The receipt, “An Orange Pudding Another Way,” from Elizabeth Moxon’s English Housewifry, 1764, cookery book intrigued me. I love to make puddings and this seemed special, as she uses Seville oranges. These oranges are very bitter, and most often you find them being made into marmalades with lots of sugar. So how would they taste as a pudding? Late February I went off to my local specialty store to see if I could acquire some. As it happened, they were available and I just needed to order them, which I did.  When they called me to let me know they were in, I purchased a dozen and went home. I put them in the closet under the pantry sink and there they kept very well. A week later I tried the receipt and loved it. This is a keeper, and I’m sure it could be made with any orange. Following are the results of the Orange Pudding made in the last workshop.

After cutting a small, round top off the oranges, Lynn and Mary grabbed spoons and scooped out the meat. The next task was to try and remove as much pith as possible without breaking through the skin. It was important to the overall taste of the finish pudding to have the bitterness gone.1

To insure that the pudding would be sweet, the carved-out oranges and tops were boiled for 15 minutes, then removed and boiled in clean water again. This helps reduce the bitterness, and make the skin softer.


While the oranges boiled, the pudding was made. Naples biscuits were torn asunder and put in a pot, with cream, to scald. Eggs were whipped and added slowly to the cream mixture and blended together.2copy

With the addition of a glass of sack, sugar, currants, and a bit of salt, the pudding was ready. The oranges were cool enough to handle. Like most boiled puddings, this was going to be done in a cloth. I had made individual bags for the oranges out of fine linen. An orange was placed in each bag and the pudding mixture spooned into it.3copy

The tops were placed on the stuffed oranges, and the bags tied. Mary gave us all a good laugh as she used what she called a half-hitch knot to tie the bags to the supports on the pot. Then again, what would you expect from someone who lives by the sea? As long as the oranges did not touch the bottom, and stayed in the bag, we were safe. The pot was placed over the fire and boiling water was added. The pot was watched for the next 45 minutes to make sure it never stopped boiling. When the pudding was done, the oranges were placed into the pantry to cool.


There was some pudding left over, so the girls put it in a dish and grated some nutmeg over it. HMMM, NUTMEG!! If you notice, I never mentioned nutmeg above in the ingredients they use. It seems that it was forgotten. The dish went into the oven and came out smelling wonderful. We had high hopes for stuffed Seville oranges.

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At the end of Moxon’s receipt she writes, “You must have a little white wine, butter and sugar for a sauce.” Our sauce included dry sack instead and was warmed by the fire while we waited for the rest of the meal to be done.9 copy

Natalie and Mary removed the oranges from their bags and placed one on each plate. In the 18th century, you ate dessert with your meal. (How civilized!)

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The Orange Puddings came out wonderfully, and, with the sweet, buttery sauce poured over it, you did not notice that the nutmeg was missing.

This is definitely, as I said before, a keeper receipt; unique, yet simple and elegant.


 Fine Sevil oranges, fine lemon, fine;

Round, sound and tender, inside and rine

(An old street cry of London)


Natalie and Cathy decided to tackle the Sattoot of Duck. The receipt came from The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter, 1730. It called for boiling the fowl; instead Allan had steamed it the day before so it was ready for the next step. The receipt also included some things we will be leaving out like the Sweetbreads, Cocks-Combs, and Truffles however; sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.


After boiling the fowl of your choice, the receipt calls for roasting it off brown at a quick fire. Natalie did a great job of searing the duck and the skin was nice and brown.


The receipt calls for the duck to be surrounded by a forced meat of veal, beef and lamb. Cathy begins to prepare this while Natalie starts on the stuffing.

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The apples, onion and sage are rough chopped for the stuffing and the orange peels that go in the forced meat are finely chopped.


Cathy shows off the bowl of ingredients for the forced meat. This is from Hananh Galsse, The Art of Cookery 1774,.  To Make forced meat balls.  The lard, eggs, lemon peels, chopped meat and spices are ready to be mix thoroughly with some bread crumbs she grated from stale manchets.

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With the stuffing in the duck it is time to cover it with the caul fat.


Everyone wants to see the caul fat go on the duck. It was not unusual to have an 18th century receipt that called for caul fat, however, it is an item we don’t find in many of our modern cooking books. Everyone needed a good look and we discussed just where this body part came from. Caul fat is the thin membrane surrounds the stomachs internal organs of some animals. The caul I bought from my butcher came from a pig. I did not get the feeling that anyone was going to run out and try to find some soon. Once the duck was all tucked in with the fat the forced meat was circled around it like a nest.


The Sattoot of Duck sat waiting for the bake oven to cool down a bit before it went in. About an hour later, we checked it and it was a gorgeous brown. Allan took it out of the oven for us.


Mary plated the duck and forced meat. After the duck had rested it was carved in nice slices and re-plated for our meal.


With the table cleared off and set for lunch we dug in. The forced meat was somewhat over cooked however the lemon and nutmeg gave it a tantalizing, if not exotic, taste. The Sattoot of Duck was juicy and, because it had been pre-steamed, it was not oily at all. The caul fat gave it a wonderful chestnut brown color and I’m sure kept it moist. This is where the last part of the Sattoot of Duck receipt calls for gravy of sweetbreads, cocks-combs and truffles. We opted for the very end part and went with the tamer mushroom and artichoke sauce. The duck meat had such great flavor, and, all in all, this was a triumph.


So we come to an end of our Sattoot of Duck with Forced meat and I do hope you are looking forward to the next post.

Orange Pudding made in Seville oranges and boiled. Yum!


The perils of duck hunting are great – especially for the duck.

Walter Cronkite


March 22, 3014


The receipts are written and the kitchen is ready.  This will be a great combination of cooks as they come from two different museums. Lynn and Mary work at Benjamin Ney Homestead & Museum in East Sandwich Ma. and Cathy and Natalie  work at the Deacon John Graves house in Madison Ct.


Lynn, Cathy, Mary, and Natalie arrived and Allan took a nice picture.


 Then it was off to work

After an exchange of museum information we started reviewing the receipts and discussed the timing.


It did not take long and everyone found a place to begin their receipts.4psd

Over the next few weeks I’ll post one receipt at a time and walk you through the workshop as it unfolded. So stay tune as we will start with Sattoot of Duck and then Orange pudding made with bitter Seville oranges.


Good things come to those who wait.



WAFERS 101-3

I was not going to give up until I found the perfect wafer receipt. I looked at every wafer receipt I could find and read everything I could online about making them. I had emails from supporters cheering me on. I even received an email from both Clarissa Dillon and Mercy Ingram, who have been following my tale of woe.

They had made wafers a few weeks ago – not just to make wafers, however. It seems Clarrisa is working on a publication celebrating the arrival of the Dutch and the founding of New Amsterdam 400 years ago. And the Dutch made wafers. Mercy emailed me great pictures of the process and the receipt, To Fry Wafers, from the Sensible Cook, Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, translated and edited by Peter Rose. It has a lot of cinnamon in it and ginger. So I printed this receipt as a possibility.

Still searching, I found “To make the best Wafers,” Gervase Markham, The English Housewife: Banqueting and made dishes. Others seemed to have success with this receipt. I also re-read a great article by Louise Miller, The Wafer – A Delicate Dessert. This had the receipt, “To make Goofer Wafers” from the English Housewifery by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764.

I really liked the name of Elizabeth’s receipt. What are goofers? With a bit of research I found that in the Oxford English Dictionary it is spelled gofer and is defined as a thin batter-cake with a honeycomb pattern stamped by an iron plate and Gofer irons is mentioned. So that is where the interesting name comes from. My wafer irons is the same as Moxmon’s Gooffer irons.

It’s Sunday night again and Allan fires up the hearth. Elizabeth’s receipt won the shuffle on the table and I cut it down by a fourth. I instantly loved the batter. It was much thicker than pancake batter and stuck to the spoon. We heated up the goofer iron and I put a blob of the batter in the middle on the hot side. Allan closed it up, this time there was a loud whistling sound as steam escaped. OH! Horror, visions of last week swam in my head, batter spitting out everywhere. BUT NO, I could smell the cinnamon and nutmeg and everything looked okay. After a few minutes of turning, Allan opened it up and I took a picture of the best looking wafer we have made so far.

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As they came off the hot iron, I rolled them up, for the first one I used the tin cone. However, I really wanted to try to make them like piroulines.

I grabbed a wooden spoon and put some butter on it and I began rolling the wafers while still hot. First I was doing it on the plate and they were not very tight. I took some parchment paper and put it on the table then rolled them and that seemed better, yet still not small and tight as I would have liked.

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Allan went to the basement and came back up with a ¼ inch dowel washed it and buttered it. This worked better, still not the size of a pirouline. Perhaps it is because the size of the wafer is not large enough.


However, by now, I’m beaming and ecstatic that I found a receipt that I can share at the Just Dessert Workshop in a few weeks. It took trial and error and I appreciate the encourgament from everyone.

I will take these wafers and put them in a tin and see how long they will last. Not because we would eat them in short order, however, because I want to see if they will still be as good in six months as when they were first made. By the way the receipt made 8 wafers and one was shared by Allan and me. Yes, this is definitely a keeper receipt. It tasted wonderful.


Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.

Napoleon Hill



WAFERS 101 -2

The wafer iron is fixed, Allan said it was one of the easier tasks I’ve asked him to do as of late. He found a piece of heavy gauge steel wire and wrapped one end tight on the handle and made a hook on the other end, and, just like that, it was fixed!



Sunday rolls around it’s time to try wafers again. This time Allan wanted filling in his. With a bit of research I came across a Lemon Cream receipt I thought would resemble a cannoli filling.

Lemmon Cheese

The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

A qurt of good thick sweet creame. Put to it the juce of four lemons as as mutch peel as well give it an agreeable  flavour. Sweeten it to your taste & add a littile peach or orange flower water if you like it. Whip it up as you would for sellabubs but very solid. If you have a tin vat, put a thin cloath in it & pour in your cream. If not, put it in a napkin and tye it pritty close. Hang it up to let the whey run from it. Make it the night before you use it. Garnish it with currant jelliy or candied oranges.

I had some ricotta cheese and so cheated a bit and did not make my own. I whipped the cream until it had high peaks. In another bowl, I mixed the orange flower water, confectionary sugar, lemon zest, a bit of lemon juice and the ricotta cheese. I then folded the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Hmm, tasted pretty good.  Now I just need to melt, at the last minute, some of the American Heritage Chocolate made by Mars. I bought it the last trip we took to Old Sturbridge Village. I’ll fill my wafers with some of this and dribble the rest on top.

So it was time to try another wafer receipt. After looking over several, I decided on Charles Carter’s receipt. This is very different from the one I tried last week. No eggs are involved, and it uses sack and cream to make the flour into a “Pancake Stuff.” It will make a nice comparison.

 To make Wafers Brown, the beft Way.

The Practicle Cook, Charles Carter 1730

TAKE a Pint of good Cream, and thicken it with fine Flower dry’d, as thick as Pancake Stuff; put in fome Nut­meg and beaten Cinnamon, and a Gill of Sack; ftir it well, and fet it by the Fire to rile, and then bake them off quick in your Moulds; fometimes butter your Moulds, and roll them off quick, and keep them dry for Ufe.

 I mixed all the ingredients together while Allan got the fire going so we would have lots of coals. I didn’t like the consistency of the batter, it looked weird. I figured it must be the grated nutmeg and the cinnamon.

With everything ready, Allan opened up the hot wafer iron and I poured in the batter. This did not look right. Once he clapped the iron shut, the batter spurted out steam and batter violently. I wish we had a third person there to have taken a picture of this goo and steam.

Undaunted, we put it over the coals on the trivet and timed it for 4 minutes on each side. I wish you could have seen our faces when we opened up the wafer iron and saw a small paper thin transparent wafer. And it seamed greasy for some reason. I rolled it quickly around a tin cone and set it aside.

So, we tried again. I wiped the iron really well to make sure remove any traces of butter. Once again, Allan held the wafer iron while I spooned just enough of the batter in the middle and he clamped it shut. Gooey spattering again, the batter shot out like lava from a volcano. This was not looking good. The next wafer was a bit larger in size; however, it was transparent and greasy too. I rolled it up on a tin cone and put it on the plate. Allan wanted to know why this was happening. Our first wafers last week came out relatively good considering the handle issue. With some thought, I figured that the moisture from the sack and no eggs was the problem.

I took the batter to the kitchen and tossed it in the garbage. Back to square one. I went into the office and printed out Sir Theodore Mayerne’s receipt that I had used last week and proceeded to make a new batch of wafer batter. With the wafer iron getting hot over the coals, we started all over again. This time we nailed it, and came up with wafers nicely browned and the right thickness.

Yea, break out the filling and melt that chocolate!!!

From the left you have last week’s wafer from Sir Theodore Mayerne, then the thin and greasy wafer of Charles Carter then the perfect wafer with comfits, from the receipt of Sir Theodore Mayerne. On the right we have Mayerne, Carters and then Mayern’s again. Okay, the presentation might not be there, yet we at least have a few wafers with filling.



So what did we learn?


Wafer irons need a latch so you don’t have to sit in front of the fire      and bake your hands and face.


Charles Carter’s receipt tasted okay, a bit greasy for reasons that we are not aware of (We had put just a bit of butter on the wafer iron; so it was not that.)


The Lemmon Cheese receipt was very good.


Good chocolate is like bacon; you can’t have enough.


Allan does not like comfits.


Start making the wafers early – our dinner was late due to regrouping.


And try one more receipt.


(Allan) You are my favorite excuse to whip cream. Anonymous Voyeur