Author Archives: Robert/Isobel Bedingfield

Jolly Good Ale and Old

Jolly Good Ale and Old

(A drynkinge song of much repute)

 

I cannot eat but little meat

My stomach is not good

But sure I think that I can Drink

With him that weareth an Hood.

Though I goe Bare, take you no care

For I am never cold

I stuff my skin so well within

With Jolly good Ale and old.

Back and sides goe bare, goe bare,

          Both hand and foot goe colde,

But belly, God send good Ale enough,

          Be it newe or old.

 

I love no roast but a nut-brown Toast

And a crab laid in the fyre,

A little bread should do me stead,

Much bread I never desire.

Nor Wind nor Snowe or Frost, I trow,

Can harm me if it would,

I am so wrapped, and thoroughly lappt,

With Jolly good Ale and old.

Back and sides goe bare, goe bare, &c.

 

I care right nought, I take no thought

For cloathes to keepe me warm,

Have I good Drink, I surely think

That none can do me harm.

For truly then, I feare no Man,

Though he be ne’er so bold,

When I am armed and thoroughly warmed

With Jolly good Ale and old.

Back and sides goe bare, goe bare, &c.

 

Now let them drink till they nod and wink,

E’en as good Fellowes doe,

They shall not miss to have the bliss

That Good Ale brings them to.

And all poor souls that scour black bowls,

Or have them lustily trolled,

God save the lives of them and their wives

Wether they be younge or old.

Back and sides goe bare, goe bare,

          Both hand and foot goe colde,

But belly, God send good Ale enough,

          Be it newe or old.

 

Soldiers Three

Soldiers Three

We be soldiers three,

Pardonnay moy je vouz ahn pree,

Lately come forth from the low country,

With never a penny of money.

 

Here, good fellow, I drink to thee,

Pardonnay moy je vouz ahn pree,

To all the good fellowes wherever they be,

With never a penny of money.

 

And he that will not pledge me this,

Pardonnay moy je vouz ahn pree,

Pays for the shot, whatever it is,

With never a penny of money.

 

Charge it again, boys, charge it again,

Pardonnay moy je vouz ahn pree,

As long as there is any ink in thy pen,

With never a penny of money.

 

We be soldiers three,

Pardonnay moy je vouz ahn pree,

Lately come forth from the low country,

With never a penny of money.

 

The Jovial Broome-Man

The Jovial Broome-Man

(The tale of a much-travelled man, and how he came to be laid low)

Room for a Lad that’s come from seas,

Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

That gladly now would take his ease,

And therefore make me room, man.

France, the Netherlands, and Spain,

Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

I’ve crossed the seas and back again,

And therefore make me room, man.

 

Yet in these countries there liv’d I,

Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

And valiant soldiers I’ve seen die,

          And therefore make me room, man.

A hundred gallants there I kill’d,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

And besides, a world of blood I spill’d

And therefore make me room, man.

 

In Germanie I took a Towne,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

And threw the walls there upside-down,

          And therefore make me room, man.

At Tilbury Camp with Captain Drake,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

I made the Spanish Fleet to quake

And therefore make me room, man.

 

At Holland’s Leaguer there I fought,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

But there the service prov’d too hot,

          And therefore make me room, man.

Then from the League returned I,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

Naked, hungry, cold and dry,

And therefore make me room, man.

 

When I was drinking at the Cat’s Perch Inn,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

I was set upon by Gardiner’s Men,

          And therefore make me room, man.

Then to make the matter worse,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

They threw me down and stole my purse

And therefore make me room, man.

 

Now have I compass’d the Globe,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man

And I’m return’d as poor as Job,

          And therefore make me room, man.

And now I’m safe returned here,

          Hey, Jolly Broom-Man,

Here’s to you with a cup of English beer,

And therefore make me room, man.

 

 

Of All the Birds That Ever I See

Of All the Birds That Ever I See

(Wherein the men do speak their mind, and the women, theirs.)

Of all the birds

That ever I see,

The owl is the fairest

In her degree.

For all the day long

She sits in a tree,

And when the night comes,

Away flies she.

          To whit, to woo,

          To whom drinks thou,

          Sir Knave, to thee.

          This song is well sung,

          And I make you a vow,

          That he is a knave

          That drinketh now.

          This song is well sung,

          And I make you a vow,

          That he is a knave

          That drinketh now.

          Nose, nose, nose, nose,

          And who gave thee

          That jolly red nose?

          Cinnamint and Ginger,

          Nutmeg and Cloves,

          And that gave thee

          Thy jolly red nose.

          Nose, nose, nose, nose,

          And who gave thee

          That jolly red nose?

         Cinnamint and Ginger,

          Nutmeg and Cloves,

          And that gave thee

          Thy jolly red nose.

(Verse the second, wherein the men do sing:)

I’ll not have a woman

Who’s never been tried,

But give me a wanton

To lie by my side.

And this I do use

As the rule of my life,

That wanton is best

Who’s another man’s wife.

          Nose, nose, &c.

(Verse the third, where the women do answer:)

You’ll not have us, sirs,

Although you may try,

But we do not deign

With drunkards to lie.

For Ale-Knights do claim

Our fields they will plow,

But they always deliver

Much less than they vow.

          Nose, nose, &c.

Foods and Feasts 2015 Governor’s Table: Gingerbread

Modern gingerbread in the US is mostly done in cookie form, using flour to make a dense cookie dough. Our readers in the UK will be more familiar with gingerbread in a dense moist loaf form, like banana bread.

gingerbread 2015

(The little rounds are slices of crystallized ginger.)

Gervase Markham in The English Housewife has a recipe for gingerbread as follows:

To make coarse gingerbread, take a quart of honey and set it on the coals and refine it: then take a pennyworth of ginger, as much pepper, as much liquorice; and a quarter pound of aniseeds, and a pennyworth of sanders [sandalwood]: all these must be beaten and searced [sifted], and so put into the honey: then put in a quarter of a pint of claret wine or old ale: then take three penny manchets finely grated and strew it amongst the rest, and stir it till it come to a stiff paste, and then make it into cakes and dry them gently.

That is a lot of spices, and in amounts that are almost impossible to gauge, because of the changing worth of the ingredients. Working with the recipe was necessary to make sure that the gingerbread was not overwhelmed by the liquorice flavour. Modern honey allows us to skip the step of refining the honey.

Gingerbread (The English Housewife, 1615)
1 cup honey
1 Tbsp ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp liquorice/aniseed extract
1/2 tsp whole aniseed, ground in a mortar and sifted
1/4 cup ale
5 cups finely grated fresh white breadcrumbs, firmly packed
cooking spray

Tools needed: 1 medium saucepan, heavy bottomed, small jello molds or candy molds, parchment paper, cookie sheet.

Warm the honey in a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add the ginger, pepper, extract, and ground aniseed. Stir until well mixed. Add the ale, and stir until well blended. Add the breadcrumbs 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until blended each time. Once all the bread is added, cook the mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mix is a stiff paste, like firm mashed potatoes. Turn off the heat, and allow to stand until cool enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 225F. Grease jello/candy molds generously with cooking spray; pack gingerbread mixture firmly into molds, so no air pockets remain, and so the bases are flat. Put filled molds into the fridge for 10 minutes. Un-mold gingerbread onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake @ 225F for 30-40 minutes, or until the surface of the gingerbread is dry to the touch.

I’ve seen other people try to make gingerbread using this recipe, and I think the last step of drying the gingerbread in the oven is crucial to the success of the recipe. If the gingerbread is not baked, it remains unmanageably sticky. The flavour is spicier and has more bite than modern gingerbread; if you like anise and ginger, though, this recipe is delicious. Make sure to use small molds; a little of this gingerbread goes a long way!

Foods and Feasts 2015, Governor’s Table: Banbury Tarts

First, here are the links to two more of the Foods & Feasts recipes – fig pudding, and pease pudding. The pudding is an old English way of cooking food, and refers to any food that is cooked in a water bath.  In case anyone is worried about the taste, pease pudding tastes like cooked peas or split pea soup, and fig pudding tastes like Fig Newtons.

Another old recipe is the spiced fruit and pastry Banbury Tarts; they are mentioned in Gervase Markam’s The English Housewife (1615) as a cake, and Thomas Dawson’s The Good Housewife’s Jewell (1596-7) as “cremitaries” or purses.

Banbury Tarts 2015

From The Good Housewife’s Jewell:

Take a little marrow, small raisins, and dates (let the stones be taken away) these being beaten together in a mortar.  Season it with ginger, cinnamon, and sugar.  Put it in fine paste and bake them or fry them.  So done, in the serving of them cast blanch powder on them.

My recipe is adapted from several additional sources as I’ve tried to perfect the taste and mouthfeel of the recipe over 10+ years of making them for people.

Banbury Tarts (recipe)

1/2 cup each of golden raisins, dark raisins, dried figs, dried dates, and currants.  Chop the dates and figs into pieces roughly the size of the dark raisins.

1 Tbsp each of ground cinnamon, mace, allspice, and ginger.

1/2 Tbsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg, and white pepper.

1 cup sweet wine, like Madeira or Marsala

4 pre-made pastry crusts (I like the refrigerated Pillsbury brand), or enough pastry to make 32 three-inch circles.

2 WEEKS -2 MONTHS AHEAD: Mix all fruit and spices in a lidded Tupperware-style container.  Put the lid on the container and shake a few times to distribute the spices evenly over the fruit.  Pour in the wine, and give the closed container another good shake.  Store in a cool dark place, giving the sealed container a shake every week or so.  (This mix will stay good indefinitely.  If it dries out too much, add a bit more wine.)

When you are ready to make your tarts, prepare or open your pastry for cutting.  Cut out as many 3″ circles as you can get out of the pastry; gather up and re-roll pastry scraps.  Brush the inside of each pastry circle with milk, then put 1/4 to 1/2 Tbsp of fruit in the center.  Fold the pastry up on three sides, creating a triangle-shaped pouch.  Press edges together firmly.

BAKING METHOD: Preheat oven to 375F.  Put sealed tarts 1/4″ apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush the outsides with milk.  Bake at 375F for 18 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden brown. Put on a cooling rack until pastries are room temperature.

FRYING METHOD:  Using a deep fryer or a large heavy saucepan, fry sealed pastries in hot oil until golden brown on the outside.

OPTIONAL:  Warm 1/4 cup honey until liquid, brush on the outsides of the pastry.

The pastries will store in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks.

NEXT TIME:  Gingerbread.

Jamestown Food and Feasts 2015 – Recipe for Sugar Cakes

Gardiner’s Company had a great time at Foods and Feasts this year! Thank you to all our great volunteers, it was fabulous.

Bob and I worked the Great Hall in the Governor’s House, as usual:

FF 2015 table 1

I’ll be posting all the recipes for this year’s Governor’s Table over the course of the next week or so, but let’s start with links to the recipes I posted last year:

Sugar Cakes:

sugar cakes with marzipan 2015

This year, I augmented the recipe with a topping for wafers (another kind of thin cookie, very popular with the rich) from The English Housewife by Gervase Markham:

To make the best marchpane [marzipan], take the best Jordan almonds and blanch them in warm water, then put them into a stone mortar, and with a wooden pestle beat them to pap, then take of the finest refined sugar well searced [powdered], and with it, and damask rose-water, beat it to a good stiff paste, allowing to almost every Jordan almond three spoonful of sugar; then when it is brought thus to a paste, lay it on a fair [flat] table, and strewing searced sugar under it, mould it like leaven [i.e., into a flattish ball, like a round loaf of bread]; then with a rolling pin roll it forth, and lay it upon wafers washed with rose-water; then pinch it about the sides, and put it into what form you please; then strew searced sugar all over it; which done, wash it over with rose-water and sugar mixed together, for that will make the ice; then adorn it with comfits, gilding, or whatsoever devices you please, and so set it into a hot stove, and there bake it crispy, and so serve it forth.

I substituted the sugar cakes for the wafers in the recipe, baking them and allowing them to cool before applying the marzipan. I rolled out the marzipan to a 1/4″ thick, and cut out the rolled marzipan with the same size cutter I used for the sugar cake dough (about 2″).

You will need:
Baked and cooled sugar cakes
16oz almond paste (in cans in the baking aisle; any marzipan dough will do)
2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup rosewater, plus two Tablespoons rosewater

Dust your rolling surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Open the marzipan, and rolling it in your hands, form it into a ball. Roll the ball out until roughly 1/4″ thick (if it gets sticky, add more powdered sugar). Using the same size cutter as your sugar cakes, cut out as many rounds of marzipan as you have sugar cakes (the linked recipe makes about 52).

Working a few at a time so they don’t dry out, brush the tops of the sugar cakes with rosewater and then apply the marzipan rounds, pressing down lightly. Allow to dry.

Mix the 1/4 cup rosewater and the 2 cups powdered sugar together (you can add some meringue powder here for stability if you wish, but it’s not mandatory) into icing. Using a pastry brush, brush a thick layer of the icing onto each sugar cake. Allow to dry completely before putting them into a cookie tin or box. Put parchment paper between the layers of cookies, as the marzipan will get oily if it gets warm.

You can also change the flavour of the recipe by substituting lemon juice or plain water for the rosewater. Not everyone likes rosewater, but I think these are delicious.

Kitchen Update

Lots happening this month on the kitchen.

Given the nature of the soil (clay) and the driveway was carved out of a forest, the ground was soft and unstable. After a good rain, it was difficult to get up the hill leaving the site. So we’ve had gravel put down on the driveway.

The long and winding road

The long and winding road

Just to highlight why the rock was necessary, the gravel truck got stuck at the entrance, and they had to get another truck to pull it out. The entire driveway is now rocked right up to the back of the kitchen site. The rock was needed so the cement truck could get in and pour the slab.

driveway to kitchen

The rock is a base; it’s large stone that we want to settle before we do anything else with it. Right now it’s for trucks (mine has no problem getting up and down without 4WD), but we’ll grade and put a final layer down that will make it good for cars as well.

A slab was the easiest and quickest way to get a foundation under the kitchen. It gives us a solid base that won’t shift or heave. It also provides secure footing for the cooks. We’ll cover it with pavers of some type after the building’s done.

looking at the kitchen site toward the road

looking at the kitchen site toward the road

Our next job will be to lay a brick plinth wall and the full back wall and sides for the fireplace. That will form the base on which the timber framing will rest. In concept, it will be something like a medieval kitchen done by a group in Sweden.

We'll be safe up here from the moose.

We’ll be safe up here from the moose.

We can start laying brick later this month, once the freeze threat has passed.

We’ll post more on the project as we move forward.

It's ours now

It’s ours now.

Robert

 

 

 

Foods and Feasts recipe #3: Sugar Cakes

This one’s an easy documentation, because it’s featured in Fooles and Fricassees: Food in Shakespeare’s England, Folger Shakespeare Library, 1999. Appendix I is a transcription of Mrs. Sarah Longe: Her Receipt Booke, c. 1610. The biggest thing I changed (other than reducing the amounts a bit) was that rather than wash the butter in rosewater, I ground dried rose-petals I had collected from my own (pesticide-free) roses over the summer into the sugar before using it in the recipe.

(I totally cheated on that, btw; I processed it in a blender.)

I am very sorry; I forgot to take pictures of them directly, but they really do just look like round cookies.  All the way in the back, they’re in the silver bowl on the right-hand side.

table 2 fnf 2014 arrow

 

Despite the name, this is actually much more of a shortbread cookie than a cake. The dough is rolled thin, and cut out “with a glasse”.

Original recipe: “Take a pound of butter, and wash it in rose-water, and halfe a pound of sugar, and half a douzen sponefulls of thicke Creame, and the yelkes of 4 Eggs, and a little mace finely beaten, and as much fine flower as it will wett, and work it well together [;] then roll them out very thin, and cut them with a glasse, and prick them very thicke with a great pin, and lay them on plates, and soe bake them gently.”

Redacted recipe:
1/4lb salted butter (one stick), softened
3/4 cup sugar (I used the ground rose-petal sugar)
1 egg yolk
1tsp mace
1-1/2 cups sifted white flour, plus some extra

Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, beat the cream and egg yolk until blended, then add to the sugar and butter. Add the flour 1/4 cup at a time, sifting into the bowl, until the mixture forms a ball that does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Make sure you pick up any dough crumbs in the bottom of the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325F. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4″ thick. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter or wine glass. Put the rounds on a parchment lined, ungreased cookie sheet. Prick them all over with a fork* (like shortbread), then bake until light golden, about 17-20min.

Like shortbread, you don’t want the cookie to brown too much. It should be barely golden on top, and a little browner underneath.

*I really did use a big brass pin to prick them all over. This is actually a good opportunity to do decorative circles or hearts, or whatever you like on the tops of the cookie, since shaped cookie cutters aren’t really period.

Recipe #2: Fig Pudding

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So… fig pudding. Like the pease pudding, it’s cooked in a water bath, either by tying it up in linen or muslin and directly boiling, or by cooking in a bowl put in the water (essentially, a double-boiler effect). In this case, with the sweet pudding, it’s better cooked in a bowl, so you don’t lose the flavour of the figs. Now as to the length of time it’s been a pudding, rather than, say, a fruitcake-like thing, it’s harder to say, but it’s pretty old, probably almost as old as the first dried figs imported to Britain. The fifteenth-century recipe* I have uses raisins and dates in addition to the figs, having all the fruits mixed with eggs, fat, flour, and breadcrumbs, and worked into a dough that is then boiled in water (and then suggests you can warm slices of the pudding on the griddle). I prefer it with just the figs, as it’s an excellent connection with something the Jamestown Settlement & Museum visitors know – “Oh, bring us some figgy pudding” from the carol We Wish You a Merry Christmas – and it is a proper period dish made with just the figs. My experience with the pudding was that it tastes very much like a Fig Newton. Without further ado:

Fig (figgy) pudding

Ingredients:
2 cups dried figs, chopped small
1 cup lard or suet, if you can get it (it’s better with suet)
1 cup flour
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (crumble up some bread; it needs to be fresh, not dried)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
Lard, for greasing the pudding bowl

Tools:
medium mixing bowl
medium ceramic pudding bowl
6-qt saucepan

In a medium bowl, combine figs, lard, and breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and milk together, and add to the fruit mixture, adding more milk if needed to make a stiff dough. Grease the pudding bowl heavily (be generous; you want the cooked pudding to come out of the bowl), and pack the dough in firmly, flattening the top evenly. Fill the saucepan half-way with water. Cover the pudding bowl tightly with foil and place in the 6-qt saucepan, making sure the water doesn’t come up more than 2/3 of the way up the bowl. Bring the water to a boil, them simmer for 3 hours, checking the water every half hour, adding more water if needed. Do not allow the pan to boil dry.

Once the pudding is cooked, immediately turn it out onto a plate. Serve warm or cold.

* pp. 112-113, Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, Thomas Austin (ed.), printed for the Early English Text Society, Oxford University Press, 1888(facsimile, Boydell & Brewer, Ltd., New York, 2000).