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The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin Notes

The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin - Notes

This transciption makes use of two printings of the original, one printed in 1594, the other in 1597. Unfortunately, parts were missing from both, though there was enough to make a whole. In cases where sections were entirely missing, the text has been rendered in italics.

The transciption was based primarily on the 1594 edition. Where it was obviously wrong and the 1597 edition had corrected the mistake, the words were corrected in the transcript and rendered in bold.

The date from which the transciption is taken is indicated in the folio dividers. The numbering system used for this work is different from what is commonly used today. Folios, individual sheets, were used rather than pages. In the current work, <<1b 1594>> represents the back of folio 1. It was taken from the 1594 edition. As today, some words were abbreviated. This was indicated by a bar placed over the final remaining letter. In all cases, this was an N or M and has been expanded and rendered using both bold and italic: from (illustration).

As was the common practice, The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin re-uses many previously published bits. In this case, the times different meats are in season were previously published in A Propre new booke of Cokery (1545).


Alhallowen = Halloween, October 31

Alhallowntyde = The season of Halloween

Baies = Bay leaves

Banberie Cheese = Banbury cheese, milk cheese, about an inch in thickness, golden yellow with a keen, sharp savour. see also Babury cakes.

Barberies = Common Barberry, Berberis vulgaris

Bastard = A sweet kind of Spanish wine, resembling muscadel in flavour; sometimes applied to any kind of sweetened wine.

Bittour = Bittern, Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris, a.k.a Bitture, image.

Brawn = The meat of a boar, a.k.a Brawne

Bray = To crush and pound to a fine consistency, as in a mortar.

Bustard = Great Bustard, Otis tarda, extinct in the British Isles between 1832 and an artificial reintroduction to Salisbury Plain in 2004. image

Burre = Burdock, Arctium lappa. image

Candlemas = February 2, 40 days after Christmas which was celbrated on December 25 when and where this manuscript was written.

Canel = Cinnamon, also spelled as "Sinamon" elsewhere in the manuscript.

Capon = A neutered rooster

Castard = Custard, from context

Chaldron = A unit of dry measure formerly used in England, equal to 4 quarters or about 32 bushels for grain and 36 bushels for coal

Chewet = From context, small round pasties. OED: A dish made of various kinds of meat or fish, chopped fine, mixed with spices and fruits, and baked, fried, or boiled. Later also chewet-pie.

Claret = Wine, although the usage that invariably linked claret to the wines of Bordeaux was current from about the year 1600 (OED), the earlier meaning, which distinguished wines of a claret colour (orange or light red, i.e. the French clairet) from white or fully red wines, was still found. Additional information.

Coffin = Pie or pastry crust

Colworts = Colewart, a general name for any plant of the cabbage kind, genus Brassica (of which the varieties were formerly less distinct than now).

Comfets = comfit, a confection that consists of a piece of fruit, a seed, or a nut coated with sugar.

Connies = Rabbits

Crevis = Crawfish

Culpins = shreds

Curlew = Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata, the largest European wading bird. image

Damaske water = Damask water, rose-water distilled from Damask roses.

Damson = an oval, bluish-black, juicy plum from the Eurasian plum variety (Prunus insititia)

Dorye = John dory, Zeus faber, aka Dorie. Not the North American walleye (Stizostedium vitreum). image

Fallow Deer = A small Eurasian deer having a yellowish-red coat spotted with white in summer and broad, flattened antlers in the male, Cervus dama or Dama vulgaris). image

Fetherfew = Feverfew, Chrysanthemum parthenium or Pyrethrum Parthenium. image

Gammon = The lower part of a side of bacon.

Gelded Deare = Gelding deer was practiced in hunting parks in at least England and Serbia (where it was thought to be an antidote to plague). It was noticed that steering a deer would halt the cycle of antler production, preventing them from growing new antlers and stopping them from being shed if the deer had them when neutered. - The natural history of Lancashire, Cheshire, and the Peak in Derbyshire, Leigh, Charles, Oxford, 1700

Grouces = grouse. image image

Gurnard = Any of various widely distributed marine fishes of the family Triglidae, having large fanlike pectoral fins and a large armored head and including the sea robins. image image

Frian = a type of chewet, OED gives quote, but no definition. Manuscript defines based on chewet. Not necessarily a fried dish, though the name might seem to imply such, as it was baked.

Harts tong = Hart's Tongue Fern, Scolopendrium vulgare

Holy Rood day = May 3rd

Ipocras = Hippocras, A cordial drink made of wine flavoured with spices, formerly much in vogue.

Jpocras bagge = Hippocras bag. A conical bag of cotton, linen, or flannel, used as a filter or strainer.

Langdebeefe = Common Buglosse. No entry in OED, but John Gerard's Herball or General Historie of Plantes (pages 798-799) lists "Buglosse as Lang-de-Beefe."

Lent = A forty-day period before Easter

Mallowes = Marsh mallow, the stalks were are typically used for food.

Malmsey = A 2000 year old grape varietal believed to have originated in the southwest area of Turkey and the islands between Turkey and Greece (around the Aegean Sea), it is used in the production of white wine. The grape is also grown in California, where it is known as Malvasia Bianca, and in Portugal, where it is known as Malmsey. Occasionally seen as a 100% varietal, it is most often blended with the Chianti varietal.

Marchpane = a flat disc of marzipan mounted on wafers and usually decorated with motifs made from similar paste or other materials

Michaelmas = September 29th

Medler = Medlar, the apple-shaped fruit of a deciduous European tree, Mespilus germanica.

Neate/Neat = A cow or other domestic bovine animal

Orenges = Oranges. Except where it specifies "sweet orenges," it seems safe to assume that this refers to a bitter variety (Seville oranges).

Ousels = Common black European thrush, Turdus turdus. image

Penniworth = As much as can be bought or sold for a penny.

Pescod = A pea pod

Pilles = Peels, OED gives an example a recipe from a later edition of this cookbook with updated spelling

Pippin = Any of several varieties of apple, raised from seed.

Pipkin = A small earthenware or metal cooking pot. image

Plouer = a plover, genus Pluvialis, several species, both native to Britain year-round (Golden Plover, Kentish Plover), (Little Ringed Plover) migratory species. image image

Polipody = Any of various ferns of the widely distributed genus Polypodium, having simple or compound fronds, round sori arranged in one or more rows along the midrib, and creeping rootstocks.

Pollard = an animal, such as an ox, goat, or sheep, that no longer has its horns. (from context, this is not refering to the fish)

Portingale = Portugal, Not in OED (the word "Portugal" was not in the online OED, though the word "portuguese" is). See, for example, "The Spanish Tragedy" by Thomas Kyd, the use of "Portingale"

Posset = A spiced drink of hot sweetened milk curdled with wine or ale

Potaton = Potato

Pricket = a buck in its second year, before the antlers branch

Purtenance = an animal's viscera or internal organs, especially the heart, liver, and lungs

Raile = Rail, genus Rallus. image

Red Deare = A common deer of Europe and Asia, having a reddish-brown coat, Cervus elaphus. image

Reston = A town in Berwickshire. Perhaps the spiced bread was a specialty of the area, but I have been unable to find anything linking the recipe and the name. ???

Roches = A French term for "Rocks." In this case, context indicates a fish of that name. The closest I could find was "rockling," "rock cod," and "rock fish." The last being a generic term for a fish frequenting rocks or rocky bottoms, spec. as the name of many unrelated fishes. Given the culinary terms in French such as "petits poissons de roche," this seems to be the best match.

Sauell = Saveloy, a seasoned pork sausage. There is a recipe for the same in Sabina Welser's Cookbook under the name zervelat.

Saunders = Red sandalwood, Pterocarpus santalinus. image

Seene = Senna, A shrub of the genus Cassia, native in tropical regions, bearing yellow flowers and flat greenish pods. Additional information,

Sinets = A signet.

Sippets = Slices or small triangles of fried, dried or toasted bread, see also Sops.

Snite = a snipe, species Gallinago. OED implies some difference between "snite" and "snipe," but I was unable to substantiate this using species listings. image

Sops = slices of bread used to soak up juices of other foods. In this work, there are two recipes that specify how to make them, "To make Sops for a Capon" and "To make Sops for Chickens," as well as specific instructions for certain dishes. For example, those used "To make tostes of Veale" are specified as being of stale bread.

Sorell syster = A doe in her third year. A sorrel is a young buck in the third year (1). A buck in its second year is a pricket (2). In the same reference, a pricket's sister is defined as a female fallow deer in its second year so a "sorell syster" would be a doe in her third year.

Stockdove = The wild pigeon, Columba oenas. Common wood pigeon, Columba palumbus. image

Stockfish = A fish, such as a cod or haddock, cured by being split and air-dried without salt. a.k.a stocke fish

Succory = Chicory, Cichorium intybus. image

Tansey = A pudding, omelet, or the like, flavoured with juice of tansy. Also = Tansy, Chrysanthemum vulgare or Tanacetum vulgare. image

Turnsall = Turnsole, a violet-blue or purple colouring matter, obtained from the plant Crozophora tinctoria. Not Sunflower - this name was applied to the sunflower in the 18th century.

Uergious = Verjuice, juice of unripened grapes

Vaunt = A round sheet of fried egg used in making omelettes. In French, "vote." OED gives the definition as "A kind of fruit pie." However, the reference it gives is this work, which calls the individual sheets of egg "vaunts." Also, in Lancelot de Casteau's Ouverture de Cuisine there are several recipes that refer to this technique as making "votes." It would seem the fried egg mix is what is being referred to and gives the dish its name.

Wardens = Winter cooking pears. Usually put into pies.

Whitsontide = The Pentecost is also known as Whitsun (Whitsunday) in the UK because of the white robes traditionally worn this day by those newly baptized on the previous Easter. The word was already familiar in Old English, as Hwita Sunnandæg. The week beginning on Whitsunday (especially the first three days) is called Whitsuntide (formerly also spelled Whitsontide) or Whit Week.

The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin - Recipes

Farts of Portingale (Recipe 1),
Farts of Portingale (Recipe 2) (though the title is for "Fystes")

To seeth fresh Salmon

Hering pies

To make Lumbardy tartes

To make a tarte of apples and Orange pilles (Recipe 1)
To make a tarte of apples and Orange pilles (Recipe 2)