The English Housewife: Potluck picks

Summer picnic season is upon us. And while banqueting was far more the thing to do in 1615, some of the recipes that were featured in The English Housewife could be nice take alongs.

Here are some of the translations (from this website over here). At least they give you some new ideas for old world dishes.

“Banquetting fruit and conceited dishes There are a world of other bak’d Meats and Pyes, but for as much as whosoever can do these, may do all therest, because herein is contained all the art of Seasonings, I will trouble you with no further repetitions, but proceed to the manner of making Banqueting stuff, and coinceited dishes, with other pretty and curious secrets, necessary for the understanding of our English House-wife: for albeit, they are not of general use, yet in their due times, they are so needful for adornation, that whosoever is ignorant therein, is lame, and but the half part of a House-wife.

To make paste of Quinces To make past of Quinces, first boyl your Quinces whole, and when they are soft pare them, and cut the Quince from the Core; then take the finest Sugar you can get, finely beaten or searsed, and put in a little Rose-water, and boyl it together till it be stiff enough to mould, and when it is cold, then role it, and print it. A pound of Quinces will take a pound of Sugar, or near thereabouts.

To make thin Quince cakes To make thin Quince-cakes, take your Quince when it is boyled soft as beforesaid, and dry it upon a Pewter plate, with a soft heat, and be ever stirring of it with a slice till it be hard, then take searsed Sugar quantity for quantity, and strew it into the Quince, as you beat it in a wooden or stone mortar, and so roul them thin and print them.

To preserve Quinces To preserve quinces, first pare your quinces, and take out the cores, and boyl the cores and parings altogether in fair water, and when they begin to be soft, take them out and strain your Liquor, and put the weight of your Quinces in Sugar, and boyl the Quinces in the Syrup till they be tender: then take them up, and boyl the Syrup till it be thick. If you will have your Quinces red, cover them in the boyling; and if you will have them white, do not cover them.

To make Ginger-bread Take Claret-wine, and colour it with Townsall, and put in Sugar, and set it to the fire; then take wheat bread finely grated and sifted, and Licoras, Anniseeds, Ginger and Cinamon beaten very small and searsed; and put your bread and your spice together, and put them into the wine and boyl it, and stir it till it be thick, then mould it and print it at your pleasure, and let it stand neither too moist nor too warm.

To make Jumbals To make the best Jumbals, take the whites of three Eggs, and beat them well, and take off the froth; then take a little milk and a pound of fine wheat flowre and Sugar together finely sifted, and a few Anniseeds well rub’d and dryed, and then work all together as stiff as you can work it, and so make them in what forms you please, & bake them in a soft oven upon white papers.”

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