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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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