Savory & Sweet

Our Savory for the day would be Hannah Glasse’s Pea Soup with Grilled Emmer Flatbread. This workshop certainly concentrated on the sweet side. But Hey! Everyone wants lunch.  

All the ladies arrived and each chose a receipt (recipe) that needed to be started first. The Pea Soup would take the longest and we would be having it around noon for our lunch.  Rachel and Cindy began by reading  Glasse’s receipt and then started chopping all the ingredients. Stephanie  whipped up the batter for The Right Dutch-Wafers from Mary Kettilby 1724 cookery book. The receipt contains yeast so it  would need to sit and expand and bubble before it was ready to use. Then she washed and chopped fresh strawberries, added  sugar, and put them aside to be used on the waffles at lunch. The Grilled Flatbread receipt also need to rise so Lisa popped open the dark beer and added the yeast and sugar. Once that was ready she added the oil, salt and flour. We used emmer flour. Emmer flour is an ancient wholegrain flour much like whole wheat. It has a sweet, rich nutty flavor.  Marsha made the Lemon Cheese from the receipt of “The Cookbook of the Unknown Ladies.” We will use this in our wafers, cones, and rolls later.

Natalie is a pie crust master and began on Lydia Maria Child’s Common Pye Crust receipt while Cathy prepared Hannah Glasse’s Marzipan To Make a Hedge-hog.

Rachel and Cindy scooped up all the ingredients at various times and put them into the soup kettle, and, every so often, made sure to stir it well so nothing stuck to the bottom. With the final step they would be adding some more butter, ham, and Worcestershire sauce.

The marzipan and pie dough, made by Natalie and Cathy, was ready to wrap and rest until they were needed in the afternoon.

Several of the girls worked together to cut the candied angelica, citron, lemon peels, orange slices and almonds for Frederick Nutt’s Millefruit  Biscuits.

Cindy whipped the egg whites and orange flower water with the birch whisk. She wanted everyone to see how amazing it was that you could get such nice peeks from a wooden whisk.  The cut-up fruit and chopped almonds would be added to this and dropped onto parchment paper to dry in the oven.

The pie crust would be used for Richard Bradley’s, 1732 receipt, To make a Tart of Ananas, or Pin-apple. Rachel cut a fresh pineapple into small pieces for the pie. You could small the aroma of the sweet-scented juices as she sliced. The pineapple then went into a pot with sugar and sherry placed on the crane, high over the fire, and left to stew.

After about two hours of simmering, the soup was done and taken off the fire. The flat bread had risen and Cindy and Lisa oiled it before it went on the grill over the hot coals.

Everyone was working hard on a variety of items and it was time for a well-deserved break. The day was lovely and perhaps too warm for, however, this gave us a chance to remove ourselves from in front of the fire and sit on the porch and have our lunch. I had opened the porch door a bit, as the sun was shining in, and this made it cooler.

Sitting comfortably, Natalie and Rachael enjoy the hearty pea soup and flat bread, (not pictured) on the cool porch. The fragrant soup had many wonderful flavors as well as textures. The combinations of  dried peas, cabbage, leeks, onions, carrots, potatoes, ham and spices made it an epicurean delight. The flat bread was dense but had a nice reddish brown color  and a  nutty taste that is much more mellow and more pleasant than the typical whole wheat bread. Next time I think I’d have it rolled out flatter. I do wish we had a picture of it on the table. However, I can tell you it did taste wonderful dipped into the pea soup. 

Lunch on the porch gave us all time to chat and talk about what was to be done next. There were several receipts that were started in the morning that needed to be completed. One was our dessert. With lunch consumed, everyone went about getting the next part of their receipts ready. Stephanie had made the strawberries and  the waffle batter when she first arrived in the morning. Once the waffle iron was hot, she started making The Right Dutch-Wafer.  The “Right” means authentic or true and  the wafers batter contains yeast. These ‘Wafers’ what we would call waffles nowadays. 

As she made them they were put into a pan and hung on the crane over the fire to keep warm.  

The batter was just right and made perfect waffles. The strawberries , with their sugar added, had macerated and had just the right amount of liquid to drizzle on the waffles. The waffles were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and had a nice taste of orange flower water that complemented the strawberries. And, yes, we had whipped cream to go with it.

The simmering pineapple was not losing much of its liquid, perhaps making more as it stewed. I was afraid that additional heating would break down the pineapple and we would have just liquid. I decided to have Natalie add sago. Sago is almost a pure starch that comes from the sago palm and has been used for centuries to solidify puddings. It’s like tapioca. This worked and the pineapple thickened and was no longer watery.

Lisa puts the Millefruit  Biscuit in the bake oven. Later in the day, we took them out and they still had to dry some. I put mine back into the oven for the rest of the afternoon, and they were fine by the time I went to bed. They do take a long drying time. I liked the taste of the fruit, however, the nuts got lost, so next time I’ll double the amount.

In the morning, Marsha and Lisa had made the dough for the  Dutchess of York Biscuits from Joseph Bell’s 1817 cookery book. Now it was time to  roll, stamp and dock the biscuits. Everyone got into the swing of it, and seemed to have their favorite mold.

Stephanie was back at the fire melting chocolate for our Chocolate Drops. Lisa and Marsh helped Stephanie with the drops. We left a few without sprinkles of nonpareils for Marsha.

While the biscuits baked, two wafer irons were made hot. We used  Elizabeth Moxon’s 1764 receipt for To Make Goffer Wafers. I’ve found that this works every well with my irons.  Cathy and Natalie teamed up to pour the batter and work the two wafer irons.

Rachael  helped to roll the wafer into shapes. She used a tin cream horn mold and a wooden dowel. She had to work fast. They were hot when the came off the iron, nevertheless they cooled quickly and became rigid.

With  all the receipts completed it was time to sit down and make marzipan. Stephanie mixed colors and I showed a few samples that I had already made and some pictures.  Everyone sat down and let their creative juices flow.

Rachel made this wonderful Medieval dragons and  Cindy put some cinnamon on the face of her hedgehog.

As adults, it is always enjoyable to play with food that feels like play dough. The ladies let their artistic abilities soar. The marzipan turned into strawberries, apples, lemons, limes, hedgehogs, dragons, pears, oranges, pumpkins and a malamute dog (made by Natalie) .

From the oven came the Tart of Ananas. Once again we see the creativity of Natalie, she took the extra dough and made a pineapple shape and when it came out of the oven she added a few sprigs of rosemary on top. A show-stopper for sure.

Next, the pretty-looking Dutchess of York Biscuits were done. This is a simple receipt made with butter, sugar, flour and water. It has very little in the way of flavor. However, that said, I did enjoy mine dipped in my tea and also tried it in my wine, as they would have in the 19th century. I liked it best in my tea.

Marsha piped the lemon cheese into  the wafer cones and a bit of chocolate was dipped on the ends of the rolled wafers.

It was an enjoyable, busy, and productive day. Everyone had fun, learned some new receipts and went home with containers filled with soup, flatbread, and desserts. I’m sure there were many happy husbands that evening.

Sandie

“Mama usually made pea soup. On Sunday nights she cooked it – and not just enough for one or two repeat performances. She made enough to last until the following Saturday. Then on Sunday, she’d cook another one. Pea soup, bread, sometimes a small portion of potatoes or meat. You ate it up, didn’t ask for more, and you didn’t complain.”   The Book Thief

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not! ~ Author Unknown

 


























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About Sandie

Since I was a small child I have loved early fireplaces and the smell of smoke in an old house. However it was not until about Fifteen years ago that my journey into hearth cooking began. It all started at the Hurd House Museum in Woodbury Ct. I was the director of the Junior Docent program and among the programs each week we cooked. At about the same time a group of us started the Culinary Historians of Connecticut meeting once a month to discuss equipment used, receipt (18th century term for recipe), and anything between the late 1600 to late 1700 that had to do with hearth cooking. We were fortunate to try our hand at cooking at several Museums throughout Ct and many more private homes. We made cheese; we held a late 1600 dinner and shared our knowledge with others. Our group designrd our own tours such as the Kitchens of Old Wethersfield. In 2000 we were delighted to host the Historic Foodways group of ALFAM at the Hurd House during their conference at Mystic Seaport. We put together a great workshop of Puddings, Sausages, Brown Bread, Beverages you name it we offered it. I am now a member of the ALFAM foodways group. Then it was off to Colonial Williamsburg for the seminar The Art of 18th-Century Cooking: Farm to Hearth to Table. During the years I joined many workshops in Sturbridge Village plus their Dinner in a Country Village and breakfast at the Freeman Farm. So I was pretty much hooked on heart cooking and the 18th century way of life. I joined a wonderful group of ladies and we started the “Hive” a place to improve and grow your 18th century impression and offer research about material culture in 17070’s New England. We also travel with friends and have displays of clothing and teas at Museums in Massachusetts. Many events are held at the Hartwell Tavern at Minute Man National Park. They have been gracious enough to let us play there and entertain and share our knowledge with their visitors. Please visit our “Hive” site if the 1700 interest you. Then the move to New Hampshire and a job at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth as the co-coordinator of the Junior Role Playing workshop and eventually cooking in front of the hearth at the Wheelwright house. Not only did I enjoy making my evening meals at the hearth to take home but also talking with the visitors. I am an entertainer after all, check out my program page. Most recently I am working at the Museum of Old York in Maine as an educator, hearth cook and organizer of the Junior Docent cooking program in the summer. See some photos in the archive file Because I do make food with the docents and serve food to the public at our Tavern Dinners I took the National Restaurant Association tests called ServSafe and now have my Certification as a Restaurant Manager. I look forward to the Museum of Old York opening again this March 2012 and getting back to the hearth and teaching, however for now I’m cooking at home and enjoying doing so.

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