Prospect Books


p, p.: an abbreviation for ‘pound’. The full extension, within square brackets (e.g. p[ound]), has usually been inserted into this transcription. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PACKTHREAD: stout thread or twine. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PACKTHREAD, a strong kind of thread or twine suitable for tying up bundles or packs.(Glasse, 1747)

PAINS: Stuffed loaves. Partridge pains, P l0, is an example of a side dish. Gammon pain, P 9, however, is an Inter-mess. (John Nott, 1726)

PALLATS, PALLETS, 100. The palate, not to be confused with the tongue, is the roof of the mouth. The softer parts, to the rear, were those used in cookery. May brackets palates with lips and noses for recipe purposes. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PALLAT, palate, taste.(Glasse, 1747)

PANADA: dish made on a basis of stewing bread in water. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PANADO: A kind of pap. See P 1 and 2. The receipts are self-explanatory. (John Nott, 1726)

PANADO, a pap, which could be plain or, as in the recipe at 120, spiced. A favourite recipe of the 17th and 18th centuries.(Glasse, 1747)

PANS. References to saucepans and preserving pans need no comment. The earthen pan, 65, sounds like a pancheon: a big, bread-mixing bowl, with straight, sloping sides.(Glasse, 1747)

PAP: anything of a soft or semi-liquid consistency. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PAPER: kitchen paper was bought in great quantities by the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century cook. Receipt 210 mentions ‘halfe brown’ paper. Receipt 322 seems to indicate how several thicknesses were used to protect a cake from both bottom and top heat in the oven, as well as discussing the creation of a flow-proof baking vessel out of paper and a wooden baking hoop so that the cake batter would not leak during the initial stages of cooking. Receipt 46 specifies ‘clean white paper’ with which the cook wraps up some hard lard, placing the parcel on a fork and lighting the paper – the burning fat bastes the roasting turkey and plumps up the flesh. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PARBOIL: to boil thoroughly, or to part-boil. The two opposing meanings were concurrent in the early modern period, although the first was the original. The second, which seems to have gained acceptance merely because it sounded like ‘part-boil’ and has no philological basis,became the more common usage. The examples in OED are ambiguous: it is difficult to be certain what is meant. In Receipt 69 Evelyn states that neats’ tongues should be ‘half boiled’. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PARIETARY: Parietaria diffusa, good for the stone and urinary problems. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PARK: hunting-preserve, specifically deerpark. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PARMIZAN: Parmesan cheese. In Receipt 7, Evelyn describes it as ‘most rare’. Pepys buried his cheese, along with his wine, during the Great Fire of London Evelyn was impressed enough by it during his travels in Italy to mention it twice. In Receipt 15 he suggests a method of preserving it in oil. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PARSLEY ROOTS: Roots of the Hamburg or turnip-rooted parsley. Much called for in European cooking from the 13th to the 18th centuries. The flavour is good and rather peppery. (John Nott, 1726)

PARTRIDGE A BIBEROT: See Biberot. (John Nott, 1726)

PASSION TREE. There are several species of this, all natives of either the West Indies or China. At least two of them bear edible fruits. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PAST: pastry; but it may also mean a paste. A variety of types of pastry are called for, see the index. See also Coffins. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PASTE (pastry). Most of the recipes are vague about what sort of pastry to use and how to make it. Mrs Peasly, however, does provide recipes for sweet paste, hot paste, puffpaste, and paste for meat pies or pasties. (See Part II, pp. 127-8.) It is worth noting that she eschews egg as a binder and does not use any rising agent. Mrs Peasly’s pastry recipes are simpler and cheaper than those provided by aristocratic and court cooks of the period. For interesting comparisons see Henry Howard’s England’s Newest Way in all sorts of Cookery, Pastry, and all Pickles that are fit to be Used (London, 1727), Robert Smith’s Court Cookery or, The Compleat English Cook (London, 1723), and Patrick Lamb’s Royal Cookery or, The Compleat Court-Cook (third edition, ‘with considerable additions’, London, 1726). (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PASTE, PASTRY. Hannah Glasse gives recipes for, or refers to, several sorts. Standing crust 73, and again ‘top and bottom’ 74, was the standard pastry for dishes baked in crust. Karen Hess (1981, 81-2) has written on its history and ways of reproducing it. In addressing the Captains of Ships, Hannah Glasse gives advice on how to make a good, thick crust of the same sort, suitable for both pork and apple pies, 123-4. The recipe for crackling crust, 76, follows that of John Nott (1726) who echOED the instructions given earlier by Massialot (Nouvelle Instruction pour les Confitures ...) for Pate croquante, to be used in making the base for open tarts, and for decorations on top. The original French suffered slightly in the translation. Those English authors who adopted the recipe (including Mrs Eliza Johnston in The Accomplish’d Servant-Maid, 1747, a very rare book) failed to make entirely clear, as Massialot had done, that the same paste which is used for the bottom crust is used for the decorations. They do not give the impression that they had tried the recipe, or really understood it. The facts that the title of the recipe is a straight translation from the French, and that there is no recipe at all for crackling crust in a number of important English cookery books of the period, also suggest that it may not have represented any English practice. Puff-paste crust, 122, is another whose history has been dealt with by Karen Hess (1981, 156-8). It would appear that, mutatis mutandis, Hannah Glasse’s puffpastry was not so different from more modern versions. Instructions for a paste for making ‘vermicella’ (vermicelli) are also given, 155.(Glasse, 1747)

PATTIES, TIN, 75: presumably little tins for baking small, individual pies.(Glasse, 1747)

PATTY-PAN, 125, 256: a small tin pan or shape for baking small pies or pasties. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PATTY PANS: see Receipt 185 where they are called ‘potipan moules’. Patt pans were tin moulds such as we might use for small tarts. See, for example, the entries relating to ‘Princess Patty Pans’ in the York Castle Museum Kitchen Catalogue.Other references envisage larger items. Receipt 263, has a patty pan that is thought middle-sized when it takes a pastry crust made with a pound and a half of flour. The summer squash called the pattypan was christened by American settlers, presumably because of its flat, round shape. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PATTY PAN: a small tin pan or shape for baking little pies or pastries. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PAULS-BETONY: see betony. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PEACHES. The varieties listed by Hannah Glasse, 164-5, are sufficiently numerous to suggest a high degree of interest in this fruit. July and August were evidently the best months for peaches, but ‘late peaches’ were obtainable in October. Phillips (1823) gives a similar season, observing that it extends from ‘the small nutmeg peach, which ripens in July, to the large October peach, which is more agreeable to the sight than to the palate’. Most of Hannah Glasse’s peaches have disappeared or fallen into obscurity. Varieties of Nutmeg were still being grown in the latter part of the 19th century; and her Newington, Violet and Muscal can be tentatively identified with varieties still current then under the names Old Newington, Violette Hative and Red Magdalen.(Glasse, 1747)

PEAR. Almost a score of varieties are named by Hannah Glasse in her monthly lists of fruits, 164-5; and pears figure in every month of the year except June. The first variety she names, for January, is Winter Purgomat, which sounds like some neoStalinist building in Moscow, but is evidently a form of the famous Bergamot group of pears. Bon Chretien was and still is a generic name for a whole group of pears distinguished by their shape, like that of a pilgrim’s gourd. These pears were known in France in the 15th century and in England almost as early. The winter Bon Chretien was regarded by many in the 16th and 17th centuries as the finest of all fruits. The Black Worcester, according to Batty Langley (1729) was a common variety, much used for baking. Bradley (1728) considered it to be the same as Perkinson’s Warden. Many of the varieties named by Hannah Glasse are not, however, found in earlier or later books.(Glasse, 1747)


BELL-ORANGE, is the variety most favoured by Ellis. Perhaps it was related to the Bergamot pears, of which there were several. (William Ellis, 1750)
BLACK WORCESTER, is a famed baking pear (see Traditional Foods of Britain). (William Ellis, 1750)
BON CHRISTIAN, bon-chrétien (Williams type). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
CADILLIAC, was also known as Cadillac or Catillac, and was a cooking variety oriiginally, as were so many, from France. (William Ellis, 1750)
WARDEN, a near-local type, being named for the Bedfordshire abbey of Warden. (William Ellis, 1750)
PEAR-PLUMBS, WHITE, 107, and four varieties of pear-plumb listed at 165 (unless some of them are pears - the list is confusing). The OED says simply that pear-plums are’pearshaped plums’, which no doubt they are or were; but any other information about them is elusive.(Glasse, 1747)

PEAR PUDDING: A mixture of pounded pears and pounded chicken made up in the shape of pears. Today’s nouvelle cuisine chefs are fond of using a puree of pears in conjunction with equally unexpected ingredients, e.g. spinach. (John Nott, 1726)

PEAS. Two kinds are mentioned in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director: the Ronceval (also known by contemporaries as the Egg peas or Dutch Admiral) and the Spanish Mooretto. Both were large varieties. There is also a particularly interesting paean of praise for the Gourmandine or Glutton’s pea (Part II, p. 15); this being what we now call the mange-tout pea. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PEASE. Hannah Glasse refers to’Roncival and Winged Pease’, 165. The former have been tentatively identified as marrowfat peas by Lovelock (1972), who also cites the ‘probably apocryphal’ explanation of the name as a corruption of the French name Roncesvalles. Winged peas are not mentioned by the authors of Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery (1744), a full survey of the kitchen garden in which peas are given their due of attention; nor in the chapter on peas in Lisle (1757), although his observations are very precise and he refers to numerous varieties. But they do appear as ‘winged crown or rose pease’ in the list of 20 varieties given by Switzer (1727), and ‘Rouncivalls’ had also been mentioned by Cotgrave (1611) as being the same as ‘Pois ramez’. Elizabeth David suggests (private communication) that it was the ‘rames’ or branches which made these peas rouncival, and that the name may be connected with ‘ronce’ or ‘ronciata’ (wild, brambly - like the sort of tangle into which pea plants can get). She wonders whether, later, they could have inspired Edward Lear’s runcible spoon.(Glasse, 1747)

PEASE, GREEN, TO KEEP: An early bottling method. (John Nott 1726)

PEASECODS, 267: pea-pods. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PECK: a dry measure, equivalent to a quarter of a bushel, or two gallons. As a measure of weight, 14 pounds. See also Weights and measures. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PECK: Measure of weight. 14 lb. (John Nott, 1726)

PECK, a dry measure of capacity. Two gallons (of wheat) made a peck; 4 pecks a bushel.(Glasse, 1747)

PECK: two gallons of wheat make a peck, four pecks a bushel. As a dry measure, it was 14 pounds. (William Ellis, 1750)

PEEL, OVEN: See Oven. (John Nott, 1726)

PEEPERS, 8: a name for very young birds, especially pigeons and chickens. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PEGGINGS are defined in the OED only by reference to Ellis. In his Modern Husbandman he describes them as the chaff which is swept off the heap of corn after winnowing. (William Ellis, 1750)

PELLITORY OF THE WALL: see parietary. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PELLOW, PELOW, pilau. The OED gives the first use of this word in English as 1612, but the dish denoted by the term did not enter the English repertoire until later. Hannah Glasse’s recipes, 52 and 123, are unusual for their time and no source for them has been traced, although something comparable had been appearing in cookery books since the time of The Compleat Cook (1655) under titles such as ‘A Turkish Dish’, and The Ladies’ Companion (1743) gave a recipe, quite different from any of Hannah Glasse’s, for ‘A Pillaw of Veal’.(Glasse, 1747)

PENNY-GRASS is probably yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor), a grassland weed. (William Ellis, 1750)

PENNY LOAVES, PENNY WHITE LOAVES: The question of how large a loaf was to be had for a penny could only be answered with certainty if it were known exactly when any given receipt was first formulated. Originally the price of a loaf remained stable but its weight varied according to the price of wheat. In bad harvest years a penny loaf might weigh as little as 3 or 4 oz. and probably no white bread would in any case have been made for sale. In average years, during the period covered by the receipts in Nott’s book, the penny white loaf would have been about 6 oz., and that is probably what was intended in the majority of the receipts. White, of course, is a relative term. The loaves in question would have been made from flour fairly finely bolted but the bread would not have looked white as we understand the term. A penny brown loaf would have weighed about three times as much as a white one. (John Nott, 1726)

PENNY LOAF, or PENNYWORTH, see BREAD.(Glasse, 1747)

PENNYROYALL: pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), a small-leaved mint. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PENNYROYAL: A herb of the mint family, used more medicinally than in cooking. It was thought to be efficacious in the treatment of whooping cough, asthma and indigestion. (John Nott, 1726)

PEPPER. When Hannah Glasse refers simply to pepper, without specifying white or black, she may have meant either. She also refers to: red India pepper, which was presumably cayenne pepper (see Anne Wilson, 1973, 293), mentioned as Cayan pepper in the added recipe for dressing a turtle, 167; Jamaica pepper, which was allspice; and Ordingal pepper, 131, mentioned as a kind of ‘whole black Pepper’. It is a mystery, unless Ordingal is a corruption of Portingall, meaning Portugal. There seems to be no mention in her book of long pepper or cubeb pepper, but the former appears in the added recipe for India pickle, 168.(Glasse, 1747)

PEPPER, CUBEB: Piper cubeba. Small brown corns, aromatic but a little milder than ordinary pepper. Exported from Malaysia to Europe since about the 7th century A.D. (John Nott, 1726)

PEPPER, GUINEA: See Grains of Paradise

PEPPER, JAMAICA: See Jamaica. (John Nott, 1726)

PEPPER, LONG: Piper longum. Native to India. A vine pepper which produces fruit which looks rather like a very small dark brown catkin. It was the most important of the various peppers of European cooking, perhaps the first. According to Burkill, in the time of Pliny in Rome, long pepper was worth twice as much as black pepper. Until the 18th century its use in European cooking was very widespread but has now almost died out. (John Nott, 1726)

PERRY: A variation of cider made with pears. See P 81. For Nott’s reference to John Evelyn in this receipt see Evelin. (John Nott, 1726)

PETER-SALT, 199: saltpetre, q v. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PETER-SALT. It might be thought that this was saltpetre. But both peter-salt and saltpetre are referred to in the same line, 128, so they are apparently not the same. The explanation may be that indicated by the OED quotation, under Petre, of an early 18th century definition: ‘Nitre, while . . . in its native state, is call’d Petre-Salt; when refin’d, Salt-Petrel’ (See also SALPRUNELLA.)(Glasse, 1747)

PETRE-SALT is defined by Woodward (1728): ‘Nitre, while…in its native state, is called petre-salt, when refin’d, salt-petre.’ It is potassium nitrate. (William Ellis, 1750)

PETTY-TOES, pig’s feet. In earlier times the term had included other parts of the pig.(Glasse, 1747)

PEWTER DISHES: Occasionally Nott—and numerous cookery books of the 17th and 18th centuries—directs the use of a pewter dish or other vessel over a chafing dish of coals. Readers should be warned that most pewter dishes melt when subjected to direct heat. No doubt there was at the time a heat-resistant alloy used for culinary dishes but it is risky to make the experiment. (John Nott, 1726)

PEWTER. This metal was much used in the 18th century kitchen, and its idiosyncracies well understood, e.g. that it was liable to melt if subjected to excessive heat, and that it turns pears purple, 84.(Glasse, 1747)

PHILIPENDULA: dropwort, Spirea philipendula. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PHYSICAL: medicinal, health-giving. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PICKLED PORK AND BACON. Bradley ate some delicious pickled pork at the house of one of his correspondents and immediately begged him for the recipe. This was published in Bradley’s Monthly Writings in the form of memoranda, c. 1721-2. (See A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening, volume I, 1726, chapter 4, pp. 112-15.) (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PIGEON, see DOVES.(Glasse, 1747)

PIGEONS: The large number of receipts for pigeons given by Nott, surprising to modern eyes, is accounted for by the dovecots maintained in the grounds of every great mansion and almost all manor houses, great and small. Pigeons constituted a valuable source of fresh food in the winter when the cattle had been killed off. (John Nott, 1726)

PIGEONS. Much of Bradley’s disquisition on the pigeon is lifted from The Ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton in the County of Warwick, as enlarged and translated from Latin by the naturalist John Ray (London, 1678). See book II thereof, chapters 14 and 15. Bradley had not read the classical authorities he quotes so blithely, but the interesting details about carrier pigeons and their use in communication are his own. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PIGNATA: normally, a dish made with pine nuts: perhaps here a kind of pot used to heat pine-cones to get the nuts out (Italian). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PILL: peel(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PILLA-COCHIA is a medicine, a purge: its composition is unknown. (William Ellis, 1750)

PILOTORY OF THE WALL, pellitory of the wall, Parietaria diffusa, a herb which thrives an old, damp walls and was used for troubles of the bladder, the stone, etc.(Glasse, 1747)

PIMPERNEL: probably scarlet pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PINCUSHIONS: ‘Hertfordshire pincushions’ are squares of paste which puff like pincushions when boiled. (William Ellis, 1750)

PINEAPPLE SEEDS: Pine nuts or kernels. English receipts have called for them since early medieval days. They are obtained from the cones of the Mediterranean stone pine, pinus pinea. How much pine nuts were actually used in English kitchens is a matter for speculation, but they were certainly on sale at apothecaries’ shops, although perhaps more frequently in the form of comfits than fresh. Pine kernels are oily and are poor keepers. Nowadays they can be stored in the refrigerator, but formerly must often have been stale. (John Nott, 1726)

PINEAPPLE. Bradley was the first English cookery writer to publish recipes for this esteemed and highly prized fruit. The instructions for making pineapple marmalade and pineapple tarts (Part II, pp. 94 and 99) are thus of considerable historical interest. Although the pineapple first reached England in the 17th century—Charles II was presented with a queen pine from Barbados in 1661 and the Earl of Portland was trying to grow it in 1690 it was not induced to bear fruit until 1719. Bradley’s account of this horticultural feat (which was performed by Sir Matthew Decker’s ingenious gardener Henry Telende at Richmond, Surrey) can be read in A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening, volume II, 1726, chapters 2 and 3. Bradley, like his contemporaries, thought that the soft, tender, and delicate fruit of the ‘ananas’ excelled ‘all the Fruits in the World in Flavour and Richness of Taste’. He must have been delighted to see Telende’s success soon repeated by many members of the gentry and nobility. According to the Hoxton nurseryman, John Cowell, the pineapple was to be ‘found in almost every curious garden’ as early as 1730. (See The Curious and Profitable Gardener, London 1730, chapter 2.) (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PINE APPLE SEED, 279: a ‘pine nut’ (or pine nut kernel), the small, edible, nutlike seed of pine cones of various species of pine, especially the Mediterranean stone pine; not anything to do with pineapple, the fruit. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PINE-MOLET, see Bread. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PINES, 165. Pineapples. This fruit first reached England in the 17th century, and there is a good account in Phillips (1823) of how the royal gardener succeeded in causing a plant to fruit in England for the first time in 1661 (an event which is commemorated in a famous painting at Kensington Palace) and of how its cultivation was established in the early part of the 18th century. It then became a feature ‘of every curious garden’ and Bradley (1736, Part II, 94, 99) gives the first English recipes for cooking pineapples.(Glasse, 1747)

PINT: The old 16 oz. pint. (John Nott, 1726)

PIONY, a spelling of peony, whose seeds had been used in mediaeval England for both culinary and medical purposes. By the 18th century they were used only for medicine. Hannah Glasse, 158, calls for the roots, presumably dried and ground.(Glasse, 1747)

PIPKIN, 333: a small, round, usually earthenware, cooking pot. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

PIPKIN: small saucepan. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PIPKIN: a round pot. Elizabeth David, in her glossary to John Nott, states that such a pot is usually handled. In the main, it was earthenware, although the word might refer to a metal pan. In Receipt 67, Evelyn advises ‘a new or very cleane pipkin’, which could imply earthenware. Though the sound of pipkin is diminutive, the vessel could be large. A ‘great pipkin’ was used to make the Spanish olio in Receipt 90. It needed to contain 4 lbs beef, a piece of bacon and pork, neck of mutton, knuckle of veal, a pullet and a couple of pigeons, besides the broth. There are frequent signs of care in the selection of pans, to save food from being tainted for instance. Thus, when making the jelly described in Receipt 67, having boiled up the stock in a new pipkin, it was then strained into an earthen dish. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PIPKIN: A handled cooking pot, usually thought of as essentially rather a small one. In JE 2, however, Nott specifies a pipkin that will hold a gallon and a half

PIPKIN, 25. A cooking pot with handles, usually fairly small and made of earthenware. The shape varied, and it might or might not have a lid. It was most often used for boiling or stewing, but could also serve as a temporary storage receptacle. Elizabeth David, in her John Nott glossary, draws attention to his use of a pipkin holding a gallon and a half.(Glasse, 1747)

PISTACCIO: pistachio nut. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PITCHCOCK. Properly spitchcock, a verb referring to a way of preparing eels by cutting them into pieces, dressing them with breadcrumbs and chopped herbs and then grilling or frying them. Thus the OED. Hannah Glasse, 92, omits the herbs and takes the word to mean grilling pieces of eel, since she gives a similar but separate recipe for frying eel. (There was another word, spatchcock, apparently of Irish origin and meaning a way of grilling pieces of fowl.)(Glasse, 1747)

PITCHCOT (to pitchcock): see under SPITCHCOCK. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PITH: spinal cord. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PITH (of an ox), the spinal marrow or cord.(Glasse, 1747)

PLAISTER OF PARACELSUS: plaisters or plasters were an adhesive salve spread on muslin or skin. Paracelsus (d.1541) promoted mineral substances as healing agents and thought the body produced its own healing balsam. (William Ellis, 1750)

PLANTING, 159: probably plantain, Plantago major, a plant of medical and magic powers.(Glasse, 1747)

PLUCK, the heart, liver and lungs of an animal.(Glasse, 1747)

PLUMBS. Plums. Hannah Glasse lists about a dozen varieties, 165, as coming into season from July to October, together with Bullaces (October and November). She also mentions Damsons in her recipes. A few of her names find no echo in the longer list published by Bradley (1728) or in later literature, but most can be identified with varieties already familiar before Hannah Glasse’s time and many still survive now. She seems not to have noticed Perdrigon, Bonum Magnum (unless her Imperial was Red Magnum Bonum), or the Green Gage (except in the fifth of the added recipes, 168).(Glasse, 1747)

PLUMP: to make plump; to fill out or fatten up. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PLUMS. The following varieties are mentioned in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director: Bonum magnum, bullace, damson, Egg, Imperial, Mussel, Royal Dolphin, White Holland. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PLUM POTTAGE: P 188. Compare with plum pudding P 243. It is often said that plum pottage or porridge was the original plum pudding. From the numerous variations of both to be found in the books of the 17th and 18th centuries it seems rather that the two concoctions co-existed for a very long time. On occasion both were even served at the same meal. (John Nott, 1726)

POIX CHICHES: chickpeas (French). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

POLLARD is bran. (William Ellis, 1750)

POLYPOD: ‘polypody of the oak, a common fern growing in sheltered places, old walls, roots and stumps of trees’ (E. David, glossary to John Nott). The root was used in medicine (see also Sir Kenelm Digby). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

POLYPODY OF THE OAK: A common fern growing in sheltered places, old walls, roots and stumps of trees. The dried roots were used medicinally. (John Nott, 1726)

POMATE: mash. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

POMECITRON, 66: a citron (pome here means ‘fruit of’). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POMEWATER. A variety of apple, large and juicy, which was listed by Gerard (1699) (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POMPION, PUMPION, 27, 224: pumpkin. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POOR-JOHN: salted, dried hake. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

POOR KNIGHTS: See P 193. More usually Poor Knights of Windsor. The English version of the very ancient pain perdu, lost or waste bread. The name comes from the Poor or Alms-Knights of the Garter. From the inception of the Order by Edward III, every Knight Companion was entitled to nominate an Alms-Knight, chosen from among indigent and worthy military veterans, and endowed by the Order so that they might live ‘gentily as became a military condition’. (Elias Ashmole The Institution , Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. 1672). The Poor Knights, dressed in red mantles embroidered with the scutcheon of St. George but without the encircling garter, marched in the Garter processions and attended the services in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. How the venerable dish of left-over bread, steeped in cream or wine and beaten eggs, fried in butter and be sprinkled with sugar and rosewater, came to be particularly associated with the Poor Knights I have not discovered. (John Nott, 1726)

PORK. In construing Hannah Glasse’s pork recipes it is necessary to remember that the pigs available when her book was first published were much more like wild boars than the pigs we know now. The introduction of the Chinese pig, which was responsible for a radical change in the commercial breeds, did not occur until the 1770s.(Glasse, 1747)

PORRINGER, porrenger: a bowl used for eating. The Compleat Cook (p.93) comments that he would rather a broth was ‘drunk out of a Porringer, than … eaten with a spoon.’ The word is still current in Scotland to describe a bowl for eating porridge. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PORRINGER: a small basin made out of metal, earthenware, or wood, from which soup, broth, porridge, children’s food, etc. is eaten. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PORRINGER. A small bowl of metal, wood or earthenware, sometimes with one or two handles at the side, from which porridge, broth, soup, etc was eaten.(Glasse, 1747)

POSNET. A three-legged metal cooking pot. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POSNET, possnet, possenet: a porringer. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

POSSETT, possett pott: possetts were drinks made with hot milk curdled with wine or other liquor, together with various flavourings. They were made by heating alcohol in one bowl or pan and the milk or cream in another, then pouring the milk into the liquor from a great height. This was left to froth up and separate outby the side of the fire before drinking. The possett pot in such a production would presumably be the bowl in which the possett reposed, rather than the brass saucepan used to boil up the milk. See also Syllabub. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

POSSETS: The numerous receipts for these comforting and restorative beverages are self-explanatory. (John Nott, 1726)

POSSET. A hot drink made of milk curdled by the addition of an acid (wine, ale, citrus juice) and often spiced. Ordinary eating posses was made by adding breadcrumbs to beer or ale posses. Rich eating posses for the gentry was made with cream and sack or brandy with eggs, beaten almonds and grated Naples biscuit. A rich posses of this sort was partly eaten, partly drunk. Hence posses pots or cups with spouts; there was always a thin whey at the bottom of the posses, and this could be drunk through the little spout.(Glasse, 1747)

POSSET is a hot drink made of milk curdled with an acid (wine, ale, citrus juice). (William Ellis, 1750)

POSTLE: this word is used by Evelyn, in Receipt 68, to describe the sinewy part of the leg of venison. The derivation of the word is unknown. Postil or postle means a marginal comment (OED). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

POTATO. Bradley was an early promoter of the potato as a cheap and delicious foodstuff. In A Philosophical Enquiry into the Late Severe Winter (1729, p.17) he advocated growing potatoes in cattle-rearing areas specifically for the benefit of the poor who were to eat them boiled or ground down as ‘an agreeable baked Bread’. The potato recipes in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director are a great deal; more elaborate than this, reflecting Stephen Switzer’s view that potatoes were an ‘exceedingly useful and delightful food, not only for the vulgar, but also for the tables of the curious’ and ‘that which was heretofore reckon’d a food fit only for Irishmen, and clowns, is now become the diet of the most luxuriously polite’. (See Switzer’s The Practical Husbandman and Planter, volume I, 1733, pp.78-88.) Those interested in the culinary history of the potato and in Bradley’s ideas about it should also consult John Cowell’s The Compleat Fruit and Flower Gardener (third edition, corrected, 1733) to which was added an appendix by Bradley containing ‘proper directions for ordering and dressing it after various manners for the table’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

POTATO PIES: It will be seen from the few receipts in which potatoes appear that they were still far from common. Cookery book receipts usually of course lagged behind practice, but half a century after the publication of Nott’s book, Gilbert White recorded in a letter to Daines Barrington, dated January 8th 1778, that ‘potatoes have prevailed in this little district (Selborne in Hampshire) within these twenty years only much esteemed by the poor, who would scarce have ventured to taste them in the last reign’. (The Natural History of Selborne. 1789). We know—see Introduction—that Nott worked in a number of houses in the south and south-west of England, and I think we can take it that his employers there probably did not go in for potato growing. The potatoes which went into his pies might even have been sweet ones. (John Nott, 1726)

POTT (pot): to preserve salted or seasoned food in a pot or jar. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

POTTAGES: These, as can be seen from the receipts, are mostly hefty hodge podges of meat, poultry, game and so on, not soups as we understand them. (John Nott, 1726)

POTTAGE: ‘is the Broth of Flesh or Fowl, with Herbs and Oatmeal boiled therin’ (Randle Holme). The recipe for plum pottage or Christmas pottage (Part II, p. 147) does not contain oatmeal and herbs but spices and fruit. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

POTTLE, occurring in many recipes: a measure equivalent to half a gallon or two quarts, used for com and flour as well as liquids. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POTTLE, potle, pottell: half a gallon (SOED).See Weights and measures. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

POTTLE: a measure of two quarts. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

POTTLE measures two quarts. (William Ellis, 1750)

POUNGARNET, 3: pomegranate. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POUPIETS, PAUPIETTES: Slices of meat wrapped round a stuffing. (John Nott, 1726)

POURPIER: purslane (French). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

POUT, 214: a young bird, as in pheasant-pout and heath-pout. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POUTS, a term for young birds. Thus we have pheasant, heath and turkey pouts.(Glasse, 1747)

POWDER, POWDERED. To powder is to sprinkle, as at 110 (with bay-salt), and powdered meat was meat sprinkled with salt, or perhaps saltpetre, to preserve or season it. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

POWDER: to powder meat, i.e. to dry cure it with salt or spices. This was done in powdering tubs, a frequent item in inventories of early kitchens. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PRECIPITATE is mercury reduced to a powder by solution in acid. Precipitation is the opposite of sublimation. The powder is corrosive. (William Ellis, 1750)

PRESS FOR GRAVY: G 55. This kitchen implement, a version of which is nowadays associated mainly with pressed duck, was a very ancient one. (John Nott, 1726)

PRO ARDORE URINAE: lit. ‘for burning of the urine’, i.e. to cool painful urination (Latin). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PRUENS, prunes.(Glasse, 1747)

PUFF-PASTE CRUST, see PASTE.(Glasse, 1747)

PUFFS: although puff often meant a light form of bread, and was used to describe light, butter-filled pastry, it was also two sorts of generic dish of which several examples exist in this manuscript. There were curd-based puffs mixed with flour and shaped then usually fried like fritters, and cream-based boiled puff puddings. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PUGIL: ex pugillum (Latin), a pinch. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PUN: to beat, to pound as in a mortar. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

PUNCH FOR CHAMBERMAIDS: See P 268. If this was their tipple, 18th century chambermaids were certainly not the downtrodden creatures they became in Victorian days. (John Nott, 1726)

PUNCHIN (puncheon): a large cask for storing liquids, salted fish, etc. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PUPTON, POUPETON: These are worth studying. One or two of the fish puptons, such as pupton of salmon, might be adapted for today. They seem rather like the hot fish terrines recently made popular by the more progressive French chefs. The French poupeton probably came from the Italian polpettone, a meat roll, or polpa, a hash. (John Nott, 1726)

PURGING ALES: These concoctions were blood-cleansing tonics rather than purges in the modern sense. (John Nott, 1726)

PURSLANE: Portulaca oleracea. A good salad herb, with a thick, fleshy and cool-tasting leaf. We could well do with a revival of purslane. Nott’s pickle was for winter salads. (John Nott, 1726)

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