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.


“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



Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

What could be better in the fall or winter months than a meal built around homemade sausages. We love them, and I decided to make different type. Looking over many receipts, I found several rather interesting ones.

lcanian sausage is a true old-world sausage and can be found in literature in the 4th century. Ten surviving  cookbooks of the Greco-Roman world survive under the name of Apicius and are the works of several authors.  One receipt included in this work is lcanian sausage which is the forerunner of the Greek Loukaniko. Loukaniko may have originated in Italy, however, it became popular in Portugal in addition to Greece and a few other countries.

Loukaniko is comprised of pork and lamb and a laundry list of spices, wine, and grated orange.  It was often served as a mezze (appetizer). I also came across a receipt for Saulcisses en Potage in  Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de Cuisine, 1585. This was a  “Tourney Dish” of sausages with apples, onion, cinnamon and nutmeg eaten at the mock battles during the Middle Ages. I thought this would be great to do together. In addition, I found a German venison receipt from the manuscript of Sabina Welser, 1553. It was edited by Hugo Stopp and published as Das Kochbuch der Sabina , 1980.This was timely, as I was given venison by a friend.

I made the two types of sausages,(receipt below) and  I took each receipt and divided it in half. one half I added pink curing salt; these sausage would be cold-smoked.  After the four different types of sausage were stuffed into their casings, they went into the refrigerator to sit overnight.

The next day I got out the Cameron’s Original Stove top Smoker and hickory chips. Once this started to smoke, the two different sausages with the curing salt went in and stayed for 4 hours on a low heat. I was careful to keep the two sausage separate  so I’d be able to know which was which. After two days, and help from Allan, my sausage making was complete; now to share them.

For the first night we had our neighbors in.  We always like to have them taste test things for us.  The menu would be Loukaniko  with pottage, Emmer flour Flat Bread. sautéed Brussels sprouts with New Hampshire elixir (maple syrup), and sautéed apples, onions, garlic and cabbage slaw. Now Allan dislikes Brussels sprouts, so I needed to do something a bit different so they would be not be as bitter as he recalls. I was hoping the maple syrup would do the trick.

 The first thing I had to prepare for the dinner was the dough for the flat bread.  Emmer flour is a rich and nutty, ancient, wholegrain flour, and I thought I would try it to see if I liked it.  After they were flattened I put them between strips of plastic wrap and stored them in the refrigerator.

The Saulcisses en Potage does not have cabbage, however, my Russian heritage was screaming put it in! Also I remembered similar receipt from Hannah Glass that I have made.  So I incorporated them together. As a result I made a slaw with cabbage and carrots to be added to the apples, onions and garlic all to be sautéed in butter, spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, a tad of sugar, and a bit of dry white wine.  This also sat in the refrigerator ready to go.

Allan built the perfect fire, the neighbors arrived and we all enjoying appetizers, which included the smoked Loukaniko. The cooled smoking made the sausage firm and enhanced the flavoring of the spices and orange zest. Served with crackers and cheese. All in all a thumbs-up for sure.

When the coals in the fireplace were ready, it was time to get cooking. The  sausage went on the  gridiron first. The pottage and Brussels sprouts went into three-legged pans to sauté. Last but not least the flat bread went on the hanging griddle.

When everything was done and put on the table we just dug in, so, sorry no pictures. We took the flat bread and use it as a roll adding the sausage and the pottage on top.  OMG!!!  It was an epicurean delight, if I have to say so myself. A distinct flavor of lamb in the sausage then a subtle hint of the leeks and garlic hit with the zesty orange and herbs all exploding on your palate, glorified by the pottage all wrapped in a soft and fragrant flat bread. The Brussels sprouts being sautéed in oil and butter with the addition of syrup had a nice brown and sweet nutty finish, And all did try them. The meal was a success.

 A few days later we had our friends, who gave us the venison, over for dinner. On this occasion we sampled the cold-smoked venison sausage as an appetizer. To accompany the grilled venison sausage, I chose to serve sautéed wild mushrooms and oven roasted vegetables. Once again I use the fireplace to cook almost everything. (I put the roasted vegetables in the oven).

The venison sausage had just enough of a noticeable gamy taste, with a hint of the clove and the tart taste of the juniper berries was spot on. This time I wanted to try the three-legged griddle to cook the flat bread.  It cooked better, I think, as they browned better than on the hanging griddle. We tried the sausage and mushroom in the flat bread and it was good, however my choice would be the sausage with pottage. Again thumbs-up on this one. And what can you say about, farm-fresh, roasted vegetables except yum!

I was happy with the turnout of all the sausages and the wonderful sides that accompanied them. We were able to share this with friends by the hearth with a good glass of wine and beer and an evening of wonderful conversation.

 May you have many warm and happy winter days cooking,


 “…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”
― Julia Child, My Life in France

PS. Its nice to have the blog working again. Thank you all for putting up with all the tests.  And keep your fingers crossed.  Next blog will be two meals of Rabbit.




1 pounds pork shoulder, cubed

3 pound boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of silver skin and cubed

1 pound pork fatback, cubed

3 tablespoons kosher salt                     

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 whole leeks, trimmed of dark leaves and finely chopped

3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 9 medium cloves)

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest from about 3 oranges

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Greek)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/3 cup red wine, chilled

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, chilled

Hog casings

Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de cuisine, 1585


Sausages in Pottage. Take sausages, & fry them in butter, then take four or five peeled apples & cut into small quarters, & four or five onions cut into rings, & fry them in butter, & put all of them into a pot with the sausages, & put therein nutmeg, cinnamon, with red or white wine, sugar, & let them then all stew.

 The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse (1796)


Take half a pound of sausages, and six apples, slice four about as thick as a crown, cut the other two in quarters, fry them with the sausages of a fine light brown, lay the sausages in the middle of the dish, and the apples round. Garnish with the quartered apples. Stewed cabbage and sausages fried is a good dish.

Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin


 1 lb. ground venison                    6-8 oz. bacon          1 tsp. salt                 1 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. mace                                 1/2 tsp. cloves       1/2 tsp. ginger                  

1/2 tsp. grains of paradise         1/2 tsp. cubebs      pinch ground saffron

1 oz. water                                      casing                                   

 To this recipe I added 1/2 tsp of juniper berries ground

 Did you know that during the Middle Ages the word “venison” referred to any wild animal with edible flesh?

Two Day Workshop


This workshop would be a different type than what I normally do for one day.  Trudy came  from  Canada,  and Carl from New Jersey, both had given me a list of different receipts and techniques they wished to  try at the hearth, some of which take a few days to do.

They  arrived on Friday night, and we had a nice dinner by the hearth fire. In the morning  one of Trudy’s objectives for this workshop was to start the fires and bake oven. Allan stood by and instructed her on just how to do this, and from then on she and Carl were in charge of keeping it going all weekend long.

Carl and Trudy made Payn Purde, bacon and sausage for our breakfast. We left the dishes with Allan and went out to the herb garden to see what was up. Carl picked some sorrel and I picked lady’s bed straw and chives. Carl said this was the first time he had gone and picked what he wanted to cook with from a garden.


Carl and Trudy started on the flummery  and the pig’s foot jelly for the Nest of Eggs and the Fish Pond.1a

I’ve never used Lady’s Bed Straw for making cheese, so we thought we would give it a try. Carl wrapped some of the bedstraw in a cheesecloth, and when the milk was warm, put it in,  and we waited.Untitled-3

And waited, though it looked like it might turn, it didn’t, so out came the lemon. The milk just didn’t want to curd like we wanted, however, there was some. This was poured into the cloth and hung for the day in the corner to drip in my chamber pot. (Well, it needs to be used for something, I even put it to use as a bowl sometimes.  No, it has never been under the bed!)

This cheese is to be used for cheese bread tomorrow. Untitled-4

I found some plastic Easter eggs and Allan drilled a nice size hole in the top so we could pour in some flummery. We coated the inside of the eggs, fish and shell with hazelnut oil.  Trudy made the flummery with isinglass, whole milk and cream, adding grated lemon rinds and a bit of cinnamon. This was strained into a bowl with a spout. Untitled-1 copy

Carl stirs a pot and checks on the pig’s feet jelly. Then he expertly peeled an orange in long strips for the birds nest. Untitled-2

We poured the flummery into the forms and placed them in the refrigerator. pouring

I made a quick salad, and Allan cooked up some shrimp for our lunch. We ate this out on the porch away from the fire.

It was a nice break from the heat. The sun had warmed the three-season porch, so we cracked the door a bit to let tin he fresh cool air.Untitled-10

Trudy built a bird’s nest wrapping the poached orange rind around the flummery eggs.Untitled-13

Now it was time to start on dinner. Carl wanted to practice spinning a chicken. He stuffed the bird with onions, apples, thyme, parsley, butter and salt and pepper. He put two skewers through the chicken, tied the string to it, and hung it on a hook very near the fire. He gave it a good spin and it was twirled on and off during the day, being turned upside down once to insure the inside was fully cooked.Untitled-15

Next on Carl’s list was to make an Indian Pudding. He used Amelia Simmons “A Nice Indian Pudding” receipt. The cornmeal was gently simmered on the hearth with the milk until it thickened. When it cooled, the eggs were added with the spices and molasses, poured into a redware dish, and baked in the bake kettle.Untitled-14 - Copy

Trudy whipped up the almond filling, a Galette des Rois (Kings Cake) with a Rough Puff Pastry from a Fortress Louisbourg recipe. She will be cooking there at the Engineer’s house in July. In the filling she poured a bit of Grand Marnier and orange zest. Untitled-16

Carl had hoped to make one of the coffin workshops. However, life got in the way.  This was a great opportunity for us both to do something a bit different.  A two-day cold coffin.

He mixed the dough and used the big coffin form to make the sides. It was the filling that was going to be interesting. He was making a rustic Pate with both forced and whole meats.  I had pre-marinated  chicken and pork in two different sauces for a week, and did several confits of chicken liver to be ready for Carl when he arrived. He made the forced meat of pork, veal and beef, and one of chicken, adding savory herbs, shallots , pistachios, assorted mushrooms, garlic, white wine and brandy. Untitled-5 copy

With all the meat layered plus four boiled eggs filling up the coffin Carl made a top and egg washed it and pinched it on. It was decorated with a Celtic knot and leaves were stuck on the side.Untitled-6

Both Carl and Trudy wanted to do an Herb Pie. I decided it would be nice to do them on different days and see how the different receipts compared.

Trudy went first, combining blanched spinach, arugula, lettuce, spring greens and adding bread crumbs and ground almonds, candied lemon peels, rosewater, sultanas and pine nuts.  This is after the style of La Verenne. For a paste she made French Fine Paste. Untitled7 copy

Next to be made was a Beef Ragout after La Vareen and Massialot. While Carl was looking after the chicken, he helped chop some of the ingredients.

The beef was marinated for one hour in red wine vinegar, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Untitled-19 copyOnions, carrots, turnips and spice were put into bowls ready to be assembled.Untitled-18 copy

Finger-sized lardons were tossed with flour and  rendered. Then the beef was added in to cooked for 30 minutes.

Cold water was added along with the vegetables and spices. This was covered and simmered for the rest of the day. Untitled-20 copy

Allan cleaned out the bake oven as we were all busy. He swept it out with a damp broom as the Sun King’s Galette des Rois waited to be cooked.Untitled-8 copy

The bake oven was at the right temperature and the cake, coffin, and the herb pie were carefully positioned  in the oven. The new metal door was placed on, and we timed everything, peeking only once to make sure things were doing okay.Untitled-9

And yes they were. As you can see Carl was really pleased with his coffin. It held its shape and turned a lovely golden brown.Untitled-01

Sitting on the side table, waiting for our dinner, sat the Indian pudding, herb pie, Galette des Rois and the rustic coffin pate.3

The beef ragout and the chicken were ready. Carl carved the bird, while always-hungry Trudy grabs a piece and pops it into her mouth. It was cooked to perfection.Untitled- 21 copy

Trudy and Carl worked hard all day to prepare many dishes for our evening meal. Allan  joined us and we sat and discussed what they had made. A long but productive day. However, it was not over yet.Untitled- 23 copy

Carl warmed the saved pig’s foot jelly and poured it into the coffin. This would become our breakfast tomorrow. Carl wanted to do a jerky in the oven overnight. I was lucky to have some venison in the freezer, thanks to my friend Susan L.  Carl thought that would make a great jerky. He sliced it really thin, and placed it in a marinade earlier in the afternoon. He placed it on a rack and put it into the falling bake oven to make venison jerky. This was another of his requests.Untitled 22 copy

So the day came to a close, and so does this blog. Stay tune for the Day Two soon.

My work for the 50th anniversary of the Historical Society has kept me very busy.  However with the open house behind  us I now have more time.


Once you have mastered a technique, you hardly need look at a recipe again and can take off on your own.

 Julia Child


There were six people in the workshop and all wanted to learn how to make coffins. It does seem to be a popular form of pie-making these days. This day we would go a step beyond the normal and make a coffins and a ‘subteltie’ or eye-catching centerpiece.

– A castle with a keep, three towers and a center.

First thing that needed to be done was make the fillings for the coffins. Veronica made the mushroom and onion filling while Matt added bread crumbs and spices to beef to make a forced meat mixture.1

Nancy made two fillings. Both needed constant watchfulness and stirring. A rice filing hung over the fire, made with milk, could easily scorch, while the spinach sweating in a large spider over coals had to be carefully tended. Kate was done with her venison sausage filling, and she and Matt started on the Orange Fool. Veronica put the finishing touches on the mushrooms and onions.4 copy

Kate lends a hand to Nancy and places the spinach in a cloth-lined bowl to remove the last vestige of moisture.

Susan made a paste of shredded chicken breast, eggs and cream then picked all the meat off of the boiled quail. This would all go in her coffin with wild mushrooms, dates, fresh figs, and spices.6 copy

Kevin took the receipt for Cucumber a la Forced. He cut a small piece off the end of the cucumber and using a marrow spoon he removed all the seeds. Next he made a forced meat of bread cubes, eggs, melted butter and many fresh spices. This forced meat was stuffed into the center of the cucumber and the little end also.  Susan made a leer for her quail coffin over the fire with a roux.  Leers are like our modern gravies, made for pouring in the coffins and enjoying  as a side. One of the interesting things about this roux is most of us put the butter in the pan add the flour and mix it together. Early receipts call for mixing the flour and butter together in your hand and then put it into the liquid, a very different concept for us.


Now back to Kevin and the cucumber. The small end needed to be sewn back on. I did a brief demonstration for him and he was on his way to resembling three forced cucumbers. Susan watched the surgery.5 copy

Veronica beat the egg whites for the Orange Fool. This was folded into the juice, sugar, and rinds, and thickened on the hearth by Matt. 3 copy

Nancy grated the mozzarella for the spinach filling and mixed it with parmesan, whole eggs and spices. Kate was done with her venison sausage filling and she and Matt, working as a team, strained the orange peels from the sauce for the Orange Fool. Untitled-1 copy

With all the fillings ready to go, we made our coffins. Everyone took turns pouring the hot water crust liquid into their flour.  You must stir it with a spoon first and wait until you can touch it. When that time comes, you need to work fast to get the flour to mix with the liquid. 

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Once the flour will keep its shape as a ball, out on the work surface it goes. Ten minutes of kneading and then 10 minutes of rest and you have a ball that feels much like play dough. Using a coffin form, Susan starts on her large coffin. 8 copy

Coffin forms are mentioned in early 19th century cookbooks. I have not seen any evidence, of their existence, in the previous centuries, however, they do make the work easier, and I’ll keep looking for proof.

Turning the form upside down helps to raise a nice tall coffin. Then in went the quail mixture.9 copy

Nancy used a smaller form for her spinach filling and a tall one for the rice. Kate’s venison would go in a taller form. The spinach would be the center and the rest would become part of the castle towers. 10 copy

Veronica and Matt made the flanking towers.11 copy

Susan rolled out hot water crust to make the top for her coffin; she did a wonderful edge on the side. Kevin mentioned that she is an excellent pie maker. This edge showed off her skills. Kevin was pretty good with a basting brush, and applied the egg wash all over the coffin.12 copy

Matt really gets down making his tower tall, it would become the castle keep.  Kevin does the honors of positioning the quail coffin into the back side of the beehive oven.Untitled-12psd

With the center, towers, and castle keep filled, the tops were placed on and the embattlements cut out. Then they were stuck together to form a castle Richard II would be proud.14copy

Into the beehive they went, and after an hour they came out.15b

While the coffins cooked, Kevin simmered his forced cucumber in chicken stock. In the kettle, the leers that were made were kept warm.15

With flags flying on the castle towers, Matt take it to the table. The tops was cut off to reveal, rice pudding, venison sausage, beef forced meat, mushroom and onions and a center of spinach. All worthy of a medieval feast.

We think of creating “subteltie” as being only in the medieval times, however, even Mrs. Beeton, in 1890, did a game pie with a stuffed pheasant on top.copy4

Susan’s quail pie baked perfectly and was exceptionally good with the fruit, giving it an enjoyable tang .copy3

Everyone around the table thought the spinach tasted much like spanakopita. The venison sausage was terrific, the rice pudding slightly sweet and creamy, the mushrooms and onions delightful and the ground cloves in the forced meat was a wonderful surprise. The forced cucumbers were interesting ranging in ratings from, “glad I had it once” to “it’s not bad.”

Everyone loved the Orange Fool. It was such a popular dessert in the 1800s that Hanna Glasse had at least four receipts for it. Topped with a bit of blueberry sauce it was a perfect ending to the meal.copy 1

Another coffin workshop behind me, and so glad to have shared the day with such wonderful and interesting friends.18


“Food . . . can look beautiful, taste exquisite, smell wonderful, make people feel good, bring them together . . . At its most basic, it is fuel for a hungry machine . . . “

Rosamond Richardson, English cookery author



What was I thinking!!!

In my workshops I like to have a theme and use original receipts, from medieval times up to the 1820s. It takes some doing to rewrite them in modern language. Now this theme took me by surprise. Fall and pumpkins just sounded too good not to do. So off to the cookery books I go to put together a sensible meal to cook over the hearth. First stop Amelia Simons. On the title page she writes that it is the first cookery book “Adapted to this Country”. What I find is pompkin No1 &2, a pie. As I read on through the Historical Notes written in my copy of Simons 1796 edition, Karen Hess has much to say about pumpkin and other squashes and gourds. She mentions Hannah Woolley’s 1675 receipt for pie that is very different from Simons. And she goes on to say how the use of edible gourds go as far back as ancient Rome. Great, I should find lots of receipt for my Pumpkin Workshop!

NOOO! However what I do find is more interesting. Great information from the Food Time Lime, a description from the travels of Peter Kalm in 1750 to the colonies, A history on “Eating in America” by Root and De Rochemont and a great 1630 poem from Plymouth.

Stead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies. Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies, We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon, If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.

And I can go on and on. There is a lot of information on the use of pumpkin in America , but not many receipts.

However, I forged on and this class will be a bit different, some original old receipts, and some I’m making judgment calls on ways pumpkin might have been used in the 1700s.

I went to the local farmer and bought several types of pumpkins some for this workshop and some for the next one. On the wall dresser I put out the red kabocha squash and a Long Island cheese pumpkin.


Everyone arrived and started right in. We had two Heathers so we called them Heather 1 & 2


Heather 2 and her husband Ken wanted to work on the sausages. I used “To make Sausage” by John Nott for a receipt. No, we did not put pumpkin in the sausage, this sausage would top the Pumpkin sauce for the Vermicelli. It is always fun to see someone cleaning the guts and using a hand held sausage stuffer for the first time.


Pumpkin soup had to be on the menu. Paul and Heather 1 picked the red kabocha squash as they felt it looked like a pumpkin and had the right color. They chopped the pumpkin, a potato, leeks, onions and garlic and sautéed them in butter in the iron cauldron.


Brenda flew in from Pennsylvania for the workshop and to visit her daughter Heather 2. She is a delightful lady and unafraid in the kitchen. Here she soften up pumpkin over the fire to use in a Pumpkin and Maize bread as described by Peter Kalm. In the morning I made barm to be added to the bread. Brenda scalded the cornmeal first then added the pumpkin and a cup of wheat flour. When that cooled she put in the yeast and mixed it up.

Notice my new marble pastry board. Thanks to Niel Vincent De Marino for information on where to buy it. 6 copy

Ken and Heather looked over the receipt for Nott’s sausage and chopped the pork very fine. I had rendered some suet and added a bit of goose fat from the workshop beforehand; this was chopped and mixed in. The receipt also called for spinach and cloves . 4

Heather reads the soup receipt and gets the chicken stock out. Allan made the fresh chicken stock just for the workshop. Heather gathers the brandy, cloves coriander, nutmeg and cayenne to mix in with the sautéed mixture in the cauldron. Ken and Heather are still chopping and I’m adding a bit of water to Brenda’s bread. The day was very low in humidity and the cornmeal needed just needed a bit more liquid one teaspoon at a time. 9

With all the ingredients in the soup, Paul hangs it from an S-hook on the crane. After much attention, it was taken off and put to the side to keep warm. The cauldron was turned now and again to make sure one side did not get too hot and burn.


17th  Century Cheese Cake by Robert May was next to be made. The dough is made of wheat flour with cold butter,  just pinch of salt and sugar and a three egg whites. It is very stiff. After Brenda mixed it together it went into the refrigerator for a hour. Brenda rolled out one disk and I showed her how to make a round into a triangle for the base.


Ken and Heather take turns with the hand sausage stuffer. Ken said next time he makes sausages he’ll really appreciate an electric grinder.


Being that this is a pumpkin workshop and we have Robert Mays cold butter crust, it needs a pumpkin filling. I picked a filling form Plymouth Plantation and we added pumpkin. Paul softened the pumpkin over the fire and drained it. Heather and Paul mixed up a filling with a good amount of ground almonds, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, butter, sugar, salt, eggs, mace, a hint of rose water and the pumpkin.

The triangle paste held its shape wonderfully and Heather filled it up. 7

With the sausages made, Ken and Heather fry them up in a pan. They were then taken out and set aside to keep warm. The drippings would be used in the pumpkin sauce.  14

Our two Heathers put in the cheese cake and the risen pumpkin maize bread into the bake oven. 1 copy

Hannah Glasse’s receipt “To Make Vermicelli” was made by Paul with help from Heather.  12 copy

Paul tried the roll and slice technique and the dough was a bit too sticky to unroll the strains of vermicelli. Paul unrolled what was left and cut the vermicelli, that worked better. Every day is different in the kitchen. 15

I found two receipts and I decided to combined them. One is “The Vse Of Pompkins,” by John Parkinson, 1629; and “Fried Sausage” by Hannah Glasse where she puts stewed apples and cabbage around sausage.

Hannah’s receipt will be the base for our pumpkin sauce. Heather uses the kabocha again cutting the chunks into bite size pieces. Brenda cut onions, apples and half a cabbage. Ken put the butter in a the pan that had the sausage drippings, added the cabbage, apple, pumpkin, garlic, chicken broth salt and pepper. This would be put on the vermicelli and topped with sausages and parmesan.


Then my 21st century sensibility kicked in. I wanted something green on the table and I needed it to be done just before we served our lunch. I decided on braised greens. My favorite green is Swiss Chard which has nothing to do with Switzerland but with someone who coined the name, as he was from there. With a bit of research, I found that Chard is a cousin to spinach and the beet greens. Back in the fourth century B.C. Greek philosopher, Aristotle, wrote about chard, as the Greeks and Romans used it for its medicinal properties. Then things get very confusing as the French called cardoon and chard “carde”. The English had many names for it as well, white beet, strawberry spinach, seakale beet, Spinach beet and Roman Kale among others. Well I know it existed and I have no reason to think it was not braised somewhere, sometime, perhaps with meat in a stew . So my batting average on Pumpkin receipts “Soup to nuts” was taking a dip here.

The receipt I chose had bacon, chard, garlic, anchovies and fresh peeled tomatoes. No pumpkin in this although you certainly could. I thought better of it though, with all the pumpkin we did put in other things, I thought  a fresh braised green on the side would be better. Heather and Paul put this together and it looked great.


Everything was coming together as Paul put the vermicelli in the boiling water and Ken took out the bread and cheese cake.


The pumpkin sauce was scooped out and the soup put in bowls.19

The Pumpkin Maize bread and Robert May/ Plymouth Plantation/Pumpkin cheese cake were cooling. Brenda and Heather cut the sausages in pieces for the top of the vermicelli and pumpkin sauce.20

The table was set and everything plated. 18

This workshop really stretched my brain and though it was different from the others it was an interesting learning curve. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. We had a great group and the food was outstanding.  1a

We feasted on a bowl of Pumpkin soup, a plates full of braised greens, pumpkin cheese cake, pumpkin maize bread, vermicelli topped with pumpkin sauce, sausage and parmesan cheese.



The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Julia Child

 So What the hell it had a lot of pumpkin!




26 SEPT 2015

Well, it took a while to get this together. My computer was hacked and held for ransom. Thanks to Allan my Tech person all was put to right in this file that held the workshop in my computer. However, we are on a network and he is still debugging the rest of the mess.

So I begin again on this blog of the Harvest Dinner in September. Our feast consisted of a goose, root vegetables and tree and ground ripened fruit. As always, I have everything out and organized for the workshop, and made sure all the stations have what they needed for the first round of receipts. 1 copy

The knifes were sharpened by Allan, and spoons, cutting boards and bowls arranged to be close at hand.2 copy

The goose was pre-steamed the day before and the Long Grain Pepper and Grains of Paradise were ground ahead of time and put in this cute little crock.3

Heather wanted to work on Ann Peckham’s goose receipt. Heather lives in an old house in Massachusetts and wants to cook in her own fireplace, bake oven and her new shiny reflector oven. So this was a great time to experiment. The goose was stuffed with onions, sage, apples, butter and a bit of salt and pepper.4 copy

Judy and Karen traveled from Ohio to be at the workshop. They started on Ann Peckham’s Cranberry Tart. Karen is an old hand in front of the fireplace and Judy is new, so to begin with she followed Karen’s lead. Cooking the cranberries down was the first part of the receipt, sugar, butter and orange zest were added.5 copy

Cathy drove up from the shore in Connecticut with Natalie. They have been here many times. Cathy picked the Indian Pudding and started by scalding the milk and cream and stirring the corn meal in to soften the grains. Polenta anyone?6 copy

Natalie is the bread maker in the group. We were having rice bread made into rolls from the 1770 receipt book of Harriott Pinckney Horry. First the rice needed to be boiled and cooled. I had made a starter the night before with ale, a bit of yeast and flour. Then came the addition of cornmeal, flour, milk and butter. With Natalie masterful skills she produced a great rise on the batter.7 copyHeather and Natalie put the goose into the reflector oven, pushed the spit through it and placed the skewers in the holes and tied it on so the wings and legs would not flap around.11 copy

A boiled carrot pudding was next. We used small size cubes for this receipt instead of crumbs. The carrots were of a variety of colors that I found at our local farm, Apple Crest, along with my other vegetables. While Karen and Judy made the pudding, Heather grated the colorful carrots.8 copy

All the ingredients for the  pudding were mixed together and Judy and Karen buttered and floured the pudding cloth. Karen got a kick out of Judy’s tentative flouring . She may be a newbie to hearth cooking, however, she was doing just fine. We’ll say it was friendly ribbing between two very good friends. We all laughed with them. 16copy

Pudding cloth ready, the pudding was put inside, tied and hung into the boiling water. Great job, Judy!17 copy

Out came the cooked cornmeal and the rest of the ingredients for the Indian pudding were mixed in. Dark brown sugar, molasses, cream, raisins, butter, eggs and spices. The batter smelled great already.14 copy

Judy strained the cooked bog cranberries and saved the juice for later use, Karen made the tart paste.12 copy

With the pie plate buttered and the paste set in, the cranberries were scooped in and a lattice work top paste was applied by Karen. We decided to use the bake kettle for baking this, even though we had room in the bake oven. Judy and Heather wanted to see how a kettle would work.13 copy

Harriott Pickney Horry’s Rice Bread receipt had its second rise and cut into eight sections to make rolls. Natalie used the docker on the bottom of the rolls to help give them height when cooked. 15 copy

Hannah Glasse’s To Dress Cauliflower was in interesting receipt. You boiled the cauliflower in milk then took part of it and placed it in the middle of the dish and fried the rest cut in sections. I bought purple and golden cauliflower and Cathy chose the purple for the center and the gloden she cut. The cut flowerets were fired in a pan with a little water, butter and flour. 9 copy

Elizabeth Raffald has a receipt To Make Sauce for a Goose. It has apples, butter, water and sugar; very simple. Judy said she could make this. When it was done Natalie helped her put it in a bowl to keep warm by the fire.19 copy

Things were ready to put into the bake oven. The Indian pudding went first and the rolls followed .21 copyKaren peeled and sliced a small pumpkin and cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes. A simple syrup was brushed on them and they went into the slack oven overnight. I will be using these for Fredrick Nutt’s  Millefruit Biscuits. Thanks to Karen for helping out. Colonial bakers often used the slack oven for drying foods. The next morning I filled a small jar with the semi-dry pumpkins.22 copy

Some squeezed orange juice was added to the leftover sauce from the cranberries and used to baste the goose.

Heather was so happy at how it was cooking. 23 copy

Judy had never used a bake kettle before, so we all cheered her on when she moved in and took a peek to see how the tart was doing. It looked wonderful. I loved the way the lattice browned.24 copy

Managing the space on the hearth is an important thing. Everyone can’t be there at the same time yet the items that need to be cooked can. This is a good illustration of this. The goose and purple cauliflower are being kept warm, same as the apple sauce behind; then there are the boiled and strained high bush cranberries. Hanging from the crane is the remainder of the cranberry drippings made into a sauce. The carrot pudding was continually boiling. Drippings from the goose were made into a gravy and reduced over the heat, and on the hearth, the golden cauliflower was frying. In the bake oven, the Indian pudding and rice rolls baked.26b copy

The moment of truth for the carrot pudding. If the water is not kept boiling, you end up with mush. The pudding was taken out of the water drained in a colander and then inverted onto a plate. The cloth removed and the pudding is revealed.26c copy

Everyone looked on as Heather and Judy removed the goose from the spit. 27 copy

One day when I was at the Moffatt Ladd House working, I spied some high bush cranberries in the garden. So I said, “Hmm, can these be eaten?” I checked with Liz, our horticulturist, and also checked some receipts online and the answerer was yes. I picked a nice size basket full, washed them and removed the stems. They looked so pretty.

Now here is where the story of the cranberries gets interesting. High bush cranberries are not true cranberries; they are a shrubby plant. The bush produces lovely cluster of bright red berries about the same time as the bog berries are ripening.

However, the high bush type are very acidic and smell like stinky socks when cooked. They also have a large flat oval seed in the middle that can only be removed by boiling and straining. They do have nutritional value that may offer protection from cavities, urinary tract infection, and inflammatory diseases, that is if you can eat them.18 copy

The berries were boiled, strained through a cheesecloth and put in a pot with two cups of sugar to boil. After a mouth-puckering taste test, more sugar was added and Isinglass to make it jellied.

The end result was that some liked it after a bit, and others, me included, said they made better plate decorations. I might try again next year but with a different receipt. 27

It was time to carve the goose. I helped hold it while Heather cut slices off and plated it. See how lovely the high bush cranberries look! Even Ann Peckham would have been impressed.28 copy

Ann Peckham cranberry tart was done and Hannah Glasse’s cauliflower plated with the boiled purple one in the center and the fried golden ones around it.29 copy

Hannah Glasse stars again with the carrot pudding that came out fantastic with all the multi-color carrots in it. And there was a wonderful caramel-like sauce for it. The goose’s drippings were made into a wonderful gravy, with help from the fried and boiled wing clippings and neck.31 copy

Elizabeth Raffald applesauce for the goose and Harriott Pinckney Horry’s rice rolls both smelled splendid.32 copy

All of these wonderful receipts were accompanied by the bog berry sauce, and a lot of good humored discussion on using local sourced,  meat, garden fresh produce and HIGH BUSH CRANBERRIES.

Every dish was tasty, with the exception of the High Bush Cranberries. Judy wants to do the rice rolls at home. Karen said she learned a few new things. Cathy sent a quick note later thanking us for yet again a wonderful day and continued good learning.

And I’m always grateful to Allan for his help and for having such wonderful people come to at workshops. I, too, learn from them.33 copy


“This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal.”

– Joel Salatin, farmer and author of Folks, This Ain’t NormalYou Can Farm



door knocker

  Friday night it poured buckets and there was thunder and lightning that worked me up as I lie sleeping on the rope bed. It was the only noise in the whole tavern and I loved it.

Saturday started off with more rain and thunder in the Berkshire Hills soon giving way to a sunny day. I got the fire going as Bob was at work this day and I needed to have breakfast. Of the cooks only three of us braved the village nights. Two went out early in the morning to town and I ate alone waiting for the group to come moseying in. And there are always a few leftover things to be washed in the sink so I was busy.

When everyone arrived Niel rang the bell and we all jumped right into the receipts he gave us. Whipped syllabub, chicken on a spit, vermicella pudding, celery in cream, mushroom ragout, rich cake. And a few things I may have forgotten.

Kim, Trudy and Dave stuffed the chicken with wonderful herbs, spices, onion and a lemon. This went on a spit and was placed before the fire to roast.chicken

Katy, Holly and Dave made “To Whipt Syllabub,” poured it into cups and put it on the bar to separate during the day and be ready for our evening meal.

I started on my Fritters Royal. I needed to boil milk and then curdle it with sack. Bring it to a boil again and then let it rest for 6 minutes and drain the curds. I ended up with superb curds. At the fire with me was Linda, making a sauce, perhaps for the carrot pudding. As you can see it was very hot in the kitchen and I’m covered in a shiny sheen. We needed to tie a towel on the clock Jack so we would not hit out head.

With the Fritter Royal resting until later, I started on the Westminster Fool. I cut bread that we used the crust from the day before. I slices about 8 pieces and put it in a low sided bowl and soaked it in sherry. Then I made a custard added rose water, nutmeg, mace and put it over a slow fire so it would not curdle. After it began to thicken I poured this on the bread and let it soak in. When it was cool I put it in the refrigerator, as the room and even out of doors was reaching an alarmingly hot temperature. I would not need to do anything else with it at that point, just let it set. curd linda

Niel gave Carl some instructions on the carrot pudding and the boiling process. It was time for us to take a break and Trudy and Kim brought a lovely spread of cheese, fruit , bread and jams. Dave brought a bowl of wonderful tomatoes from his garden in Pennsylvania. I ate several as they were my first fresh-off-the-vine summer tomatoes. Thanks Trudy, Kim and Dave. niel carl cheese

Lee, Katy, and John made vermicella noodles for the pudding and a short bread crust too.

ver cookedjpg

Karl had taken great care to make sure the water in the pot boiled all the time so the carrot pudding would not soak up water. After careful tending, the pudding was ready to be taken out. The pot is huge and so it was brought out of doors and the water dumped and the pudding saved in a bowl.

And of course everyone came out for a bit of air and to have a look. From left to right Niel, our fearless leader, John, Kim, Karla, Carl, Holly and Katy. In back on the steps is Lee and looking out the windows are Linda and Scott.out  carrot

The Vermicella Pudding and the carrot pudding ready for dinner.

vermic carrots

I started the ” To ragoo Mushrooms” receipt and as I read it I found a bit of a problem. I was to pour the mixture in a bladder and boil it. Humm NO BLADDER. So I cooked it in a pan over the fire with onions, nutmeg, mace, rosemary, salt and pepper and added a good deal of red wine, butter and a bit of flour. This simmered and came out splendid. When faced with a lack of something go to plan B. 

I know Linda was involved with the celery and not sure who else helped out. The celery was boiled tender drained and an egg and cream sauce with nutmeg and a little salt poured over it after it was thickened. We were all surprised at how enjoyable it tasted. It’s a dish we should all make more often.

mushroom celery

Dave and John made a Rich Cake with tons of candied fruit , brandy and spices. It had a pleasant taste. There was bread made in loaves and in small manchets. The Fritters Royal were fried and the Westminster Fool put on the table.dinner 2

No one had ever made the Westminster Fool or the Fritters Royal and we were all delighted with how they came out. Particularly the Fools custard that was poured on anything we could eat the next two days. The Vermicella Pudding was good and the crust even better. The carrot pudding came out well, and the roasted chicken was excellent.

The table was set and the afternoon was getting late, so candles were lit , manchets were rolled in a classy napkins (paper towel). And we all sat down to another wonderful meal. We started with the Syllabub and then filled our plates for another, Hannah Glass inspired, hearth-cooked meal at the Village. tableLeftovers were again put on the table for the tin-smithing class who all appreciated a bite of food as this was their last evening there and most headed home. On the far left in the middle you can see the Westminster Fool, what’s left of it. westermister fool


We are all tired, sore and hot, so we decided to make it an easy day of cooking and give everyone an early start home. Our receipts for the day were bacon and sausage, pan perdue, Nuns cake, curd fritters of a different kind, transparent pudding and jumbles. I started on a crust for the transparent pudding while Carl and Katy made the filling of eggs butter sugar  Carl katy jpg

 Bob, as always, was at the fire, making sure we had coals. Trudy made the pan perdue to go with the bacon and sausage. We ate this early in the day. It was a great brunch and we brought out the Westminster Fool again to put on top. toast

Linda and Lee made the jumbles. Buy this time the Tavern was so hot and muggy the butter was melting fast and the flour reacting strangely. Alterations were made for completing the jumbles.  Several styles were made and some were baked and some fried. I did get to taste a fried one before I left and it was nice and crunchy.jumb

The Nuns cake and Transparent Pudding came out of the oven and the day began to wind down.t pudding

It was time for me to leave the Village and its wonderful rustic way of life. I met many wonderful people and learned a few new receipts. I wish I had taken more pictures, however, we were all like whirling dervishes, darting from room to room making various receipts and vying for room at the hearth. I know I’ve missed a few receipts here so let’s just say there were many dishes made by everyone in the three days of the workshop and they were all good.

So I took a last look around.

last look copy

Visited the 1805 necessary one more time,


and said goodbye to a weekend experience at Eastfield Village, something I always wanted to do.

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

Laurie Colwin

And with that said, we can thank Hannah Glasse for leaving us with a book full of worthy receipts and advice that we can still use today and Niel for providing us the opportunity to use some of them that we have not used before.


Have a look at Facebook for Eastfield village:



The mission of the foundation,

Eastfield Village was painstakingly assembled by one of the foremost preservation arts experts, Don Carpentier. It is the campus for the Annual Series of Early American Trades and Historic Preservation Workshops, a nationally renowned program of lectures, symposia and hands-on classes.

I attended the workshop “DINNER WITH MRS. GLASSE,” given by Niel De Marino,

I arrived on Thursday evening with the sun low in the sky. My first mission was to take pictures of the village. Below you see the William Briggs Tavern 1793 and the Blacksmith shop 1830.


The fireplace in the back ell of the tavern would be where we would do our cooking. I would be spending my nights staying in the King’s bedroom. Now the tavern has limited electricity, you light your way with candles, it has a sink with running cold water for doing dishes and a necessary out back.

good bed

The classes started on Friday and after an introduction from Niel we began cooking around 12:00. There were 12 people attending the class and we worked in three rooms all vying for a chance to use the one fireplace and bake oven in the kitchen.

Lee, Holly and I began with Beef Alamode. Holly and Lee larded the beef butts with bacon while I gathered all the rest of the ingredients we needed. Once it was larded we fried the butts brown, added onions, mushrooms, both sweet and savory herbs and covered it with broth and red wine. This was placed over the fire on a trammel and simmered for the remainder of the day.


The next receipt was Soup Meager. Dave washed off all the celery and four different kinds of lettuce. These were chopped and put in the bowl with two bags of spinach. I fried green onions in the kettle with butter, and gently sautéed them. Next went all the greens to be softened a bit. When this cooked for about 15 minutes we added flour and stirred it in, then added broth and water. Bread crumbs were grated and added, and the soup slowly cooked for half an hour.


Linda and a few others made Chelsea Buns while Trudy sautéed some onion for the string beans.


This was a busy place with 13 people running helter-skelter here and there, plus Bob. Bob by the way is the wood man and does the wonderful job of splitting the wood, tending the fire, and making sure the bake oven is going. Just like Allan does for me when I have a workshop at home. Both of them are a blessing to have in the kitchen.

Kim and Trudy were making Curried Chicken and I think it was Dave and John making Curried Rice. Norfolk dumplings made by Linda and ginger cakes by Lee and Holly and raspberry dumplings by Dave and Kim were made being made here and there. And Carl was in there somewhere busy with some receipt. It was hard to keep track of who was doing what, as we all had several items we were responsible for.


Dave helps to finish off the Soup Meager with egg yolks whisked with vinegar.  Karla digs in. I was doubtful about how this soup would taste, and was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. It got rave reviews.


The table was set and the chicken and rice placed on it . The side table held the rest of the evening’s meal.DINNER

Someone filled vases with flowers and everyone dug in. From left to right. John, Carla, Kim, Holly, Dave and Lee.  Day one was finished and we ate heartly.


At the same time there was a tin-smithing workshop going on and we had so many leftovers, we also fed them when they were done. One of the participants is a friend, Amy McCoy and it was her birthday so a tin crown was made for her. Happy Birthday, again, Amy.


 “For people who aren’t doing it already, take classes – they’re worthwhile.  Workshops or classes – a workshop is where you do, actually get feedback on your work, not just something where you go and sit for a day.”    

Octavis Bulter

 Believe me when I say we did not sit in this workshop.

 Workshop II coming soon





I say “finally” as this is the fourth time we have rescheduled the workshop for the girls at Moffatt Ladd. This winter has been brutal, as you all know, and as much as we all like to be at the hearth on a snowy day, we like to do it in the safety of our own homes. So we waited, and the day of sun arrived.

The ladies of the museum had a few requests for our meal,  LAMB AND A COFFIN, so we have combined them. Now being that this was April and spring has arrived, I thought we should include a GRAND SALAD.

The first mention of salad that I know of is in the book, The Form of Cury, 1390. It is a tiny salad with many fresh herbs and dressed with oil and vinegar. The word salad meant many things to the English and included vegetables both raw, boiled and pickled. Many Grand Salads were works of art and presented as such. Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife, 1615, instructed “housewife’s to pay attention to the presentation of her compound sallets.” She was making an edible centerpiece.

Springtime salads were greeted with enthusiasm. The first shoots of asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, strawberry leaves, wild onions and violets found their way into a salad. These fresh greens were long awaited after the boredom of pickled and dried foods. So, should you read that the English did not eat vegetables, look further into the source.

Our meal has a centerpiece of a coffin, surrounded with the Grand Sallet. A coffin, or coffyn as it was spelled during the medieval time and earlier, meant basket or box. It was made of a tough dough that made a container. It holds food to be eaten right away, when cooked, and it also helps baked foods last longer when stored by excluding air from its host. It help preserve the fillings of meat or vegetables. The coffin was also used as an entertainment. In the 16th century translation of the Italian Epulario 1598 we find the following:

 “To Make Pie That the Birds May Be Alive In them and Flie Out When It Is Cut UpMake the coffin of a great pie or pastry, in the bottome thereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the coffin bee somwhat higher then ordinary pies, which done put it full of flouer and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take out the flouer. Then having a pie of the bigness of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withall put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid. And this is to be at such time as you send the pie to the table, and set before the guests: where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great pie, all the birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the company.

 Four and twenty blackbirds anyone? Our centerpiece was definitely not going to be filled with birds however, it did hold a lamb; however, the lamb was cooked.

Sherry started off right away on the hot paste for the standing crust of the coffin. She is hoping that this experience will help her make a fake one for the museum.

Sherry cof

We also needed a regular crust for the decorations and top. Marsha was in charge of that. The receipt for basic pie crust has not changed since mankind began to make flour into dough, to bake into a crust and put stuff inside it. We are using our crust for decorations on the coffin.

The English Art of Cookery, According to the Present Practice…. Richard Briggs, 1788 tart paste

Paste Marsha copy

With the coffin standing tall, Marsha whipped up the egg wash and I helped to apply the decorative side to the coffin.

wrap side copy

Lisa and Linda began the receipt for the coffin filling. Mushroom, carrots, garlic, shallots and scallions were washed, cut, and sliced ready for the filling.

The meat needed to be cut into bite-sized pieces, salted and floured. Pieces of bacon were put into a bit of olive oil to render, then taken out. The floured lamb was browned on all sides. Carrots, garlic, scallions, shallots, mushrooms and the rendered bacon were then added. A dash of sherry, a sprig of rosemary and some beef broth went in to simmer for a while. The rosemary was removed later, and a piece of floured butter, heavy cream, parsley, tarragon, and peas were then mixed in.


With the coffin decorated, and the lamb mixture ready, the lamb was removed from the pan with a slotted spoon, and Linda filled the coffin.


Marsha placed her decorated top on the coffin and crimped the edges.


I was not sure if anyone would be brave enough to eat the coffin dough, so I decided it would be a good idea to have some rolls made. Nothing smells better than hot rolls out of the bake oven and they do go so well with a salad. I picked my favorite cheese loaf receipt from –   W.M. The Compleat Cook,  1658,  with the addition of King Arthur’s 7 Grains. After the first rise, Linda reformed the dough into the rolls and gave it one more rise.

Linda bread copy

Rolls have a surprisingly long history, having been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians. Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods. We know of the English manchet, a yeast roll popular with the Tudor Court, of which there are many variations. I did a bit of research to see when I could find the word roll being used in association with bread. I found this interesting information. In 1542 – Andrew Boorde, an English monk and physician, wrote a book called, Compendyous Regyment, or a Dyetary of Health. He discusses food he felt appropriate for Lords and good Englishman. When he expounded on BREAD he said,

“But the bread of rolls made for the Romans, I praise it not.”

I’m sure the word was used earlier I just have not come across an earlier reference as yet.

For our dessert we  had a receipt for Portugal Cakes, or as we often call them, Madeleines. The history of this little sponge cake is that it may have been named for the use of orange flower water or sack that came from Portugal Madeleines, which was made of a similar ingredients and has its origin in France. When, is the question. Some say Louis XV of France first tasted them in 1755. Others say a baker made them for his love Madeleine Paulmier in the 18th century while working for the Duke of Lorraine. When they came to England is a total mystery. However, we all think of them as being served on the English tea table. Hannah Glasse knew of them and we used her receipt. Whatever their history, they are tasty, and ours will be anointed with chocolate and spring mint.

So you say tomato and I say tomaato, but let’s not call the whole thing off, I want little cakes.

Lisa creamed the butter and sugar then added the rest of the ingredients for the batter, and spooned it into the French Madeleine tins.


Into the bake oven goes the coffin and Portugal cakes. The rolls were baked in the kettle on the hearth.


Time to prepare all the pieces for our Grand Salad.

To Make a Grand Sallet 

John Murrell, The Second Booke of Cookery and Carving, 1638 

Take the buds of all kind of good Hearbes and a hanfull of French Capers, seven or eight Dates cut in long slices, a hanfull of Raisins of the Sun, the stones being pickt out, a handfull of Almonds blancht, a handfull of Curans, five or six Figs sliced, a preserved orenge cut in slices; mingle all these together with a handful of Sugar, then take a faire Dish fit for a shoulder of Mutton, set a standard of paste in the midst of it, put your aforesaid sallet about this standard, set upon your sallet four half Lemmons, with the flat ends downward, right over against one another, halfs way betwixt your standard and the dishes side, pricke in every one of these Lemmons a branch of Rosemary and hang upon the Rosemary preserued cherries, or cherries fresh from the tree; set foure halfe Egges, being roasted hard, betwaene your Lemons, the flat ends downward, prick upon your Egges sliced Dates and Almonds: then you may lay another garnish betweene the brim of the Dish and the Sallet, of quarters of hard Egges and round slices of Lemmons: then you may garnish up the brim of the Dish with a preserued Orenge, in long slices and betwixt every slice of orenge, a little heap of French Capers. If you have not a standard to serue it in, then take halfe a Lemmon, and a faire branch of Rosemary. 

The eggs were put in a pot to boil and the asparagus blanched. Both were put in cool water to stop the cooking. Leaves of tarragon, marjoram, parsley, and mint were prepared. Figs and dates were julienned, while the slivered almonds were toasted. Capers were drained and lemons sliced. All of these ingredients would be used in the Grand Salad.

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Lisa cut the lemons in half and speared a grape onto the top of the rosemary and stuck the spear into a lemon. Linda took the sliced dates and almonds and stuck them into the eggs. We love the look of these and they were just a part of our garnishes for the grand salad.


Sherry cut oranges, with the peel, into slices early in the morning and then cut them into triangle, blanched them, patted them dry and sprinkled Darmara sugar on them. They were then put in the electric oven for three hours to dry. This was just the beginning of all the ingredients used for the Grand Salad.

Other items for the salad included, pickled cornichons, pickled beets, pea pod leaves, mint, dates, figs, sunflower seeds, raisin of the sun, various herbs and spices.

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With the coffin and rolls ready, it was time to assemble our centerpiece.


The Portugal cakes were the first item to come out of the bake oven. When they were cooled, melted chocolate helped finish the dessert, and Lisa chopped fresh mint for the tips.


The coffin was placed on the plate and the grand salad was begun. Some of the items were put in a bowl and sprinkled with the Demerara sugar. A handful of mixed spring greens and the wonderful pea pod greens went around the coffin. The lemons with rosemary, the eggs with almonds and dates, asparagus, and other items were all artfully arranged on this. This was the fun part, making it a work of art, fit for a king or queen.

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Gervase Markham, The English House- wife, 1683, suggests you serve your sallet up to the table with oyl, vinegar, pepper and sugar. We all decided that the dressing was way too oily for such a delicate spring salad so we substituted good old Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Not 18th century but really good. The table was set and we were all ready to sit down after a busy morning and noon assembling all the parts for what looks like a simple meal. We “housewife’s paid attention to the presentation of our compound sallet,” as Markham suggested.

 The Grand Salad with a standard of a Lamb Coffin and Cheese Rolls with Grains


Linda and Lisa did the honors and took the top off the coffin



In this picture we are missing Sherry. Unfortunately, she was feeling a bit unwell and left early. We shared a toast to a job well done, and we also toasted Sherry, for her wonderful coffin case and candied oranges for the Grand Salad. We packed up a doggie bag for her and Marsha will make sure she gets it.


With the meal over and the Portugal Cakes eaten, we cleaned up, and everyone packed a goodie bag to take home for dinner.

So the season comes to an end, and all that is left is to put away all the washed dishes, and utensils we used, and season all the iron that might go into storage for the coming months. And I will think of the wonderful meals cooked, and of meeting so many interesting friends with whom I have been lucky enough to share my hearth. I’m looking forward to next fall and having several workshops. Stay tuned for the notices.


Enjoy the Summer!


Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is a great importance to the morale.

Elsa Schiparelli



In the 18th century, English life started to breed the frantic, money-fueled materialism that we are familiar with today. As the middle classes grew, there was an increasing demand for books to save the lady of the house from the task of teaching her kitchen maids. Many households cooked for themselves. Books such as Hannah Glasse’s, The Art of Cookery, were directed at the servants, and were written in plain and accessible language.

The first edition of Hannah Glasse’s book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, was published in London in 1747. It became a bestseller for over a hundred years, both in England and the colonies, and a second edition was published within a year of the first.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned a copy and Benjamin Franklin translated it into French. Over the many years that I’ve been hearth cooking, I’ve used many of her receipts so I thought receipts combined for a meal would make a wonderful workshop. What you might not know about Hannah is that she was a housewife and this was a way for her to make some badly-needed money. Even though this seems bit altruistic, the book was written for the common good, and like so many other cookbook authors of the times, she too copied directly from other books. However, she added a few new receipts and including ingredients like Indian Curry and Asian food.

Unfortunately, Hannah Glasse was not successful making money with the book, and she went into bankruptcy by 1754. She needed to sell her copyright to stay afloat and therefore relinquished all control of further publications of her first book. She wrote again, her second book , The Servants Directory in 1755, was on the management of a household. But still debt plagued her and she ended in debtor prison for a while. Free by 1757 she wrote her third and last work, The Complete Confectioner. This was reprinted several times, but did not match the past success. So the newer editions of The Art of Cookery, with Modern Improvements, was mostly copied from the original , but not written by Hannah Glasse, who by that time had long since departed this world, passing away in 1770.

The anchor of the meal is a roast leg of lamb:

The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy – Hannah Glasse, 1747

To collar a breaſt of veal.
To Collar a breast of mutton, do the same way and it eats very well

TAKE a very fharp knife, and nicely take out all the bones, but take great care you do not cut the meat through ; pick all the fat and meat off the bones, then grate fome nutmeg all over the inſide of the veal, a very little beaten mace, a little pepper and falt, a few feweet-herbs fhred fmall, fome parfley, a little lemon-peel fhred fmall, a few crumbs of bread and the bits of fat picked off the bones; roll it up tight, ftick one fkewer in to hold it together, but do it clever, that it ftands upright in the diſh : tie a packthread acroſs it to hold it together, fpit it, then roll the caul all round it, and roaſt it. An hour and a quarter will do it. When it has been about an hour at the fire take off the caul, drudge it with four, baſte it well with freſh butter, and let it be of a fine brown.

Bob prepares the butterflied lamb and spreads it with the herbs mixture. Leslie helped by toasting the bread to be made into crumbs for the filling.

Untitled-1 copyThen it was rolled up with bacon and tied, placed on the spit, and put before the fire with a pudding pan underneath to catch the drippings

2For a dessert I chose “To make White Pot” with “Clear Lemon Cream.” Hannah has two receipts for white pot, one plain and one with rice and sweet meat. We used the addition of the sweet meat for the first White Pot. I have a fondness for this and don’t make it for myself, as I would eat the whole thing.

First the cream and egg mixture, with all the spices, needs to be heated and then cooled. The bread is sliced and buttered on one side. This was all assembled, and it sat a while for the bread to soak up all the liquid.
3It was time to put the Yorkshire pudding together.
Before Hannah’s first edition of the The Art Of Cooking was published, Yorkshire Pudding, was called Dripping Pudding. So the receipt has nothing to do with Yorkshire Scotland or England. A baked pudding under the roast before a fire was called a dripping pudding way before the War of the Roses.

 A Yorkshire Pudding
Take a quart of milk, four eggs, and a little salt, make it up into a thick batter with flour, like pancake batter. You must have a good piece of meat at the fire; take a stew-pan and put some dripping in, set it on the fire ; when it boils, pour in your pudding ; let it bake on the fire till you think it is nigh enough, then turn a plate upside down in the dripping-pan, that the dripping may not be blacked; set your stew-pan on it under your meat, and let the dripping drop on the pudding, and the heat of the fire come to it, to make it a fine brown. When your meat is done sent to table, drain all the fat from your pudding, and set it on the fire again to dry a little; then slide it as dry as you can into a dish; melt some butter, and pour it into a cup, and set it in the middle of the pudding. It is an excellent good pudding; the gravy of the meat eats well with it.

The batter for the Yorkshire Pudding was made early by Kate and kept cool, away from the fire. This gave the flour time to absorb the wet ingredients.

Once the lamb had been dripping for half an hour, the dripping pan was removed and the batter carefully placed back under the roast. You could hear the sizzle the batter made as it was poured into a smoking hot dripping pan.

4As I mentioned we would be making a lemon sauce for the white pot. Kate peeled the lemons, simmered them in water on the hearth. This lemon juice was then strained through a cloth and poured into a bowl that had sugar and egg white beaten. Leslie watched as Kate stirred the pot to thicken the sauce.

white pot digbysJPG5Hannah’s receipt to “To Dress Potatoes” and “To Dress Asparagus” were next on the lineup.

Very few cooks had Hannah’ s love of al dente vegetables. In her book she suggest the following:

“Directions concerning Garden Things
MOST people spoil garden things by over-boiling them. All things that are green should have a little crispness, for if they are over-boiled, they neither have any sweetness or beauty”

Leslie boiled the potatoes whole in a kettle over the fire when they were done she and Deana peeled them. Leslie chopped chives, parsley, thyme and rosemary very fine and sprinkled them over the potatoes after they were cut and buttered. These would go into the bake oven to brown.

SCRAPE all the stalks very carefully till they look white, then cut all the stalks even alike, throw them into water, and have ready a stew-pan boiling;. Put in some salt, and tie the asparagus in little bundles. Let the water keep boiling, and when they are a little tender take them up. If you boil them too much you lost- both colour and taste. Cut the round of a small loaf, about half an inch thick, toast it brown on both sides, dip it in the asparagus liquor, and lay it in your dish: pour a little butter over the toast, then lay your asparagus on the toast all round the dish, with the white tops outward. Do not pour butter over the asparagus, for that makes them greasy to the fingers, but have your butter in a basin, and send it to table.

Leslie was in charge of the asparagus. We discussed Hannah’s use of the bread. It seemed to us that the toast should have been left dry to soak up the liquid from the asparagus and not have more poured on it. However, Leslie did follow the directions and with the added butter on the side the crisp asparagus turned out just as Hannah would have made it.

7Mrs. Glass had many excellent cooking techniques, she also expected a roast of meat to be well-browned, and not soggy, as if it were baked.

Our lamb was just that, brown and crisp on the outside and just enough pink inside to suit us all. The Yorkshire pudding is nothing like the modern version, it is dense and has a subtle flavor of lamb and bacon, a combination that can’t go wrong.

13Hannah would be proud of these vegetables, the asparagus was al dente, and the potatoes soft outside and crisp on the outside, with a great flavor of herbs and butter.

14The white pot came out and was moist and had perfect layers of sweet meets in-between the bread. The lemon sauce, made with egg whites to thicken it, added just the right amount of tang to counterbalance the sweet dessert.

10 copy Hannah’s cookery book was not written for the kings and gentry’s chefs. It was written for the common women. However, our meal was fit for a king.

15Each dish was made with many helping hands and as Hannah writes, “who can but read, will know how to do Cookery well.” And we did well.

Hannah Glasse: The original domestic goddess
“Centuries before Elizabeth David put garlic on our menus, in the days when Mrs. Beeton was still a Miss, one book transformed the eating habits of the nation.” The first domestic goddess, the queen of the dinner party, and the most important cookery writer, Hannah Glasse.”
Rose Prince