WAFERS 101 -2

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

iron

 

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

Lemmon Cheese

The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

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

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

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

 To make Wafers Brown, the beft Way.

The Practicle Cook, Charles Carter 1730

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

cones

 

So what did we learn?

#1

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

#2

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

#3

The Lemmon Cheese receipt was very good.

#4

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

#5

Allan does not like comfits.

#6

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

#7

And try one more receipt.

Sandie

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

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About Sandie

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

2 thoughts on “WAFERS 101 -2

  1. I was excited to see that you used American Heritage Chocolate from Mars. We are working with Mars to have a chocolate making program next spring at the Museums of Old York. I cannot wait to be trained! Life is tough, sometimes…Your experience makes me want to pull out the old pizzelle iron and try some of these colonial recipes.

  2. Pat,
    You have your hands full with beautiful grandchildren. They grow fast spend time with them.

    Cindi,

    Glad you liked the post and have been inspired to get the pizzelle iron out. Let me know about the chocolate training I’d love to be there if that is possible.

    Sandie