The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Historic Cooking: Capon with Oranges, 1596.

Orange slices.  Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.com
In the History of Royal Food and Feasting course last week, we took a look at the 16th century, and English aristocratic and royal food of Elizabeth I's court.  I was able to complete one of the suggested recipes: Capon with Oranges.  Here is the original recipe:

Take your capon and set him on the fire as before with marrow bones and mutton, and when you have skimmed the pot well, put thereto the value of a farthing loaf, and let it boil till it be half boiled. Then take two or three ladlesful of the same broth and put it into an earthen pot, with a pint of the same wine aforesaid. Peel six or eight oranges and slice them thin, and put them into the same broth with four pennyworth in sugar or more, and a handful of parsley, thyme and rosemary, together tied. Season it with whole mace, clove, and sticks of cinnamon, with two nutmegs beaten small. And so serve it.
-- Thomas Dawson, Good Housewife’s Jewel (1596).

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Historic cooking: Fylettys en Galentyne, c. 1430.

Fylettes en Galentyne. Photo:
Elizabeth Urbach.
So, I signed up for the History of Royal Food and Feasting course on FutureLearn, again, in the hopes that I will be able to complete the recipe challenges/assignments this time around!  After all, it is the 3rd time I've taken it, and I get a few more done each time ... 


Week 1 focuses on the Tudors, and the court and kitchen of Henry VIII.  I made the Tarte owt of Lente during one of the previous runs of this course, and although I bought some cheese to try it again this year, it finally cooled off this week (first heat wave of the year! ugh.) that I decided to try another one of the suggested recipes, called Fylettys en Galentyne, from ca. 1430.  It is a kind of braised pork dish, and is really tasty, and something that makes your house smell really good!  My housemates kept coming into the kitchen to see what was cooking.

Here is the original recipe:

Take faire porke of the fore quarter, and take of the skyn, and put the pork on a faire spitte, and roste it half ynogh; and take hit of, and smyte hit in peces, and cast hit in a faire potte; and then take oynons, and shred and pul hem, not to small, and fry hem in a pan with faire grece, And then caste hem to the porke into the potte; And then take good broth of beef or Motton, and cast thereto, and set
hit on the fire, and caste to pouder of Peper, Canel, Cloues and Maces, and lete boile wel togidur; and then take faire brede and vinegre, and stepe the brede with a litull of the same broth, and streyne hit
thorgh a streynour, and blode with all; or elles take Saundres and colour hit therewith, and late hem boile togidur, and cast thereto Saffron and salt, and serue hit forth.
-Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, (Harleian MS. 27, c.1430 – Early English Text Society print, 1888)

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)