The Best Thing About Very Old Recipes

If it do aid the meatman to pair all manner of rousty-flesh with vinegares, spices, & other things, do all things necessary & other things by reason, excellence, and healthful knowledge.

TO KEEP MEATS VIBRANT WITH ENDURANCE FOR ANY NUMBER OF DAYS WHEN THERE IS NO SALT

Take a very white cloth and administer laurel berries, turning often.

TO STRENGTHEN THE PERSISTENCE OF HONEY

Take a bit of leaven and hide it, not for very long.

ON THE SWEETENING OF SALT MEATS

Here follows all manner of healthful knowledge to guard against the ills of salt-meat, from a most learned doctor in Copernicum.

TO RENDER SWEET MEATS SALT

Firstly, take a joint and disjoint it; covering in a pickle of mustard for the length of a festival.

TO KEEP FRIED FISH FRESH

Fumigate the oyster-barrel either with good strong lime or quick-pitch, then dig a pit.

ON THE DIGGING OF FOOD PITS

Afterwards, to advance it, you must first tun it (I have been informed, from the most gracious of patrons, that slightly-stopping the barrel might cause the Meath to expire, and not to work, therefore draw off the clear before tunning).

TO MAKE WHAT THE GREEKS CALL HONEY-CAKES, A SURE ANTIDOTE TO ALL MANNER OF WEARINESS AND ACEDIA

This is exceedingly good; season according to your own knowledge. Take a little fat and some scathed oat-beats, assemble with honey and let stew not too far from a coal fire. Do you also

ON THE TURNING OF SPOILED FAT INTO FRESH

Beat very well, not to breaking, with a wooden mallet or heavy ropes, or pease-straw, until you have broken the fat asunder into small and sweet-smelling flakes, then thrust 20 to 30 peppercorns, tossing up and down very well for a good hour.

ON THE STRAINING OF OLD WINE TO AID DIGESTION

If it will bear an egg up to be above the surface of a liquor, be it no more than the size of a groat, it is strong; if not, administer as much nutmeg til it do hang above the middle, and quite cold. Then do temper its strength, adding honey until quite cold. A sieve of hair will vent it and clear the decoction.

FOR A GODLY PASTE

There are three sorts of godly paste: Virgin, small, and ordinary, the first being the best, the second buckle-best, the third still excellent good, although some account it inferior to the second.

ON SKIMMING BEER AS IT IS TAUGHT AMONG THE GAULS

First dig a pit, in the manner of the Gauls and not in the manner of the Sidonites.

ON FINDING NUTMET

I have heard it said that mustard-pigs are most ably skillful at locating the best patch of nutmet, but for myself I hold only hounds equal to the task. The hounds of Pisa are unequalled in nose-length and sure-scentedness, and of nobler blood than any swine.

A SUMMER-SAUCE

To make very tender and good, begin as you would in the ordinary way; then put lovage to it.

ON THE LESSER SAUSAGES

First make good brawn, buttering thickly over the meat-pots that are kept all year. Do

FOR THE ELIMINATION OF LIGHTNING FROM THE BOWELS

Let the color of the mixture be red, and exceedingly clear, either through the tendering of rose-syrup or the pulverizing of cockleshells. Also good for the lungs and urine.

FOR DRIVING HEAT DOWN FROM THE HEAD AND SAFELY INTO THE BLOOD

Do water the butter safely first, casting upon it a hard fish in thin rows, also parsley minced very small, and poor-John.

TO DRESS FISH A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY

First make a good court stock. Put in half a pint suet, good old cheese, gross-beaten Mace and a certain quantity of sponge-bread, boiled smartly. See you that no air gets into the fish. Cast away all black gall, but reserve the green with a good lump of butter.

HOW TO DISTINGUISH FALSE HORSERADISH FROM TRUE

As the northern heathens cannot distinguish between many false gods and true, neither is it that they can distinguish between the four-patterned leaf of true horseradish from the five-leaf pattern of false; so in their error are their pottages inferior.

ADDITIONAL TIPS AND TRICKS

  • take & crush & pour almonds to give a dish good bottom

  • Reserve for jellies sour wine, and leg of veal half-boiled (neatly)

  • As oysters feed on salt, so do you keep salt within their shells, as like meets like, and salt makes the eating of salt sweet

  • put together as you would have everything together

  • to make fish into flesh, administer one ounce of cloves, and place near a good fire, boiling.

For reference: The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened, the Apicius, Le Viandier de Taillevent.