Tag Archives: The English Housewife

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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The English Housewife: Going Fishing?

Summer can include camping, and sometimes, fishing for some. The English Housewife from 1615 had a few ideas to make fish. Here they are from the lovely website over here which you should check out the details.

Here are a few of the translated recipes:

“Additions For dressing Fish: How to souse any fresh fish. Take any fresh fish what soever (as Pike, Bream, Carp, Barbel, Cheam, and such like) and draw it, but scale it not; then take out the Liver and the refuse, and having opened it, wash it: then take a pottle of fair water, a pretty quantity of white Wine, good store of Salt and some Vinegar with a little bunch of sweet herbs, and set it on the fire: as soon as it begins to boyl, put in your fish, and having boyled a little, take it up into a fair vessel, then put into the liquor some gross Pepper and Ginger, and when it is boyled well together with more salt, set it by to cool, and then put your Fish into it, and when you serve it up, lay Fennel thereupon.

To boyl a Gurnet or Roch: First draw your Fish, and either spint it open in the back, or joynt it in the back, and trusse it round; then wash it clean and boyl it in water and Salt, with a bunch of sweet Herbs then take it up into a large dish, and pour unto it Verjuice, Nutmeg, Butter and Pepper, and letting it stew a little, thicken it with the yelks of Eggs: then hot remove it into another dish, and garnish it with slices of Oranges and Lemons, Barberries, Prunes, and Sugar and so serve it up.

How to stew a Trout: Take a large Trout fair trimm’d, and wash it, and put it into a deep pewter dish, then take half a pint of sweet Wine, with a lump of butter, & a little whole Mace, Parsley, Savory, & Thyme, mince them all small, and put them into the Trouts belly, and so let it stew a quarter of an hour, then mince the yelk of a hard Egg, and strew it on the Trout, and laying the herbs about it, and scraping on Sugar, serve it up.”

The English Housewife — Sallets for the Summer

“Containing the inward and outward Vertues which ought to be in a Compleat Woman… A Work generally approved, and now the Ninth time much Augmented, Purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the general good of this NATION.

By G. Markham.”

This guide to being a housewife was originally published in 1615, in England, and it is a translation obviously of a 9th edition of the book.

Here are some interesting food sections of the book. The original book had all sort of information one should know at the time such as dying, animal husbandry and physick (and more).

These are not my translations, however, I found them from another source over here. I would highly recommend checking out the persons translations as they are very good and this text in general is a great source for historical cooking.

“Of Cookery and the part thereof
It resteth now that I proceed unto Cookery it self, which is the dressing and ordering of meat, in good and wholesome manner; to which when our House-wife shall address her self, she shall well understand that these qualities must ever accompany it; First, she must be cleanly both in body and garments, she must have a quick eye, a curious nose, a perfect taste, and ready ear; (she must not be butter-fingred, sweet toothed, nor faint-hearted) for the first will let every thing fall, the seconde will consume what it should encrease; and the last will lose time with too much niceness.

Now for the substance of the Art it self, I will divide it into five parts; The first; Sallets and Fricases; the second, boyled Meats and Broths, the third, Roast meats and Carbonadoes; the fourth, bak’t meats and Pyes, and the fifth, banquetting and made dishes, with other conceits and secrets.”

Since it’s July 4th here in the US and the weather is turning to higher temperatures, perhaps some Sallets are in order?

“Of Sallets, simple and plain: First then to speak of Sallets, there be some simple, some compounded, some only to furnish out the Table, and some both for use and adornation: your simple Sallets are Chibols pilled, washt clean, and half of the green tops cut clean away, and so served on a fruit dish, or Chives, Scallions, Rhaddish roots, boyled Carrets, Skirrets and Turnips, with such like served up simply: Also, all young Lettuce, Cabbage-Lettuce, Purslane, and divers other herbs which may be served simply without any thing but a little Vinegar, Sallet Oyl and Sugar; Onions boyled; and stript from their rind, and served up with Vinegar, Oyl and Pepper, is a good simple Sallet; so is Camphire, Bean-cods, Sparagus, and Cucumbers, served in likewise with Oyl, Venegar and Pepper, with a world of others, too tedious to nominate.

Of compound Sallet: Your compound Sallets, are first the young buds and Knots of all manner of wholesome Herbs at their first springing; as red Sage, Mint, Lettuce, Violets, Marigold, Spinage, and many other mixed together and then served up to the Table with Vinegar, Sallet-Oyl, and Sugar.

Another compound Sallet: To compound an Excellent Sallet, and which indeed is usual at great Feasts, and upon Princes Tables: Take a good quantity of blancht Almonds, and with your shredding knife cut them grosly; then take as many Raisons of the Sun clean washt, and the stones pickt out, as many Figs shred like the Almonds, as many Capers, twice so may Olives, and as many Currants as all the rest, clean washt, a good handful of the small tender leaves of red Sage and Spinage: mix all these well together with a good store of Sugar, and lay them in the bottom of a great dish; then put unto them Vinegar and Oyl, and scrape more sugar over all: then take Oranges and Lemons, and paring away the outward pills, cut them into thin slices, then with those slices cover the Sallet all over; which done, take the find thing leave of the red Cole-flower, and with them cover the Oranges and Lemmons all over; then over those Red leaves lay another course of old Olives, and the slices of well pickled Cucumers, together with the very inward heart of Cabbage-Lettuce cut into slices, then adorn the sides of the dish, and the top of the Sallet, with more slices of Lemmons and Oranges, and so serve it up.”