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Henry VIII's bed

Warrior Weasel
I've been thinking strongly about finishing the Henry VIII style gown this year and I have been collecting images about clothing in 1530's England.  I ran across this description of Henry VIII's bed and wondered how imposing it might have been to the women who shared it.  I

Bed of Henry VIII

Designs for Parsonage Houses, Alms Houses: Etc. Etc. with Examples of Gables, and Other Curious Remains of Old English Architecture by Thomas F. Hunt

I took a little side trip to see how I am doing on being able to read cooking manuscripts.  Not too bad!  At first I was a thinking whoa, this is too hard, but then I remembered that I have to practice before I can read these things.  I started an index for this, and got through the first 25 pages and the manuscript came to life!

There are several sausage recipes and I continue to bring them to the internet here with an entry from page 53.  I think this one is especially interesting for its precise finishing instructions.  You can see the original here:

(a lot is about a half ounce)

To make good Italian sausage three ways as follows:
Firstly, take 26 pounds of fatty meat
8 pounds of beef stomachs
2 hearts that weigh 3 pounds
3 lots ginger
1 lot crushed cloves
1 lot trisanet (cinnamon/sugar & varying spice based mixture)
1 lot mace
also take for each pound of meat 3 lots of salt, that is 102 lots---
more for each one 1/2 lots of pepper (that) is 17 lots
take thereunder also a glass(small) of wine take
in total to 2/3 of the meat one (part) must be a third
beef so is this this correct version of Italian sausage

For the second so you will make long Italian sausages
Take 12 pounds meat
28 lots salt
3 lots pepper
6 lots fennel

For the third if you want to make so that
they are lumpy
14 1/2 pounds of lean meat
2 pounds of diced bacon (fat)
2 hearts that should weigh 3 pounds
1 pound 8 lots ginger
1 lot ground cloves
2 lots trisanet
1 lot mace
8 lots pepper
2 nutmegs
there to a small glass of wine

Here follows the preparation of the above
stated sausage
Firstly, if you want to make sausage so must
one take the fat and lean meat that were listed
above and chop the same small next make for each
version its ingredients
mix well together then take the above or
if there is intestine and one fills therein then take a
needle with it stuff everything there in so that these stuff better
and thicker on top of itself then bind off all
securely and leg it in salt 40 hours then take
it out and hang in the chimney and make under them
a good smoke only a day until they dry and the
salt therein crusts then hang then in the kitchen
or in a place that has little warmth let hang for 2
months and lay then take oil
so they will each stay better longer and remain good 2 years
Read the German hereCollapse )

Sauerkraut history - lost in translation

This is taken from Das Ackerwerk by Lucii Columellae and Palladii (1536) - an ancient Roman text.  It is clear that it is a translation of the Latin text "De Re Rustica", and there is some difficulty with the translator identifying the original plants.    One of the big problems is that looking up some of the plant names in 16th century herbals give poisonous plants (note the *)!  However, there is a 1725 English version here, which sounds like it has translated the terms more reasonably:
But I note that it differs from the German (the English version has more words for one).  These may well be differences in how the original translators handled the text.  But at any rate, pickled cabbage seems to be of some antiquity.  It may be fun to look at the original latin and the French version.  Read the English version - it has interesting bits, including the manner of preparing the brine!

Which plants one lays in for each quarter of the year / and how the same should be marinated /
The Seventh Chapter

As now such that is ready to be prepared / one should in Spring (when day and night
are similar) plants for such usage are collected and held/
such as are / cabbage buds and stems / head cabbage / celery stalks / rue/
"horse fennel" with its stalk when it emerges/ flower from
wild parsnips / or also the cultivated parsnip buds /
the flowers from wild tarrgon when they have bolted / asparagus / rushes
pennyroyal / catmint / wild mangold / buttercups*/ and the tender buds
of fennel.  These things one may prepare in a singular way that is
that one takes two parts vinegar / and one part salt water.  But the flowers
of the byrony* / rushes / asparagus/ parsnips and catmint / these one
may especially lay in and sprinkle with salt and hold for two days in
the shade / until they become sweaty / then one lays them in / and if they
make too much moisture / then one washes them off with their own liquid
if not / one should pour over as much saltwater / and wash them / then one
presses the water back out / and lays each kind in its own dish and
pours the above written liquid over them of two parts vinegar and one part
saltwater / then one lays dried fennel that was gathered the previous autumn /
thereon / then one lays a weight on the greens so that they are pressed
beneath it / and the liquid goes over the greens.  When the "horse fennel" /
fennel (ferulam) and ordinary fennel / so lay it in the shade until it becomes
wilted / then pull from them all the leaves and wood / and if the stems are
larger than a thumb / so split them with a tube into 2 parts / and of the
flowers so that they are not too thick one should also pull them from one
another and part them / and then lay them in a dish / the above written liquid
poured over them / also sometimes spread well over it laser or silphium root /
and lastly cover it with dried fennel greens and weigh it down so the liquid goes
over it / cabbages / head cabbage / buttercups* and pennyroyal / one should
let them lay in the shade somewhat long until they become wilted / and then
marinate them like savory / thyme / tarragon.  Or rather lay tarragon only in salt water
without vinegar / then when one would have need of it / wash it with wine
or water / pour oil over it and eat it.  One may also marinate and keep green savory
and green thyme.

* poisonous

Sauerkraut history - don't eat too much!


Kurtze Beschreibung der Natur ... und Gebrauch in Speiß und Trank (1549)

Brassica - Leaf cabbage and head cabbage, leaf cabbage and
and head cabbage / are in Germany in ordinary kitchens/
especially for the manual laborers/ and the common
man / who [have] the largest hardest burden /and take it for daily
food / and grease their hungry stomachs / and as
in Bavaria / sometimes in one day / three or four times
cabbage or sauerkraut is taken / it gives an
unhealthy bad nourishment / and causes a
coarse thick melancholy blood / it ruins the face...

It goes on to tell that it creates fantastical dreams.

Next up some actual instructions for making sauerkraut and preserving leaf vegetables and how to properly prepare the salt water brine.  Part of the learning curve was understanding that there were some seeming 99 names for cabbage!

Sauerkraut History - more snippets

Deutsche SpeisekammerHere is a snippet from a poem about farmers with a reference to food storage:

For the winter they salt the cabbages in
dry pears  / and do smoke the onions

This appears from  Siben Bücher Von dem Feldbau vnd vollkom[m]ener bestellung eynes ordenlichen Mayerhofs oder Landguts (1580) by Charles Estienne. I will look and see if there is a French or English equivalent as another book by this author is also offered in multiple languages.

These are instructions for preparations of food for Winter storage carried out in Fall.  Salt was to be bought in summer, cheese and butter stored near in the pantry, the cabbages were "eingesaltzen" (salted), some beets were buried, some cabbage heads lay in various chambers, to be used when necessary.

In fact this whole entry about how to prepare food for the winter was pretty interesting.  I never knew that garlic and onions were both smoked for longevity.  This source is Deutsche Speisekammer (1550)

More sauerkraut history

A few more snippets

This particular poem in Paradeißgärtlein Darinnen die edleste vnnd fürnembste Kräuter nach jhrer Gestalt vnd Eigenschafft abcontrafeytet vnd mit zweyerley Wirckung Leiblich vn[d] Geistlich... Beschrieben sind (1588) about the virtues and uses of cabbage tells us that preserved (eingemacht) cabbage is a staple food for farmers.

In the morning and late in the evening
Preserved cabbage
fills the skins of the hungry farmer

In   the text in New Speisebüchlein, darinnen kurtzer Unterricht vom Essen und Trincken, auch von allerley Speisen und Getranck. - (Erffordt, Beck) 1588 tells us that sour cabbage kraut or compest is known in Germany.

Sauerkraut History Quest

I've been trying to document how sauerkraut was preserved in the 16th century.  Common sense says that it may be the same as is done today, but that information hasn't been forthcoming to my searches.  I'm going to start to collect references to its manufacture and storage.  One of the challenges is that the 16th century words may not be the modern ones!  Some of the words include kraut, kol, kohl, cappes, kappes, kappiß, kappißkraut.  Sauer can also be spelled saur or sawr too.  Often the word compost/kompost is also associated with sauerkraut and other preserved fruits and vegetables.  This word still has the same approximate meaning as the French Compote.  One of the French period equivalents for cabbage is cabus and a search for the word in the 16th century leads us to a little information about the German preservation of cabbage. Le grand propriétaire de toutes choses, très utile et profitable pour tenir le corps humain en santé

Cabbage is good in meat and in medicine, and especially in Germany and Lorraine one makes of it a compost that keeps a long time, and one eats it during Lent with vinegar or with mustard.

Here's a picture of a chou cabu from another French source, which doesn't mention preservation:

Dumplings from 1560

I was excited to find a cookbook that seems to be based on the Saxon region of Germany! Now I have clothing inventories and a cookbook for my persona. I was most excited to see a recipe for the town next door - Chicken from Zwickau. The oddest things make me happy.  It's called "Allerlei speisen vortreffliches"

Farmer's Dumplings from a 1560 Saxon Cookbook

Take pepper / a goodly portion of onions
to it / not too many / chop
them together / not too small/
melt a goodly portion of fat into it/
break into it two or three eggs/
and parsley / and do not make
it too thin with the eggs /
fat/ and take wheat flour /
also semolina a spoon full / that is not as much
as the flour / or instead put
bread thereto / happening to have
it / so it will be thick / make the
dough quite thick / as for small
meatballs / when the meat stock is boiling / lay
them in / let them boil [until] they are well joined ; they
should not be allowed to boil long / put fat
and eggs in it / otherwise they are
not good.
Warrior Weasel
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The Italian / and in the Provence in France / prepare Marzipan from honey
and almonds / in the following manner:  They take three pounds of fine white honey/
three egg yolks / beat it together / with a wooden / beater in a basin or
a small pan / and do this so long / until it is white as milk / put then the pan
on a glowing coal fire / and stir it without ceasng with a pestle so long / until that it
becomes seemlingly thick / then slide into it the shelled and ground sweet almonds / so much
that it becomes the necessary thickness / while the dough is still warm / slide it finally out
onto a marble stone / or such a nice smooth surface / and make marzipan from it.
Such food is admirably good for consumption  / and makes thick mucus eject.

Goat Cheese!!

Here are instructions to make cheese from a German book in 1554, a puported translation of the work of Emperor Constantine IV. A cursory search did not come up with this particular piece in English, but perhaps it is already out there. This transcription and translation is by me. The book:

Der Veldtbaw, od[er] das buch von der Veldtarbeyt ... zuvor ... von dem christlichen Keyser Constantino dem Vierdten, in griechischer Spraach beschriben ... durch Michael Herren in Teiitsche spraach erstmals verdolmetschet

It does sound like more of an Middle Eastern way to make cheese, but here it is shared with everyday Germans.

How one should make cheese. The xix Chapter

The best curd of clots for cheese / come from
young goats. One clots or coagulates the milk
likewise with roasted salt/ with the juice of the fig /
with fig leaves and twigs / with the heads from
artichokes / also with the inner skin of the stomach of a chicken.
When the sheep and goats eat bitter things / so is
gained from them better milk / and even better yet / when
they eat large clover. The milk stays good for three days /
one, when it is first coagulated / puts it in
a dish / and heats [it] / and then pours it into another
dish / and stirs with a tube or fig twig / until it
cools / after that one sprinkles roasted salt
therein. [While] the cheese stays tender and soft / so
one puts into it wild saffron seeds with warm water or
honey. [When] the cheese stays solidified / then one washes
them with water / and let dry in the sun / after that
lay in a glazed dish / with thyme or savory / therefore /
that the cheeses do not touch each other / then one should
pour over them Oximel / that is a vinegar boiled with honey /
so that the whole cheese is covered. Or rather keep your cheese
in seawater. When one tosses a cheese in salted water/
so it will stay white / if one however hangs it in smoke /
so it will be firm and sharp. All cheese will be long keeping in
peas or chickpeas / if one lays them therein.
However when the cheese in age becomes hard or bitter / then
one should mosten them / and sprinkle them with barley flour/
the barley flour however should be made from undried barley /
and when one wants to have need of it / then one lays it
in water and then pares away the skin formed over it.

The German back hereCollapse )


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