RECEIPT TRIALS

Bread/Wafers/Waffles

Using 17th & 18th century original receipts can be difficult, as they were written in the narrative, like a story. They don’t always have measurements, unlike the modern cook books of today. Flours are made differently and other ingredients are not exactly the same. However, reading the receipt is fascinating; and rewarding, and the only way to truly understand them is to cook them. So a few friends decided to spend a day testing receipts for wafers and I baked bread in a kettle and buns a tin oven, instead of my bake oven. The following are the results.

The day started off with a definite chill in the air, great weather for heating up the hearth. With a stack of receipts for wafers and waffles, and armed with six irons, we were ready. I also made a bread dough the day before and let it rise all night long.

I conducted the bread experiment to see how a small loaf would bake in the cast iron kettle and a few rolls in the reflector oven. I am giving a workshop for the folks at Old Fort Western in Maine next month and they do not have a bake oven. They want to put together a group of receipts that can be demonstrated to the public when they are open. So bread is always a great showpiece, and the smell is glorious. I used a French bread receipt from, The English Art of Cookery, Richard Brigg, 1788. I wanted to make the texture more like that of a less milled flour, so I added some King Arthur Harvest blend of seeds and grains , whole and flaked to add a bit of rustic crunch to the finished bread. 

In the morning, I heated up a 12-inch bake kettle and the reflector oven. I divided the dough, worked it a bit and put a round loaf on some parchment paper in the kettle and made a ring of coals around the outside of the top and bottom. I was careful not to put any in the center as I did not want to scorch the bread, just bake it. I placed a few rolls in the oven, set that on coals and faced it towards the heat. The loaf was done in 35 minutes and the rolls needed to be taken out and turned around, so they took about 45 minutes. Below you can see the finished bread and wonderful fresh eggs Nancy brought for our receipts.

5jpgNancy brought four irons, and I had two, so we greased them all up and chose two to warm on the trivets.

Nancy began on a Dutch yeast wafer receipt by Mary Kettilby that she was eager to try. This batter needed to rest, so, after she mixed it she placed it on the high shelf of the cupboard to rise. While I was busy with the bread Barbara started on the Elizabeth Moxon’s 1764 receipt for making Goofer Wafers.

Now the word Goofer with wafer might mean several things and the more you read wafer receipts the more confusing it becomes; does Goofer mean the iron shape or does it mean a deeper pancake-like wafer. I have not found any good explanations for the word. It is a mystery for now. However, as we know, when you’re looking for something you often find something else; it might pop up yet.

With the irons hot, we started with Moxon’s and found that the coversion to a smaller amount needed adjustment. So, by adding a bit more milk and cream, we ended up with a consistency we thought was okay. The next issue was how much to put on the irons. We were very careful not to overfill at first and ended up with small wafers that did not fill the iron. Also one round iron kept making pancakes. This iron had a very deep lip round it so flat wafers were out of the question.

3 copyI mixed up a receipt translated by Peter Rose from, The Sensible Cook Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World. This called for wheat flour and chardonnay. We tried this batter in several irons and none of them came out to our satisfaction and they tasted awful to boot. So we dumped that one with haste.

We kept trying all six irons and found that my small one, two of Nancy’s round ones and her rectangle one made the best wafers while her deep surface iron made pancakes.

This was getting exhausting. The irons are heavy and the heat was starting to get to us, time for a break.
We took our lunch out onto the screened porch. There was a very chilly breeze blustering through and cooling us down while we chatted about old houses and restoration. Fortified, and ready to stand by the fire once again, we took the Dutch receipt off the shelf and found that it had not risen very much. Again we added to the amounts, more butter and sugar, and returned it to its warm place.

Hannah Glasse has a receipt To Make Whafles. Barbara mixed up the batter that was to be rolled in small balls the size of a nutmeg and baked. Dividing the batter into smaller portions didn’t work out very well and we ended up with a loose batter. So we thought why not give it a try. Well, they were not bad, however, we ran out of the irons too quickly. We then added lots of flour and made round balls and that worked wonderfully. Nancy’s rectangle iron made the most beautiful designs. With the small round irons we could roll them up in cones or sticks.

The Dutch yeast receipt had risen and had a weird sticky egg color glue like batter. We again started out cautious, putting just a bit in each of the irons and commenced to putting in more. We liked the results produced by several of the irons and stopped using others.

I ran off and made Lemon Cheese from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies, to fill our cones and rolls. During the day a pot of chocolate with a teaspoon of cream melted by the fire ready to be dug into.

3 copyWith each receipt we tried different irons and the most interesting iron which I thought was a waffle iron turned out to be a 1611 wafer iron. It was decorated with a family crest in the center surrounded by many rectangles of stars and on the other side a wonderful center with initials MC surrounded by flying birds with a small star over their heads, a most remarkable iron.

Now, from what I have learned, pizzelle are a traditional cookie from the Abruzzi region of Italy. They are thin wafer cookies that look almost like our 18th century wafers. And perhaps this 1611 iron is one made for a woman in Italy to make her cookies or thin wafers on; oh, if it could only talk. We all loved it and I must say I was sorry to see it go home with Nancy, the lucky gal.

4 copyTo sum the day up I would say our two top favorite receipts were Hanna Glasse’s “To Make Wafers,” and “The Right Dutch-Wafers” from Mary Kettilby. And we all learned a lot about making wafers.

We still have other receipts we want to try. One has cheese in it and might be great with a glass of wine.

Some hints for making wafers, make sure the irons are hot, listen for the steam to whistle and don’t over-pour the batter. We are looking forward to doing more receipt trials.

Sandie

“Today we will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant in which case me will eat a cookie “ Cookie Monster

GREAT RECEIPTS

siftingthepast_the-pancake-bakery_pieter-aertsen1508-1575_1560Wafer and Waffle Workshop 

September 13th

10 TO ABOUT 2

I’ve been having fun looking at receipts for our workshop. I have a 15TH  century cheese wafer, a 1700 Brown wafer and a Dutch one from Clarissa Dillon.  I plan on adding some cochineal to some and maybe  coco powder to kick it up a notch. I’m still working on the filling and thinking savory and sweet. 

The Whafles (early spelling) start simple from Hannah Glass, and goes to two Dutc receipts using yeast. One includes honey and brown sugar and the other with rose water. 

Nancy will be bring a few receipts of her own and we both look forward to testing the many Wafer and Waffle receipts.  There is still room in the workshop, so come and join us for a fun day.

For more information and to register email me at sandie@colonialtable.com

 

 

 

 

 

Workshop Schedule

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September 13th SPECIAL WAFER WORKSHOP

Presented by Nancy Miner and Sandra Tarbox

Space is limited so register soon. Fee $20

Come and spend a day testing wafer receipts and making fillings.

We’ll do a few waffles too.
Bring some containers to take wafers and filling home.

Pack a lunch and join in the fun.
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Following workshops: The registration fee per class is $ 65 per person.

  We starts at 10 and finishes about 3

September 27th — Boiled and Baked
We begin by stuffing a whole cabbage with force meat and boil it over the fire. Take a trip out to the herb garden to pick fresh greens for a boiled herb pudding. Bake flat bread on the hearth. Mix up and boil ingredients for a Yellow Flummery Pudding for a sweet side dish, served with Pine Tree Shillings.

October 18th — Savory and Sweet
Our savories will be Potted Beef, Oxford Sausage and Scotch eggs, with homemade vermicelli pudding and Carrot Puffs. Our meal will be accompanied by Maids of Honors, filled with a tasty and colorful assortment of preserves. And finishes with an early American beverage.

November 8th —They Ate That!
Pigeon, Cockscombs, Wiggs and Hedgehogs – OH MY! It’s not what it seems and this meal will be a treat, fun to make, share and converse about.

For more information, or to register, email sandie@colonialtable.com
Sandra Tarbox, Foodways Culinarian

Three Generations of Stirring the Pot

Just a few pictures from the Talk and Taste at the Moffat Ladd House Museum. Rice Pudding in Skins, Chewits, Preserved Green WalnutsDSC_5831Lafayette Cakes, Blancmange, Blackwell’s Pudding

DSC_6916Little Crackers, Gooseberry Preserve, Potted Ham, Oatmeal Candies

DSC_6917Display Table

DSC_6921Unmolding the Blancamange

DSC_6934Everyone happily digging in to the food. DSC_6940Sandie

TALK & TASTE

  ”Three Generations of Stirring the Pot,”

Wednesday August 6, 2014, 4PM
Experience the history of the Moffatt-Ladd House one nibble at a time with historic foodways culinarian and museum guide Sandra Tarbox.

Call (603) 430-7968 to reserve a spot, as space (and nibbles) are limited.

  $5 admission.

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OPEN HEARTH COOKING WORKSHOPS

FALL 2014       NEWMARKET, NH

Join us to prepare and eat savory and sweet dishes of the past on the open hearth.

These Hearth cooking workshops are fun and informative. Each class is different. You will learn to roast, bake, stir, and sizzle your way through the preparation of a traditional 17th -18th century meal using receipts from the past.  Enjoy the warmth of the hearth as you enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

September 13th   SPECIAL WAFER  & WAFFELS WORKSHOP  

Presented by Nancy Miller and Sandra Tarbox 

Come and spend a day testing wafer receipts and making fillings. We’ll do a few waffles too. Bring some containers to take wafers and filing home.  Pack a lunch and join in the fun.    Space is limited so register soon.  Fee $20

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Following workshops:  The registration fee per class is $  65 per person.

We starts at 10 and finishes about 3 

September 27th                Boiled and Baked

We begin by stuffing a whole cabbage with force meat and boil it over the fire.  Take a trip out to the herb garden to pick fresh greens for a boiled herb pudding. Bake flat bread on the hearth.  Mix up and boil ingredients for a Yellow Flummery Pudding for a sweet side dish, served with Pine Tree Shillings.  

October 18th   ­­­                Savory and Sweet

Our savories will be Potted Beef, Oxford Sausage and Scotch eggs, with homemade vermicelli pudding and Carrot Puffs. Our meal will be accompanied by Maids of Honors, filled with a tasty and colorful assortment of preserves. And finish with an Early American beverage. 

November 8th                   They Ate That!

Pigeon, Cockscombs, Wiggs and Hedgehogs  - OH MY!  It’s not what it seems and this meal will be a treat, fun to make, share and converse about. 

For more information, or to register, email sandie@colonialtable.com

Due to the number of registrations and or the availability of certain food items

 substitutions may be made to the menu.

 

 

 

JUST DESSERTS 3

Yes it has been awhile since our Just Dessert workshop. Sometimes modern life gets in the way of my 18th century life. However the workshop is still important to share. We had a very full day at the hearth and this should bring us to the last group of receipts we used.
Sue and Tracey tackled the White Pudding in skins by Elizabeth Raffald, The Experience House-keeper” 1769. The rice needed to be boiled in milk until soft. It was then strained.

Untitled-1 copyRinsing the skins is a very important gob, they are gritty and you need to wash both inside and out very well. This can be fun, much like water balloons.

Untitled-2 copyThe clean skins were placed on the funnel tip and the sweet rice mixture that was made into a stiff batter was added to the funnel. Tracey and Sue take turns using the sausage press and turning the skins into links.

3We only fried four links and they were very good I’ll do this again for myself. As for the rest, they were packed up to be taken home and fried for dessert.

Untitled 4 copy Next we played with the walnut mold. The dough was divided in half and cinnamon added to one part. This would become the brown shell. The rest was made into the nut inside.

Untitled 5 copy It made quite a few as you can see here.

Untitled-6Paul’s arm had a chance to rest from beating the cake batter for an hour so he wiped up the batter for the wafers.

Untitled-7 copyOnce again the batter just would not work. We managed to get a few but then gave up and I took out the ones I had from my last successful try.

Untitled8 copyLast but not least there was the syllabub from an anonymous manuscript of 1677, made with whipping cream, lemon peel grated, white wine, a touch of nutmeg and a sprig of rosemary.

Untitled-9copyThis was poured in jars and also taken home.

Untitled-10 copyI do hope everyone enjoyed taking the deserts home to share.

Sandie

“I’m not a vegetarian! I’m a dessertarian!”

Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: Something Under the Bed is Drooling

SYMPOSIUM

Some pictures from the textile symposium in Maine

First we have the presenters, Faye Snyder, Edward Maeder, Karen Clancey and Sandra Tarbox
presenters

Some of our wonderful guests
guests

My indigo  shirt, Thanks to Karen
blue shirt

Sandie

PS: Ever since I updated to windows 7 the blog has been a mess so this is a test to see IF IT WILL WORK!!!!

 

 

JUST DESSERTS #1

Our dessert workshop day arrived and this would be a full day of making, baking and mixing. Everyone began with a receipt that would need some things to be prepared and readied for the bake kettle or oven.

This first blog is about Frogger Cookies, a Marblehead, Massachusetts, receipt made with peal ash, a Pound Cake receipt from Hannah Glass, and a Chocolate Tart receipt from The Whole Duty of a Woman, 1737, Guide to the Fair Sex, Virgins Wives or Widows.

In our workshop papers, I added the wonderful story about the Joe Frogger cookies, named for the patriot and tavern owner Joseph Brown of Marblehead. Heather quickly began the receipt and worked the molasses, rum and butter into the dry ingredients and rolled them out between parchment paper. The dough needed to sit in the refrigerator for two hours before she could cut them. The originals Froggers were an invention of Joe’s wife, Lucretia Brown, and were served in their tavern and sent by the barrelful off to sea with the merchant ships. If you wish to know more about the cookies, go online and you will find the whole delightful story.

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Heather picked a decorative tin mold to cut large cookies and put them on a greased tin sheet ready for the bake oven.

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The Hannah Glass Pound Cake receipt has a batter that needs to be beaten for an hour by hand. Paul, having the strongest arm and biggest hands, jumped right in and started off whipping the eggs and butter together.

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Following Hannah’s narrative receipt, he mixed the liquids with the dry and mixed and mixed and mixed, for a whole hour, by hand. This was hot work and we had to wipe his forehead once in a while.

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Thanks to Paul the batter was light and fluffy and Heather helped by buttering the patties pans and spooning the batter in. Paul deserved a rest.

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The bake oven had been heating for about two hours and, after being cleaned out, into it went the pound cake and Joe Froggers.

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For our chocolate tart, there were two receipts. One is for the chocolate, from The Whole Duty of a Woman, and one for a sugar paste crust, Charles Carter 1730. Tracey started by melting the American Heritage Chocolate, adding eggs, the rice flour and other ingredients and melted everything together over the coals on the hearth. It was important to stir often so the mixture would not burn. When ready, the chocolate was put to the side and the sugar paste made.

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All the desserts that were made in the workshop were going home, so the sugar paste, tart crust was placed in small patties pans.

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With the crust ready, Tracey filled them and baked them in the kettle. The tarts did not take long, and once they were brown, out they came.

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After six weeks my arm is healing, however I’m still typing with one hand. I will try and finish the Just Desserts blog with #2 soon. 

Enjoy the warm weather,

Sandie

Life is too short, eat dessert first.

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