I want to start off by showing some of the recipes I have tried over the years as a heritage interpreter for the National Trust and also in my time as a research assistant and PhD student working in early modern food. Recipes include festive and celebratory foods, meat and fish dishes, dairying, bakes, sweetmeats and things that would be more recognisable today as puddings or desserts (the early modern definition of a pudding being worthy of a whole blog post of its own).
Some attempts have been more successful than others but I hope to show that early modern food can be surprising, delicious and also open us up to another world and to other aspects of history far beyond that of the foodstuff itself.
I will always list the sources for my re-creations and any adaptations that have been made by myself and others. Also, where possible, I want to give some context to each foodstuff and some background as well on how each relates to my doctoral research into early modern gentry commensality.
Recipes to come include green cheese, butter, Wood Street cake, bokenade, grand salad, marchpane, posset, medlar tart, jumbles, soul cakes, Twelfth Night cake, spinach tarts, green sauce, syllabub, Shewsbury biscuits, milk leech, rose conserve, pickles, candies, gingerbread, whitepot, curd tarts, fritters, pottages, furmity, vegetable dishes, 18th century curry and even an olla podriga (or hodge podge).
As well as what I have made so far I will continue to update the blog with my latest attempts at recreating a wide range and selection of early modern dishes. We can never truly get back to an original early modern taste but I believe trying these old recipes helps me to think more deeply about my work and provide a way into the fascinating world of early modern food history and all its connections and associations.