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butter-msg – 3/3/11

 

Period butter. Making butter. Butter churns.

 

NOTE: See also these files: dairy-prod-msg, Honey-Butter-art, cheese-msg, cheesemaking-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheesecake-msg, fresh-cheeses-msg, spreads-msg, flavord-butrs-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 13:59:20 GMT

 

> Just checking;  Ghee is a type of clarified butter?

>

> Marian, Clann Kyle

 

Ghee is clarified butter; I do not know if there are any other kinds of

clarified butter that are not ghee. It is available from Indian grocery

stores, and Indian cookbooks generally have instructions for making it.

--

David/Cariadoc

DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 23:16:13 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

Mark Harris wrote:

> I remember some arguments in previous years on whether "honey butter" was

> period at all. If even "herb butter" and butter were not period, what was

> eaten on bread? Anything?

 

Honey butter is probably a German invention, popularized mostly by the

"Pennsylvania Dutch", who are of German origin. I couldn't say when,

but I remember reading some period (or just post-period) traveller's

comment on the English diet: his comment was that less butter was eaten

in England than on the Continent, and that it was not eaten on bread in

the Flemish fashion.

 

I do know that some period recipes call for white grease (rendered lard

or suet) to be dissolved into pottages, and butter could have been a

non-meat-day substitute in many cases. Toward the very end of our

period, many English recipes called for a knob of butter to be beaten

(emulsified) into sauces, in a technique very similar to modern recipes

for French butter sauces like Beurre Blanc and Bearnaise sauce.

Generally it would thicken the sauce just a bit, but more importantly

would help suspend various things floating in watery liquids, so thinner

sauces wouldn't settle out at service.  

>

> Stefan li Rous

> markh at risc.sps.mot.com

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 02:41:00 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Over the years, I've been working on a project on the use

of various ingredients in 13th to 15th C English cuisine, as reflected by

the surviving recipe corpus.  My numbers are complete relative to the 13th and

14th centuries (not much of a trick for the 13th), though I'm nowhere near

done with the 15th.  For the curious, the total number of recipes involved

in the current figures are 26 13th C recipes, 419 14th C ones, and 907 15th

C ones.

 

Of these recipes, butter occurs in 15% of the 13th C recipes, and in 3% of

the 14th and again 3% of the 15th.  3% isn't a lot; but it's as many as, say,

pears and shellfish show up in, and more than cheese, peas, venison, kid,

or rice (comparisons from the 15th C).  Other forms of fat are far more common;

recipes include oil or grease six times as frequently.  Still, it was hardly

unknown.

 

I do agree with the original claim, however, that it does not appear to have

been much used as a preservative in meat pies. Meat pies do not frequently

appear to have be used as preservation techniques; for fish, galentine

(in gelled form) appears to have been used more often.

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 22:50:18 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

At 4:47 PM -0500 5/17/97, Mark Harris wrote:

>On Friday, May 16, Lord Ras said:

 

>I agree that there are recipes that are LATE period that call for butter and

>even very RARELY a mid-period recipe lists "boter" as an ingredient. However,

>butter was not NORMALLY consumed. It was considered medicinal (to cover

>wounds, salve base, etc.) until rather recent times. Whish IMHO puts it in

>the same category as potatos, tomatos and other late period dietary

>introductions.

 

The 13th c. Andalusian recipes use both butter and clarified butter. Le

Menagier fries in lard and butter (Cress in Lent with Milk of Almonds).

Platina greases the pan for armored turnips with butter or liquamen (animal

fat, not the Roman liquamen), Proper Newe Book uses butter, _Curye on

Inglysch_ uses it in an emberday vergion of Sawgeat and in Malaches Whyte,

_Ancient Cookery_ in tart in ember day, ...

 

So much from a quick search of the _Miscellany_. I don't know what you

count as a "mid-period" recipe--if that includes _Curye_ and _Le Menagier_,

then what do you classify as early period?

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 15:58:24 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

Stefan li Rous writes:

 

> It was my understanding that butter was eaten by the lower classes but not

> by the upper but I don't have referances to back this up. Anyone else know?

> Lord Ras, is it possible that the sources you have been looking at are

> primarily just for the upper class and thus would miss the use of butter by

> other classes in/on food?

>

> I remember some arguments in previous years on whether "honey butter" was

> period at all. If even "herb butter" and butter were not period, what was

> eaten on bread? Anything?

 

From the 13th-century Arabo-Andalusian "Manuscrito Anonimo", a chapter

entitled "The Customs that Many People Follow in Their Countries":

        ... Many people eat butter, and add it to bread, while others

        cannot bear to smell it, much less to eat it....

 

The same source includes numerous recipes calling for butter.  In

particular, a variety of pastries called by the general term "rafis"

(e.g. musahada, markaba, muqawwara, et multae cetera) seem to be topped

with a mixture of melted butter and honey, as often as not poured into a

hole poked in the pastry (although I haven't seen any reference to

mixing honey and butter at room temperature, or allowing the mixture to

cool to room temperature before use, as seems common at SCA feasts).

Butter also appears in Arabo-Andalusian sources in making pie crusts,

again in making puff pastry, and often as a lubricant in meat dish.

 

What the barbarians beyond the Pyrenees do with butter is their

problem. :-)

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                Stephen Bloch

                                          sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

                                      http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/

                                       Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 22:28:45 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Butter-oops

 

In a message dated 97-05-19 03:07:37 EDT, you write:

 

<< The 13th c. Andalusian recipes use both butter and clarified butter.

...<snip many other wonderful words>>>

 

I looked up recipes that called for butter and found a few. However, my

original intent was to say that butter was not usually consumed by the

nobility.

 

"In Medieval Europe, butter was plentiful, so it was viewed as fit only for

poor folk to eat.....[from 'Rich Man, Poor Man, Butter Man...';The Great Food

Almanac (A Feast of Facts From A to Z); Irene Chalmers; pg. 169; pub.

Collins; c. 1994]

 

Since SCA personas are not considered peasantry ,  it was my reasoning that

personas of our type would have rarely consumed butter and it would have

rarely reared it's head on the Feast table of any self-respecting nobleman.

it is still my opinion that bread would have been "spread" with the much

tastier olive oil. In fact, I'm on a quest to find the info on this

particular subject. "Bread and butter" is a common item in the Current Middle

Ages, agreed. So are chickens. But chickens were not a "common" food

during the Middle Ages and I have run across no primary references citing the

existence of "bread and butter". It is also my contention that bread was

almost universally dipped in broths,etc. (e.g. "sops") thus negating the

widespread use of any spread being necessary. I would welcome any further

thoughts or info in this area.

 

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Lord Ras (uduido at aol.com)

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 23:55:48 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Butter-oops

 

Uduido at aol.com wrote:

 

> personas of our type would have rarely consumed butter and it would have

> rarely reared it's head on the Feast table of any self-respecting nobleman.

> it is still my opinion that bread would have been "spread" with the much

> tastier olive oil. In fact, I'm mon a quest to find the info on this

> particular subject.

 

This situation may have something in common with the recent

fish-outside-of-Lent thread. I suspect one possibility might be that

butter is something that the lower classes would have eaten whenever

possible, while the rich, feeling that they had to resort to it on fish

and/or fast days, might conceivably avoid it on those days when things

like "greasy seme" of meat might be available. Certainly several recipes

call for butter to be included, possibly as a substitute for other oils

or fats. Sawgeat and Hanoney come to mind, both of which are egg dishes,

which COULD indicate that these are non-meat-day dishes (at least

sawgeat, when butter is used instead of sausage, falls into this

category).

 

"Bread and butter" is a common item in the Current Middle

> Ages, agreed. So aren't chickens . But chickens were not a "common" food

> during the Middle Ages and I have run across no primary references citing the

> existence of "bread and butter". It is also my contention that bread was

> almost universally dipped in broths,etc. (e.g. "sops") thus negating the

> widespread use of any spread being necessary.

 

One possibility (if remote) is that spreading bread with a topping might

be something that was done, not while at a feast day table, but rather,

say, on a hunting trip. (Or possibly, while gambling all night long ;

) ) I believe the original Welsh dish of toasted cheese (not the effete

Digby version, but the real thing, being merely good fat cheese roasted

before the fire in slices) was served on toasted bread. Whether this was

then eaten out of hand I don't know.

 

> I would welcome any further tho'ts or info in this area.

 

Ol' sieve-head is at it again. I can't place the reference; I just read

this a couple of weeks ago. I believe it was part of an Englishman's

account of life in a Heugenot village in southern England, and it makes

a reference to certain alien habits of the folk of the village: among

them was the habit of giving the children bread smeared thickly with raw

butter in the Flemish fashion.

 

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: nancy <nweders at mail.utexas.edu>

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 07:59:29 +0000

Subject: SC - butter

 

While a late source, The Good Huswifes Jewell, (2 parts, by Thomas

Dawson, published by Walter J. Johnson, Inc. Theatrum Obis Terrarum,Ltd,

Norwood, New Jersey, 1977) lists two "menus" for fish days that have

Butter as the first item served.  It also contains a recipe for almond

butter, and a great many recipes list butter as an ingredient.  Many of

the meat pies have butter as a liner for the pastry sort of preventing

the juices from leaking through.  This is very late in the span that the

SCA uses but it does show how much butter was used in the late period.

        It would be interesting in tracing the development of the use of butter

as an ingredient or actually an ingredient.

        The Good Huswife's jewel also has a recipe that contains potatoes in it

as well.  The recipe includes dates, sugar and red wine.....

 

Clare

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:44:53 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - Butter-oops

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Lord Ras writes:

 

>I looked up recipes that called for butter and found a few. However, my

>original intent was to say that butter was not usually consumed by the

>nobility.

>"In Medieval Europe, butter was plentiful, so it was viewed as fit only for

>poor folk to eat.....[from 'Rich Man, Poor Man, Butter Man...';The Great Food

>Almanac (A Feast of Facts From A to Z); Irene Chalmers; pg. 169; pub.

>Collins; c. 1994]

 

It's wise to take any statement as sweeping as this with a grain (and

sometimes a pillar) of salt.  Attitudes toward butter seem to be strongly

conditioned by time and place.  As a very broad generalization, outside

of the Islamic world, southern Europe seems to have preferred olive oil,

while northern Europe preferred meat fats -- either butter or white

grease. Olive oil is mentioned in 13th to 15th century English cuisine,

but less often than butter, and many many times less often than grease.

 

Meat fats were used for two general kinds of purposes: to raise the fat

content of a dish, and to fry in.  For frying, northern Europeans seem

overwhelmingly to have preferred white grease to butter.  This may be

strongly influenced by the fact that butter (unless it has been clarified,

a technique mentioned commonly in Spanish and Islamic sources but not

elsewhere) burns at far lower temperatures than grease.  Butter also was

not used to lard meats for spit roasting, very likely for the same reason.

 

For increasing fat content, butter does not seem to have been all that

strongly dispreferred to grease in those areas that prefer meat fats.

 

>it is still my opinion that bread would have been "spread" with the much

>tastier olive oil.

 

This is very plausible for Italy and southern France, but relatively

unlikely for northern France, England, Germany, and northern Europe in

general.

 

>"Bread and butter" is a common item in the Current Middle

>Ages, agreed. So aren't chickens . But chickens were not a "common" food

>during the Middle Ages

 

Do you mean that chickens were not eaten by peasants, or that they were not

common in upper class cuisine?  The first, I have little information on;

but the second is patently false.  Chicken is the single most common form

of flesh in 13th to 15th century English recipes; the only thing that comes

close to rivaling it is pork.  It is almost two and a half times as common

as beef (including veal), and on the order of ten times as common as

deer.

 

For details, see http://www.watervalley.net/users/jtn/Articles/game.html.

 

>It is also my contention that bread was

>almost universally dipped in broths,etc. (e.g. "sops") thus negating the

>widespread use of any spread being necessary. I would welcome any further

>tho'ts or info in this area.

 

Period serving manuals indicate that tables were set with large amounts

of bread completely apart from trenchers, and that bread was always on

the table with cheese and fruit before the first course arrived.  This

would tend to go against your contention.  There are recipes for sops,

but they are not all that common; and while it is highly probable that

bread was dipped in other broths and sauces, we have no evidence

that it was *only* used so, and considerable reason to doubt it.  On

the other hand, the same serving manuals make no mention of putting

butter on the table (or olive oil); which suggests that neither was it

spread with substances of that kind, at least much of the time.

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:53:53 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - Butter-oops

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Adamantius writes,

 

>This situation may have something in common with the recent

>fish-outside-of-Lent thread. I suspect one possibility might be that

>butter is something that the lower classes would have eaten whenever

>possible, while the rich, feeling that they had to resort to it on fish

>and/or fast days, might conceivably avoid it on those days when things

>like "greasy seme" of meat might be available. Certainly several recipes

>call for butter to be included, possibly as a substitute for other oils

>or fats. Sawgeat and Hanoney come to mind, both of which are egg dishes,

>which COULD indicate that these are non-meat-day dishes (at least

>sawgeat, when butter is used instead of sausage, falls into this

>category).

 

Butter is explicitly suggested as an Ember Day alternative to sausage.

Ember Days are not fish days.  They are specific dieting days that are

less restricted, but that still do not permit flesh.  (Ember days are

also relatively rare; twelve in a year, as I recall.)

 

I'm not certain that butter was permitted on fish days.  I don't recall

it offhand in any fish dishes through the 15th century.  I do, however,

know of recipes that include both butter and marrow.  If you can use

marrow, you can use white grease (that is, if the religious dietary

restrictions permit the first, they also permit the second).

 

Butter occurs in custardy dishes reasonably often.  Grease does not.

The strong implication is that it was preferred in those dishes.

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:58:34 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - butter

 

Hi, Katerine here.  Clare writes:

 

>It [Dawson] also contains a recipe for almond

>butter

 

There are at least six recipes for almond butter extant from the 14th and

15th centuries in England.  However, there is no evidence that it was used

as a spread.  It seems to have been served sliced as a dish.

 

Cheers,

- -- Katerine/Terry

 

 

From: "Sue Wensel" <swensel at brandegee.lm.com>

Date: 20 May 1997 13:38:52 -0500

Subject: Re(2):  SC - butter

 

Markham has a recipe for roasted butter.  Basically you beat some eggs and

sugar (I think) into some butter, dredge it, and roast it.  While you roast

it, you need to keep dredging it.  Markham says it was very popular.

 

Derdriu

swensel at brandegee.lm.com

 

 

From: "Sue Wensel" <swensel at brandegee.lm.com>

Date: 20 May 1997 15:42:53 -0500

Subject: Re(2): Re(2):  SC - butter

 

> > Markham has a recipe for roasted butter.  Basically you beat some eggs and

> > sugar (I think) into some butter, dredge it, and roast it.  While you roast

> > it, you need to keep dredging it.  Markham says it was very popular.

> >

> > Derdriu

> > swensel at brandegee.lm.com

 

> Okay, I'll show my ignorance here.  What does "dredge" mean in this context?

> I know about "dredging in flour" and such, but this doesn't appear to be the

> same thing.

>

> Gunthar

 

From what I can make out of his recipe (I left my book at home, and I am at

work), you roll the butter in the dredging (I think it was crumbs) and spoon

more on as the butter comes out through the dredging until no more butter

comes through.

 

Derdriu

swensel at brandegee.lm.com

 

 

From: "Sue Wensel" <swensel at brandegee.lm.com>

Date: 21 May 1997 09:15:07 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - Roasted Butter

 

I haven't done a redaction yet, because people start muttering phrases like

needing artery drain-o, short lifespans, etc.

 

Here it is:

 

To roast a pound of butter well

(The English Housewife; Gervase Markham, edited by Michael Best 1986)

 

To roast a pound of butter curiously and well, you shall take a pound of seet

butter and beat it stiff with sugar, and the yolks of eggs; then clap it

roundwise about a pit, and lay it before a soft fire, and presently drdge it

with the dredging before appointed for the pig; then as it warmeth or melteth,

so apply it with dredgining till the butter be overcomed and no more will melt

to fall from it, then roast it brown, and so draw it, and servie it out, the

dish being as neatly trimmed with sugar as may be.

 

 

The dredging mentioned in the previous recipe is fine bread crumbs, currants,

sugar, and salt.

 

I think I just might do this sometime and serve it to people and not let them

know what they are having until after they have ingested the "cholesterol

poison."

 

Derdriu

 

 

From: mjbr at tdk.dk (Michael Bradford)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 08:53:32 GMT

Organization: Tele Denmark

 

ms224245 at mindspring.COM (Patricia M. Hefner) wrote:

 

>Is butter as we know it--made out of cow's milk--period? If so, how was it

>made? I vaguely remember a butter-churn that had been used by one of my

>great-grandmothers. It was a great big wooden barrel. I think they poured

>the cream into it after they'd separated it from the milk, but I have no

>idea how this was done. I don't know what they did in the churn, either!! I

>was born a little too late to see butter being churned! My mother told me

>that they also used the churn to make ice cream before it became

>mass-produced. Does anybody know anything else about earlier dairy

>production? Merci beaucoup!

 

As I remember, cream can be separated from milk by letting the milk

stand and after a while, skimming the cream off.

 

When the cream is churned, it is beaten by the motion of the paddlle.

Last year for a seminar on cooking in the viking period (which my

group were teaching), we took cream and whipped it in a bowl with a

bundle of twigs (which we had bought at an old building museum and

were sold for this purpose) and after a while, you have butter. Just

add a little salt for taste.

 

Michael Bradford

Viking Group Wunjo

Denmark

 

mjbr at tdk.dk

 

 

From: troy at asan.com (Philip W. Troy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 10:05:49 -0400

 

In article <5t15cg$22e$1 at gatekeeeper.teledanmark.dk>, mjbr at tdk.dk (Michael

Bradford) wrote:

 

> As I remember, cream can be separated from milk by letting the milk

> stand and after a while, skimming the cream off.

>

> When the cream is churned, it is beaten by the motion of the paddlle.

> Last year for a seminar on cooking in the viking period (which my

> group were teaching), we took cream and whipped it in a bowl with a

> bundle of twigs (which we had bought at an old building museum and

> were sold for this purpose) and after a while, you have butter. Just

> add a little salt for taste.

 

I remember reading somewhere that the plunger-style butter churn is of

comparatively recent development. Somewhere (I'll have to go through a

stack of papers to find it) I have a photocopy of [a facsimile edition of]

a 16th-century English dairy manual. IIRC, it describes a process where

the dairymaid pours milk into shallow bowls, allows the cream to rise, and

beats it with her hands, gathering up lumps of butter as they form,

pushing it together into a ball. I'll see if I can find this reference.

 

For what it's worth, there is little evidence to suggest that butter was

widely eaten on bread in period Europe. More often it would have been

stirred into pottages to enrich them (generally on meatless days), but

also might have been eaten with a spoon like a soft cheese. It also

apparently shows up frequently in Anglo-Saxon medical receipts, I believe

being used as a way to gently dehydrate and concentrate herbs by boiling

them in butter.

 

There are English accounts of those wacky Heugenots eating their butter

spread on bread in the odd Flemish fashion...

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: XSimmons <"jls9" at  MSG.TI.COM>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 12:11:38 -0500

 

Michael Bradford wrote:

 

> ms224245 at mindspring.COM (Patricia M. Hefner) wrote:

> >Is butter as we know it--made out of cow's milk--period?

> <snip of good way to separate cream>

> Last year for a seminar on cooking in the viking period (which my

> group were teaching), we took cream and whipped it in a bowl with a

> bundle of twigs (which we had bought at an old building museum and

> were sold for this purpose) and after a while, you have butter. Just

> add a little salt for taste.

 

Know what you can make from all that skimmed milk, after you've

separated off the cream?  Cottage cheese!  ("Yum, yum," cried all the

dieters.)

 

Just for grins, cottage cheese is also period.  Curds [14c] and whey

[before 12c] (solids and liquid) form in the cheese-making process,

which generally involves enzymes from a calf's stomach.  (Still like

rennet custard, regardless of the origin of the rennet!)

 

Curds are rich in casein, a protein that also helped make milk-paint

work (and is now used in making plastics.) Whey is high in lactose,

vitamins, and minerals, and contains some fat.  Perhaps that is why

curds and whey are mentioned as food for children.  (Imagine having

cottage cheese for breakfast, instead of "frosty choco-nut sugar crunch

bomb" cereals!)

 

Ly Meara al-Isfahani (who likes her curds and whey with cinnamon and

honey)

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 12:42:19 -0500

From: bgarwoo <lordberwyn at ibm.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

 

> Ly Meara al-Isfahani (who likes her curds and whey with cinnamon and

> honey)

 

Strictly speaking, cottage cheese is not the same as curds and whey.

The whey is washed off, and the curds are mixed with cream or milk.

 

berwyn

 

 

From: Chris Mayer <csminter at hickory.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 15:09:22 -0400

Organization: CSM International

 

Daniel W. Butler-Ehle wrote:

> Isabelle de Foix wrote:

> : Is butter as we know it--made out of cow's milk--period? If so, how was it

 

> As far as cow's milk goes, I don't know. It seems to me that goat

> butter would have been more likely in Europe for most of the

> period, but that's just a guess.

>

> Ulfin the Dashing

 

       Sorry, no, you can't make butter out of goat's milk, because you

can't get it to separate into cream.  The fat globules are different,

much smaller, as I recall, which is why it is more easily digested.  

Poor people often don't have butter, because all they can afford is

goats (they can, however, have cheese).  Cows, and butter indicate more

wealth.

                                       Julitta

 

 

From: hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu (Heather Rose Jones)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: butter in period?

Date: 18 Aug 1997 18:38:13 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley

 

Daniel W. Butler-Ehle (dwbutler at mtu.edu) wrote:

: Isabelle de Foix wrote:

: : Is butter as we know it--made out of cow's milk--period? If so, how was it

: : made?

 

Some of the earliest surviving references to butter (and the earliest by a

cognate of that word in particular) occur in classical Greek sources --

where the word is quite recognizable in the form "boutyron"  -- although a

variety of references from both Greek and Latin sources make it clear that

butter was not a normal part of their diet. (Quite likely because of its

limited shelf-life in warm climates.) The word "boutyron"  literally means

"cow-curds" or "cow-cheese", which suggests that the Greeks were coining a

word for some unfamiliar substance based on more familiar ones. (There are

two parts to the implication: butter was unfamiliar to them, and they

didn't normally make cheese from cow's milk.)  As Grant notes (in

"Anthimus: De observatione ciborum") some researchers have suggested that

the Greek term is a translation of a Scythian word.

 

Pliny mentions butter as a medicine, rather than a food, and gives

instructions for churning it in his "Natural History" (28.133-5), but

Dioscorides (in "On Medical Substances" 2.72.2) mentions it as a

substitute for oil in cooking. Anthimus himself, writing in the 6th

century, but from the Mediterranean culinary tradition, echoes Pliny in

suggesting butter as medicine rather than food (although one must remember

that the line between the two is rarely clear in period writings), and

specifically notes honey-butter as a remedy for consumption! ("Si puro et

recenti et mel modicum admixtum fuerit..."; "the butter should be blended

with a little honey".)

 

Evidently there are references in Hittite inscriptions that have been

interpreted as referring to butter, but I don't have any specific

citations available.

 

Since the question had to do with the antiquity of butter, I'll skip going

into the multitude of later medieval references.

 

: : mass-produced. Does anybody know anything else about earlier dairy

: : production? Merci beaucoup!

 

I know there are a number of 16th century (as early 17th c.) English

publications on the proper ordering of a dairy that go into great detail.

See, for example, Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife", which

describes the production and processing of butter in almost excruciating

detail. I'm sure that similar material from other cultures is available,

although I don't know that this genre of writing is found before the 16th

c.

 

: As far as cow's milk goes, I don't know. It seems to me that goat

: butter would have been more likely in Europe for most of the

: period, but that's just a guess.

 

I'm curious why you suppose this should be -- have you seen references to

goat butter? Two points argue against it, one linguistic and one

practical. As noted above, the word "butter" makes specific reference to

cows -- which doesn't mean that the word couldn't be more broadly applied,

but it does indicate that cow's butter is the basic application. Secondly,

goat's milk is much less inclined to separate (i.e., have the cream rise)

than cow's milk is -- and churning whole milk to produce butter would be

rather impractical.

 

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn

 

 

From: albinsal at pilot.msu.EDU (Sally V Albin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Goat Butter

Date: 18 Aug 1997 20:07:16 -0400

 

Sorry, but yes you can make butter from goat's milk.  Yes, goat's milk is

naturally homogenized so you do have to wait longer and you do get less cream

per milk from just letting it set.  In modern times, we have cream separators

to pull it out, but if you let it set in a cool place for a day, you will get

enough cream off to make a reasonable amount of butter.  My family used to

raise goats.  We had milk, butter, yogurt, and if mother'd had as much time and

money as enthusiasm, we'd have had cheese as well.

 

Beth

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 09:31:24 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - drawn butter?

 

Mark Harris wrote:

> What is drawn butter?

 

All right. In the "Everything Most People Never Wanted to Know

Department", I have my Official Drawn Butter Dissertation, which

actually may come in handy for some. (Hah!)  ;  )

 

Okay. Things that are, in archaic versions of English, drawn, are mostly

either eviscerated, which isn't an issue here, or made thick in some

way, which is. Examples are the instructions to draw up a thick almond

milk, or to draw something through a streynour, which more often than

not means to force the item through a strainer to puree it and thereby

make it smooth mixture, rather than lumps and water.

 

Butter is an emulsion, a perfect mixture of an oil and water, which

under normal circumstances don't want to mix. In this case, they do

anyway. When you melt butter, it becomes a relatively thin liquid, and

the emulsion "breaks" apart into its two parts again, which is why you

can skim the clear butterfat off the top, and leave the rest behind, and

it is this clarified butterfat that is what most modern people think of

as drawn butter (which, by the way, is NOT the same thing as the ghee

used in Indian and Midle Eastern cookery, but don't get me started).

 

In [late] period cookery parlance butter would have been "drawn" by

melting it VERY slowly and on a very gentle heat, like in a double

boiler or some such, with another liquid, beating it as it melts. So you

find sauces made from things like the vinegar that a fish was marinated

in, with butter melted into it and whipped to form a relatively thick,

creamy sauce, along the lines of modern beurre blanc or hollandaise.

Yummers.

 

Sauces like that are still made today on the Continent, especially in

France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In England, however, somebody

conceived the idea that drawn butter should be made by making a roux

thickener of cooked flour and butter, turn that into a sauce by adding

water or vinegar or a mixture, or ale, or SOMETHING, and simmering it

for a bit, and then adding more butter, this time beating it in in the

traditional way. I don't know if this was developed by someone who felt

that the starch of the roux would keep the sauce more stable (so it

wouldn't break or de-emulsify on high heat), or if the issue was

expense, with flour and water taking the place of some of the butter, or

if they thought that simple butter beaten into a flavorful liquid was

just too rich, or what. In any case, flour-thickened drawn butter sauces

appear to have originated in England in the late eighteenth, early

nineteenth centuries. In spite of the fact that the sauce in the packet

of Lipton Rice or Noodles In Sauce is more or less made this way, with

dried butter solids and Wondra or some other pre-cooked flour stuff,

it's still a perfectly viable sauce. I like mine on peas, with a tiny

pinch of sugar and some chopped mint. (And STILL Lady Aoife thinks I

don't give English cooking a fair break! ;  )   ) Some people like it on

Lutefisk, which is how we got on this topic in the first place, IIRC.

 

But, drawing butter up with a small amount of just water , or vinegar,

or some other watery liquid is still alive and well (in dishes like REAL

fettucine Alfredo, f'rinstance), just as it would have been done in

period. At least in late period, anyway.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 12:51:58 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - drawn butter?

 

What is drawn butter?

 

It's butter, gently heated to melt, and with the solids removed.  It's the

lovely golden butter served alongside shellfish.  My online dictionary says:

 

drawn butter noun

Melted butter, often seasoned and used as a sauce.

[drawn, past participle of DRAW, to bring to a proper consistency

(obsolete).]

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 09:47:40 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - drawn butter?

 

Mark Schuldenfrei wrote:

> Butter is not just oil and water (technically, fats and water), but it also

> has lots of milk proteins in it.

 

I spoke in generalization. Sorry. You're right, butter has water, fats,

lots of sugar, and some proteins.

 

Ghee is the coagulated protein, and it

> part of what makes Indian food so darned yummy.

 

That's something I wasn't aware of. I understood ghee to be the "mostly

butterfat" phase of the melted liquid, but the proteins should be living

in with the other milk solids, down at the bottom, with a lot of water

in the case of ordinary clarified butter, and as a somewhat caramelized

sediment in the case of ghee. But with ghee, you filter the sediment

out. It may have other culinary uses (would be great kneaded into

chapatti or poori dough).

 

> This is also how you should make drawn butter today.  Gently (oh, so gently)

> heat it so that it slowly melts, and keep stirring it so the part most

> exposed to heat does not brown.  Not that brown butter isn't also a yummy

> treat (because it is) but because it isn't drawn butter.

 

The difference, though, is that period drawn butter is not separated,

but rather encouraged to remain a thick emulsion after other stuff (even

if only water) is added. The drawn butter you get with lobster is more

like standard French clarified butter: melted, allowed to separate, and

either chilled and removed as a solid mass for remelting, or skimmed

free of foam, and then skimmed off the top of the milky stuff at the

bottom. Personally I love a good drawn butter with scallions and whisky

on crab, but lobster will do in (ahem) a pinch.

>

>                           In any case, flour-thickened drawn butter sauces

>   appear to have originated in England in the late eighteenth, early

>   nineteenth centuries.

>

> Interesting.  I was under the impression it came from France.  (And I've

> always wondered if it came from Rouen... :-)  What leads you to the opposite

> conclusion (France and England being culinary opposites.  :-)  I admit, my

> post period cookery knowledge is weak until we hit this century.

 

Only the available recipes I've seen, which in England very frequently

use a small amount of flour-and-butter thickener with stock or water,

and then have some butter beaten into that. French recipes tend to

thicken other stuff with various starches (although even that is going

out of fashion to a large extent), but butter sauces, with only a very

few exceptions, are primarily thickened only by the power of

emulsifiers, either the relatively weak ones found in butter itself, or

by adding egg yolks, which are full of lecithin.

>         Tibor (Back when I ate like a man, I truly ate!)

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 11:54:06 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - drawn butter?

 

   Ghee is the coagulated protein, and it

> part of what makes Indian food so darned yummy.

  

That's something I wasn't aware of. I understood ghee to be the "mostly

butterfat" phase of the melted liquid, but the proteins should be living

in with the other milk solids, down at the bottom, with a lot of water

in the case of ordinary clarified butter, and as a somewhat caramelized

sediment in the case of ghee. But with ghee, you filter the sediment

out. It may have other culinary uses (would be great kneaded into

chapatti or poori dough).

 

You understood differently, because I mis-remembered.  Ghee is drawn butter,

not the solids.  Sigh.  I hate brain failure.

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Dec 97 03:58:16 PST

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Greetings!

 

<snip>

In the meantime, all ghee is, is butter

which has been melted and poured off gently so that the milk solids are

left behind, kind of the reverse of what you do when you're defatting gravy

when you don't have time to chill and reheat. With ghee, you want the pure

fat- the milk solids will spoil if kept unrefrigerated, but ghee won't. If

you're in a hurry for something which does need to be refrigerated anyway,

or will be eaten quickly, regular butter will do.

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 18:01:52 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Ghee (Clarified butter)

 

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> Phlip described how to make it, but I have never been happy with my

> results. On the other hand, I can buy it in the supermarket - it is very

> common in Indian cooking.

 

The problem you may be encountering is the fact that ghee _isn't_ just

clarified butter in the ordinary European sense of the word. Clarified

butter is butter that has been melted until the emulsion breaks, causing

the fat to rise to the top, so it can be skimmed. Ghee is made by

cooking the butter, slowly, until the water has evaporated almost

completely, and the milk solids have settled to the bottom and begun to

caramelize, giving a slightly caramelized flavor and color to the

butterfat.

 

But yes, you can buy ghee in various markets, except I had understood

the commercial product was a vegetable product, kinda like clarified

oleomargarine. The real thing may well be available, but I haven't seen

it myself. At least I don't recall it if I did.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Feb 98 16:57:18 -0500

From: Dottie Elliott <macdj at onr.com>

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

>For the event I am cooking, I want to make herbed butter and/or honey

>butter. Where can I find a recipe?

 

I have no documentation for herb or honey butter.  However, I recently

discovered that garlic, rosemary and a little oregano mixed in with

softened butter are wonderful.

 

Clarissa

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 19:44:06 -0800

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

> Has anyone come up with any evidence that honey butter was served in

> period? The one reference I have come across was medical and very early

> (6th c.). Does anyone have period references to herb butters?

> David/Cariadoc

 

The only hint of honey butter I can find is the picture of the guy in

Platina (Platina? One of those Italian sources) standing at a tall churn,

making leche miel, whatever that is. At least that's what the caption

underneath the guy says. Could be interpreted as "sweet butter", or "honey

butter".

 

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 16:25:29 EDT

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: SC - butter making clarificatoin

 

hmmm

To clarify my earlier post on butter making:

 

Tools needed:

1 butter churn (an urn of wood or ceramics or fired pottery to hold 1 1/2 to

2 gallons) with a lid with a hole in the middle.

 

1 butter dasher (a cross shaped paddle affixed to the end of a  stick that

will fit through the hole in the lid)

 

You will also need un-homogenized, high butterfat milk, or heavy cream.  You

should allow it to sit out at room temperature overnight to separate and sour

just a bit.  Skim the cream from the milk and refrigerate the skimmed milk to

use or drink.  Pour the cream into the churn and churn with a slow steady beat

until the butter begins to rise to the top and there are yellow flakes of

butter on the handle of the dasher.  Remove the butter from the buttermilk by

either sieving through cheesecloth or by hand by squeezing the butter

particles in the milk until it begins to form a cake.  Pat into a cake or

press into a mold.  If you wish to salt it add the salt now and squeeze it

through the cake before you mold it.  Keep refrigerated and use within two

weeks or until it grows hair, whichever comes first.  It freezes quite nicely

and will keep for an unlimited time.  Reserve and refrigerate the buttermilk

for making scones, biscuits, and cornbread.

 

To make a small amount, you can put 1 pint un-homogenized heavy cream into a 1

quart canning jar, allow to sit several hours at room temperature, then gently

ROLL the jar steadily until the butter forms.

 

By the way, clarifying butter is something else again.  To clarify real butter

you place over very low heat until it is separates into a clear liquid and a

cloudy liquid, skim off the clear liquid, this is clarified butter.  Here in

The Valley of the Sun, we just sit it outside for a half hour or so.

 

Mordonna

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 20:59:58 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC -Making Butter in Period

 

Hiya from Anne-Marie

we are asked:

>How was butter made in period?  I would like to have a childrens

> activity of making butter at the upcoming A&S.  I made butter at my

> grandma's knee in a pickle jar.  Shook that thing for a long time.

 

we have pictures of women standing at large wooden churns, (15-16th

century) and we have pictures of men in Scappis woodcuts, in a kitchen,

making "miel dulce", again standing at a large wooden churn. May describes

the role of the dairy, but doesnt mention butter making that I recall

(mostly being concerned with cheese). Le Menagier cautions that if one buys

milk from the milk maid, to be sure that she has not diluted it with water,

for that makes it go bad faster. Chiquart mentions buying cheese and other

dairy products, not producing them himself.

 

From this, I assume that dairying was done, for the most part, in larger

urban households by dairy oriented people. The pictures show butter being

made the same way it was for generations, in large standing wooden churns

(no doubt coopered). I have yet to find a real, functional wooden butter

churn, but have seen ceramic ones that looked like wood, if you can justify

going that way. Alternately, in my food and eating classes, I'll often do

the jar method just so they can do it while I lecture and then eat it on

fresh baked bread. yum!

 

If anyone knows of a source for REAL functional butter churns (most

homesteaders use the eggbeater ones nowadays, or at least that's what WE

had when I was a kid), let me know!

- --AM

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 21:07:14 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC -Making Butter in Period

 

hey all from Anne-Marie

we are asked:

> A consideration... could we still use this techique with cream that is

> available today? Most commercial cream is ultra-homoginized and this could

> make it difficult to use this process. I guess if unhomoginized cream or milk

> is available, this process could be used.

 

Butter making does not depend on the "separation" that homogenization

prohibits. You won’t get cream to the top, but if you start with regular old

grocery store whipping cream, you can make some amazing butter. I do this

for my food and eating class I teach. Pass around the fruit jar (with a

tight lid) and by the end of the lecture, we have butter. I wash it and

salt it in a large bowl of ice water, and then we eat it with bread I

brough that contains funky old world flours (pea, chestnut, etc).

 

Folks were most amazed that the "buttermilk" we got off the butter was

nothing like the sour cultured stuff they buy in the store.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 13:07:50 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC -Making Butter in Period

 

Deborah J Hammons wrote:

> For those of you who are stuck at home during Pennsic, I have a question.

> How was butter made in period?  I would like to have a childrens

> activity of making butter at the upcoming A&S.  I made butter at my

> grandma's knee in a pickle jar.  Shook that thing for a long time.

 

I recall having read (probably in C. Anne Wilson's "Food and Drink in Britain")

that butter was traditionally made in period Britain in wide bowls, with the

dairy maids leaving the night-time milk to cool and sour slightly overnight. In

the morning they would work the milk with their hands, using the heat from

their fingers and the coolness of the settled milk to cause the butter to

separate from the milk and rise to the top, where it could be pushed together

into lumps and lifted out.

 

I have since seen a 16th century English text on dairy husbandry (I have it

lying around somewhere in photocopy form) which pretty well confirms this. I

believe the text is written by the son of a Suffolk dairy maid, who basically

says he used to watch his mum and the other dairy maids at their work all

through his childhood. There's a fair amount about cheese in this, too.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 14:37:18 -0400

From: Nick Sasso <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: Blender Butter (was  Re: SC -Making Butter in Period)

 

I have made butter in very slow speed food processor with children as

scince experiment (with the plastic paddles).  Also with a blender on

lowest speed.  You have to keep a close eye on it though. When it

starts to go, it fgoes fast, and can eat up your motor if done too long.

I'm thinking about trying it with my Heavy Duty Kitchenaide with wire

whisk.

 

niccolo

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 14:06:46 +0000

From: Erin Kenny <Erin.Kenny at sofkin.ca>

Subject: SC - Butter churns

 

For those who are looking for REAL USABLE butter churns take a look

at:

https://www.lehmans.com/

where I found this lovely churn.

 

Redwood Cylinder Churn                         $125.00

Cylinder design dates from the turn of the century and was considered

a modern innovation at the time. Hardwood double dasher removable

for cleaning, heavy steel handle, lifetime stainless steel hoops and wood

drainplug. Holds 3 gal, churns up to  2 gal. 13 OD x14 1/4 H, 13 lbs.

Amish-made in the USA.

 

Claricia Nyetgale

who thinks this is making butter churning sound distinctly more

interesting.

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 17:14:30 -0400

From: "Alma Johnson" <chickengoddess at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Butter churns

 

>For those who are looking for REAL USABLE butter churns take a look

>at:

> https://www.lehmans.com/

>where I found this lovely churn.

 

>Redwood Cylinder Churn                         $125.00

 

Wow, thatsa lotta money for butter!!!!!

 

May I suggest a old fashioned southern pottery churn?  I just found one

locally to Atlanta, 5 gal capacity, $39.95 plus tax, 1 gal goes for $19.95

plus. Other sized in between priced in between as well.  There are a few

smaller ones left, and I'd be happy to take orders and ship'em out to folks.

Make your own dasher and lid out of wood and save considerable cash.

 

Availability is iffy if you want a 5 gal,(it may take some time) , but

e-mail me and we'll look into it.

 

Rhiannon Cathaoir-mor

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 20:10:01 -0400

From: "Alma Johnson" <chickengoddess at mindspring.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Butter churns

 

>dear lady can you describe these crocks, please...shape, etc

>Dragonfyr

 

Ooh, description.  Depends on the capaciity, to some degree.  I will

describe a large one, and make it more squat looking for the churns of

smaller capacity. Tall pottery jar with two handles, smaller at base,

flaring wider toward the top, and then back smaller at the top, with an

internal lip to hold a lid.  The lid (Some come with a ceramic lid) has a

hole in it for the dasher handle.  If you have the first foxfire book, mine

looks just like the one in the photo of the old lady churning in her

kitchen. That's probably a 5 gallon one like mine in the picture, and mine

is the only one I saw today made of the local red clay with a brown glaze.

Mine stands about 17" high and has a circumference about the widest part of

36". Churns, as you can imagine, don't move off the shelves like they used

to, but the gentleman at the pottery assured me that they carry a few at all

times. I'm not certain how long it will take for them to get in another 5

gal, but they are all nice.  Some don't come with a lid, which is only there

to protect you from splashing the clabbered milk all over, but a round of

wood with a hole in the middle will work, and dashers are just a dowel

handle with 2 crossed pieces of wood on the end for agitation.

 

Rhiannon Cathaoir-mor

Who wil probably sit her churn next to the computer - type with the right

hand, churn with the left!

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 12:49:19 -0400

From: "Gaylin Walli" <g.walli at infoengine.com>

Subject: SC - So I made butter

 

After all the butter discussions that went on during our

stay at War, I was dying to try this butter making thing.

I read through all the posts and figured it couldn't be

that complicated. It wasn't. I hope more people try this

because I got at least two good nights of footrubs out

of this (yeah, footrubs, that's it, yeah) from my husband

who was so impressed that it could be done.

 

I tried it two ways and in both cases used a standard

local heavy cream that was ultra pasteurized and sold

in the dairy section of our mid-sized grocery store.

 

Version #1: Into a full quart narrow-mouthed mason jar I

placed 2 pints of ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. I set

this on the countertop uncovered.

 

Version #2: Into the bowl of my Kitchen Aid mixer with

the paddle (not the whisk) installed, I placed the same

amount and let it sit uncovered.

 

Then I went about my morning business and washed dishes

and generally cleaned the house. An hour or two later I

remember both of the cream concoctions and started the

mixer up on the lowest speed. I covered the mason jar

with a standard lid and ring. I promptly ignored the

mixer and went into the living room and started reading

a magazine. During my reading I gently rocked the jar

back and forth from hand to hand without shaking it.

 

Company arrived and I forgot about the mixer again.

About 30-45 minutes after that, one of my guests noticed

a "lapping water" sound much like you would here at

the seashore. Wahlah! Butter happened when I wasn't

looking! Lovely stuff. Pale, pale yellow and tasty.

 

As for the jar, well, after another 45 minutes of gentle

rocking, I determined it needed something more vigorous

and ended up rolling it with my feet on the floor

because my arms got tired. The foot method worked, but

to be honest, it took a hell of a long time. I lost

track after 3 hours of non-consistent rolling. Again,

it was tasty stuff, though it seemed a bit more

watery than the butter from the mixing bowl.

 

Either way, it was very nice. I might just volunteer

this stuff for a small feast (like the test feast for

an upcoming event or something). Thanks for all

the talk. It was a lovely little experiment!

 

Jasmine

 

Jasmine de Cordoba, Midrealm (Metro-Detroit area of Michigan)

jasmine at infoengine.com or g.walli at infoengine.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 07:05:46 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC -Making Butter in Period

 

Once upon a time in the East, I was cooking feast (as usual, back then) which

called for whipped cream on whatever dessert I was making.  Of course, it was

July. In Virginia.  And I was young and really believed I could accomplish

hand-whipped cream.  In July.  In Virginia.  Silly me.

 

I took all the precautions I'd learned at my mother's knee.  Cold cream.

Metal bowl nested in another bowl filled with ice.  I whipped and I whipped

and I whipped in vain.  When it started to look a lot like whipped butter, I

changed the menu.  No whipped cream for dessert, but they got handmade whipped

garlic butter for the bread.

 

Wolfmother

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 07:15:09 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC -Making Butter in Period

 

For real wooden butter churns, try the Cumberland General Store in Tennessee.

Lots of old-time stuff, including cast iron cookware and horse harnesses.

 

Here's the catalog order info.

 

Cumberland General Store

#1 Highway 68

Crossville, TN 38555

 

1-800-334-4640

 

I checked the alphabetical list of products.  Wood Churns are listed, as well

as hand-crank churns.  Happy shopping.

 

Wolfmother

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 09:13:21 -0400

From: Nick Sasso <Njs at mccalla.com>

Subject: SC - Churn from Cumberland not the ticket, maybe

 

As you see below, this is a decorative piece, but may have value if

brewers' pitch is added.  I cannot judge the sturdiness, but it may be

worth calling and asking about.

 

http://www.cumberlandgeneral.com/

 

niccolo

 

                               Pine Churn

 

                    This Pine Churn has three oak bands and

                    stands 17" tall.

                    Shipped Weight of 11 lbs. Decorative Use

                    Only.

                    #1568...................$59.95

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 20:07:08 -0500 (CDT)

From: jeffrey stewart heilveil <heilveil at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - So I made butter

 

When I was making butter with campers, we usually put an agitator in the

jar to speed up the process.  A marble or the like.

 

Bogdan

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 13:55:30 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - butter - salted/unsalted

 

>   <snip> Did they salt butter in period?  <snip> Caitlen Ruadh

 

My apologies; I seem to have missed this the first time around. Yes, they did salt butter in period, both as a way to preserve it for later use, and also because it allowed for different medical properties from unsalted butter.

 

I believe there are instructions in Le Menagier de Paris, as well as other sources that I'd have to search through, for removing the salt from butter.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 22:35:34 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Illustration on Medieval Butter Churn

 

_Renaissance Recipes_ has a painting detail with a butter churn right in the

middle. It is 15th c., I believe

Lady Carllein

 

 

Date: Sun, 01 Nov 1998 10:37:49 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Definitely OT: Ghee and Bamboo steamers

 

LadyVXN at aol.com wrote:

> Ghee is clarified butter. It's a Middle Eastern condiment - you'll usually

> find it used in Asian Indian cooking. Get some good Indian cookbooks - my 2

> favorites are Curried Flavors (can't remember the author right now - I'm in

> the midst of moving and my cookbooks are packed), and a vegetarian cookbook by

> Madhur Jaffrey. The Jaffrey book covers the whole East - Japan, Korea,

> Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Persia, etc., and the Arab Middle East.

 

As far as uses go, I'm inclined to agree, but ghee is not simply

clarified butter, although clarified butter makes a decent substitute.

European clarified butter is made by melting the butter until it breaks

and settles, the foamy top is skimmed away, and the pure butterfat is

ladelled off the top of the water and milk solids at the bottom. Ghee is

cooked slowly, and for a rather long time, until the water has simmered

away, and the butterfat has begun to brown a bit, and the milk solids

have just begun to caramelize. This is why ghee is now mostly prepared

as a commercial product. Making your own is still better, especially now

that many commercial ghees are now made like margarine, from vegetable oil.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 22:02:46 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Butter?

 

MGroulx at NRCan.gc.ca writes:

<< I don't get it? Is there something wrong with amercian butter? Btw,

butter is freezable.

 

Micaylah >>

 

In a nut shell, yes. Most butter available in the USA is the disgusting stuff

labeled 'sweet creamery butter'. This is made from fresh cream as opposed to

slightly fermented cream.

 

Leaving the butter cream set out over night to sour is how butter was

originally made until the dairy industry decided it 'saves' time to do it the

other way. The resulting 'sweet butter' product is for the most part tasteless

when compared to butter made in the traditional way. Thankfully, there are

some states where butter can be gotten that is still made the 'right' way.

West Virginia is one of them and I always stock up on butter when I go to WV.

Another good source for good butter is the Amish.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 21:38:45 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Price of butter

 

Marilyn Traber wrote, re margarine:

> a purified and chemically altered form of vegetable oil modified to be lightly

> yellow with a flavor reminiscent of butter.

> http://www.margarine.org/homepage.html

> margali

 

Originally an emulsion made from refined beef tallow, a bit of water,

and dried milk solids, invented during the Napoleonic wars as a food

with a somewhat longer shelf-life than real butter. Oleo, because it was

made from fat, and margarine, because its surface was vaguely "pearlescent".

 

G. Tacitus "Everything You Never Wanted To Know" Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 16:28:21 EST

From: <Bjmikita at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Churning butter

 

Here's how my grandmother made butter.  Get whole milk, the more butterfat the

better. You'll have to find raw milk, that's milk not pasturized.  If it's

pasturized it usually has all the butterfat removed, or at least enough so

making butter either won't work or will take forever.  Let it sit in the

refrigerator or on cabinet in a cool kitchen overnight.  The butterfat will

rise to the surface.  Scoop it off, put in refrigerator.  wait another couple

of hours and sometimes you can get more butterfat come to the top.  The

butterfat is what you put in your churn.  Clean the churn really well before

you add the butterfat.  Then it just takes time and muscle.  Churn evenly and

continuely until it turns to butter.  After it makes butter the liquid left

in the churn is buttermilk.  Real buttermilk.  After you take the butter out,

rinse it off, shape it the way you want it.  while you are shaping add salt

if you want it.  I may have left out a step or two, but that is the basics.

 

Jeanne de La Mer

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 14:45:01 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Churning butter

 

> I have a butter churn that I purchased at Estrella War last year.

> However, I do not know the recipe/steps for churning butter and would

> like to use my churn at the War this year.  Can someone give me some

> tips/instruction?  Thanks.

 

You can use pure, real cream from the grocery or skim the cream yourself

from fresh raw milk.  Store bought cream will have been pasturized, and

since unripened or not soured cream butter is pretty blah, you might want

to let it sour a bit.  Raw cream will usually sour with the correct

bacteria if allowed to stand overnight, but pasturized cream should have

a spoonful of cultured buttermilk added, then allowed to stand

overnight. Cream to be churned should have a temperature of about 60

degrees F.  If it's too warm it'll be soft greasy butter and not keep

well. If too cold it will take forever to get the butter to come {that is

for the butterfat globules to seperate from the liguid}  Churn

vigerously, after a bit you will hear and feel the difference in the

liguid. Churn a bit longer and check to see what you've got. When you

have lots of tiny granules of butter [and it'll be anywhere from bright

yellow/orange to almost white} floating in the buttermilk, which will now

look thin and watery instead of thick and creamy, strain off the butter.

Save the buttermilk for cooking, baking and drinking, and rinse the bits

of butter well in cold water.  Then press the granules of butter in to a

cake for storage {they used to make fancy butter molds for this step}  i

don't remember now, off hand how much cream it takes for a pound of

butter, but I'm thinking it may run along the same lines as pounds of

cheese from milk, which is 1 gallon whole milk = 1 pound cheese, so a

gallon of cream may give you a pound of butter, but like I said it's been

a long time and I've forgotten.

 

Mairi Broder

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 19:07:58 -0500

From: snowfire at mail.snet.net

Subject: Re: SC -  "bog butter"

 

- -Poster: Jean Holtom <Snowfire at mail.snet.net>

 

From the Book "Food and Cooking in Prehistoric Britain: History and

Recipes"

 

The following is a passage about the way butter was probably made in

prehistoric times.  It is noted that this method was used until recently in

the Orkney Islands.

 

"The milk was left to stand in the churn for 2 - 3 days until it thickened

naturally. When the butter was slow in coming some red hot "Kirnin' stones

were thrown in to help the separation process.  When the butter had gathered

at the top it was lifted out into an earthenware dish and washed several times

in cold water to remove any remaining milk, which could turn it sour quickly.

It then had to be de-haired by passing a knife through it several times to

remove any animal hairs on the knife edge.  In many part of Britain it was the

custom to bury the butter in wooden vessels or baskets, or occasionally in

cloth, bark, or leather containers, in peat bogs.  Many discoveries of this

"bog butter" have been made...."

 

Has anyone heard of this before?

 

Elysant

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 19:41:02 EST

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC -  "bog butter"

 

snowfire at mail.snet.net writes:

> It then had to be de-haired by passing a knife through it several times to

> remove any animal hairs on the knife edge.

 

I've milked many a dairy beast by hand.  If the udder is washed competently

first, and the milking done properly, there shouldn't be any hair in the milk.

Now don't tell me our Medieval cousins, or even our Prehistoric cousins, or

our relatives in the Orkneys who do this all the time don't know how it's

done. Sounds like the "researcher" is making it up as he/she goes along, or

reporting on the results of his/her own amateur experiments.  Besides that,

the easier way to remove hair from butter would be to strain the milk

through a "faire cloth" before allowing the butter to form.

 

Mordonna

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 02:36:05 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC -  "bog butter"

 

Jean Holtom <Snowfire at mail.snet.net wrote:

>"The milk was left to stand in the churn for 2 - 3 days until it thickened

>naturally. When the butter was slow in coming some red hot "Kirnin' stones

>were thrown in to help the separation process.  When the butter had gathered

>at the top it was lifted out into an earthenware dish and washed several times

>in cold water to remove any remaining milk, which could turn it sour quickly.

>It then had to be de-haired by passing a knife through it several times to

>remove any animal hairs on the knife edge.

 

Probably correct. I think I´ve seen something similar in Icelandic texts and

there are several references in old sources to the fact that Icelandic

butter frequently was rather hairy. And completely unsalted, even though it

was being kept for months, even years. Despite this, my ancestors consumed

several pounds of butter each week.

 

Extremely poor people, who had no cow and only got a few litres of milk per

day during the summer from their ewes, would sometimes collect each days

milk into a barrel for many weeks, then churn the sour milk in the autumn.

 

The butter was usually kept in wooden chests or barrels, or in leather

containers, but always indoors, not buried in the ground out of doors

(possibly half buried into the floor sometimes, as barrels used for curds

(skyr) and fermented whey (s‡ra) frequently were.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 22:02:19 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC -  "bog butter"

 

> It then had to be de-haired by passing a knife through it several times to

> remove any animal hairs on the knife edge.  In many part of Britain it was the

> custom to bury the butter in wooden vessels or baskets, or occasionally in

> cloth, bark, or leather containers, in peat bogs.  Many discoveries of this

> "bog butter" have been made...."

> Has anyone heard of this before?

 

Yes, I've heard of it before. A couple of comments:

 

1) The fact that butter has been found in bogs doesn't prove burying it

in bogs was a typical thing to do with butter. Many bog bodies have been

found; it wasn't something that was done to everyone. The reason for

doing so seems to be pretty unclear, but possibilities might include

some kind of sacrifice, an attempt to preserve the butter in a cool,

relatively airless place, and an attempt to preserve the butter with

various chemicals the bog water has in solution (tannic acid for one).

The butter may have been believed to have (and may have, in fact)

undergone some kind of chemical change making it medicinally useful.

Centuries later, many European recipe books for medicines and foods

would speak of May butter, which appears to be butter that has been left

in a sunny meadow for several days, in May. The modern explanation seems

to be that some vitamin is either created or stored in the butter upon

exposure to sunlight (I forget which).

 

2) Highland Scottish cattle breeds (such as one would find in the

Orkneys) were and are generally rather long-haired.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 00:30:01 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC -  "bog butter"

 

>I thought I was the only one questioning the hair in the butter.  I have had

>dairy goat herds in the past and have never had a problem with hair in the

>milk. Just wash the udders properly and strain the milk before you make butter

>or cheese. Your milk is free of any imperfections. I can't imagine anyone not

>being clever enough to figure this out for themselves.

 

I´ve no idea how clever the old Icelanders were. What I know is they had to

keep - and milk - their cows in cramped, windowless, dark, stuffy hovels

made of stone and sod, lit only by by meagre and flickering tallow or fish

liver oil lanterns. And the shaggy, long-haired ewes were milked out in the

fields in all kinds of weather, often far from any source of water (I can

personally attest to the fact that you can´t handle Icelandic sheep, in

early summer at least, when they are shedding their old coat of wool,

without wool hairs clinging to everything, in particular to your hands). I

believe most people strained their milk through horsehair sieves, but they

seem not to have caught everything. And some were too poor to afford even

such a basic utensil. But given the general low standards of cleanliness and

hygiene of my countrymen at the time (commented upon by European visitors

from the 16th century onwards), I´d say a few hairs in the butter would have

been the least of their worries.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Jul 1999 22:09:52 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - It's Butter.....Parkay

 

hi all from Anne-Marie

Aislinn asks:

>I have heard that butter was used by the lower classes as a substitute for

>refined lard which was used by the higher class. It was also mentioned this

>was because "in order to get refined lard you had to slaughter the animal

>whereas the poor could not afford to slaughter their livestock."

>If this being the case at what time was butter first introduced, and in what

>cultures. Was it as now as we often purchase it, plain .... or was it as with

>many different varieties (having several spices added it to it for different

>taste). If that being the case where can one obtain copies of the different

>recipes for butter? That is if there are any.

 

Interesting...I had never head that! All I know is what I've gleaned from

reading medieval cookbooks and shopping lists, etc.

 

- --butter is sometimes given as a substitute for lard, especially when they

give alternatives for fast days. If you suppose that the cookbooks are for

"rich" people only, than that suggests that rich folks used butter as well

as poor folks.

- --butter was bought from dairymaids and is mentioned in other medieval

shopping lists (check out le Menagier and Chiquart, for example)

- --I have never seen an example of butter flavored with other things in

medieval cookbooks, though something tickles the back of brain...some

superlate recipe using sage??? Digby?

- --to get butter, you need milk, and you need to take it away from a baby

animal (albeit there's sometimes a surplus). Also, it means you can’t make a

super rich cheese that you could sell to some rich sap), so the idea that

butter is poor folks fat might not hold true...

- --the poor ate meat too, at least according to the agricultural treatises

of the time, they just ate it more seasonally than their bourgois

counterparts. Especially pigs, which were raised for the sole purpose of

slaughtering for meat (and the lard obtained therein), so it makes sense

that anyone who had a pig to slaughter would have lard (according to the

household records of the 15th century, most peasants had at least a pig or

two)

- --you get butter when you have milk, ie in the late spring/summer and maybe

fall when the cow is fresh. You get lard when you slaughter a pig (or

tallow from a sheep, etc), ie the fall. It makes sense  that the fat used

would be that which was seasonally available. Butter doesn’t keep as well as

lard, in my experience, and both will go bad eventually.

 

I'd really be interested in seeing real medieval recipes for butter...all

I've found is pictures of people churning it...

- --Anne-Marie, who's 15th century re-enactment group often churns their own

butter (and then uses it cooking. oh darn! :))

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 02:41:37 -0500

From: Helen <helen at directlink.net>

Subject: SC - butter?

 

Is this true?  Is it this easy?

 

Making Butter

 

Buy heavy cream. Put it in a jar and shake for a very very long time.

It will eventually become butter. (Alternately, you can use a food

processor to speed up the process.) After you have little lumps and

flakes of butter, you must "wash" it. Drain the liquid (save it for

making cream based soups!) And mold the butter into a lump. Under cold

running water, knead it gently for 5 minutes (I fold, press flat, fold,

press flat, etc). Add salt, if desired (I don't), knead it in to

distribute it evenly. Mold, then refrigerate.

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 99 07:29:42 -0500 (CDT)

From: Debra Poole <dpoole1 at airmail.net>

Subject: Re: SC - butter?

 

>Making Butter

>           Buy heavy cream. Put it in a jar and shake for a very very long

> time.  It will eventually become butter.

 

   A hint to speed up the process if you do not have a food processor, add

two clean marbles to the jar.  This will cut the time almost in half.

   I have made butter like this and children are a great help when it comes

to shaking the jar.  We use an old clean peanut butter jar and roll it back

and forth to each other on the kitchen floor.

 

Ldy Meredudd Brangwyn

Kingdom of Anstrorra

Barony of the Steppes

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 07:56:05 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - butter?

 

hi all from Anne-Marie

 

re: making butter...

 

I have found that its important to do it long enough...it will make a big

lump, not just a heavy slurry. If you try and wash it too early it will

disappear down the drain :(. washing it in COLD water helps some.

 

also, its important to realize (we all know this already, right?) that

the jar method isn’t how medieval people did it, right? We see lots of

medieval illos of people (almost always women) churning butter. You can buy

a medieval looking or modern style churn yourself from Lehmans, though with

the Y2K thang, I understand they're more than a little backordered on

everything.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 09:56:00 -0400

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: SC - butter churn

 

Found this, for anybody who's interested.

 

>Try the Cumberland General Store website.  They sell the masonjar/crank type.

>http://www.cumberlandgeneral.com/find.htm

 

Phlip

 

Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 22:18:20 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Lefse/hleifr

 

About the buttered bread reference:

 

I´ve been trying to find an English translation of the saga of Hakon the Old

(Haakon IV of Norway) - it is in the Flateyjarbók and written in the early

14th century, IIRC, but have been unsuccessful so far. My own translation of

the passage would be something like this:

 

"At this time the frosts were so great that all their drink froze and the

butter was so hard that the bread served to the king´s son couldn´t be

buttered; he always wanted to be with the king´s court, and everyone liked

him ... the king´s son was standing with the king´s men and was very cold.

He saw that some of the men first took a bite of the bread, then of the

butter. The boy took the butter and wrapped it in the bread ..."

 

I´m not really sure how to interpret this but two things are clear to me: 1)

the child´s bread was usually buttered 2) the adults were used to eat butter

with their bread - maybe not _on_ it, that is not clear from this passage -

but buttered bread was at least known to them.

 

Then there is this in Reykdæla saga:

 

"They ... found a man named ?orgeirr, who was called butter-ring. About him

it is said that he preferred butter and bread above all other food."

 

Same here - butter is eaten with bread but it is not quite clear if the

bread is actually buttered.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 12:36:40 -0400 (EDT)

From: Gretchen M Beck <grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - butter

 

Excerpts from internet.listserv.sca-cooks: 14-Sep-99 SC - butter Stefan

li Rous at texas.net (858*)

 

> > I use unsalted sweet butter, I don't like too much added

> > salt unless I add it!

> > margali

 

> I was wondering about this in the grocery the other day. Some of the

> butter said "unsalted". Does this mean the rest of the butter is

> salted? In other words, unless it says otherwise the default is

> salted butter?

 

I believe salted is the default.  In the US, anyhow, you can always

check the ingredient list -- it'll say whether salt has been added.

 

I find whether I want sweet or  salted butter depends on what I'm using

it for.  For spread, definately sweet.  For sugar cookies and such,

definately sweet.  On the other hand, for pie crusts and oatmeal raisin

cookies, I use salted, because, for crusts, that means I don't have to

add salt to the dry ingrediants, and for oatmeal cookies I get that

wonderful sweet salty combination.

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 22:09:52 -0400

From: "Matilda Prevost-Hart" <matti at globalbiz.net>

Subject: RE: SC - butter

 

From: Stefan li Rous

>> I use unsalted sweet butter, I don't like too much added

>> salt unless I add it!

>> margali

 

>I was wondering about this in the grocery the other day. Some of the

>butter said "unsalted". Does this mean the rest of the butter is

>salted? In other words, unless it says otherwise the default is

>salted butter?

 

The short answer: YES.

 

(Not to be brusque, however. Salt in butter is a serious preservative, I

merely don't like it personally.)

 

Mathilde du Neige

mka Matilda Prevost-Hart

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 May 2000 12:16:30 -0400

From: "Jim Revells" <sudnserv5 at netway.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period Butter churn (was Re: memories)

 

The Colonial Williamsburg collection used to have a small(gallon size)

stoneware crock type churn they sold which was a replica of a late 16th

early 17th century churn.  It looks a lot like what my Grandma Pete used to

use when she made butter (except she used an electric beater).

 

Olaf

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 10:54:48 -0500

From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: SC - butter usage

 

Philip & Susan Troy wrote:

> Offhand, I'm not aware of any other clear reference from a period source

> as to what, exactly, was done with butter, other than appearing in

> various non-meat-day menus and dishes, as an ingredient.

 

breakfast. How, or with what, I have no idea, but Plat speaks of eating it for

breakfast. I have included most of Plat's section on butter, specifically how to change the taste and color of butter, plus the bit on clarifying it. (Nothing on honey though.  ;<)

 

 

Hugh Plat _Jewel-house of Arte & Nature_ 1594

 

2. How to make sundry sorts of most dainty butter with the saide oils

 

[refers to earlier section on distilling essential oils]

 

In the month of May, it is very usuall with us to eat some of the smallest, and

youngest sage leaves with butter in a morning, and I think the common use thereof doth sufficiently commende the same to be wholsome, in stead whereof all those which delighte in this heabe may cause a few droppes of the oile of sage to be well wrought, or tempered with the butter when it is new taken out of the cherne, until they find the same strong enough in taste to their owne liking; and this way I accoumpt much more wholsomer then the first, wherin you will finde a far more lively and penetrative tast then can be presently had out of the greene herbe.

 

This laste Sommer I did entertaine divers of my friends with this kinde of

butter amongst other country dishes, as also with cinnamon, mace, and clove

butter (which are all made in one selfe same manner) and I knew not whether I did please them more with this new found dish, or offend them by denying the secret unto them, who thought it very strange to find the naturall taste of herbs, and spices coueied into butter without any apparent touch of color.  But I hope I have at this time satisfied their longings.  2re, if by som means or other you may not give a tincture to your creme before you chearne it, either with roseleaves, cowslep leaves, violet or marigold leaves, &c. And thereby chaunge the color of your butter.

 

And it may be that if you wash your butter throughly wel with rose water before

you dish it, and work up some fine sugar in it, that the Country people will go

neere to robbe all Cocknies of their breakfasts, unlesse the dairie be well

looked unto.  If you would keepe butter sweete, and fresh a long time to make

sops, broth or cawdle, or to butter any kinde of fishe withall in a better sorte

then I have seene in the best houses where I have come, then dissolve your butter in a clean galsed, or silver vessell & in a pan, or kettle of water with a slow and gentle fire, and powre the same so dissolved, into a bason that hath some faire Water therein, and when it is cold, take away the soote, not suffering any of the curds, or whey to remain in the bottome: and if you regarde not the charge thereof, you may either the first or the second time, dissolve your Butter in Rosewater as before, working them well together, and so Clarifie it, and this butter so clarified, wil bee as sweet in tast, as the Marrow of any beast, by reason of, the great impuritie that is remooved by this manner of handeling:

 

[rest snipped]

 

- -Magdalena

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 10:22:32 -0600

From: Serian <serian at uswest.net>

Subject: SC - butter

 

Just looking in Hildegard von Bingen's _Physica_, and she

mentions butter as a remedy for congestion and dry skin (the

butter eaten, not spread on skin).  She says that butter

from cows is more healthful than that from sheep or goats.

 

Serian

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 14:15:46 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Harvest Moon Shoot proposed menu

 

Other than having quite a few small items at the end that look time

consuming, it looks nice.  On the honey-butter (I know, you said not to

say it ;) since there really isn't anything else sweet in that first

course, you might try an herb butter, which we DO have documentation for.

(Follows at the end of post.)  I am curious as to how you will keep a

warm lentil salad from getting really mushy in a crock pot.  It sounds

good, and like a whole lot of food for the money!

 

Christianna

 

 

Hugh Plat _Jewel-house of Arte & Nature_ 1594

 

2. How to make sundry sorts of most dainty butter with the saide oils

 

[refers to earlier section on distilling essential oils]

 

      In the month of May, it is very usuall with us to eat some of the

smallest, and youngest sage leaves with butter in a morning, and I think

the common use thereof doth sufficiently commende the same to be

wholsome, in stead whereof all those which delighte in this heabe may

cause a few droppes of the oile of sage to be well wrought, or tempered

with the butter when it is new taken out of the cherne, until they find

the same strong enough in taste to their owne liking; and this way I

accoumpt much more wholsomer then the first, wherin you will finde a far

more lively and penetrative tast then can be presently had out of the

greene herbe.

 

      This laste Sommer I did entertaine divers of my friends with this kinde

of butter amongst other country dishes, as also with cinnamon, mace, and

clove butter (which are all made in one selfe same manner) and I knew not

whether I did please them more with this new found dish, or offend them

by denying the secret unto them, who thought it very strange to find the

naturall taste of herbs, and spices coueied into butter without any

apparent touch of color.  But I hope I have at this time satisfied their

longings. 2re, if by som means or other you may not give a tincture to

your creme before you chearne it, either with roseleaves, cowslep leaves,

violet or marigold leaves, &c. And thereby chaunge the color of your

butter.

 

      And it may be that if you wash your butter throughly wel with rose

water before you dish it, and work up some fine sugar in it, that the

Country people will go neere to robbe all Cocknies of their breakfasts,

unlesse the dairie be well looked unto.  If you would keepe butter

sweete, and fresh a long time to make sops, broth or cawdle, or to butter

any kinde of fishe withall in a better sorte then I have seene in the

best houses where I have come, then dissolve your butter in a clean

galsed, or silver vessell & in a pan, or kettle of water with a slow and

gentle fire, and powre the same so dissolved, into a bason that hath some

faire Water therein, and when it is cold, take away the soote, not

suffering any of the curds, or whey to remain in the bottome: and if you

regarde not the charge thereof, you may either the first or the second

time, dissolve your Butter in Rosewater as before, working them well

together, and so Clarifie it, and this butter so clarified, wil bee as

sweet in tast, as the Marrow of any beast, by reason of, the great

impuritie that is remooved by this manner of handeling:

 

[rest snipped]

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 17:00:50 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: Sweetened Butter?  (was Re: SC - Harvest Moon Shoot proposed  menu)

 

The problem with honey butter is there is no direct evidence to demonstrate

it was prepared in period.  In this case, the objective is to alter the

taste of the butter without leaving visible evidence.  Honey tends to

liquify the butter, where a fine sugar powder will cream into butter leaving

little evidence of its presence.

 

Honey butter may have been made in period.  It's easy enough to do.  But

without a description or a recipe, the statement honey butter is period is

an unproven assumption.  Many of us believe honey butter is period, but we

can't prove it.

 

BTW, Plat was an Elizabethan, and while honey may have been more prevalent

than sugar, sugar was not in short supply.  Increased production by the

European nations, primarily Spain and Portugal had cut into the Islamic

sugar trade.  As a result, sugar prices dropped to the place where sugar

became an upper and middle class indulgence rather than a low volume luxury

good. The Elizabethans loved their sugar.

 

Bear

 

> This last paragraph, mentioning the working of sugar into butter, along

> with the fact that butters served with the essential oils of cinnamon, mace

> and cloves implies to me that folks may have had a taste for sweet butters.

> honey was more readily available than sugar.  So why do we believe that

> honey butter is not period (again, I realize that this may be an old

> argument and a pointer to the flori-thingy will suffice if it's been over

> done>) ?

>

> I remain, in service to Meridies,

> Lady Celia des L'archier

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 15:17:07 -0700

From: Brent Kellmer <BrentK at KINDREDCOM.com>

Subject: RE: Sweetened Butter?  (was Re: SC - Harvest Moon Shoot proposed  menu)

 

Greetings from Thorgrim of Birka

 

Bear said:

>The problem with honey butter is there is no direct evidence to

>demonstrate it was prepared in period.  

 

Actually, this isn't quite accurate -- while there's no evidence of it being

used as a regular condiment/spread during period, there is clear evidence of

it's use in Anthimus.  He says it's specific to the ill, however.  

_______________________________________

Thorgrim of Birka          mka  Brent Kellmer

Madrone, An Tir              brentk at kindredcom.com    

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 09:29:09 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: SC - Butter on the Table

 

Sunday at Protectorate, Gunthar and I had a discussion about some of the

aspects of the feast, one of them being the fact I had served butter for the

bread (not honey butter, just butter) and whether it was appropriate.  By

accident, I came across the following quote:

 

"Butter is a wholesome food, first and last

for it soothes the stomach and helps one to

   get rid of poisons

also it helps a man as an aperient and so gets

   rid of ill humors

and with white bread, it has a lingering flavor.

 

"Milk, cream, curds and also rose junket,

they close a man's stomach and so are binding;

you must eat hard cheese after them if you sup late

and drink resinated wine to guard against constipation."

 

The Boke of Nurture (The Babees Book), John Russell, 1460

 

Given the date, butter might be an appropriate condiment for bread on Tudor

and Elizabethan tables.

 

To be honest, I have not found a thing about how butter and orange preserves

were eaten, but the went nicely with the bread at the feast.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 20:49:39 -0500

From: "Michael Newton" <melcnewt at netins.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Lamb recipes

 

From: "Philippa Alderton" <phlip at morganco.net>

> 3. What is May butter? Is that a special name for a butter with more or less

> fat than usual? Or would they have deliberately aged the butter for the

> better part of a year from the last May? (My reasoning on this being that

> Easter usually shows up well before May),

 

Having checked out Maggie Black's The Medieval Cookbook, and reading it

tonight, I can give you her definition of May butter (not that I would use

it in a recipe):

 

(pg. 131) For the Colic

 

"Another poultice recipe! This one is a good deal nastier than it sounds.

May butter was made for children by setting newly made, unsalted butter on

open platters in the sun for almost a fortnight. By that time it was

stinking rancid, colourless and devoid of vitamin A although it did contain

increased vitamin D as a result of the action of the sun's rays."

 

Beatrix of Tanet

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 13:02:07 +0100

From: TG <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: Re: SC - Lamb recipes: may butter

 

<< Having checked out Maggie Black's The Medieval Cookbook, and reading

it tonight, I can give you her definition of May butter (not that I

would use it in a recipe):

(pg. 131) For the Colic

"Another poultice recipe! This one is a good deal nastier than it

sounds. May butter was made for children by setting newly made, unsalted

butter on open platters in the sun for almost a fortnight. By that time

it was stinking rancid, colourless and devoid of vitamin A although it

did contain increased vitamin D as a result of the action of the sun's

rays." >>

 

As far as I can see, the passage you quoted is not a definition of may

butter, but a medical recipe, _using_ may butter. It comes from "A

Leechbook or Collection of Medical Recipes of the Fifteenth Century, ed.

W.R. Dawson, 1934".

 

According to some German sources, may butter was estimated as very good,

it was used in feast meals and was given as a tax to parsons etc.

 

More later

Th.

 

 

Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 20:59:44 -0500

From: "Siegfried Heydrich" <baronsig at peganet.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Clotted Cream taste test

 

> It tasted exactly like the homemade butter you can make by

> shaking heavy whipping cream(for what seems like forever), or unsalted

> butter (available in the freezer section of your grocery store).

 

   I had to crank out a large batch of homemade butter one time - I put my

cream (and buttermilk) in a food safe 5 gallon bucket with a good lid, went

to the paint dealer down the road who handled commercial accounts, and put

it in his paint shaker for about a half hour. Worked great!

 

   Sieggy

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 21:13:21 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Buttermilk

 

olwentheodd at hotmail.com writes:

<< If it is dead hot summer and you are churning for too long the milk can sour

up some.  Mostly what we used to drink out of the hand churn was not sour,

just a little lumpy sometimes.  >>

 

You are describing 'sweet creamery butter'. A 10 on the ick scale factor with

10 being the ickiest. Having been raised on a farm, I can assure you that

neither we nor our neighbors made 'sweet' butter.

 

The common practise was to leave the whole milk sitting on the counter

overnight with a cheesecloth over the top of the container. By morning, the

natural bacteria would have  done its job. The cream which seperated during

the night was skimmed off the top and churned into 'real' butter. The liquid

which seperated from the cream during this process was refrigerated and

served ice cold for a deliscious tangy treat (usually with mashed potatoes,

gravy, corn, southern fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits as side dishes.

:-)).

 

Ras

 

 

From: "Hrolf Douglasson" <Hrolf at btinternet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Homemade butter

Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 23:06:16 +0100

 

> When making butter, is it possible to use a blendr or hand mixer? Also, how

> much butter does a pint of cream yield?

> Cerridwyn

 

Yes it does....I use a hand mixer or my big blender

4 pints of cream with 1 pint of milk added (english pints 20 fluid oz)

gave me over a pound of butter.

When the whey began to flow I added salt then after it completly thickened I

washed it

It was wonderful

patted lots to rid it of the water and it has kept beautifully in the fridge

 

Vara

 

 

From: Devra at aol.com

Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 15:47:50 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks digest, Vol 1 #72 - butter

 

In a message dated 5/20/01 1:04:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, sca-cooks-

> Wash out the buttermilk, huh?  You know, the

> instructions didn't say anything about washing out the

> buttermilk... at least, not to my knowledge.  Care to

> describe the process?

 

You scoop out the lumps of butter, which should be clumping together, and put

in a flattish bowl.  Run a light stream of cool water on it, and pat the

butter lumps to and fro with a spoon or spatula, squishing it sorta...  The

washing water will get a little milky as the buttermilk comes out.  Anyone

else have a better description?

Devra the Baker

 

Devra Langsam

www.poisonpenpress.com

devra at aol.com

 

 

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 00:37:41 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Making butter

 

Here is an excerpt from Markham's _The English Housewife_ on

the subject of making butter.  As the first edition was published in

1615, it is post-period, but I don't think butter-making techniques

changed all that much.

 

"after your butter is churned, or churned and gathered well together

in your churn, you shall then open your churn, and with both your

hands gather it well together, and take it from the buttermilk, and

put it into a very clean bowl of wood, or pancheon of earth

sweetened for the purpose, and if you intend to spend the butter

sweet and fresh, you shall have your bowl or pancheon filled with

very clean water, and therein with your hand you shall work the

butter, turning and tossing it to and fro till you have by that labour

beaten and washed out all the buttermilk, and brought the butter to

a firm substance of itself, without any other moisture"

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 08:03:21 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pixel, Queen of Cats" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Making butter

 

I don't know how period they are, but in Colonial times they used wooden

paddles with grooves running lengthwise along the surface to mash the

butter in the buttermilk/whey removal process. Having used them, I can say

they really do work.

 

If you're going to be hand-kneading butter, and you have warm hands or the

weather is very warm, you really want to have a separate container of ice

water to dip your hands in occasionally to cool them off. Otherwise what

you get is butter smeared all over your hands. You also want your wash

water to be very cool. Not ice-cold, but cool enough to keep the butter

firm.

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 14:56:22 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 14:41:40 -0500 "Decker, Terry D."

<TerryD at Health.State.OK.US> writes:

>About a year ago, we were discussing whether butter should be served

>at feasts and Gunthar chided me about serving butter at the Protectorate

>feast without documentation.

 

    From *Women In Old Norse Society* by Jenny Jochens (Cornell U. Press,

Ithaca, 1995.  ISBN 0-8014-3165-4)

 

     (P.127) "Scarcity of grain meant that in Iceland, unlike in

continental Europe, bread never became a staple.  It was in fact so rare

that people dreamt about it and one man received the nickname

'Butter-Ring' from his favorite food of bread and butter."

 

    (P.128) "Hard as a board, dried fish was softened by being beaten and

was served with butter.  ... Heavily salted, butter could be kept for

decades; large stores were accumulated, like gold, by wealthy landowners.

By the time of the Reformation, the bishopric in Holar possesed a

mountain of butter calculated to weigh twenty-five tons."

 

     Dr. Jochens has based her study mostly on literary sources.

 

 

From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?= <nannar at isholf.is>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 23:40:37 -0000

 

Elizabeth wrote:

>      (P.127) "Scarcity of grain meant that in Iceland, unlike in

> continental Europe, bread never became a staple.

 

Weeell - that depends on what is meant by "a staple". Bread was probably far

more common in Viking times in Iceland than later on; barley was grown here

until the 1500s or so and some of it was used for breadmaking. There are

enough mentions of bread in the Sagas and other old Icelandic sources to

show it wasn't exactly rare.

 

>It was in fact so rare

> that people dreamt about it and one man received the nickname

> 'Butter-Ring' from his favorite food of bread and butter."

 

=DE=F3r=F3lfr smj=F6rhringr of Reykd=E6la saga and V=EDga-Gl=FAms probably got his

nickname because he valued (bread and) butter above all other food but that

doesn't prove anything except that bread was eaten with butter - I mean, I

know of a guy commonly called Gvendur terta (Gvendur cake) because he shows

a marked fondness for cream layer cakes, not because they are excessively

rare here in Iceland. On the contrary, in fact.

 

>     (P.128) "Hard as a board, dried fish was softened by being beaten and

> was served with butter.

 

We still do that, quite often. I still spread my dried fish liberally with

butter when I want to treat myself. But dried fish only gradually became a

substitute for bread in the Icelandic diet. Besides, _everything_ used to be

served with butter here.

 

... Heavily salted, butter could be kept for

> decades; large stores were accumulated, like gold, by wealthy landowners.

 

Heavily salted??? Oh no no. One of the strongest characteristics of pre-19th

century Icelandic cuisine is the almost complete lack of salt. Butter was

"soured" (I'm not sure what the proper English term is here and old sources

say that butter treated in this way could easily keep unspoiled (and it WAS

considered unspoiled, although I doubt modern people would think so) for at

least 20 years, whereas salted butter was said to keep only two years. Most

Icelanders actually preferred this to salted butter, but others usually

found it quite disgusting.

 

>  By the time of the Reformation, the bishopric in Holar possesed a

> mountain of butter calculated to weigh twenty-five tons."

 

Sounds about right. Keep in mind that this wasn't really a case of

landowners hoarding all the butter they could possibly get because it was so

sought after; rather that most farmers paid their rents and taxes in butter,

it being more or less the only thing they had to pay with, so the landowners

were stuck with the butter mountains, wether they really wanted them or not.

But after all, the butter was virtually non-perishable.

 

Nanna

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 14:41:40 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Butter

 

About a year ago, we were discussing whether butter should be served at

feasts and Gunthar chided me about serving butter at the Protectorate feast

without documentation.  I've been casually looking for documentation since.

 

The little piece which follows is identified as being from a French Latin

poem entitled Modus cenandi (The Way of Dining) from approximately 1180.

Martha Carlin identifies it as being from Daniel of Beccles' Urbanus magnus

and that the particular English translation is from Furnival's The Babee's

Book (1868).

 

I find it interesting that the author includes butter, cheese, milk and eggs

as food for fasts.  The manners for eating butter and cheese are also

fascinating.

 

The full text with other references to butter can be found at:

http://www.saradouglass.com/primdocs/waydine.html

 

Bear

 

 

Let potage be given when fasts are celebrated.

Herring, mullet, salmon, conger; afterwards let lighter

Dishes be put on table, =D1 roaches, & perches, & pikes.

Let not a bit of fish without the skin be put on the table.

Last, let soft dishes, & fried puddings follow.

If fishes are wanting, let butter, milk, cheese, eggs,

Be given to the guests who are willing to eat them.

Let old cheese be cut thin,

And let fresh cheese be cut thick for those that eat it.

Do not press the cheese & the butter on to your bread with the thumb.

In (the case of) which eating, if the things are soft, let them be smeared

With a knife, or with a crust of bread; let them be held with a cloth

So that when the crust is taken away, they may be placed in the hollow

bread;

Let him eat them [cheese etc.] with bread when he eats them, and not swallow

them (by themselves)

Unless he sits master of his own feast in the house.

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 23:11:00 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ghee

 

Magdalena wrote:

> Has anybody here made their own ghee?  I just finished a pound of

> butter, and have some questions about what I did.  It took some time for

> all the moisture to finish boiling out, but once it stopped crackling

> the oil turned golden brown in no time.  I had a hard time determining

> if it was ready to take off the burner yet.  Should the ghee still have

> been yellow when I poured it off, or was it ok to let it get somewhat

> brown?  Did I just ruin a good, expensive pound of organic butter?

 

I dunno. I think, from the times I made ghee years ago, what you're

aiming at is a certain browning of the milk solids, but not necessarily

any serious browning of the clarified butter portion. At most, it should

go from being the bright yellow of clarified butter to a sort of golden,

light amber shade.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 13:17:50 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ghee

 

At 23:10 -0400 2001-09-01, Tara wrote:

> Has anybody here made their own ghee?  I just finished a pound of

> butter, and have some questions about what I did.  It took some time for

> all the moisture to finish boiling out, but once it stopped crackling

> the oil turned golden brown in no time.  I had a hard time determining

> if it was ready to take off the burner yet.  Should the ghee still have

> been yellow when I poured it off, or was it ok to let it get somewhat

> brown?  Did I just ruin a good, expensive pound of organic butter?

 

Ghee needs a slow simmer (about an hour) to drive the water off,

plus thorough skimming / pouring / straining to remove _all_ solids.

 

Pure ghee (no solids) withstands heat quite well without burning.

 

If the oil is overheated it affects the flavour; but if it isn't

too strong of a 'burnt' flavour (taste it!), and if you're frugal,

and if you only use it for dishes where the bit of extra flavour

doesn't matter (e.g. pancakes or any high-heat Indian food), there

may be no need to throw it out.

 

Thorvald

 

 

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 20:10:03 -0500

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] honey butter

 

On 4 Mar 2002, at 16:41, Laura C. Minnick wrote:

> This discussion may well be merely academic, of course. I think we've

> talked about it before, and noticed the incredible *lack* of any

> evidence that there was butter on the tables in period...

 

I've recently come across one reference. I've been going through books of

courtesy, in preparation for a schola class on table manners. In the "Urbanus

magnus" (c. 1180), the following lines discuss dinners on fast days:

 

"If fishes are wanting, let butter, milk, cheese, eggs,

Be given to the guests who are willing to eat them.

Let old cheese be cut thin,

And let fresh cheese be cut thick for those that eat it.

Do not press the cheese & the butter on to your bread with the thumb.

In (the case of) which eating, if the things are soft, let them be smeared

With a knife, or with a crust of bread; let them be held with a cloth

So that when the crust is taken away, they may be placed in the hollow bread;

Let him eat them [cheese etc.] with bread when he eats them, and not swallow

them (by themselves)

Unless he sits master of his own feast in the house."

 

(This is an English translation of the Latin original, taken from "The Babees

Book", ed. by Frederick J. Furnivall.)

 

I would gather from the above that butter was sometimes served at meals and

was spread on bread.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

rcmann4 at earthlink.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 16:00:38 -0800 (PST)

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Butter (was Honey Butter? No! No!)

 

Brighid cited a latin poem "The Way of Dining" from 1180 instructing

that butter and soft cheese be eaten spread on bread, thus documenting

bread and butter at feast.  Her post prompted me to re-read my copy of

the translation in The Babees Book, edited by Frederick J. Furnivall.

Therein, in John Russell's Boke of Nurture (1460-70), I had previously

marked:

 

Good sone, alle maner frute, that longethe for seson of the yere,

Fygges, reysons, almandes, dates, buttur, chese, nottus, apples, & pere,

Compostes & confites, chare de quynces, white & grene gyngere;

and ffor aftur questyons, or thy lord sytte, of hym thow know & enquere.

Serve fastynge, plonnys, damsons, cheries, and grapis to plese;

aftur mete, peeres, nottys, strawberies, wyneberies, and hardchese,

also blawnderelles, pepyns, careawey in fomfyte, Compostes ar like to pese.

aftur sopper, rosted apples, peres, blaunche powder, your stomak for to ese.

Bewar at eve of crayme of cowe & also of the goote, thaugh it be late,

of Strawberies & hurtilberyes with the cold Ioncate

For these may marre many a man changynge his astate,

but iff he have aftur, hard chese, wafurs, with wyne ypocrate.

hard chese hathe his condicioun in his operacioun:

Furst he wille a stomak kepe in the botom open,

the helthe of euery creature ys in his conicioun;

yf he diete yhm thus dayly, he is a good conclusioun.

buttir is an holsom mete / furst and eke last,

For he wille a stomak kepe / & helps poyson a-wey to cast,

also he norishethe a man to be laske / and evy humerous to wast

and with white bred / he wille kepe thy mouthe in tast.

 

Wynkyn de Worde's Boke of Kervynge, 1513 repeats this pretty closely

(the editor suggests they are copies of a common earlier source, the

text is online at http://milkmama.tripod.com/kervynge2.html). Some

small differences:

 

Also loke ye have in all seasons butter, chese, apples...

Serve fastynge butter, plommes, damesons...

butter is holsome fyrst & last, for it wyll do awaye all poysons...

 

"Serve fastynge" is interpreted as before dinner, so it might be the

first course at table, or it could be served elsewhere.  The Way of

Dining starts the meal with potage, and ends thus:

 

Let dishes of things fried be the last course of the dinner,

Let a napkin contain wafers, spices, fruits, gaugres, light cakes,

when they are served to the lords.

Empty plates being brought, he allowably gives delicious food to his

patrons eating at the table.

 

This sounds like an "issue de table", or perhaps a separate serving to

bind and close the stomach. It matches many menus and feast

descriptions from the classic Greek "second table" to the late period

English Banquet.  I can't think of any that start with fruits, nuts,

butter & cheeses (though they've been served first at many an SCA

feast). Can anyone?

 

"Butter is holsome fyrst & last" sounds promising, but the editor says

it does not refer to it's place in the meal.  He quotes Thomas Muffett

(Health's Improvement, 1655) on butter: "best for children...and for

old men; but very unwholsom betwixt those two ages, because...it is

forthwith converted into choler".  None of my humoral sources agree.

I've checked Platina, Hildegard & Tacuinum Sanitatis; they wrote that

butter is warm, moist, nourishing and fattening, healthy in moderation.

The Way of Dining says butter dissipates humors.  The worst I can find

is that it can render the stomach apathetic, and too much breeds phlegm

- not choler.  Do any period writings agree with Muffet?  If not, we're

back to butter first and last at the meal, spread politely on bread,

some small support for SCA tradition - without the honey.

 

Stefan wrote:

> earlier than the 14th Century I would go with something else. In

> southern Europe, you might consider olive oil instead of butter. In

> general butter was a northern Europe item while olive oil was more

> common in the south.

 

I've been thinking of this for a feast I'm planning, and Platina

confirms the use of olive oil instead of butter in the south.  But not

specifically on bread.  Are there any southern sources that mention it?

Are there ever herbs, salt, perhaps garlic in the oil?  Hot bread with

herbed oil dip...yum!

 

Tara

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 22:43:34 -0500

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Moffet/Muffet Butter

 

In her note which I have snipped Tara/Terri Spencer wrote:

> "Butter is holsome fyrst & last" sounds promising, but the editor says

> it does not refer to it's place in the meal.  He quotes Thomas Muffett

> (Health's Improvement, 1655) on butter: "best for children...and for

> old men; but very unwholsom betwixt those two ages, because...it is

> forthwith converted into choler".  None of my humoral sources agree.

> snipped----Do any period writings agree with Muffet?  If not, we're

> back to butter first and last at the meal, spread politely on bread,

> some small support for SCA tradition - without the honey.

 

Thomas Muffet or Moffet's discourse was written prior to his death

in perhaps 1594 or perhaps as late as 1597.

His work remained unpublished until 1655 when Christopher

Bennett finished, enlarged and published it. It was published

again in 1746. Both Moffet and Bennett were physicians. Perhaps

the reason why Moffet's advice does not correlate with that given

in the earlier dietaries is that Moffet evaluated what the earlier

works said and then revised the traditional advice along the lines

of his own experience and observations. There was

interesting article on Moffet and this book that was published under

the title: "How Good Were Little Miss Muffet's Curds and Whey?" by

Victor Houliston. It appears in the Oxford Symposium papers from

1986 entitled "The Cooking Medium." Houliston not only examines

how Moffet approached his work, but also delves into the background

of whether or not Moffet's daughter ate her curds and whey while

seated on the infamous "tuffet"...

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE [Sca-cooks] Butter

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 09:25:58 -0600

 

Pliny comments on the use of butter by the Germanic tribes.  Five to six

hundred years later, Anthimus (IIRC) comments on butter as a medicine.  The

Irish used butter mixed with meal as a spread for bread.

 

The "Latin poem" quoted is an excerpt (lines 2524-2832) from Daniel of

Beccles' "Urbanus Magnus," a medical treatise (IIRC).

 

Butter appears in later works as noted.

 

The evidence supports the idea that northern Europe used butter before the

Middle Ages and continued using it through the Middle Ages and beyond.  The

evidence supports its use on bread.  No direct evidence seems to cover

butter's general use during meals (the few references are culture specific).

However, butter is a condiment which does not require preparation after

manufacture. The only reason we know other condiments were used is largely

due to the recipes for their preparation in the kitchen.  Given that butter

is documented in generally available texts across a large temporal and

spatial area, it is probable that butter was often eaten at meat day meals

including feasts.

 

In other words, butter is a reasonable compromise as a table condiment in a

northern European feast, even though we can not absolutely prove it was

eaten. I would avoid it for southern European and Arabic feasts.

 

BTW, butter was a multi-purpose fat.  One Roman writer commented upon the

odor of the barbarians, because they used butter to grease their hair.

 

Bear

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 10:47:42 -0500 (EST)

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: RE [Sca-cooks] Butter

 

> In other words, butter is a reasonable compromise as a table condiment in a

> northern European feast, even though we can not absolutely prove it was

> eaten.

 

None of the Janet Hinson translations of Le Menagier de Paris mention

butter on the table, but there's this tantalizing fragment:

 

"Arrangements for the wedding done by Master Helye in May, on a Tuesday;

dinner only for twenty bowls.

Platter: butter, none because it is a meat day. Item, cherries, none,

because none could be found; and so no platter.

Soups..."

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 13:42:29 -0500

From: "Ruth Tannahill" <rtanhil at fast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: buttered bread

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

From Ann Hagen, "A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food: Processing and

Consumption," Norfolk, England: Anglo-Saxon Books 1992, pp. 18-19. "....The

author of 'Leechdoms' also considered bread a strengthing food....The

standard meal was a loaf and something to eat with it. Possibly bread was

already being eaten with butter as one of the 'accompaniments': 'Then give

barley bread and pure new butter to the invalid to eat' (tham mannum sceal

sellan aegra to suppane, beren bread, slaen niwe buteran)."

 

Berelinde

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 12:42:55 -0700 (PDT)

From: Carole Smith <renaissancespirit2 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

There are other groups that use clarified butter today, and probably in  

period as well.  The Arabic word is samneh (pronounced Sam nah with  

slight emphasis on the first syllable). And of course clarified butter  

is used in French cooking as well.

 

Cordelia

 

aeduin <aeduin at adelphia.net> wrote:

Close, but no OOP cigar. Ghee is butter that has been clarified and

simmered cooking the fat and evaporating all the water giving it a  

slightly nutty taste.

 

Æduin

 

 

Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:21:09 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <eduard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking fats in period England

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Jul 17, 2005, at 3:42 PM, Carole Smith wrote:

> There are other groups that use clarified butter today, and

> probably in period as well.  The Arabic word is samneh (pronounced

> Sam nah with slight emphasis on the first syllable).  And of course

> clarified butter is used in French cooking as well.

 

Interestingly enough, there is an ingredient with a similar name and

purpose ("saim") being used in period France.  Check lines 15 and 35

below.

 

  From "Enseignements qui enseingnent a apareillier toutes manieres de

viandes" (ca. 1300)

http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/%7Egloning/1300ens.htm

http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/lessons.shtm (my translation)

 

|13| Char de porc: la loingne en rost, en yver e en estei, as aus

vers. E qui en

|14| veut en chivei si la depieche par morseaus; (c)e puis cuisiez

oingnons en

|15| saim, e broez de poivre e d'autres espices e pain ars, e

desfaites en un

|16| mortier; puis destrempez de l'eve ou le porc sera cuit; puis metez

|17| boillir e metez sus les morseaus qui avront estei arochié e du

sel, e tout

|18| cen metez en escueles e du chivé de sus.

 

(Pork: roasted loin, in winter and in summer, with green garlic. And

which if wanted in gravy then cut it into pieces; And then cook

onions in grease, and ground pepper and other spices and toasted

bread, and grind in a mortar; Then temper with the water that the

pork cooked in; Then put it to boil and put over the pieces which

have been pulled and of salt, and all this put in a bowl with the

gravy thereon.)

 

[...]

 

|32| por char de veel -- Char de veel en rost, la loingne parboullie

en eve, e puis lardee e rostie

|33| e mengie as aus vers ou au poivre. E se vous en volez a la

charpie, parboulliez

|34| la en eve e puis si la depechiez par morseaus en une pelle, et puis

|35| frissiez les morseaus en une paiele en saim ou (la) lart, e puis

metez des

|36| oués batuz dessus, e puis poudrés [pondrez_(o')_Ms.] de sus de

poivre, si sera charpie. E se

|37| aucuns en veut en pasté, parboulliez la en eve e puis lardez,

detrenchiez

|38| par morseaus e les metez en pasté.

 

(For veal -- Roasted veal, the loin parboiled in water, and then lard

and eat with green garlic or pepper. And if you would like it

minced, parboil it in water and then cut into pieces in a pan, and

then fry the pieces in a pan in grease or bacon fat, and then put

beaten eggs therein, and then sprinkle with pepper, then that is

minced. And if otherwise wanted in a pie, parboil it in water and

then lard it, slice into pieces and put it in a pie.)

 

 

In both cases I translated this as "grease".

 

Scully has "sain" and "saing" in the glossary of _Viandier_ and

defines it as, "drippings from a roast, grease (esp. of pork)."

 

Greg Lindahl's site seems to be down, so I can't check Cottgrave's

dictionary. (I hope it's just temporary)

 

- Doc

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 23:42:50 -0500

From: "marilyn traber 011221" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> So, do butter and margarine freeze okay? For how long?

> Stefan

 

Butter freezes just fine. R&M and I tend to go through lots of it, and every

time Rob goes to BJs, he gets an Omigawd package of butter-- I think it's 6

pounds. We put what we aren't using in the freezer, have an open pound in the

fridge, and take sticks out to keep a bit warmer in a butter dish on the

counter. All butter does is get a bit harder- it thaws pretty quickly.

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 22:54:48 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing butter

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> So, do butter and margarine freeze okay? For how long?

> Stefan

 

Butter freezes well and I've used some as old as two years from a deep

freeze. I prefer deep freeze to self defrosting freezers for storing such

things.

 

I haven't tried it with margarine, but I suspect it may not be as

satisfactory because of the blending of different types of fat.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 10:32:14 +0100

From: Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Am Donnerstag, 22. Dezember 2005 06:21 schrieb Mark Hendershott:

> Somewhat related question.  I acquired a reprint cookbook originally

> published in 1939.  Some of the recipes for baked goods say to wash

> and dry the butter.  Is this significant?  Maybe 1939 butter (Swedish

> butter as it happens) needed cleaning?

 

I know of 'washing' butter in earlier times, when it basically means agitating

the butter in/under cold water. The point was to get the salt out that was

added to preserve it. I don't know if that was still an issue in Sweden in

'39, but salted butter is still popular in Scandinavia and if they are sweet

baked goods, that makes sense.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 08:22:45 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] freezing butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> So, do butter and margarine freeze okay? For how long?

 

Pretty much indefinitely. You buy the butter when it is on sale, and put

it in the freezer for later. That's a trick my mom taught me.

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 10:11:37 -0500

From: Tara Sersen Boroson <tara at kolaviv.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks freezing butter

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I've left both store bought and homemade, raw butter out on the counter

to keep it soft.  In cool-ish temperatures, it will keep for a long

time. In summer temperatures with no a/c, store bought will go rancid

in about a week.  Raw butter will become progressively more sour until

it's... distasteful due to the natural bacterial cultures, but if it's

well washed, it shouldn't go rancid, or at least it won't go rancid

before it's too sour to eat anyway ;)  (There's a clear difference

between rancid and sour milk or butter.  Sour is, well, tart and maybe a

little gamey.  Rancid is FOUL.)

 

I've frozen both store bought and homemade raw butter with no apparant

loss of quality.  In fact, I really ought to freeze some of my last

batch of homemade butter.  Since I've gone gluten free I'm not doing

much baking this Christmas, so I'm not going through it very quickly...

 

-Magdalena vander Brugghe

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 09:00:36 -0800

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] freezing butter

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> -----Original Message-----

>> So, do butter and margarine freeze okay? For how long?

> i have always frozen them, esp butter (don't use margerine

> anymore, evil doncha know).  i stock up on those rare

> occasions smith's or abbertson's sells it for 2 bucks a

> pound.  hoard it away for christmas baking.  some was

> frozen for months at a time and i have not noticed any

> problems.

> cailte

> cookie monster

 

You should know that thawing should be a gradual process rather than

something speeded up.  The emulsion of water and butterfat crystallizes

rather solidly in the freezer, and needs to relax in order to be useful in

cooking. If just going on toast, then nuke it up and brush it on.  You can

see some more detailed explanation of fat crystals in "Cookwise" the book by

O'Corriher, a food scientist.  It really is intriguing how the structure of

the fats effects the baked goods.

 

Margarine has a higher water content usually, and will behave slightly

differently. Still, at 80%+ fat, freezing and thawing should not do much to

your sticks or tubs.  I'm thawing out some rendered bacon fat this afternoon

for some frying . . . been there about 4 months, and shouldn't be the worse

for the wear.  Too much longer and I'd get worried, being an animal fat.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 16:44:37 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re:keeping butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

You can keep salted butter on the counter, but unsalted will spoil

much sooner.  I had a stick of unsalted butter go moldy in the fridge

once too. I keep mine in the fridge because I like cold butter on

warm bread.  And the extras keep in the freezer.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 08:22:42 -0800 (PST)

From: Tom Vincent <tom.vincent at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ghee for SCA cooking

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I don't know if this has been brought up before, but I thought I'd  

suggest that if folks want to use clarified butter to get a higher  

heat level without the smoke of melted butter, your local South Asian  

(aka Indian) grocer has ghee for about $10 a quart, which is a great  

price.

 

   They also have a vegetarian ghee, but I haven't had any experience  

with it.

 

Clarified butter (ghee) is butter without the solids, so you get the  

rich butter flavor.

 

   More authentic period-wise for Northern European cooking than  

olive oil.

 

   Duriel van Hansard

   Caer Adamant

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 17:01:59 -0500

From: "King's Taste Productions" <kingstaste at comcast.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Ghee for SCA cooking

To: <TomRVincent at yahoo.com>, "'Cooks within the SCA'"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

There is a difference between ghee and clarified butter.  Clarified

butter has been melted, resulting in three distinct layers.  The top

layer is solidified whey proteins.  The bottom layer is water and milk

solids. The middle layer is pure butterfat, the oil portion.  To

clarify the oil, you skim the top later off and remove the oil from the

bottom layer with a ladle or careful pouring.  The resulting oil is

higher in smoke point (the temperature it will burn at) and will keep

longer than whole butter.

 

With ghee, the whole butter is melted and then slow-cooked.  The water

is released as steam and the milk solids form brown solids and sink to

the bottom, then are strained out. There is a slight difference in taste

(I think) between the two, but you're talking really fine-line heraldry

here (sorry, a reference from my days married to a Kingdom Herald) - for

all intents and purposes it is the same end product.

$10 a quart is indeed a great price.

 

Christianna

 

=====

I don't know if this has been brought up before, but I thought I'd

suggest that if folks want to use clarified butter to get a higher heat

level without the smoke of melted butter, your local South Asian (aka

Indian) grocer has ghee for about $10 a quart, which is a great price.

 

   They also have a vegetarian ghee, but I haven't had any experience

with it.

 

Clarified butter (ghee) is butter without the solids, so you get the

rich butter flavor.

 

   More authentic period-wise for Northern European cooking than olive

oil.

 

   Duriel van Hansard

   Caer Adamant

=====

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 10:09:10 +1200

From: Adele de Maisieres <ladyadele at paradise.net.nz>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ghee for SCA cooking

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

King's Taste Productions wrote:

> There is a slight difference in taste

> (I think) between the two, but you're talking really fine-line heraldry

> here (sorry, a reference from my days married to a Kingdom Herald) - for

> all intents and purposes it is the same end product.

> $10 a quart is indeed a great price.

 

Yes, you are correct, there is a difference in the production method and

the taste is slightly different (ghee has a slightly nutty, "cooked"

taste). The difference is probably slight enough, though, that one can

be substituted for the other in many circumstances.

--

Adele de Maisieres

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 14:17:44 -0500

From: "Daniel  Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter- salted vs unsalted

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Was written:

<<< Not even sure if butter was a commonly used product during all the time we

cover.

 

Snip

 

There are some accounts of preserving butter for the winter or shipping

from area to area, .... >>>

 

While it approaches the question of trade in butter in a rather oblique

fashion there is, if I recall correctly, at least one rather scatological

story in the following book that touches on the subject in that it involves

a sharper passing off for sale one or more casks of something other than

butter, covered with a layer of butter, as butter.  It might have been lard

however. I will look for my copy of this book but I think that it is

packed.

 

A Hundred Merry Tales and other Jestbooks of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth

Century. Edited by P.M. Zall.  University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln

Nebraska 1963

 

Daniel

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 14:41:35 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter- salted vs unsalted

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

At the Leeds Food History Symposium last year ("Moulded Foods") the speaker

on butter said that butter that was shipped any distance was salted.

(Those were the ones that were moulded.)  Butter made and used locally was

generally unsalted.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 12:29:26 -0800

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter- salted vs unsalted

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Alexa <mysticgypsy1008 at yahoo.com>

>   I was wondering, in many recipes butter is  called for,  often not

> specified salted or not.  What is the prefered or what would have

> been more used in our sca time frames?

>   I know I would rather put salted butter on my bread but wouldn't

> use it when making frosting.

 

From what i have read, salted butter would be the thing most of the

time. Without refrigeration, salting helps butter keep longer. I know

I've read recipes that call for washing the salt out of it before

using for particular purposes. A few recipes specify fresh or sweet

butter, but if recipes don't so specify, I assume salted.

 

I also have read a number of recipes that indicate that for serious

frying, the butter has previously been clarified. Since clarified

butter keeps longer without those milky particles, it's possible that

a fair amount of butter was clarified before storage. However, I'm

not a dairy specialist, so I don't know for certain.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 17:56:30 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter- salted vs unsalted

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Nov 10, 2006, at 5:05 PM, Sandragood at aol.com wrote:

> I personally use salted butter, but I'm a saltaholic.  When using in

> recipes, I omit any other salt listed separately and then judge by

> taste.

 

My experience has been that salted butter browns too quickly in a

saute pan; if you have a hot pan and don't want that effect, you're

probably better off with unsalted.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 12:32:12 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread and butter issues

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I came across some mentions of butter eating among continental Europeans

when I was searching for mentions of butter and bread in the fall.

 

From An itinerary vvritten by Fynes Moryson Gent. 1617

 

CHAP. IIII. Of the vnited Prouinces in Netherland, and of Denmarke and

Poland, touching the said subiects of the precedent third Chapter.

 

Page 97

 

Touching this peoples diet, Butter is the first and last dish at the

Table, whereof they make all sawces, especially for fish, and thereupon

by strangers they are merrily   called Butter-mouths. They are much

delighted with white meats, and the Bawers drinke milke in stead of

beere, and as well Men as Weomen, passing in boates from City to City

for trade, carry with them cheese, and boxes of Butter for their foode,

whereupon in like sort strangers call them Butter boxes, and nothing is

more ordinary then for Citizens of good accompt and wealth to sit at

their dores, (euen dwelling in the market place) holding in their hands,

and eating a great lumpe of bread and Butter with a lunchen of cheese.

They vse to seeth little peeces of flesh in Pipkins, with rootes and

gobbets of fat mingled therewith, without any cutiosity; and this they

often seeth againe, setting it each meale of the weeke on the Table,

newly heated, and with some addition of flesh rootes or fat morsels, as

they thinke needfull, and this dish is vulgar|ly called Hutspot. They

feed much vpon rootes, which the boyes of rich men deuoure raw with a

morsell of bread, as they runne playing in the streetes. They vse most

commonly fresh meates, and seldome set any salt meates on the board,

except it beat Feasts to prouoke drinking. They vse no spits to roast

meat, but bake them in an earthen pipkin as in an ouen, and so likewise

seeth them: And these meates being cold, they often heat and serue to

the Table, so as I haue come into an Inne, and being in the Kitchen,

could see nothing ready for supper, yet presently called to supper, haue

seene a long Table furnished with these often heated meats, which

smoaked on the outside, yet were cold on the inside. This people is

prouerbially said to excell in baked meates, especially in baking of

Venison; yet to my knowledge they haue no red Deare in these Prouinces,

 

So some two centuries after your mention they are still known for butter

eating.

 

Johnnae

 

Volker Bach wrote:

> The sentence that struck me was:

> Du enscalt nicht de botteren planeren mit dem dumen

> uppe din brot alse ein Vrese

> You shall not spread the butter over your bread with

> your thumb like a Frisian.

> Butter apparently was provided as a kind of condiment

> at table (the text speaks of adding it to spoon

> dishes, and coordinating this with your fellow diner),

> and I wish I knew whether the author here

> disapproves of the combination with bread, the

> spreading, or the use of the thumb.

> Nifty. I like the last days of being sick - time for

> research, not too much fever.

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 13:04:41 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread and butter issues

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Here's the text-- *PAGE 97*

 

For when Husbands either breake in life time, or be found banckerouts at

death, the Wiues are preferred to all debters in the recouery of their

dowry. Notwithstanding Bruges at this day by the third generall taxe of

Flaunders yet in vse, payes something more then Ghant for publike vses.

These be the words of Iacobus Marchantius.

 

The foresaid trade of the vnited Prouinces, hath at home much commodity

and increase by the Riuers, (as the Rheine bringing downe the

commodities of Germany), and by the standing or little mouing waters,

which are most frequent, and by channels or ditches wrought by hand, and

bearing at least little boates for passage to each City and Village: but

these waters for the most part ending in standing pooles, by reason they

fall into a low ground neere the Sea, the Ayre is vnholsome, the waters

are nei|ther of good smell nor taste, neither doe they driue Mils, as

running waters doe elsewhere, of which kind they haue few or none. My

selfe in a darke rainy day passing one of these said narrow channels,

numbered an hundred little boates at least, which passed by vs, (and are

hired at a low rate) whereby the great trade and singular indu|stry of

the Inhabitants may be coniectured. Adde that besides, the German Sea,

lying vpon diuers of these Prouinces, they haue many Armes of the Sea,

that runne farre within Land. All the Riuers fall from Germany, which in

this lower soyle often ouerflowing, haue changed their old beds, and

falling into ditches made by hand, doe no more runne with their wonted

force, but (as I haue said in the description of Holland) doe end (as it

were) in lakes. By reason of the foresaid industry of the people

inhabiting the vnited Prouinces, the number of their ships, and the

commodity of their Seas and waters, howsoeuer they want of their owne

many things for necessity and de|light, yet there is no where greater

abundance of all things, neither could any Nation indowed with the

greatest riches by nature, haue so long borne as they haue done a ciuell

warre, and intollerable exactions and tributes, much lesse could they by

this mischiefe haue growne rich, as this people hath done. One thing not

vsed in any other Countrey, is here most common, that while the Husbands

snort idly at home, the Weomen especially of Holland, for trafficke

sayle to Hamburg, and manage most part of the businesse at home, and in

neighbour Cities. In the shops they sell all, they take all accompts,

and it is no teproch to the men to be neuer inquited after, about these

affaires, who taking money of their wiues for daily expences, gladly

passe their time in idlenesse.

 

Touching this peoples diet, Butter is the first and last dish at the

Table, whereof they make all sawces, especially for fish, and thereupon

by strangers they are merrily  called Butter-mouths. They are much

delighted with white meats, and the Bawers drinke milke in stead of

beere, and as well Men as Weomen, passing in boates from City to City

for trade, carry with them cheese, and boxes of butter for their foode,

whereupon in like sort strangers call them Butter boxes, and nothing is

more ordinary then for Citizens of good accompt and wealth to sit at

their dores, (euen dwelling in the market place) holding in their hands,

and eating a great lumpe of bread and butter with a lunchen of cheese.

They vse to seeth little peeces of flesh in Pipkins, with rootes and

gobbets of fat mingled therewith, without any cutiosity; and this they

often seeth againe, setting it each meale of the weeke on the Table,

newly heated, and with some addition of flesh rootes or fat morsels, as

they thinke needfull, and this dish is vulgar|ly called Hutspot. They

feed much vpon rootes, which the boyes of rich men de|uoure raw with a

morsell of bread, as they runne playing in the streetes. They vse most

commonly fresh meates, and seldome set any salt meates on the board,

except it beat Feasts to prouoke drinking. They vse no spits to roast

meat, but bake them in an earthen pipkin as in an ouen, and so likewise

seeth them: And these meates being cold, they often heat and serue to

the Table, so as I haue come into an Inne, and being in the Kitchen,

could see nothing ready for supper, yet presently called to supper, haue

seene a long Table furnished with these often heated meats, which

smoaked on the outside, yet were cold on the inside. This people is

prouerbially said to excell in baked meates, especially in baking of

Venison; yet to my knowledge they haue no red Deare in these Prouinces,

neither haue they any inclosed Parkes for fallow Deare, nor *PAGE 98*

 

any Connygrees. Onely Count Mauritz hath of late had out of England some

Buckes and Does of fallow Deare, which runne in the groue at the Hage,

and there be some Connies neere Leyden vpon the sandy banke of the Sea,

which are not sufficient to serue the Inhabitants of those parts, but

are accounted good and pleasant to eat. Neither in forraigne parts doe

they much desire to feed on Connies, either because they are rare, or

because the flesh is not sauoury. They vse to eate early in the

mor|ning, euen before day, and the cloth is laid foure times in the day

for very seruants, but two of these times they set before them nothing

but cheese and butter. They seeth all their meate in water falling of

raine, and kept in Cesternes. They eate Mushromes and the binder parts

of frogges for great dainties, which frogges young men vse to catch and

present them to their Mistresses for dainties. I haue seene a hundreth

of Oysters in diuers Cities sold sometimes for eight or twelue, yea for

twenty or thirty stiuers. They dresse fresh water fish with butter more

then enough, and salted fishes sauourly with butter & mustard: where

they eate not at an Ordinary, but vpon reckoning (as they doe in

Villages and poorer Innes), there they weigh the cheese when it is set

on Table, and taken away, being paid by the waight; and I haue knowne

some waggish Souldiers, who put a leaden bullet into the Cheese, making

it thereby weigh little lesse then at first sitting downe, and so

deceiuing their Hosts: But in the chiefe Innes, a man shall eate at an

Ordinary, and there Gentlemen and others of inferiour condition sit at

the same Table, and at the same rate.

 

When he speaks of the united provinces, it's with regard to "The vnited

Prouinces of Netherland"

 

Johnnae

 

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

> Does the quote refer to Netherlands, Denmark, and Poland?  or just  

> Netherlands?

> Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 21:39:44 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bread and butter issues

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I think that if the author objected to butter being spread on bread, he would have stated the phrase differently.  It sounds to me that he is objecting to butter being spread with the thumb, which he seems to think that only Frisians do and therefore don't copy them.

 

Huette

 

--- Volker Bach <carlton_bach at yahoo.de> wrote:

 

> Something I just came across doing research on

> manners:

> A Middle Low German guide to table manners dated to

> the fourteenth century, originally published by A.

> L?bben in Germania 21, 1876m pp. 424-430. I'm working

> on getting my hands on the original data, right now

> I'm going from a reprinting in Endermann, H.: So du zu

> tische wollest gan, Union Verlag Berlin, 1991.

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 13:53:59 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Michael Gunter wrote:

> Were I to make it again I'd add a little more

> salt, but as I explained at the demo there aren't any references in period

> manuals about spreading butter or anything on bread. I have seen

> references about bread being sprinkled with a little salt. This bread

> bore that out. A pinch of salt would have really brought out the  

> flavor.

> Gunthar

 

But they ate butter upon bread--

 

from A feast full of sad cheere vvhere griefes are all on heape: where

sollace is full deere, and sorrowes are good cheape.

Churchyard, Thomas, 1520?-1604. published 1592.

 

Page 11

 

No Butter cleaues nor sticks vpon my bread,

No Honny-combes will breede in my bare hyue:

My gold but glasse, my siluer worse then lead,

My luck as bad as any man alyue;

-----------------------

 

A thousand notable things, of sundry sortes Wherof some are wonderfull,

some straunge, some pleasant, diuers necessary, a great sort profitable

and many very precious. ...

Lupton, Thomas. [1579]

 

Page 130   She abhorred then bread & butter, and other such natural  

foode.

---------------

 

The first and second volumes of Chronicles ... first collected and

published by Raphaell Holinshed, William Harrison, and others: now

newlie augmented and continued (with manifold matters of singular note

and worthie memorie) to the yeare 1586. by Iohn Hooker ali?as Vowell

Gent and others. With conuenient tables at the end of these volumes.  

1587.

 

Page 93   When no butter could sticke on their bread, in in that part of

the citie

-------------

 

I have a collection of these quotes. You should have asked.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:15:00 -0400

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Manchet

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

--On Tuesday, September 11, 2007 1:53 PM -0400 Johnna Holloway

<johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu> wrote:

> I have a collection of these quotes. You should have asked.

 

Coolness! Here's a neat one from "Three Middle-English versions of the

Rule of St. Benet and two contemporary rituals for the ordination of  

nuns."

(found on the Corpus of Middle English website)

 

?a ?at serue o ?e kichin sal miste bi-fore ?e mikil mete bred, butter, ?at

tay may serue wid-vten gruching and wid-vten noy

 

(They that serve in the kitchen shall eat before the main meal [I think

that's what mikil mete translates to anyhow] bread and butter, that they

may serve without grouching [grumbling] and without suffering).

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 05:47:38 -0700 (PDT)

From: Beth Ann Bretter <ladypeyton at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP: Cottage Cheese & Butter - US vs. Canada

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

<<< Or, what is the difference between US and "European" butter? I'm  

seeing "European" or "European style" butter show up in my grocery

store alongside the salted and unsalted butter.  Is there a

real difference or is it just marketing hype? >>>

 

The fat content is higher, along with some other differences that I can't quite remember.  This month's Saveur magazine is dedicated to butter and there's a great article on European butter and how it is different from American. There's also an article rating a number of European and American butters (it seems I need to move to Vermont).

 

Peyton

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2008 14:04:04 -0700

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP: Cottage Cheese & Butter - US vs. Canada

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Stefan asked:

<<< Or, what is the difference between US and "European" butter? I'm

seeing "European" or "European style" butter show up in my grocery

store alongside the salted and unsalted butter.  Is there a real

difference or is it just marketing hype?  >>>

 

I get the digest, so this may have been answered already, but there

can be several differences.

 

First, butters even from different regions in one country can taste

difference, since the feed affects the flavor of the milk and cream.

 

Second, the breed of cow can also affect the flavor. Here in the US

darned near every dairy cow is a Holstein - the black and white

spotted ones. But there used to be a lot more different breeds -

Holsteins are preferred because they produce a lot more milk. Other

breeds produce more cream with the milk, and i assume that the flavor

of the milk from different breeds can vary, too.

 

Third, for many European butters the cream is slightly sour, so the

butter has a stronger flavor. Some dairies here in NoCal do this now,

too, mostly organic ones.

 

One the other hand, this being the US and all, some of it may be

marketing hype.

 

I recall when i was twelve i went to France with my parents (that was

back in the spring of 1961). My parents didn't fly anywhere unless

absolutely forced to. We went on the second Atlantic crossing of the

"France", long before the poor old beauty devolved into a cruise

ship. We were served butter from different regions in France with our

meals, the region being specified on the menu.

 

When i lived in France in 1973, butter from different regions was

available - i think i still have some of the wrappers, since they

featured young women in "traditional" regional dress.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:03:56 -0400

From: euriol <euriol at ptd.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Since I am just delving into the cheese & butter making myself, I thought I

would try to dig for some information. I found a book on google books

titled "Milk, Cheese, and Butter: A Practical Handbook on their Properties

and the Processes of their Production". It was published in 1894, so the

whole text is public domain and available on books.google.com

 

On page 303 it says "But when the butter has been separated it may rapidly

become a prey to its enemies, hence the importance of ridding it of all

other matter fermented or capable of fermentation.... But even if these

were entirely removed, there would be nothing to hinder the action of air

ferments." And it goes on further. This would seem a good source on getting

information of butter storage.

 

On page 305 under item f it is labeled "Keeping quality". It says "Fine

butters, lightly salted, have been kept under the best natural conditions

for five or six weeks without passing out of the good stages; the majority

of butters would not keep so well for ten days, and many are spoiled within

half that time."

 

Page 322 has a discussion on the washings of the butter.

 

Euriol

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 10:43:30 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< So I'm mostly curious about the clarified butter.  Has anyone tested the

shelf life of it?  Should I add salt to the butter before clarifing?  After

clarifing?

 

Vitha >>>

 

Every India/Pakistani market has jars and jars of ghee, cooked clarified

butter on the shelves at room temperature.  I keep it in my kitchen

without refrigeration, and the only danger seems to be that it goes

stale eventually.

 

Don't bother salting clarified butter, it will just get filtered out.  

I'm big on salting food to taste at the table anyway.

 

Selene

 

 

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 16:20:30 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

You might start out with C Anne Wilson's chapter on dairy foods and go from there or pick up a copy of The English Dairy Farmer 1500-1900 by G. E. Fussell.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 08:08:51 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

There's this one  from *Ouverture de Cuisine*

(France, 1604 - Daniel Myers, trans.)

The original source can be found at MedievalCookery.com

<http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/ouverture.shtm>;

 

To make May butter. Take a quart of new milk, & put it on the fire, &

make it turn in /matton/: when it begins to boil take a dozen beaten

eggs, & cast them therein, & let boil until it seems that the eggs are

cooked: then cast all in linen, & let drip the water well out, & press

well that it doesn't hold any water therein: then grind well in a stone

mortar, with half a pound of new butter, & pass it through a strainer,

put there a little rose water: when so passed it needs to be churned a

long time, & put sugar therein, & arrange on little plates, & raise it a

little high, & sugar thereon.

 

One can then use the May Butter for things like this:

 

This is an excerpt from *Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin*

(Germany, 16th century - V. Armstrong, trans.)

The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

<http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html>;

 

172 Pike in May butter. Take a pike, let it come to a boil in salted

wine with water, and when it is half done, then draw the skin off of it

and put the flesh in a pan and put a large amount of fresh butter, good

wine, ginger and cinnamon thereon. Do not oversalt it and let it cook

together. Do not make too much sauce.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

<<< I also remember a May butter reference, but, also, was trying to

remember where I'd seen it, and didn't have a chance to go digging for

it.

 

Adamantius >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 08:56:51 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: carlton_bach at yahoo.de, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Jun 24, 2008, at 7:23 AM, Volker Bach wrote:

<<< There is something in Meister Eberhard, but it requires rose petals  

to be infused in May butter hung up in the sun for a few weeks. The  

ingredient is may butter, not the result. Could that have been it?

 

Giano >>>

 

It sounds like what other people have referred to as May butter, but  

I'm probably remembering some secondary source, somebody like Reay  

Tannahill or C. Anne Wilson or one of those people...

 

Okay, here we go:

 

"In early summer May butter was prepared for the benefit of children.  

Thomas Cogan described how it was made by setting new, unsalted butter  

out on open platters out in the sun for twelve to fourteen days. This  

bleached out the colour and much of the vitamin A, and made the butter  

very rancid. But, it acquired extra vitamin D from exposure to the  

sun's rays, and thus had some curative power for children with rickets  

or pains in the joints. [21]"

 

"Ch. 5, 21:  Cogan, p. 156; Sir J.C. Drummond and A. Wilbraham, 'The  

Englishman's Food' (1939), p. 83."

 

The above quotes are from C. Anne Wilson's "Food and Drink in  

Britain", c. 1973 C. Anne Wilson, Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago,  

1991.

 

It doesn't seem like there's a really good way to prove conclusively  

that this was done, but for those concerned with rancidity, it might  

be worth noting that some people do consume rancid butter by choice.  

The yak butter swirled into Tibetan tea, for example, is, IIRC,  

traditionally used in a slightly rancid state. Of course, if it should  

turn out that I read that in a book by C. Anne Wlson, I could be in  

trouble... ;-)

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 06:43:38 -0700 (PDT)

From: Doc <edoard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

--- "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

<adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:

 

On Jun 24, 2008, at 7:23 AM, Volker Bach wrote:

<<< There is something in Meister Eberhard, but it requires rose petals  

to be infused in May butter hung up in the sun for a few weeks. The  

ingredient is may butter, not the result. Could that have been it? >>>

 

I did a quick search through Eberhard and didn't find

any recipes for making May Butter.  There was one

recipe that called for it, but no details on the

butter itself.

 

The only recipe I could find called "May Butter" was

the one in Ouverture that Johnnae already posted.  It

sounds more like a dessert than preserved butter, and

says nothing about ageing it in the sun.

 

Okay, here we go:

 

<<< "In early summer May butter was prepared for the benefit of children.  

Thomas Cogan described how it was made by setting new, unsalted butter  

out on open platters out in the sun for twelve to fourteen days. This  

bleached out the colour and much of the vitamin A, and made the butter  

very rancid. But, it acquired extra vitamin D from exposure to the sun's rays, and thus had some curative power for children with rickets or pains in the joints. [21]"

 

"Ch. 5, 21:  Cogan, p. 156; Sir J.C. Drummond and A.

Wilbraham, 'The Englishman's Food' (1939), p. 83."

 

The above quotes are from C. Anne Wilson's "Food and Drink in  

Britain", c. 1973 C. Anne Wilson, Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago, 1991. >>>

 

So what we have here is a tertiary source (Wilson)

quoting another tertiary source (Drummond).  What's

more, "The Englishman's Food" is one of the root

sources for the Moldy-Meat-Myth.  Again, since vitamin

D was unknown before the 20th century (along with any

connection to rickets), and since butter can only

*lose* vitamin D over time, Drummond's statement is

certainly completely fabricated.

 

When I get home I'll check through my copy of Drummond

and see if he has any sources at all to back it up.

I'll be really surprised if he does.  I'm used to

expecting fluff in Drummond's book.  Unfortunately

this makes me have to double check "facts" in Wilson's

book as well.

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:22:16 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: edoard at medievalcookery.com,     Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Or one could just read what Thomas Cogan has to say.

 

Thomas Cogan, [1545?-1607] The haven of health is up as a searchable

text in the 1636 edition.

There's an earlier 16th century edition here on the shelf, but this one

from EEBO-TCP is easy to search and find the references in.

 

There are a number of May butter mentions such as:

 

For the Collicke take unset Leekes, blades and all, chop them small,

boyle them in good white wine, with May Butter  or fresh  Butter, untill

the wine be in a manner wasted away, then lay them abroad betweene a

cleane linnen cloth plaisterwise on the belly, so hot as the patient may

well abide it, and at the cooling of that, apply another hot plaister,

and thus doe the third or fourth time together, if need shall so require.

 

But here  is the passage  for Drummond and Wilson--

 

Pages 181-182

 

The necessity of Butter in dressing of meates, in making of salves and

oyntments, I overpasse, yet would I wish that such as have children to

bring up, would not bee without May Butter in their houses. It is to bee

made chiefly in May, or in the heat of the yeare, by setting Butter new

made without salt, so much as you list in a platter, open to the Sunne

in faire weather for certaine daies, untill it bee sufficiently

clarified, and altered in colour, which will be in twelve or fourteene

daies, if there be faire Sunne shining. This is of marvellous vertue in

any exulceration, and I have knowne the wilde fire healed therewith,

being incorporate with Sage leaves. And for the ease of Infants to

bring forth their teeth,  Galen adviseth us to rubbe their gummes

oftentimes with fresh Butter, and thinketh it of no lesse force than

Hony, for that purpose. Of the making of Butter is left a kinde of whey,

which they commonly call Butter milke, or soure milke, which after it

hath stood a time, becommeth soure, and is much used to bee eaten either

of it selfe, or with sweet milke, especially in the Summer season,

because it is cooling, and no doubt but that it is both moyst and

nourishing, and cleanseth the brest and is shortly digested. Also with

it is made together with sweet milke, a kinde of posset, which is called

a posset of two milkes, or a soure milke posset, which is a very

temperate and cooling drinke, and is used in hot diseases with great

successe, and doth coole more than any other drinke, as is proved daily

in Lankashire, where it is most usuall.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:25:34 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Other references to May butter include:

 

Here foloweth good medycynes for the colde & the coughe.

 

TAke ysop Rosemary Planten and the roote of Radysshe of yche a quatyte &

seth the in wyne fro a potell to a quarte & than take them downe & powre

out the lycour into the her|bes in a morter & medle them wel togyder &

strayne them into the lycour agayne into y^e potte & than take a pynte

of lyfe Hony & boyle it & scomme it and put therto a quartro of

Maybutter that is claryfyed & than let it sethe by the space that one

may say the psalme of Miserere mei deus than take the vessell downe &

strayne it throughe a lynen clothe & take that lycour & put it into a

fayre vessell of glasse & let the pacyent vse therof fyrst and laste at

euery tyme .vi. spones full of stale ale warme tyll he be hole for this

is a proued medycyne.

 

Here begynneth a newe boke of medecynes. 1526

 

---------------

 

THis following is a notable tryed medicine for the gowte, and for the

swelling of ioynts, & for knobs or knots comming of the French pocks.

Take May butter a quarter of a pound, halfe a pound of coomyn seede,

beaten in fyne powder, a quarter of a pound of blacke Sope, one handfull

of Hearbe grace, halfe a handfull of clarifyed sheepe suet: stampe all

these to|gether in a morter, then take the gall of an Oxe, and a

spoonefull of bay Salt, and frye them all together, tyll it be thycke:

then laye it on a woollen cloath, and so apply it to the ache, as hotte

as it maye be suffred, and let it lye vnremoued a whole weeke: and then

laye another plaster thereof to it, and let it lye vnre|moued as long:

then lay the thyrd plaster therto, and let it lye therto as long, as the

other, (which wyll be in the whole three weekes:) and without doubt it

wyll helpe him. I haue seene it proued. This I had out of a verie olde

booke. Page 96

 

A thousand notable things, of sundry sortes by Thomas Lupton, [1579]

 

----------

 

I checked Moffett, Thomas, 1553-1604. Healths improvement: or, Rules

comprizing and discovering the nature, method, and manner of preparing

all sorts of food used in this nation. from 1655 (written in the

1590's-- the author died in 1605)

 

Butter is in Chapter 15 pages 128-131 but I found no mention of ?may

butter.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 15:42:30 -0400 (EDT)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Period-wise, and in relation to my own personal obsession, medieval Sicily, here's some notes about the use of butter in the island's cuisine from Clifford Wright: http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/bycategory.php/recipe_id/886/id/15/. (That recipe looks yummy, too; wish my husband was not lactose intolerant.)

 

I like the note about the use of butter during the festivals for the Erycinian Venus (Eryx is the modern-day town of Erice). Also the bit about the use of butter as a cheese substitute in Corleone. One thing my Sicilian grandmother always did was use butter instead of olive oil for her garlic bread. My Italian teacher in college, who was from Rome, was surprised when I told her that. Apparently that's not a common practice on the mainland and especially in Rome. I've wondered if the use of butter in this case was a holdover from the distant past, since she was from Corleone.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 19:52:37 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: edoard at medievalcookery.com,     Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

One of the things to remember about Drummond is that the man

was a biochemist and quite a famous one at that. In the 1930s, Drummond

was responsible for isolating pure vitamin A.^

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cecil_Drummond#cite_note-UCL02-9>

He took his knowledge of vitamins and then applied them to nutrition and

then to the English diet. That research became "The Englishman's Food: A History of Five Centuries of English Diet" in 1939.

 

His co-author Anne Wilbraham became his second wife. Their affair broke up his first marriage. Jack and Anne married and their child Elizabeth was born in 1942. During the war he served as scientific adviser to the Ministry of Food.

He was knighted for his efforts in 1944 and even received the United States medal of freedom

 

In 1952 the family was murdered while on vacation in France.

That means that the 1939 and 1940 editions of the book were published

during Drummond's lifetime. All other copies were published after his death. This also explains why the book was never revised in the 1950's or updated in the 1960's.

 

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography /has quite a good biography

on Drummond.

 

Johnnae

 

Doc wrote:

<<< However there apparently was no reference in the

original source to rickets.  The two ailments it

specifically mentioned were ulcers and "wild fire"

(which I take to mean a fever of some sort, though it

could also be a rash).  So this isn't a matter of an

medical treatment being arrived at empirically and

then being explained.  The concept of using May Butter

to stave off rickets was added by either Wilson or

Drummond, with no evidence given that it was practiced

in the middle ages at all. >>>

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 00:10:53 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: <edoard at medievalcookery.com>,   "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< However there apparently was no reference in the

original source to rickets.  The two ailments it

specifically mentioned were ulcers and "wild fire"

(which I take to mean a fever of some sort, though it

could also be a rash).  So this isn't a matter of an

medical treatment being arrived at empirically and

then being explained.  The concept of using May Butter

to stave off rickets was added by either Wilson or

Drummond, with no evidence given that it was practiced

in the middle ages at all.

 

- Doc >>>

 

Wild fire is erysipelas AKA Saint Anthony's Fire.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 08:57:06 -0500 (CDT)

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Butter

To: edoard at medievalcookery.com,     "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

OED quote:

1718 QUINCY Dispens. III. xi. 476 Butyrum Majale, May Butter. This is made

by melting fresh Butter that has been made up without any Salt, in the

Sun; which is to be repeated until it grows of a whitish Colour. This is a

very trifling Medicine, and of no use but as any simple Unguent, or plain

Lard may be.

 

May-butter

   a. Unsalted butter preserved in the month of May and sometimes used

medicinally (see quots. 1615, 1718).

?a1425 (1373) J. LELAMOUR tr. Macer Herbal f. 20v, Fry ham with may buttyr

and a litell alym. a1500 in G. Henslow Med. Wks. 14th Cent. (1899) 127

Medle hem with may~botere..made as {th}e melke come{th} fro the cow{ygh}e.

1584 T. COGAN Hauen of Health cxcvi. 158 Yet would I wish that such as

haue children to bring vp, would not be without May Butter in their

houses. 1614 G. MARKHAM Cheape & Good Husb. I. lx. 37 Take the leaues of

wilde Nepe..and beating them in a mortar with May-Butter, apply it. 1615

G. MARKHAM Eng. House-wife II. iv. 113 If during the month of May before

you salt your butter you saue a lumpe thereof and put it into a vessell,

and so set it into the sunne the space of that moneth, you shall finde it

exceeding..medicinable for wounds. 1660

--

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 09:58:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: Doc <edoard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Drummond on Butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

So I finally get home and open the copy of Drummond, and here's what  

he has to say on the topic (presented in its entirety):

 

[p.73]

 

   "Butter was much more extensively used for cooking than as a table  

food. It was recommended for growing pains in children and for  

constipation.

 

   <<Sweete-butter wholesome is as some haue taught,

   To cleanse and purge some paines that inward be.[2]>>

 

   <<Now butter with a leaf of sage is good to purge the blood.[3]>>

 

[2] The School of Salernum, translated by Sir John Harington, 1608.

[3] The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Act IV, Scene v, Francis  

Beaumont (1584-1616) and John Fletcher (1579-1625)

 

[p.74]

 

   "The rancid state of the greater part that was sold would account  

for its reputation as a strong laxative.

 

   "It was usually made early in summer and 'May Butter' was regarded  

not only as the best but as the most wholesome. '... yet would I wish  

that such as have children to bring up, would not bee without May  

Butter in their houses'.[1]  There is some confusion about the term  

'May Butter', for it is sometimes used of butter made at that time of  

the year, and sometimes of a curious product resembling the Indian /

ghee/.

 

   <<It is to bee made chiefly in May, or in the heate of the yeare, by  

setting Butter new made without salt, so much as you list in a  

platter, open to the Sunne in faire weather for certain daies, untill  

it bee sufficiently clarified, and altered in colour, which wil be in  

twelve or fourteene daies, if it be faire Sunne shining.[2]>>

 

   "Such treatment would cause all the natural pigment (carotene) and  

the associated vitamin A to be destroyed by oxidation.  A good deal  

of rancidity would also occur.  It is difficult, therefore, to  

understand why such a product, all its vitamin A content gone and  

reeking of rancidity, should have been so highly recommended.  

Exposure to the sun's rays would tend to increase the amount of  

vitamin D present and it is possible that the beneficial effect of  

'May Butter', discovered empirically, was due to its antirachitic  

properties. This may explain why it was sometimes used in the spring  

to relieve pain in the joints."

 

[1]&[2] The Haven of Health, Thomas Cogan, 1584

 

=====

 

As with a lot of "The Englishman and His Food", Drummond here has  

mixed some useful information with conjecture and unsubstantiated  

claims.

 

Assertions made without substantiation:

1. Butter was used medicinally for growing pains

2. Most butter sold was rancid

3. Butter left out for 12-14 days would have "a good deal of rancidity"

   (I don't say this isn't true, but I intend to find out)

4. Rancid butter has a laxative effect

   (I don't say this isn't true, and I'm not sure I want to find out)

5. "May Butter" was used in the spring to relieve pain in the joints

6. Rickets was a problem in the middle ages

7. "May Butter" was used in the middle ages for its antirachitic  

properties

8. "May Butter" has antirachitic properties

 

I think the assertion that bothers me the most is #2, since it is so  

reminiscent of the Moldy-Meat-Myth.  They've got butter being sold,  

but they hold onto it until it's rancid before selling it?  The  

butter's rancid, but nevertheless they use a lot of it?  Feh!

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 13:15:04 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Drummond on Butter

To: edoard at medievalcookery.com,     Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Butter tends to be a product that was made and consumed locally, so

one might in fact encounter excess rancid butter being sold for cash in

urban markets.

 

We might look for legislation regarding the sale of "off" butter just as

we can already find regulations regarding fish and meats. I don't have time

today to prowl through sources and look.

 

12-14 days in sunlight -- so what the temperature during those of days

of May during the medieval period? You may be talking temps in the 40's.

 

I came across mention yesterday that butter was given for gout. Arthritis

is probably mentioned in the long lists of uses that I didn't copy over.

 

There's a paper in Woolgar's Food in Medieval England: Diet and

Nutrition (Medieval History and Archaeology)

that discusses rickets in the middle ages. Rickets does turn up in the

skeletons of children who died in the period.

 

The details about Vitamin A make sense as of course that was Drummond's

great discovery.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 06:09:40 -0800 (PST)

From: Lawrence Bayne <shonsu_78 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Reading somewhere a long time ago; The Romans came up with "margarine" centuries ago by mixing small amounts of lard/indigenous animal fats, with butter, salting the mixture, and then wrapping with parchment and keeping the total submerged inside water barrels. This managed to extend the butter supply for weeks rather than days. I Wish I could remember where I read it.

 

Lothar

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 07:56:13 -0400

From: "tudorpot at gmail.com" <tudorpot at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< I like the idea of the butter sculpting/molding, although without this

evidence I would have said it was more likely to be French or

Victorian British. >>>

 

Butter sculpture goes back to AD 641 in China.

http://www.yangshuochina.com/HistoryCulture/FolkArts/2226.html

 

Theodora

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:20:45 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I did the honey butter research back in late 2006-2007 because His Royal

Majesty let it be known that he preferred honey butter above

all other treats. (The Midrealm preference of decades past continues you see

into the 21st century.)  I had come across the butter sculpture references in Doc's translation of /"Ouverture de Cuisine" /and /// /filed them away for a

rainy research day. (One never knows when one  will need something to write about.)

 

The Ouverture butter sculpture references are of course quite

appropriate. The passage describes

"THE BANQUET OF THE ENTRANCE of Monsieur Robert de Berges Count of

Walhain, Esquire & Prince of Liege, made in the palace in Liege, the

year 1557 in the month of December..."

It's quite a description. The book was actually written in the mid 1580's, according to Scully. It was finally published in 1604.

Doc's translation really should have opened the door to more work on it

and its recipes but it's not been the subject of much comment or work.

 

The original article as submitted actually originally led off, I think

with the references to butter sculpture, but it was edited in this

fashion in this publication to focus on the aspects of honey butter.

 

The lions were created for 12th Night 2007; the swans were created for Crown 2007.

I also created another honey butter lion that was gold dusted for the Coronation that was held in between.

The swans were dusted with gold dust, and in the original photograph

against the blue background they do look golden. (Patrick Photoshopped the background out for publication.)

The subtletie was actually the size of a regular dinner

plate, so it's not as large as it looked. There was quite a bit written

up about the subtleties in 2007. That can be found in the files in the SCA Subtleties list.

 

Glad you liked it.

 

Johnnae

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

I don't remember this article being mentioned before, but I could have

just missed it. I don't always have the time to go explore all the

interesting links folks post here. It is worth reading, folks.

<<< The article is: Honey Butter and Butter Sculptures

http://www.midrealm.org/pentamere/pdfs/Gauntlet_Jan-Mar08.pdf >>>

 

I like the idea of the butter sculpting/molding, although without this

evidence I would have said it was more likely to be French of

Victorian British.

 

The photograph in the newsletter of the swans is interesting. A lot of

butter for one table though, even the headtable. Was it later divied

up and passed around to the other tables? Also, on my screen at least,

the gold dust looks more like a sprinkling of paprika than gold. Or

was it more golden/shiny in real life?

 

These butter sculptures might not work in the outdoor summer feast we

were discussing, but I like the idea.

 

Stefan

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:26:08 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Doc's Ouverture  de Cuisine translation can be  found at

http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/ouverture.html

 

The butter sculpture descriptions can be found at the end of

the translation, right before you get to the index.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 06:09:40 -0800 (PST)

From: Lawrence Bayne <shonsu_78 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lard vs. olive oil vs. butter

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Reading somewhere a long time ago; The Romans came up with "margarine" centuries ago by mixing small amounts of lard/indigenous animal fats, with butter, salting the mixture, and then wrapping with parchment and keeping the total submerged inside water barrels. This managed to extend the butter supply for weeks rather than days. I Wish I could remember where I read it.

 

Lothar

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 07:56:13 -0400

From: "tudorpot at gmail.com" <tudorpot at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< I like the idea of the butter sculpting/molding, although without this

evidence I would have said it was more likely to be French or

Victorian British. >>>

 

Butter sculpture goes back to AD 641 in China.

http://www.yangshuochina.com/HistoryCulture/FolkArts/2226.html

 

Theodora

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:20:45 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I did the honey butter research back in late 2006-2007 because His Royal

Majesty let it be known that he preferred honey butter above

all other treats. (The Midrealm preference of decades past continues you see

into the 21st century.)  I had come across the butter sculpture references in Doc's translation of /"Ouverture de Cuisine" /and /// /filed them away for a

rainy research day. (One never  knows when one  will need something to write about.)

 

The Ouverture butter sculpture references are of course quite

appropriate. The passage describes

"THE BANQUET OF THE ENTRANCE of Monsieur Robert de Berges Count of

Walhain, Esquire & Prince of Liege, made in the palace in Liege, the

year 1557 in the month of December..."

It's quite a description. The book was actually written in the mid 1580's, according to Scully. It was finally published in 1604.

Doc's translation really should have opened the door to more work on it

and its recipes but it's not been the subject of much comment or work.

 

The original article as submitted actually originally led off, I think

with the references to butter sculpture, but it was edited in this

fashion in this publication to focus on the aspects of honey butter.

 

The lions were created for 12th Night 2007; the swans were created for Crown 2007.

I also created another honey butter lion that was gold dusted for the Coronation that was held in between.

The swans were dusted with gold dust, and in the original photograph

against the blue background they do look golden. (Patrick Photoshopped the background out for publication.)

The subtletie was actually the size of a regular dinner

plate, so it's not as large as it looked. There was quite a bit written

up about the subtleties in 2007. That can be found in the files in the SCA Subtleties list.

 

Glad you liked it.

 

Johnnae

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

I don't remember this article being mentioned before, but I could have

just missed it. I don't always have the time to go explore all the

interesting links folks post here. It is worth reading, folks.

<<< The article is: Honey Butter and Butter Sculptures

http://www.midrealm.org/pentamere/pdfs/Gauntlet_Jan-Mar08.pdf >>>

 

I like the idea of the butter sculpting/molding, although without this

evidence I would have said it was more likely to be French of

Victorian British.

 

The photograph in the newsletter of the swans is interesting. A lot of

butter for one table though, even the headtable. Was it later divied

up and passed around to the other tables? Also, on my screen at least,

the gold dust looks more like a sprinkling of paprika than gold. Or

was it more golden/shiny in real life?

 

These butter sculptures might not work in the outdoor summer feast we

were discussing, but I like the idea.

 

Stefan

 

 

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:26:08 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Honey butter was  lunch ideas- feedback

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Doc's Ouverture  de Cuisine translation can be  found at

http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/ouverture.html

 

The butter sculpture descriptions can be found at the end of

the translation, right before you get to the index.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 06:49:56 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

<<< Another thing in the recipe that has me wondering is the mention of "cow

butter". Is there no general term for "butter" in Spanish? Or do recipes

tend to call out specific types of butter? >>>

 

Manteca or mantequilla, although, I believe, here in the U.S. you are more

likely to encounter manteca being used as the short form of manteca de cerdo

or lard.  I would say the cook is being very specific about the butter to

achieve a certain effect.

 

<<< Other than things like salted butter or unsalted butter, (well and

Icelandic fermented butter, which we've discussed), I didn't realize that

there were different types of butter from different animals. I know that

cheese is often made from sheep's milk or goat's milk, but I've not heard

of goat or sheep butter before. I don't remember seeing other butters in

my grocery store. But maybe it is available in some ethnic stores? >>>

 

Butter type is largely a cultural thing based on the most common

domesticated animals in a culture.  Butter has been produced from cows,

sheep, goats, water buffalos, yaks, and even camels.  The general

American/European bias toward cow butter is most probably an artifact of

availability, quantity, and fat content.  The French, being their contrarian

Gallic selves, also produce goat butter (IIRC).

 

<<< Do we see "sheep" or "goat" butter called out in some medieval recipes?

 

Are there certain milks which won't coagulate into butter? What about

human milk?

 

Stefan >>>

 

Butter is made from cream rather than milk and is a condensed, emulsified

fat. ISTR, that there are mammal milks which do not contain enough fat to

make cream and that human milk is among them, but I would suggest

researching that rather than take my spotty memories as gospel.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2010 11:40:39 -0700

From: "Rikke D. Giles" <rgiles at centurytel.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

On 06/03/2010 09:58:07 AM, Donna Green wrote:

<<< Butter is made from cream rather than milk and is a

condensed, emulsified fat. >>>

 

<< Since goat milk is, as I understand it, naturally homogenized and does

not separate into cream, does that mean it is harder or not possible

to make goat milk butter?

 

Juana Isabella >>

 

In real life, I own a small, private, goat dairy.  I make cheese,

butter, yogurt and more from the milk.

 

Goat milk does separate, it just takes longer.  I let it sit on the

counter, at room temp (in western WA state, so we are talking anywhere

from 60-70 F), for a day or two and skim off the risen cream.  There is

still plenty of cream left in the milk to make a semi-skim cheese.  

 

Some people let the milk sit in their refrigerator, which is safer in

warm climates.  I don't bother, because I use raw milk and while it's

sitting on the countertop it's culturing for both the butter and the

cheese.

 

Goat milk also separates easily with a standard cream separator.   I

just haven't bought one yet.

 

Aelianora

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 12:36:54 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

Aelianora wrote:

<<< In real life, I own a small, private, goat dairy. I make cheese,

butter, yogurt and more from the milk.

 

Goat milk does separate, it just takes longer. I let it sit on the

counter, at room temp (in western WA state, so we are talking anywhere

from 60-70 F), for a day or two and skim off the risen cream. There is

still plenty of cream left in the milk to make a semi-skim cheese.

 

Some people let the milk sit in their refrigerator, which is safer in

warm climates. I don't bother, because I use raw milk and while it's

sitting on the countertop it's culturing for both the butter and the

cheese.

 

Goat milk also separates easily with a standard cream separator. I

just haven't bought one yet. >>>

 

SCA-period Ottoman recipes frequently call for butter in both savory

and sweet recipes.

 

Ewes supplied most milk, and sheep in general provided most meat (the

price of sheep meat was maintained at a low price by Ottoman market

regulations) and the most common cooking fat, sheep tail fat in the

Ottoman world.

 

The palace bought beef only once per year, using it only to make

bastirma, forerunner of pastrami... and personally i prefer Armenian

and Turkish bastirma. In SCA period, and into the 17th c., the cattle

generally came from the Balkans, a long and arduous cattle drive, as

some literature points out. Cow dairies were not common near

Kostantiniyye (Constantinople, now Istanbul) until some ways into the

17th c. And i haven't read anything to suggest that the Palace kept

its own cow herds, although perhaps they had a some animals.

 

Of course, since they are from the Palace, the sultan's cooks would

have access to difficult to get ingredients, brought in from great

distances, perhaps including cow's milk butter. But this makes me

wonder if perhaps some of the butter came from ewe's milk, as did

most of the yogurt and cheeses.

 

When i cook for large numbers of people i use more reasonable priced

cow's milk yogurt and butter (gotta keep on budget). For cooking

classes, however, i often bring a small container (since all i can

find are small containers) of ewe's milk yogurt and pass it around so

people can taste the difference between it and cow's milk yogurt. It

behaves differently in cooking, too, as at least one recipe points

out, recommending the addition of a little wheat starch to cow's milk

yogurt so it won't curdle/separate when subjected to high heat, but

no need to add starch if using ewe's milk.

 

Now i wonder if i could make butter from ewe's milk. What is

available in shops is pasteurized... can one still let it separate or

does the high heat make that impossible? I know i couldn't separate

it if it were homogenized, but i suspect it isn't homogenized... i'll

have to check next time i'm in the market.

--

Urtatim [that's err-tah-TEEM]

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 17:00:18 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

<<< Butter is made from cream rather than milk and is a

condensed, emulsified fat. >>>

 

<< Since goat milk is, as I understand it, naturally homogenized and does not

separate into cream, does that mean it is harder or not possible to make

goat milk butter?

 

Juana Isabella >>

 

It is my understanding that goat milk has smaller fat globules than cow's

milk and doesn't seperate as easily, but it will seperate naturally given

time (up to three or four days), producing goat cream.  The seperated cream

can then be used to make goat butter.  A mechanical seperator is usually

used to speed the process.  Goat's milk has a higher fat content than cow's

milk, so it should produce a very nice, but time consuming butter.

 

Goat butter has been produced since Antiquity, so there should be a

description of the process before mechanical seperators.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 18:43:51 -0700 (PDT)

From: wheezul at canby.com

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

<<< Another thing in the recipe that has me wondering is the mention of "cow

butter". Is there no general term for "butter" in Spanish? Or do recipes

tend to call out specific types of butter? >>>

 

Thanks for bringing up the question of butter, because I too have some!

First, I did go spend the time to read through the florilegium files and I

learned quite a bit from it - thanks everyone!

 

In Anna Wecker's cookbook (I am now up to almost all of part 3 creating an

ingredient list) - she specifies in a recipe to use butter, and that goat

butter is preferred if available.  She also mentions cow, goat and sheep

milks and cheeses.  I like her style of cooking - she says something like

'use this if you have it, or substitute x, y or z if you don't'.  Very few

of her recipes have rigid guidelines for measurements.

 

Specific questions I have are terminology related to fats.  The most

prominent fat reference is to schmaltz which since I haven't found a

'tell' in the recipes I consider an animal fat - probably pork, but could

certainly fall into the 'what you have on hand' category as well from pan

drippings. She mentions sweet almond oil specifically, and I don't seem

to recall a reference to olive oil yet in the work.

 

She also calls out for 4 types of butter (or 5 if you count the goat

butter) - "butter", "anken", "sweet butter" and "May Butter".  To go back

to the florilegium commentary, the citations by the compilers in several

of the period German cookbooks I have been reading tell that May Butter

refers to the fattest butters of the year because the cows gave the most

milk fat in May.  In terms of Wecker's recipes, especially in how to make

almond "May Mushes" that include extra butter or cream than the more

regular mushes made with more or less the same ingredients, there is no

hint that the freshest May Butter used in the rather nummy looking almond

torte was meant to have medicinal value.

 

I am confused by the interchangeability of the terms anken (which my

dictionaries show as butter) or butter itself.  I just finished

translating an inventory of 1528 of the Bishop of Strassburg's effects.

In the cellar are 4 pots of schmaltz and 2 pots of anken - so probably

different things entirely.  If anken is butter, than why does Anna switch

between anken and butter?  If anken was preserved butter, that might make

sense...

 

So would 'sweet butter' mean freshly made butter?  Or would it mean that

it wasn't allowed to sour at all as in the overnight step?  Or was the

stored butter of a sour quality?  There is also a keg of 'gumpost'

(compost) which my books suggest was a tub of soured milk.

 

One last question from me.  When I experimented with making croissants a

while back, one internet source said that European butter was drier than

the US butter.  Is there a way of drying ours out more?

 

Katherine in An Tir

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 22:54:20 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 3:27 AM, Mark S. Harris

<MarkSHarris at austin.rr.com> wrote:

<<< Another thing in the recipe that has me wondering is the mention of "cow butter". Is there no general term for "butter" in Spanish? Or do recipes tend to call out specific types of butter? >>>

 

Sorry for being late to the party.  It's been a busy couple of days.

I've consulted some Spanish language resources, specifically:

 

Tesoro de la lengua castellana o espa?ola by Sebasti?n de Covarrubias

Orozco, 1610

http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/FichaObra.html?Ref=18011&;portal=0

This is the oldest published glossary of the Spanish language.

 

The dictionaries of the Royal Academia Espa?ola (RAE)

http://buscon.rae.es/ntlle/SrvltGUILoginNtlle

The first edition was published between 1726 and 1739.  The link above

will let you search a word in any or all of the editions from 1726 to

1992.

 

Corpus del Espa?ol

http://www.corpusdelespanol.org

This website allows you to quickly and easily search more than 100

million words in more than 20,000 Spanish texts from the 1200s to the

1900s.

 

OK. I'm not going to go into details about what I found where.

Here's my overview of the etymology of "manteca" and related words.

 

Manteca means animal fat.  The default is pig fat or lard, which is

sometimes written out in full as "manteca de cerdo".

 

A secondary usage is "manteca de ganado", which is the fat from milk

-- ie., butter.  "Ganado" translates as "cattle", and can mean any of

the herd animals such as cows, goats, sheep, and buffalo.  There are

citations in the Corpus del Espa?ol for all of the above kinds of

butter within our period, but cow butter is the most common.

 

"Mantequilla" is the modern Spanish word for butter.  The word

"mantequilla" first appears in the 16th century, but its primary

meaning was some kind of paste made with butter.  It doesn't seem to

have become *the* term for butter until sometime in the 20th century.

 

<<< Do we see "sheep" or "goat" butter called out in some medieval recipes? >>>

 

The examples I saw in Corpus del Espa?ol were all from medical

sources. Sheep butter used in a poultice, for instance.  I do not

remember seeing butter other than cow in any of the Spanish cooking

sources, but I won't swear that there are none.  I will state that if

there are any, they are rare.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 18:47:58 -0700 (PDT)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

--- On Thu, 6/3/10, Juana Isabella wrote:

<<< Since goat milk is, as I understand it, naturally

homogenized and does not separate into cream, does that mean

it is harder or not possible to make goat milk butter?

 

Juana Isabella >>>

 

   Yes, it's harder. unless you let the milk sour (which does help the cream rise; but with goat butter OMG the taste!) you essentially end up churning straight from the milk, which means it takes much longer. We now have cream separators which can wring every last speck of cream out of the milk, which makes things much easier.

 

   I must use "alternative" dairy products, because I can't tolerate cow's milk casein. Goat's milk butter comes in two basic types: 1)Revolting-- the buck lives with the does, and the butter tastes just like he smells. 2)Very mild and quite unobjectionable-- the goat lives on a different farm and the does are milked separately for a week after being bred. For some reason, it doesn't seem to come in a middle version.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 21:20:28 +0200

From: "Susanne Mayer" <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] cow butter?

 

Schmalz (in Germany and Austria most likely rendered porkfat) can also be

Butterschmalz with the butter omitted:  rendered butter akin to ghee.

karapfen or other sweet yeast dough bakery goods baked in fat today uses

either pork and or butter-schmalz or a mix of both,  Butterschmalz gives

Krapfen the buttery taste without burning the dough.

 

4 types of butter:

 

I would assume that sweet butter is like today made from sweet (cream) and

not soured (sourcream) milk.

May and Summer butter is made from milk collected during May (spring

pastures are very rich in herbs) and "summer" meaning milk from Cows out to

pasture or having been fed at least on fresh grass and has a distinct,

richer flavor (especially may butter).

I have not yet come across the term of anken but it seems still to be used

for butter in Switzerland. (see alemanisch wiki

http://als.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butter)

 

as to goat butter: the one I got here in our bio food store was white,

goaty, and not very *fatty* in texture. For a middle european used to only

cow butter very strange tasting.

 

Katharina

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 13:43:23 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Butter on a Spit

 

While doing the butter search this am, I came across the following  

recipe by Markham.

 

To roast a pound of Butter curiously and well, you shall take a pound  

of sweet Butter and beate it stiffe with sugar, and the yolkes of  

egges; then clap it round-wise about a spit, and lay it before a soft  

fire, and presently dredge it with the dredging before appointed for  

the Pigge; then as it warmeth or melteth, so apply it with dredging  

till the butter be ouercomed and no more wil melt to fall from it,  

then roast it browne, and so draw it, and serue it out, the dish being  

as neatly trim'd with sugar as may be,

 

Markham, G. Countrey contentments, or The English husvvife. 1623  

edition.

 

To roast a pound of Butter well

To roast a pound of Butter curiously and well, you shall take a pound  

of sweete Butter and beate it stiffe with Sugar, and the yolkes of  

egges, then clap it round|wise about a spit, and lay it before a soft  

fire, and presently dredge it with the dredging before appointed for  

the Pigge: then as it warmeth or melteth, so apply it with dredging  

till the butter be ouercomed and no more will melt to fall from it,  

then roast it browne, and so draw it, and serue it out, the dish being  

as neatly trim'd with sugar as may be. page 93

 

Markham, G. The English house-vvife. 1631

 

Is this any worse than the new fangled treat of deep fried butter  

balls which are balls of butter dipped in a batter and deep fried?

 

Johnna

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 16:35:35 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] apple fritters at Pennsic

 

Sort of off this topic...but if you have a Restaurant Depot near you, you

can purchase tubs of Ghee that are very high quality...and it's actually

less expensive than butter.  Certainly a lot easier than making your own

rendered butter!

 

Kiri

 

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 11:21 AM, Susanne Mayer <susanne.mayer5 at chello.at>wrote:

<<< BUT the main thing in common all is FRIED SWIMMING  in Lard, oil or

rendered butter fat >>>

 

Katharina >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 22:05:40 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] some liver and other offal recipes

 

<<< What is the "black butter"? You seem to have used just regular butter.

Why?

 

Stefan >>>

 

I suspect in this case it is butter that has been heated until it turns

brown.

 

There is also a black butter that is made by cooking down new cider and

adding apples, lemon, sugar, licorice and other spices.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 09:51:26 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] some liver and other offal recipes

 

On Jan 28, 2011, at 11:05 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

<< What is the "black butter"? You seem to have used just regular butter. Why?

 

Stefan >>

 

I suspect in this case it is butter that has been heated until it turns brown.

----------

Yes. This process uses whole butter rather than clarified: the milk solids are caramelizing.

 

Heating clarified butter (which is often the preferred sauteeing fat in much Classical French and some Italian cooking) until it browns is usually a bad thing; when no dairy solids are present and you succeed in changing its color, it generally means you're breaking down and oxidizing fats, essentially instant rancidity.

 

Adamantius

 

<the end>



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