A Supper For January, 1764 style

Reading a cook-book from 250 years ago is like jumping out of a time machine. You can’t really trust your mental dictionary, because every word may mean something else back then. Read the following recipes from an ebook I found about ‘housewifery’ and you will see what I mean. I may actually try some of the dishes that I have found in there, but probably not these yet. Yesterday I posted a January Supper, and these are a couple of the interesting items on it, as described in the housewifery book. I am going to look through each of the 500 recipes the book contains and put some more of the more common ones, that seem to be easily understood by the modern mind.

Plumb Gruel at the top of the table:


To make PLUMB GRUEL. Take half a pound of pearl barley, set it on to cree (simmer); put to it three quarts of water; when it has boiled a while, shift it into another fresh water, and put to it three or four blades of mace, a little lemon-peel cut in long pieces, so let it boil whilst the barley be very soft; if it be too thick you may add a little more water; take half a pound of currans, wash them well and plump them, and put to them your barley, half a pound of raisins and stone them; let them boil in the gruel whilst they are plump, when they are enough put to them a little white wine, a little juice of lemon, grate in half a nutmeg, and sweeten it to your taste, so serve them up.

Elizabeth Moxon. English Housewifery / Exemplified in above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts Giving Directions / for most Parts of Cookery (Kindle Locations 1204-1208).

The the bottom a dish of Scotch Collops:


To make SCOTCH COLLOPS. Take a leg of veal, take off the thick part and cut in thin slices for collops, beat them with a paste-pin ’till they be very thin; season them with mace, pepper and salt; fry them over a quick fire, not over brown; when they are fried put them into a stew-pan with a little gravy, two or three spoonfuls of white wine, two spoonfuls of oyster-pickle if you have it, and a little lemon-peel; then shake them over a stove in a stew-pan, but don’t let them boil over much, it only hardens your collops; take the fat part of your veal, stuff it with forc’d-meat, and boil it; when it is boiled lay it in the middle of your dish with the collops; lay about your collops slices of crisp bacon, and forc’d-meat-balls. Garnish your dish with slices of lemon and oysters, or mushrooms.

Elizabeth Moxon. English Housewifery / Exemplified in above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts Giving Directions / for most Parts of Cookery (Kindle Locations 172-177).

Solomon-Gundy at one corner:

SOLOMAN GUNDY another Way. Take the white part of a turkey, or other fowl, if you have neither, take a little white veal and mince it pretty small; take a little hang beef or tongues, scrape them very fine, a few shred capers, and the yolks of four or five eggs shred small; take a delf dish and lie a delf plate in the dish with the wrong side up, so lie on your meat and other ingredients, all single in quarters, one to answer another; set in the middle a large lemon or mango, so lie round your dish anchovies in lumps, picked oysters or cockles, and a few pickled mushrooms, slices of lemon and capers; so serve it up. This is proper for a side-dish either at noon or night.

Elizabeth Moxon. English Housewifery / Exemplified in above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts Giving Directions / for most Parts of Cookery (Kindle Locations 966-970).

This is probably a phonetic spelling of salmagundi, which is a salad, and the one above looks like a mixed meat tray. Here is the wikipedia entry for salmagundi.

Here is some modern-day Solomon-Gundy. Looks like the name may be the only thing that is the same.


About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
This entry was posted in Health, Living and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Supper For January, 1764 style

  1. Ella says:

    Wow the food was lacking enjoyment, foods when growing up 30 yrs ago was good wholesome foods. Thanks for adding your post on that guys 5 excuses he infuriated me. Your posts are great. Keep them coming.


Your comments let me know someone is out there. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s