cold scrape sugar on it, and trim the dish sides finely.

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispiece

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11 Pie-ers Pieing

Oh, It’s PIPES?

MagrittePipe

Magritte – This is not a pipe – at least not the sort the song means

Angel_playing_bagpipes,_St._Giles,_Edinburgh

Imagine 10 more piping…

Why aren’t there more PIES in the Twelve Days of Christmas?????

Christmas is not just the retail season leading up to Xmas day…it’s also the twelve days following.Christmas Pies used to reign where there is now Christmas Pudding  and Christmas Cookies…Christmas Pie also went by Shred Pie or Mincemeat Pie…..but now the meat is mostly missing, and sometimes they’re known as Mince Pie.

If you eat a mince pie on each of the 12 days of Christmas, you’ll have good luck in each of the 12 months ahead. It’s even better luck if you eat one mince pie in each of  12 different houses -at least that way you won’t wear out your welcome.

We did not have mince pie at  Christmas this year. But the Christmas season isn’t over YET, so there’s time…..

Sometimes Mincemeat Pies were big, raised pies.

pie spanish pieA Pereda 1678

detail of a raised pie, Antonio de. Pereda, 1678

To make minced Pies or Chewits of a Leg of Veal, Neats-Tongue, Turkey, or Capon.

Take to a good leg of veal six pound of beef-suet, then take the leg of veal, bone it, parboil it, and mince it very fine when it is hot; mince the suet by it self very fine also, then when they are cold mingle them together, then season the meat with a pound of sliced dates, a pound of sugar, an ounce of nutmegs, an ounce of pepper, an ounce of cinamon, half an ounce of ginger, half a pint of verjuyce, a pint of rose-water, a preserved orange, or any peel fine minced, an ounce of caraway-comfits, and six pound of currans; put all these into a large tray with half a handful of salt, stir them up all together, and fill your pies, close them up, bake them, and being baked, ice them with double refined sugar, rose-water, and butter.

Make the paste with a peck of flour, and two pound of butter boil’d in fair water or liquor, make it up boiling hot.

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook. 1674

 

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispiece

Somewhere along the way in the 18th century Brandy and Other Spirits found their way into mincemeat. Often, quite a bit of spirits, ostensibly for ‘preservation’. Truth be told, much of the newly Industrialized World was in quite a pickle through the mid-17oo’s and the 1800’s. Prohibition was  not for naught, as it were.

To make mince-pies the best way.

Take three pounds of suet shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible; two pounds of raisins stoned, and chopped as fine as possible; two pounds of currants nicely picked, washed, rubbed, and dried at the fire; half a hundred of fine pipins, pared, cored and chopped small; half a pound of sugar pounded fine; a quarter an ounce, of mace, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, two large nutmegs, all beat fine; put all together into a great pan, and mix it well together with half a pint of brandy, and half a pint of sack ; put it down close in a stone pot, and it will keep good for four months.

1740. Hannah Glasse. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.

Art_of_Cookery_frontispiece

and one more historic recipe…

MINCEMEAT (Mrs. Brotherton’s Recipe).

INGREDIENTS – 6 lemons, ½ lb. of apples, 1 lb. of raisins, weighed after being stoned,1 lb. of currants, 1 lb. of sugar, ½ lb. of fresh butter, 4 ozs. each of candied orange and citron.

Mode. – Grate the yellow rind, cut the lemons in two, and squeeze out the juice. Boil the rinds in spring water till tender, but not soft, changing the water 4 or 5 times to take out the bitterness, and putting a large tablespoon of salt in the water in which they are boiled. When done, drain the water from them, and take out the seeds and the skins, then chop them with the raisins in a wooden bowl. When finely chopped, add the currants, sugar, the apples, previously prepared as for sauce, the grated rind of the lemons, the juice, ½ a tablespoonful of cayenne pepper, a small teaspoonful of mace, another of powdered cinnamon, 15 drops almond flavor, the candied orange and citron, cut in thin slices, and lastly the butter, melted, and poured in.

This mincemeat may have brandy or other spirits added to it the same as ordinary mincemeat, and it keeps fresh longer; but, as teetotalism and vegetarianism so often go hand in hand, we have not put it amongst the ingredients.*

The pastry recipe may be used for the mince pies or ordinary puff-paste.

Average cost, for this quantity, 3s.

Seasonable at Christmas.

-1903. Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery Book : A Household Guide. J.S. Doige, Blackpool (fasc. Rigby Pub. Ltd, 1981.) p. 185, section: Vegetarianism. * bold mine kmw

Mrs Beetons pb

This is one of the Mrs Beeton’s that I own. I got this on my first trip to London in the early ’80’s on a shop on Charring Cross Road.

Mince_Pie

Modern day Mince Pie are often small pies

Tuesday January 5th is the 11th day of Christmas, so get mincing!

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Wicked Wayback Boston….

In which I travel from the Old Colony to The City (on a Hill implied) and now SHOUT OUT Thanks to Kristen for Driving and Kathy for Support (technical, and all sorts of otherways) and talk about bread and pompions and beer and water and Indian Pudding and other Good Eats from the 17th century Massachusetts Bay/Plimoth Colony experience.

And then there were questions from the floor,so as a follow up to

Friday night’s Repasts of the Past 

with the Partnership of The Historic Bostons  

To answer some questions I couldn’t then off the top of my head……

How to Make Indian Pudding in a Slow Cooker

and then there was a posset question, which I rather fudged/danced around and finally admitted I was not prepare for heavy dairy….so here’s some guilt/make up posset now.

Possets

Posset pot, Netherlands, Late 17th or early 18th century, Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue V&A Museum no. 3841-1901[1] Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Posset pot, Netherlands, Late 17th or early 18th century, Tin-glazed earthenware painted in blue V&A Museum no. 3841-1901[1] Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This is in an article Shakespeare's World  in 100 0bjects

Silver, 17th century English posset cup

Shakespeare’s World in 100 Objects

from 1675 Robert May The Accomplist Cook

 

To make a Compound Posset of Sack, Claret, White-Wine, Ale, Beer, or Juyce of Oranges, &c.

Take twenty yolks of eggs with a little cream, strain them, and set them by; then have a clean scowred skillet, and put into it a pottle of good sweet cream, and a good quantity of whole cinamon, set it a boiling on a soft charcoal fire, and stir it continually; the cream having a good taste of the cinamon, put in the strained eggs and cream into your skillet, stir them together, and give them a warm, then have some sack in a deep bason or posset-pot, good store of fine sugar, and some sliced 425 nutmeg; the sack and sugar being warm, take out the cinamon, and pour your eggs and cream very high in to the bason, that it may spatter in it, then strow on loaf sugar.

To make a Posset simple.

Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet, and when it boils take it off, and warm in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack, claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange; pour it into the drink, but let not your milk be too hot, for it will make the curd hard, then sugar it.

Otherways.

Beat a good quantity of sorrel, and strain it with any of the foresaid liquors, or simply of it self, then boil some milk in a clean scowred skillet, being boil’d, take it off and let it cool, then put it to your drink, but not too hot, for it will make the curd tuff.

Possets of Herbs otherways.

Take a fair scowred skillet, put in some milk into it, and some rosemary, the rosemary being well boil’d in it, take it out and have some ale or beer in a pot, put to it the milk and sugar, (or none.)

Silver feeding cup or small posset pot, by Andrews, 1698. Description  Feeding cup or small posset pot in silver. Wellcome Images Keywords: domestic; Nursing; William Andrews

Silver feeding cup or small posset pot, by William Andrews, 1698.
Feeding cup or small posset pot in silver.
Wellcome Images

And here’s a modern version from The Guardian – A Lemon Posset 

There are quite a few recent (21st century) versions of possets out there. It seems to be trending……#posset

There were other things, like acorns in bread and chestnuts  and hogs and lobsters and squirrels and making beer from bread and enourmous turnips and grist mills and …you know, the usual Friday night chatter.

But it’s already mizzled in my brain, because Saturday was the Hard Core Hearth Cooking Workshop back at Plimoth, which is Wicked Wayback for another day. .

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First, Bolonia Sausages

 

Welcome to another Wicked WayBack Wednesday.

For years, and years, and even more years, when I saw the words

Bolonia Sausages

which are fairly common words in 2nd half 17th century English cookbooks, I thought

Bologna

OM bologina

You know, like Oscar Mayer. Click Oscar Mayer, it’s the link to the song

oscar_mayer_kid

And then one day I realized it was

Baloney.

Baloney, like  I was wrong.

Really wrong.

Wrong way, really and truly wrong.

Wrong country wrong.

Darn those 17th century English dialects.

Not Bolonia but Polonia. Not Italian sausage – Polish sausage.

oscar-mayer-kielbasa-polska-85001

Oscar Mayer kielbasa polska

A smoked Polish sausage…..like kielbasa

First, Bolonia Sausages.

The best way and time of the year is to make them in September.

Take four stone of pork, of the legs the leanest, and take away all
the skins, sinews, and fat from it; mince it fine and stamp it: then
add to it three ounces of whole pepper, two ounces of pepper more
grosly cracked or beaten, whole cloves an ounce, nutmegs an ounce
finely beaten, salt, spanish, or peter-salt, an ounce of
coriander-seed finely beaten, or carraway-seed, cinamon an ounce
fine beaten, lard cut an inch long, as big as your little finger,
and clean without rust; mingle all the foresaid together; and fill
beef guts as full as you can possibly, and as the wind gathers in
the gut, prick them with a pin, and shake them well down with your
hands; for if they be not well filled, they will be rusty.

These aforesaid Bolonia Sausages are most excellent of pork only:
but some use buttock beef, with pork, half one and as much of the
other. Beef and pork are very good.

Some do use pork of a weeks powder for this use beforesaid, and no
more salt at all.
Some put a little sack in the beating of these sausages, and put in
place of coriander-seed, carraway-seed.

This is the most excellent way to make Bolonia Sausages, being
carefully filled, and tied fast with a packthred, and smoaked or
smothered three or four days, that will turn them red; then hang
them in some cool cellar or higher room to take the air.

Robert May The Accomplist Cook

Robert May and the frontispiece of The Acomplist Cook

Robert May and the frontispiece of The Acomplist Cook

If you’ve made sausages before, you can see that this is actually a pretty good sausage recipe. A stone is 14 pounds so 4 stone is a LOT of meat. 56 pounds of meat. 17th century sausage making is not for those with dainty appetites. 20-30% fat. Water and spices. Good advice to get rid of the air pockets. This is not a starter recipe.  Smoking is easy if you have a smoker or know someone who has a smoker.

Either way, sausages in September seem completely more Autumn then sausages in August. The cold nights are only the coming attractions for the season ahead. It’s still not Fall, so all those Pumpkin Spiced  Lattes and doughnuts – not quite yet, thank you very much.

pumpkin spice lattes

All in due time.

some-e-cards-pumpkin-640x420

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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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May on July

A bill of Fare for July.

Muskmelons.Muskmelon
1 Pottage of Capon.
2 Boil’d Pigeons.
3 A hash of Caponets.
4 A Grand Sallet.

German School, 17th 17th Century  German School A bowl of spinach and eggs with a pewter dish

German School, 17th 17th Century German School A bowl of spinach and eggs and roasted quail with a pewter dish. The spinach with eggs is a more ordinary boiled salad – a grans salad is…grander.

 

5 A Fawn.
6 A Custard.

A Second Course.

1 Pease, of French Beans.

French beans are also known now as green bean..I think the pease of the beans are the little seeds within. This would make this dish extremely delicate and dainty!

French beans are also known now as green bean..I think the pease of the beans are the little seeds within. This would make this dish extremely delicate and dainty!

2 Gulls four, two larded.

black legged kittiwake

black legged kittiwake – gulls are also called mews or mouettes

3 Pewits eight, four larded.

Pewits are now more commonly called Northern lapwings

Pewits are now more commonly called Northern lapwings

4 A quodling Tart green.
5 Portugal eggs, two sorts.
6 Buttered Brawn.
Selsey Cockles broil’d.

Ben Johson. Volpone. Act 1. Scene 2.

SIR POLITIQUE WOULD BEE:

“In oranges, musk-melons, and such like: sometimes in Colchester-oysters, and your Selsey-cockles.’

Selsey is in West Sussex  – Colchester is in Essex – so this is shell fish coming from both sides of England.

He's holdonmg a gridiron, perhaps waiting to broil some cockles - can anyone translate the caption?

He’s holding a gridiron, perhaps waiting to broil some cockles – can anyone translate the caption?

Robert May. The Accomplist Cook.

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May on June

Robert May, that is, another Bill Of Fare from The Accomplist Cook , 1677 for Wicked WayBack Wednesday….notice how this is a little heavy on the meat, and VERY light on the salad/veggie side of things. I’ve added a few notes for clarity

A bill of Fare for June.

1 A shoulder of mutton hasht
2 A Chine of Beef.
3 Pasty of Venison, a cold Hash.
4 A Leg of Mutton roast.
5 Four Turkey Chickens.
6 A Steak Pye.

A Second Course.

1 Jane or Kid.

Goat - Meat Milk Cheese - Mark Scarborou and Bruce Wein

Goat – Meat Milk Cheese -Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough – all you need to know once you get your goat!

2 Rabbits.

3 Shovelers.

Northern Shovler Anas

Northern Shovler Anas clypeata

4 Sweet-bread Pye.

Sweetbreads are the thymus and/or pancreas of cows or  sheep

Sweetbreads are the thymus and/or pancreas of cows or sheep

5 Olines, or pewit.

The Northern Lapwing is one bird also known as a peewit

The Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is one bird also known as a peewit

6 Pigeons.

Passenger Pigeons were the most common pigeon in North America....until 100 years ago....

Passenger Pigeons were the most common pigeon in North America….until 100 years ago….

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