SACK, sacke: white Spanish or Canary wine. Gervase Markham wrote (cited in OED), ‘Your best Sacks are of Seres in Spaine, your smaller from Galicia and Portugall; your strong Sacks are of the Islands of Canaries, and of Malligo.’ The ms qualifies the word in Receipt 126 where it calls for ‘best malago’, and Receipt 209 where the need is for Canary. Receipt 54 called for ‘sacke or other strong wine’ indicating that these wines were fortified in the manner of sherry. Sherry is denoted once in these receipts (243). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SACK: According to A. L. Simon sack was mentioned for the first time in a Proclamation fixing the retail prices of wine, 1532. Sack came mostly from Cadiz or Herez, later also from Malaga and the Canaries. Simon says it was a dry amber wine, occasionally sweetened with honey or sugar. (John Nott, 1726)

SACK, SACK-LEES. Sack was a dry, amber wine imported from Spain and the Canaries, and often drunk with sugar added. Sack-lees were the residue in the cask.(Glasse, 1747)

SACK is a generic name for fortified wine from Spain or the Canaries: it might be Malaga, Sherry, Canary or Palma (Majorca). The word (Robinson) may derive from the Spanish for export (sacas), rather than from the French for dry (sec). (William Ellis, 1750)

SAFFRON: this brilliant yellow spice was widely used in medieval cookery as a seasoning and dye-stuff. But by the early 18th century its popularity had declined, partly because brightly coloured food had fallen out of fashion, and partly because marigold petals provided a satisfactory and cheap alternative source of colour in making butter and cheese. These considerations, however, did not stop Bradley from making enthusiastic attempts to revitalize the saffron-growing industry in Cambridgeshire and the north of Essex. He wrote about saffron culture extensively in both The Country Gentleman and Farmer’s Director and The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director (the men were to plant the stuff and the women were to dry and sell it). He also tried to enlist the support of his fellow members of the Royal Society. In November 1726, for example, Bradley wrote to Sir Hans Sloane that: ‘I have & Saffron Kiln of the best Sort In London, it is now At the Four Swans in Bishopsgate Street in the Warehouse belonging to the Wellington Wagon. I bought it in My progress throw Cambridgeshire. If you think proper to have it, please to send for it in my name and it will be delivered…I think it would do well at the Royal Society as a pattern for those who Cultivate Saffron in the west or south parts.’ (Sloane MS 4048, folio 212.) Although we do not know Sloane’s reaction, we do know that another member of the Royal Society, James Douglas, published an account of saffron culture in the Philosophical Transactions of 1728. Bradley was, however, unable to arrest the industry’s decline: according to Richard Griffin Braybrooke’s The History of Audley End (London, S. Bentley, 1836), saffron growing had virtually disappeared from Cambridgeshire and Essex by 1790. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SAGE OF VIRTUE is the ‘narrow hoary-leaved sage’ (Abercrombie), a variety of Salvia officinalis. (William Ellis, 1750)

SAGO: The powdered or granulated form of starch obtained from the trunk-pith of various Malaysian and Indian palms. (John Nott, 1726)

SAINGARAZ: A number of receipts are so denominated. The more usual spelling is the Italian zingara, meaning gypsy woman. Strips of ham in the sauce are a common factor. Escalopes of veal à la zingara still appear in French restaurant cooking. (John Nott, 1726)

SAINT JOHN’S WORT: Hypericum perforatum; medicinal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SAINT MENEHOUT: The nomenclature indicated, as it still does in French cookery, something egg-and-breadcrumbed and then fried or broiled. A good number of Nott’s receipts, all of French derivation, call for this treatment. Sainte-Menehould is a small town in the Champagne district. Whether the method of cookery is called after the town or the saint herself is not recorded. (John Nott, 1726)

SAINTE MENEHOUD. Sainte-Menehould is a district in the Marne famous for its charcuterie, especially pigs’ trotters. Alexandre Dumas (1873, here quoted in the abridged English edition, 1978) draws on Le Viandier by Taillevent for the origin of dishes ‘a la SainteMenehould’. It will be seen that Hannah Glasse’s recipes, 25 and 37, include the same elements but change the sequence of operations. One evening, following a great battle against the English, King Charles Vll . . . came to lodge for the night in the little town of Sainte-Menehould, in which only five or six houses survived, the town having been burned. The king and his suite were dying of hunger. The ruined and ravaged countryside was latking in everything. Finally, they managed to get hold of four pig’s feet and three chickens. The king had with him no cook, male or female; so the wife of a poor edge-tool maker was charged with cooking the chickens. As for the pig’s feet, there was nothing to do but put them on the grill. The good woman roasted the chickens, dipped them in beaten egg, rolled them in breadcrumbs with fines herbes, and then, after moistening them with a mustard sauce, served them to the king and his companions, who devoured the pig’s feet entire and left only the bones of the chickens.(Glasse, 1747)

SAINTFOIN, or more properly, sainfoin, is the forage plant Onobrychis sativa. The word meant not ‘holy’ hay, but ‘healthy’ hay. (William Ellis, 1750)

SAL VOLATILE is an aromatic solution of ammonium carbonate, smelling salts. (William Ellis, 1750)

SALAMANGUNDY: The receipts are self-explanatory. (John Nott, 1726)

SALAMONGUNDI, 59. In writing about salads of the 17th century, Anne Wilson (1973) explains the term thus. ‘Sometimes an egg and herb salad was further enhanced by the addition of cold roast capon, anchovies and other meat or fish delicacies. Late in the seventeenth century the name of salamagundi was applied to mixtures of this type, and was subsequently corrupted to “Solomon Gundy”.’ The latter name has survived in North America. The earlier name was derived from the old French salmigondis, of unknown origin according to the OED.(Glasse, 1747)

SALARY, celery.(Glasse, 1747)

SALIVATE, TO: it was a tactic of early medicine to provoke excess salivation, as you might provoke a sweat. The usual agent was mercury and the process was part of the traditional cure for the venereal pox. (William Ellis, 1750)

SALL PRUNELLA: salprunella. If saltpetre (nitre) is fixed by burning with charcoal, it becomes salprunella: a nitrite instead of a nitrate (see glossary to Hannah Glasse). It colours pickled meats. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SALLAD, SALLETT, GRAND: See S 6. A wondrous extravaganza. Such salads were made only for show on important occasions. (John Nott, 1726)

SALLADS, SALLAT. The ingredients of a salad are listed, 165, and may be compared with the list given by Evelyn (Acetaria, a Discourse on Sallets, 1699). Evelyn also throws light on Hannah Glasse’s surprising recipe To Raise a Sallat in two Hours at the Fire, 158. In the course of a passage about hot beds he recommends for those whose tastes demand early or forced growths the practice of ‘a very ingenious Gentleman whom I knew; That having some Friends of his accidentally come to Dine with him, and wanting an early Sallet, Before they sate down to Table, sowed Lettuce and some other Seeds in a certain Composition of Mould he had prepared; which within the space of two Hours, being risen near two Inches high, presented them with a delicate and tender Sallet . . .’ Evelyn does not, however, say that this astonishing growth took place at the fireside.(Glasse, 1747)

SALLERY: celery. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SALMON, CHINE, JOLE, RAND OF: See the relevant entries. Also pupton. (John Nott, 1726)

SALMY or SALMY-GUNDY: defined by Randle Holme as ‘an Italian dish-meat made of cold Turkey and other ingredients’. The name is derived from the French word salmis, and later became Solomon Gundy, in which form it still survives in Canada. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SALOP: More usually salep. A starch from the dried tubers of various orchidaceous plants. In Turkey and Egypt used as the basis of a milk drink and a milky ice. Nott’s receipt S 37 would presumably make a kind of pap. Salep is often confused with saloop. See sassafras. (John Nott, 1726)

SALPICON: See S 38. A highly complex mixture, a kind of liquid stuffing for a very large roast joint. (John Nott, 1726)

SALPRUNELLA, 117. The subject of Dr Johnson’s criticism, that Hannah Glasse was misguided in drawing a distinction between saltpetre and sal-prunella, the latter being merely the former burned on charcoal. The doctor was himself misguided in supposing that there is no significant difference between the two substances. Saltpetre is a nitrate of potassium or sodium. It was sometimes simply called ‘nitre’. Salprunella is ‘fused nitre cast into moulds’ (OED), i.e. a nitrite made into cakes or balls and used in medicine and preserving. The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1768-71) gives a dramatic description of its preparation. ‘Take the purest sal-petre in powder; put it into a large crucible, which it may but half fill; set the crucible in a common furnace, and surround it with coals. When it is red hot the nitre will melt, and become as fluid as water. Then throw into the crucible a small quantity of charcoal dust: the nitre and the charcoal will immediately deflagrate with violence; and a great commotion will be raised, accompanied with a considerable hissing, and abundance of black smoke.’ The process is repeated until nothing more happens, when the product remaining is ‘nitre fixed by charcoal, i.e. a nitrite instead of a nitrate, and called salprunella. The use of nitrites in preserving produces a red colour and is attended by greater risks than the use of nitrates (shade of Dr Johnson, please note).(Glasse, 1747)

SALPRUNELLA is saltpetre burnt over charcoal, melted and cast into moulds. (William Ellis, 1750)

SALSIFIE (salsify): Tragopogon porrifolius, a root vegetable shaped like a long, thin carrot and with a skin reminiscent of the parsnip. It is also known as Purple Goat’s- beard. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SALT: there were different sorts of salt available, see Elizabeth David, Spices, Salts and Aromatics in the English Kitchen (1970), and the glossary to Hannah Glasse for some discussion:(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

BAY-SALT: salt made from the evaporation of seawater in salt pans by the natural heat of the sun. This was usually imported from the hotter climes of southern Europe. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WHITE SALT: salt made by the evaporation of seawater and brine (for instance from the brine springs of Cheshire) by artificially heating it. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SALT. The choice of salt was important. Hannah Glasse mentions four kinds, as follows.

WHITE SALT was prepared from seawater on the east coast of England and Scotland and from brine springs in Worcestershire and Cheshire. (The Cheshire salt mines were started in 1670, when deposits of rock salt were discovered near Northwich. The salt produced there was sent to the west coast to be heated and dissolved in brine and recrystallized, thus making what was celled ‘salt upon salt’.)

YORKSHIRE SALT would have been a kind of white salt, from the Yorkshire coast.

MALDERN (i.e. MALDON) SALT was white, sea salt from Maldon in Essex, which remains popular and is still marketed under that name. Incidentally, Hannah Glasse preferred Suffolk butter because Maldon salt was used in its preparation. For salting meat, however, she seems to have preferred a Cheshire salt, that from Nantwich which was called Lounds’s salt.

BAY SALT, according to Webster (1861), ‘is obtained from the sea water by evaporating it in large shallow reservoirs by the heat of the sun only. None is made strictly by this method in Britain, the climate being scarcely warm enough; but large quantities are manufactured on the southern coasts of Europe, as France, Spain, and Portugal, and from thence it is imported into this country. It is very large or coarse-grained, in consequence of the slowness of the evaporation, and more or less impure, being brownish, grey, or reddish, according to the colour of the clay which formed the bottom of the pans in which it was made…. The more slowly the water has been evaporated, the larger are the crystals of salt, and the more perfect and pure they are. Bay salt is generally considered to be stronger than white salt; but this opinion is erroneous; its superior operation is rather by dissolving slower on account of the large size of its crystals; and hence it is more useful in salting sea stores.’ (‘Sea salt’ differed from ‘bay salt’ in that it was evaporated by artificial means, but Hannah Glasse does not refer to sea salt as such; it is but one kind of her ‘white salt’.)(Glasse, 1747)

SALTPETER: potassium nitrate, used as a preservative of flesh. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SALT-PETER (saltpetre): potassium nitrate, a crystalline substance with a saline taste. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SALTPETRE: potassium or sodium nitrate. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SALTPETRE, potassium or sodium nitrate: see SAL-PRUNELLA.(Glasse, 1747)

SALTPETRE is potassium nitrate. It may be obtained by mixing decaying nitrogenous matter with lime (alkali), air and water, adding to the solution wood-ash or potassium, then crystallizing the result. (William Ellis, 1750)

SALUP. Since Hannah Glasse, 120, refers to this as a hard stone ground to powder, it is evident that she means what is now spelled salep, the substance from which the beverage saloop is made. Salep is not a powdered stone, but the pulverized root of plants of the orchid family, Orchis latifolia, O. mascula and related species, which grow in parts of Europe and in Asia. According to Webster (1861), the roots of O. mascula were the principal source, and were imported from Turkey, Persia, Syria and the East Indies. The roots had been baked in ovens until semi-transparent, then dried. They arrived as oval pieces, yellowish-white, sometimes clear, and always hard and horny, so that pulverizing them was not easy. Salep was supposed to have great nutritional powers. The drink saloop began to enjoy a vogue towards the end of the 17th century. Anne Wilson (1973) records that the powder was stirred into water until it thickened, then sweetened and seasoned with rosewater or orange-flower water (not used in Hannah Glasse’s recipe). It was often made up with milk. ‘At the height of its popularity salop was served in the coffee-houses as an alternative to coffee or chocolate; and salop-vendors peddled the drink in the streets, or sold it from booths.’(Glasse, 1747)

SAMPHIER, sampier: rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum), rather than the marsh samphire with which it is often confused. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SAMPHIRE: Crithium maritimum. A plant which flourishes on rocks and sea cliffs. In French, herbe de St. Pierre and perce-pierre, from the manner in which its roots strike deep into rocky crevices. A popular pickle for winter salads in the 16th and 17th centuries in England, France, and most south European countries. The pickle was also served with boiled meats. In the spring and early summer months, fresh samphire is good boiled and eaten with butter. John Evelyn wondered that it had never been cultivated in English kitchen gardens as it was in France. Shakespeare, in a famous line from King Lear (IV.6) tells us that gathering samphire was a ‘dreadful trade’, by which he meant perilous. (John Nott, 1726)

SAMPIER, 10: samphire. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SAMPIER: samphire, Crithmum maritimum, a herb which grows by the sea, e.g. on cliffs, and which used to be pickled as a standard relish for meat, fish or salads.(Glasse, 1747)

SAND was used for preserving eggs, as were meal, bran and wood-ashes.(Glasse, 1747)

SAND-HEAT: heat applied by means of heated sand. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SANDERS, occurring in various contexts: a dye from the red sandalwood tree which was imported from the Orient. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SANDERS, red sanders: a dye obtained from the red sandalwood tree. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SANICLE: Sanicula europaea; medicinal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SASSAFRAS: the imported bark of a North-American tree, Sassafras albidum. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SASSAFRAS: A small tree native to Florida, discovered there by the Spaniards in 1528. Also called sassafras laurel and ague tree. The dried bark was used medicinally. Sassafras tea, called saloop, was supposedly possessed of many healing virtues. (John Nott, 1726)

SASSAFRAS is the bark of the sassafras laurel, native to America. The oil was made from the roots of the tree. (William Ellis, 1750)

SAUCEPAN: Receipt 317 specifies that the saucepan or stewpan be tinned when potting pigeons. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SAUCEPAN. The varieties referred to by Hannah Glasse are copper, brass (135), and silver ‘if you have one’ (143). She says (10): ‘Use no Iron Pans etc for they are not proper.’ This advice was ridiculed, with some justice, by Ann Cook (1752).(Glasse, 1747)

SAUNDERS, SANDERS: Red and yellow colourings, obtained from two different varieties of sandalwood. (John Nott, 1726)

SAVORY, 23 and in numerous other recipes. Winter savory (Satureja montana), sharper and spicier than summer savory (S hortensis), is sometimes specified, as at 108 and 321. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SAVORY: Satureia montana and s. hortensis, respectively winter and summer savvy. The former was probably intended in Nott’s receipts. A pungent herb used in forcemeats, ragoos and the like. (John Nott, 1726)

SAXAFRAS: sassafras, a tree native to Florida. The bark was used in medicine and to make a calming tea (E. David, glossary to John Nott). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SAXAFREG. Saxifrage, a perennial herb of which there are many species. It takes its common and botanical name (the family is Saxifragaceae) from its reputed ability to break through stones or rocks. It was for this reason that it was thought to be a medical remedy for ‘the stone’.(Glasse, 1747)

SCABIOUS: field scabious, Knautia arvensis, used for skin troubles and against the plague. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SCALD-BERRY is the blackberry. (William Ellis, 1750)

SCALD-HEAD is a skin disease, usually ringworm, but it may cover a multitude of scalp conditions, from pustules to scurf. (William Ellis, 1750)

SCATE: skate (or ray – the two terms are in effect interchangeable). Hannah Glasse regularly refers (78, 93, 163) to ‘scate or thornback’. The latter is Raja clavata, considered to be the best fish of the family and still called thornback.(Glasse, 1747)

SCEMING DISH: skimming dish. A flat, perforated brass skimmer. These were used in the production of clotted cream, among other things, but Evelyn also noted the use of a flat wooden trencher to skim the cream off the milk in Normandy (Receipt 100).Receipt 172 also calls for a wooden trencher in making a ‘clouted cream’. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SCHUCHENEL: cochineal, the familiar red food-dye, prepared from the dried bodies of a scale insect, Coccus cacti.(Glasse, 1747)

SCOLLOP, 400: scallop (the mollusc). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SCOLLOPS, SCOLLUPS-SHELLS, scallops, scallop-shells.(Glasse, 1747)

SCOOPE, SMALL. Apple scoops were made of wood or bone. They were not unlike modern apple corers in design, but usually decorated with initials and a date.(Glasse, 1747)

SCORDIUM, water germander, Teucrium scordium, a herb which smells like garlic and has medicinal uses.(Glasse, 1747)

SCORZONERA: Scorzonera hispanica, a root vegetable shaped like salsify, but with a brownish-black skin. It is also known as black salsify. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SCORZONERA. Black salsify, Scorzonera hispanica, a plant whose roots are consumed like those of ordinary salsify. It was introduced to England in the 17th century.(Glasse, 1747)

SCOTCH: to score a piece of meat or fish with the tip of a knife, nothing to do with Scotland. The word scarify is used in Receipt 125 for eels, for roughly the same act. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SCOTCH CHICKENS, 40. Hannah Glasse took this recipe from The Whole Duty of a Woman (1737), whose compiler took it from Charles Carter (1732). There is no recipe like it in Mrs McLintock’s Receipts (1736), the first cookery book to be published in Scotland although she does have an interesting recipe for Chicken Pye, involving gooseberries and sounding like a regional dish. Nor is Hannah Glasse’s recipe echOED by Mrs Maclver (1789), Meg Dods (1826) or Mrs Dalgairns (1829). An adapted version of the recipe occurs in Briggs (1788), but there is no reason to think that he had any special knowledge of Scottish dishes.(Glasse, 1747)

SCOTCH PILL was a physic which killed by frequent application, its composition was mainly aloes, jalap, gamboge and anise. (William Ellis, 1750)

SCOTS COLLUPS: see under COLLUPS. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SCRAIG, 33. Scrag, the crop. Wright’s Dialect Dictionary gives ‘neck and scrag’as an alternative to the more familiar ‘neck and crop’. The OED says: ‘The lean and inferior end of a neck of mutton (or veal)’. ‘Inferior’ is ambiguous. The scrag is the upper part, and the OED is referring to quality rather than position.(Glasse, 1747)

SCRAPED SUGAR: scraped with a knife off the block, which was the form it entered the household, rather than the powdered sugar we have today. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SCROW: scraps of hide to be boiled for glue(Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SCURVY GRASS, 161: Cochlearia officinalis, a cruciferous plant whose fleshy leaves were eaten, e g by sailors, for their anti-scorbutic qualities. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SCURVY-GRASS: Cochlearia officinalis, thought generally wholesome. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SCURVY-GRASS, scurvy grasse: Cochlearia officinalis. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SCURVY-GRASS. The plant Cochlearia officinalis, whose leaves were infused as a preventative against scurvy. Culpeper (1826 edition) says, of the ivy-leaved variety: ‘A distilled water and a conserve are prepared from the leaves, and kept in the shops; and its juice is frequently prescribed, together with that of Seville oranges, by the name of antiscorbutic juices.’(Glasse, 1747)

SCURVY-GRASS is Cochlearia officinalis. (William Ellis, 1750)

SCURVYGRASS ALE: Scurvygrass, cochlearia officinalis, as its name indicates, was believed to be an antiscorbutic. The plant is also called spoonwort. Scurvygrass ale was drunk as a blood-cleansing tonic. (John Nott, 1726)

SEA DUCK: Some sort of waterfowl other than the numerous ones (see S 74, 75) for which Nott gives a portmanteau receipt. Perhaps a coot or moorhen. Or perhaps an alternative term for the spoonbill duck or shoveller. (John Nott, 1726)

SEA-LARK: a local name for various small birds frequenting the sea-shore. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SEA-SPIDER. This is an unusual name for the pea crab or oyster crab, a diminutive resident in the shells of living bivalves such as mussels and oysters. Bradley erred in supposing that it was these little creatures which made people ill after eating mussels. On the contrary, they are themselves a delicacy. See Davidson, Alan, North Atlantic Seafood, Macmillan, London, 1979, and Viking Penguin, New York, 1980. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SEA TURTLE. The three recipes for dressing sea turtle provided by ‘a Barbadoes Lady’ are of great historical interest. Not only do they shed new light on the cookery of the early British colonists in the West Indies, but they also are the first sea turtle recipes to appear in an English cookery book. Later on in the 18th century, recipes for turtle soup (or mock turtle soup, made with a calf’s head) became part of the usual stock of cookery writers. The dish had become so popular that cold mock turtle soups were even sold in London pastry-cook shops. In r732, however, when Part II of The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director was published, the sea turtle was quite a novelty. Only a small number had been transported in tanks from the West Indies to England, and only a few travellers had written about them. Richard Ligon, author of A true and exact history of the island of Barbados (1657), had praised the Green Turtle for its ‘wholesomenesse, and Rarenesse of Taste’. But although he described the method used to kill turtles and alluded to the revolting pickled turtle served to Negroes and servants on the Leeward Islands, he provided no culinary details. Hans Sloane, in volume I of his Natural History of Jamaica (1707), was similarly uninformative, perhaps because he thought turtles ‘infect the Blood of those feeding upon them, whence their Shirts are yellow, their Skin and Face of the same colour, and their Shirts under the Armpits stained prodigiously’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SEA-WORM-WOOD: Artemisia maritima; aromatic. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SEADRINK. Referred to, 154, as an ingredient in Plague Water. A mystery. The term is unknown to the Editors of the OED. So far as can be ascertained, no other author who gives a receipt for plague water cites this ingredient. But the receipt given by Eliza Smith (1742) includes scordium, which Hannah Glasse leaves out. It has been suggested by Anne Wilson (private communication) that seadrink might just possibly be a faulty transcription of scordium. The recipes for Plague Water in The Lady’s Companion (1743) are quite different, but they also include scordium.(Glasse, 1747)

SEAME, SEAM: fat or grease. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SEAMY: the word seam, meaning fat or grease, survived until towards the end of the 17th century. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SEAMEY: Nott used this term of mustard, meaning strong-tasting. (John Nott, 1726)

SEAR-CLOTH or cerecloth was a cloth impregnated with wax or sticky salve. It might be used as a winding sheet, or as a medicinal plaster. (William Ellis, 1750)

SEARCE, searse, serse: to sift or sieve. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SEARCE, 21, 64, etc (and participle ‘searsing’, 106): to sift or sieve. According to the OED our culinary term sieve was used mainly in agricultural contexts at this time. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SEARSE, searce: a fine sieve; to sieve. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SEARSE or searce is the sieve or strainer. The verb is the action of sieving or straining. (William Ellis, 1750)

SEATON or seton (from the medieval Latin for bristle, and also silk) is a thread or tape drawn through the skin next to a wound or sore to keep open an issue, to stop it entirely healing over. (William Ellis, 1750)

SEGO, 120. Sago, introduced to England from the orient in the latter part of the 17th century. An invalid food, also used as an addition to elegant pottages, especially clear chicken broth.(Glasse, 1747)

SELF-HEAL: Prunella vulgaris, a wound-herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SEMEY, VENISON: See Venison. (John Nott, 1726)

SENA or senna are the seeds of the cassia shrub, used as an emetic or laxative. (William Ellis, 1750)

SENTORY: centaury, Centaurium minus, a bitter herb used for medical purposes, ‘identified with the kentaurion of Greek medical writers, so named because it was discovered by Chiron the centaur’. (Grigson, 1955)(Glasse, 1747)

SERVICE: a self-contained stage in a meal, or an individual dish. In Receipt 185 the patties or pasties can either act as garnish or, if they are made with puff paste, ‘they are a service by themselves served alltogether in a dish.’ Meals originally consisted of one or more services of several dishes, of contrasting, opposing or complementary flavours.The ms uses the word in both its accepted senses.The words service and course may be interchangeable. Receipt 21 has venison served at the second course; Receipt 37 is for a lobster pie for the second service. Receipt 301 talks of sending stewed apples ‘in with the dessert’. Charles Carter’s The Complete Practical Cook (1730) has many plans of dinner tables which reflect usage at the end of Evelyn’s life. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SERVICE. A feature in many earlier (and some later) cookery books is a series of plates showing how dishes were disposed on tables. Hannah Glasse does without these, but uses the terms which such plates illustrate, e.g. Corner plates and Side, Bottom, Middle and Top dishes. Side dishes and Corner plates, which might remain present on the table throughout a formal meal, were of subsidiary importance. They were often preserves, which could go back into the larder and then be brought out again for a subsequent meal, with any damage repaired. Bottom, Middle and Top dishes were what would now be called main courses; but the custom was to serve a number of alternatives for each course (or ‘service’), in quantities scaled down accordingly, and to arrange them in carefully devised positions on the table. The criteria by which Bottom, Middle and Top dishes were differentiated are not easy to discern, but it seems that certain dishes such as soups and fish, which it would be desirable to remove as soon as dealt with, would be likely to be at the end of the table; whereas a handsome joint or a bird which had been carved and reconstituted would be in the centre, and side positions would be occupied by dishes low in height. One of Hannah Glasse’s recipes, that for Beans and Cabbage, 100, is remarkable in that it could provide a Bottom, Middle or Top, or indeed a Side, dish. Alice Smith (1760) has an illuminating passage on the disposition and number of dishes to be served and the ideal shape of table for each number. This is quoted in full in ‘TheJohn Trot Fault’ in Petits Propos Culinaires, No. 15, Prospect Books 1983. There is also an interesting account in Bradley (1736, Part 11, 169-70), attributed to ‘G. S. Esq.’ of the construction of a ‘fashionable table’. This was circular, in two tiers, the upper one revolving in the Chinese manner, so that each person, by turning it, could have access to any of the dishes on it. Finally, Nott (1980 reprint, the last item in the book) has an interesting section on the service of desserts.(Glasse, 1747)

SETFOYL, 159, a mystery, unless it is cinq(ue) foil, Potentilla replans, a herb taken against pestilential fevers, which was distilled, both alone and with other herbs.(Glasse, 1747)

SEWET: suet. Try’d suet, 75, is suet rendered or melted from its membranes.(Glasse, 1747)

SHALLOTS: see Onions. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SHAMBLES: a market where meat, and occasionally fish, were sold. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SHEPHERD’S-POUCH, shepherd’s-purse are two names for the Capsella bursa-pastoris, a common weed also called ‘Naughty Man’s Plaything’ (Grigson). (William Ellis, 1750)

SHERBET: See S 78. This curious receipt is derived from one called sorbec d’Alexandrie which appeared in the book translated in 1682 by Giles Rose (see Introduction p. 1). The likelihood is that it was administered to invalids and the elderly, and perhaps in consumptions, as a strengthening or reviving draught. A concentrated meat broth sweetened with a great deal of sugar would have been considered very beneficial to health. (John Nott, 1726)

SHIELD is the thick skin on the flanks of a boar that makes up the outside of the joint called brawn. (William Ellis, 1750)

SHOCK is a group of sheaves of wheat or corn stood up in the field before gathering and storing in the barn or rick. The word itself derives from medieval German and was a collective noun meaning sixty. (William Ellis, 1750)

SHOVEL. A clear shovel, 52, is simply a clean shovel. A red-hot shovel, 82, is used as a simple substitute for a salamander to glaze the top of a dish.(Glasse, 1747)

SHOVELLER, 153: a name probably applicable to several species of wading bird with spoon-shaped bills, more commonly called spoonbills. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SHREAD, shred.(Glasse, 1747)

SIBBOULETS: Welsh onions. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SIEVE. Hannah Glasse refers to various kinds of sieve which she assumes a cook will have, such as a wicker sieve and a hair-sieve which, like a HAIR-BAG, was made of horsehair.(Glasse, 1747)

SIMPER: simmer. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SIPPET, SIPPIT, passim: a thin slice of white toast, often used to garnish a dish. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SIPPET, Sippett: slices or small triangles of fried, dried or toasted bread, or sometimes puff pastry, used to ornament a dish. In Receipt 91 they should be of manchet ‘roasted crispe by a quick fire’. The word is the diminutive of sop, also used by Evelyn, e.g. in Receipt 72. See Karen Hess, p. 40, for a short discussion. Receipt 8 seems to imply that sippetts are creatures of fashion: ‘the Sippetts now in use wherewith this must be served…’. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SIPPET: a small piece of toasted or fried bread, usually served in soup or broth, or with meat, or used for dipping into gravy. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SIPPETS. Small sops of fried or toasted bread used to garnish broths, soups, gravy or meat.(Glasse, 1747)

SIV: sieve(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SIVES: chives. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SKELLET, skillet. Hannah Glasse refers at 131 to a bell-mettle skillet and also to a copper one. See comments under BELL-METTLE SKILLET.(Glasse, 1747)

SKERRET (skirret): a root vegetable from the plant Sium sisarum, a species of water parsnip. Bradley cultivated the skirret for his own consumption from 1709 to 1718. In New Improvements of Planting and Gardening (part III, 1718, pp. 129-30) he commented that: ‘The Skirret has a very agreeable Root, altho’ it is propagated but in a few Gardens; and it may be, the Rarity of it is owing to the Want of the right way of cultivating it.’ (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SKERRIT, skarrett: skirret (Sium sisarum), a species of water parsnip cultivated for its root. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SKILLET: a sturdy metal pot, with legs, basin and handle cast as one piece. It could be stood right in the fire. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SKILLET, skellet: a metal cooking pot, often with legs to stand in the fire, cast in one piece. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SKINKE, 115: an excellent pottage, says May. Rabisha (1682) also has a ‘skinck’, made in a generally similar manner with a basis of beef. There is clearly a connection with the traditional Scottish term ‘skink’ meaning a ‘stew-soup’, as Marian McNeill (1929, revised 1963) explains. However, what is probably the best known Scottish skink, cullen skink, is made with Finnan haddock. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SKIRRET: Sium sisarum, a species of water parsnip. In appearance something between salsify and the parsnips we know, but less pronounced in flavour than the latter. (John Nott, 1726)

SKIRRET, SKIRRIT. Sium sisarum, a sweet rooted plant which used to be cultivated and eaten, but has now lapsed into the wild state and near-oblivion. Elizabeth David, who was still able to find it on sale in London in about 1960, has described it thus in her John Nott glossary: ‘In appearance something between salsify and the parsnips we know, but less pronounced in flavour than the latter.’(Glasse, 1747)

SKIRRITS: water-parsnip Sium sisarum. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SLATES: Used for the drying of fruit and candied delicacies, in the drying stove or, optimistically, in the sun. (John Nott, 1726)

SLUTS-PENNIES are hard pieces in dough caused by imperfect kneading. The definition in OED is derived solely from this reference in Ellis. (William Ellis, 1750)

SMALLAGE is Apium graveolens, wild or primitive celery. (William Ellis, 1750)

SMALLAGE: wild celery Apium graveolens; medicinal herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SMALL EDGE: smallage (Apium graveolens), wild or primitive celery. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SMOKING CLOSET. A description of the smoking-closets used for curing ham and bacon in and around Hamburg and Westphalia in west Germany was sent to Bradley by his friend John Warner of Rotherhithe. This was published in Bradley’s Monthly Writings of 1721-2. (See A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening, volume I, 1726, pp. 115-16.) See also the entries under WESTPHALIA HAM and WARNER. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SNAILS. According to C. Anne Wilson, snails were a French taste that never crossed the channel, except for a brief period from the late 17th century to the 17305. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SNAKE-ROOT is the root or rhizome of one of several American plants deemed fine antidotes to snake’s venom. (William Ellis, 1750)

SNITE, 103: an archaic spelling of snipe, the bird. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SOAL, sole.(Glasse, 1747)

SODDE, sod: boiled. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SOPPS: see Sippetts(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SOSA ROLIS: S 51. Error for Rosa Solis. q.v. (John Nott, 1726)

SOUCE, 195: souse, meaning to preserve in pickle, e g diluted and spiced white wine (as in one of May’s recipes) or vinegar. The ‘souse drink made of whey and salt’, 194, was another such preserving liquid. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SOUCE, souse: drink, pickle. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SOUCE, souse, sowce: a pickling liquid, often referred to as a ‘sousing drink’; also a verb, meaning to pickle or to immerse in a pickle. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SOUCING or sousing is pickling. Souce-drink is pickle or brine. (William Ellis, 1750)

SOUSING-LIQUOR, 129. Any kind of pickling liquid, e.g. vinegar. A sousing-pan, 128, was used to hold this.(Glasse, 1747)

SOVAGE, 158, a misprint for lovage.(Glasse, 1747)

SPANISH FLY is cantharides, from the beetle also called blister beetle. It is dried to a powder and its active agent is cantharidin. Applied externally, it blisters; internally, it is an emetic, as well as promoting tumescence. A little goes far. (William Ellis, 1750)

SPARAGES, esparages: asparagus. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SPARIB, SPARRIBS, a pleasing contraction of spareribs.(Glasse, 1747)

SPICES. Bradley mentions allspice, aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds (also referred to as sweet fennel seeds), Jamaica pepper (another name for allspice), mace, nutmeg, and pepper. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SPINNAGE FLORENDINE: S 123. A very Italian mixture of spinach, curd cheese and currants. (John Nott, 1726)

SPINNAGE ROSA SOLIS: Rosa Solis is here an error for raviolis. (John Nott, 1726)

SPIRE, TO, describes the shooting upwards of corn or grain in a field in wet or adverse conditions. (William Ellis, 1750)

SPITCHCOT-EEL (spitchcock-eel): an eel cut into three or four pieces, dressed with bread crumbs and chopped herbs (with its skin on) and boiled or fried. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SPLEENWORT: hartstongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SPOONFUL, see MEASURES.(Glasse, 1747)

STAMP, passim: pound. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

STAMPE, stamp: crush, grind. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

STATION FLOURS, nasturtium Howers.(Glasse, 1747)

STEAN, STEIN: Stoneware pot. (John Nott, 1726)

STEEL, SALT OR POWDER OF, is ‘usually’ (OED) iron chloride but may be sulphate of iron. ‘Flowers of steel’ were obtained by heating iron with sal-ammoniac. It may also be called copperose of Mars or vitriol of Mars. (William Ellis, 1750)

STEEN or stean is an earthenware jar. (William Ellis, 1750)

STEEPLE CREAM, 143. A confection of stiffened cream moulded into tall pointed shapes in special pots (see GALLIPOTS). Hannah Glasse’s recipe came from Eliza Smith (1742).(Glasse, 1747)

STEW PAN. An oval stew pan is mentioned, 91. Round ones were the common sort.(Glasse, 1747)

STICKING-PIECE: the lower part of the neck of a carcass of beef. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

STILL (verb): to distill. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

STILL: an apparatus for distillation, consisting of a closed vessel (alembick) in which the subject to be distilled is heated, and another vessel for collecting the condensation of the vapour produced. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

STILTON CHEESE: Bradley first published his recipe to make Stilton in A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening (volume I, 1726, p. 118), i.e. c. 1721-2. He explained that Stilton was in Lincolnshire on the coach road to Lincoln from London and that he had received the recipe from the Sign of the Bell, ‘the Man of that House keeping strictly to the old Receipt, while others thereabouts seem to leave out a great part of the Cream, which is the chief Ingredient’. The recipe ran as follows: ‘Take ten Gallons of Morning Milk, and five Gallons of sweet Cream, and beat them together; then put in as much boiling Spring-water, as will make it warmer than Milk from the Cow; when this is done, put in Runnet made strong with large Mace, and when it is come (or the Milk is set in Curd) break it as small as you would do for Cheese-Cakes; and after that salt it, and put it into the Fatt, and press it for two Hours.

Then boil the Whey, and when you have taken off the Curds, put the cheese into the Whey, and let it stand half an Hour; then put it in the Press, and when you take it out, bind it up for the first Fortnight in Linen Rollers, and turn it upon Boards for the first Month twice a Day.’

The same recipe was reprinted when A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening appeared later as a book, in three volumes (see volume I, 1726, p. 118). It was again reprinted, with due attribution, in John Laurence’s A new system of agriculture (1726). Laurence, who shared Bradley’s publisher Thomas Woodward, could not refrain from remarking (quite correctly) that Stilton was not in Lincolnshire, ‘but a great way off in Huntingdonshire’. Bradley later made some additions to the recipe in The Gentleman and Farmer’s Guide (1729), pp. 141-4. He explained that the mace needed to be boiled with the rennet liquor rather than infused, suggested moistening the cheese with sack, and stated that the perfect Stilton should be about 7 inches in diameter, 8 inches in height and 18 pounds in weight. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

STOCK FISH: (unsalted) dried cod. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

STOCK-FRITTERS, 172 (Italian). It may be that ‘stock’ is here used in the sense of a standard range of things, in this case the forms illustrated with the recipe. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

STOECHAS or Lavendula stœchas is the French lavender. The Iles d’Hyères were called the Stœchades due to the quantities of the plant found there. It was an expectorant (among other things). (William Ellis, 1750)

STONE, 102: testicle. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

STONE is a measure, usually weighing 14 pounds. However, Ellis also refers to the eight-pound stone – which was the measure for sugar and spice (OED). (William Ellis, 1750)

STOVE, DRYING: See Drying. (John Nott, 1726)

STOVE. A verb, meaning to stew, e.g. ‘pigeons stoved’, 44.(Glasse, 1747)

STRENTS, 216: these are clearly birds, but have not been identified. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

STROAKINGS: the last milk drawn from a cow; strippings. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

STROAKINGS: the milk that is taken from the cow when stripping the udder at the end of milking. It is richer than other milk. It was sometimes called afterings. In The Compleat Cook (p. 78), it says, ‘Take a gallon of Stroakings, and a pint of Cream as it comes from the Cow, and put it together with a little Rennet,’ in order to make angelot cheese. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

STROAKINGS or strokings are well defined by Ellis. They are the afterings, the last milk taken from the cow’s udder, and the richest. Smollett’s Roderick Random was treated to choice bits from the cook and stroakings from the milkmaid. (William Ellis, 1750)

STRUMMED [wine]: a strum was a wicker sieve used in brewing to keep the malt in the mashing tub from fouling the tap and bunghole. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

STUBBLE GOOSE, 152-3: a goose which has been fattened by feeding on the stubble left in the herds after the wheat has been harvested. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

STUBBLE-GOOSE: adult goose, as distinct from green goose; turned into stubble fields to feed, and eaten in late autumn. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

STUMP PYE: See P 272. Presumably this had some relation in appearance to the raised embroidery called stump work so popular in the Jacobean period. I think the idea was to arrange sweetmeats in a pattern on the top of the filling before covering them with a protective crust. When the pie came to table the crust was lifted off, carved into triangles or other decorative shapes, and planted upright round the inside of the pie. The decoration on top of the filling then became visible. A carnation or other ornamental flower was sometimes stuck upright in the centre. (John Nott, 1726)

STURGEON, 92. Never a common fish in British rivers, the sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, was already a rarity in the 18th century, and any sturgeon taken were the property of the Crown. But recipe books continued to feature sturgeon recipes, and in the 19th century too. Such recipes seem to have been an anachronism for cooks but a status symbol for cookery writers. It is fair to add, however, that sturgeon can be taken at sea, and that Richard Bradley (1736, Part II, 20-21) has an interesting paragraph (copied almost verbatim by Hannah Glasse, 163) in which he indicates that they were more common in ‘the Northern Seas’ than in rivers. It is also noticeable that Bradley’s sturgeon recipes, of which all but one (that for preparing caviar) are attributed to a place or person, are detailed and sound convincingly ‘real’.(Glasse, 1747)

STURGEON, WELCH: This turns out to be a receipt for potted beef. Why Welsh ? A puzzle. Perhaps some long forgotten joke or jibe. (John Nott, 1726)

SUBLIMATE MERCURY is mercury that has been heated, vapourized, then resolidified into a white powder. (William Ellis, 1750)

SUCCORY, 22: chicory. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

SUCCORY: chicory (Cichorium intybus). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SUCCORY: old form of chicory; medicinal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SUCCORY: Chicory. (John Nott, 1726)

SUCCORY (chicory): the plant Cichorium intybus. It has bright blue flowers, and its bitter leaves and root were formerly used both medicinally and as food. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SUCCORY is chicory (Cichorium intybus). (William Ellis, 1750)

SUCKERY, succory, chicory.(Glasse, 1747)

SUCKETS: Sweetmeats. Fruit, roots, lettuce and mallow stalks preserved in syrup were wet suckets. When candied or crystallised they were dry suckets. (John Nott, 1726)

SUET: the solid fat round the loins and kidneys of certain animals, such as ox and sheep. It is chopped up for use in cooking. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SUET, TRY’D: Rendered suet. (John Nott, 1726)

SUGAR: There were many sorts of sugar at this period. See the entry in the glossary to Hannah Glasse. C. Anne Wilson’s Food and Drink in Britain is useful on the types of sugar available in the seventeenth century. See also the glossary to Richard Bradley. Double refined sugar: sugar was refined in the country of origin but this was often insufficient for European taste, so local refineries were established that produced the white loaves of sugar familiar from contemporary still-lifes. Double refined sugar is therefore particularly white. Loaf sugar: describes the conical form in which sugar was produced after its refinement in England or Europe. A discussion and illustration are to be found in Elizabeth David, English Bread and Yeast Cookery, 1977. Where the recipe calls for sugar to be ‘beat’, this refers to the fact that most sugar entered the household in loaf form. After detaching lumps with cutters designed for the purpose, they have still to be ground in a mortar, or through a sieve, into usable powder.Sometimes a recipe calls for sugar to be ‘grossly’ beaten, others for it to be finer. Treble refined sugar: mentioned in Receipt 156 is even whiter. It is sometimes called royal sugar. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SUGAR: the recipes call for a bewildering variety of sugars, including brown sugar, double-refined loaf sugar, fine sugar, Lisbon sugar, loaf sugar, white sugar candied, finely powdered sugar, and white sugar candy. To make sense of all these and to decide what modern types of sugar to use in their place, it is necessary to understand that sugar normally came in loaf form in the 18th century (it was dried and transported thus) and that there were six basic grades of refinement. (The whiter the sugar, the more expensive and prized it was.) The different stages of refinement were as follows: crude sugar or muscovado—raw, untouched sugar straight from the cane. This was virtually never used in cooking. Strained or brown sugar—similar to muscovado, except for being slightly lighter in colour and harder. Earthed or white powder sugar—brown sugar that has been further whitened by removing impurities from it. Refined sugar—white sugar. This was sold in both powder and loaf form. Royal or double-refined sugar—the finest refined sugar. White/brown/red sugar candy—refined sugar clarified and crystallized by slow evaporation. Brown sugar candy was made by using brown sugar rather than white, and red sugar candy was achieved by the addition of Indian fig juice. In addition, sugar was sometimes classified according to its place or origin (e.g. Brazil sugar) or by its main entrepot (e.g. Lisbon sugar). The latter was a soft, not so white, sugar that was considered inferior to sugar imported from Jamaica and Barbados. For further information see Pierre Pomet, Jean- Baptiste Labat, and Ephraim Chambers. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SUGAR. Various kinds of sugar were available in the 18th century, with names indicating either the extent of the processing which they had undergone or the manner of presentation for sale. It normally came in a ‘loaf, of a conical shape. Besides loaf-sugar, Hannah Glasse calls for: sixpenny sugar 134 double-refined sugar 143 treble-refined sugar 154; fine Lisbon sugar 147; coarse Lisbon sugar 157; fine dry powder sugar 148; lump sugar 149; sugar-candy 154. Some of these terms are self-explanatory, while others are readily understood in the light of early methods of refining sugar. These were succinctly described by the great Swedish naturalist Linnaeus after visiting Alderman Lindstedt’s sugar factory at Norrkoping on 19 May 1741. ‘Here the coarse and unrefined raw sugar was pulverized and boiled in water, diluted with limewater, mixed with ox blood or egg white, skimmed and poured into inverted cone-shaped moulds, perforated at the tip; from these a syrup trickled down into a bottle; this was repeated, and then the mould was covered with a white, dough- like French clay like a lid. It is strange that there should be no such clay in Sweden, but it has to be imported.’ What Linnaeus witnessed was sugar refining. The purpose of the clay, stated most simply, was to filter water down through the sugar, thus removing impurities. Ordinary refined sugar was likely to be yellow. Double-refined sugar, the result of reboiling, recrystallization, and a second refining, was off-white. Triple-refined or Royal sugar was more expensive and whiter. Clay was also used, in a similar way, to prepare the raw sugar which was shipped from the West Indies, often via Lisbon, to the refineries. Thus the terms ‘clayed sugar’ and ‘Lisbon sugar’ meant the same thing, an unrefined (yet somewhat purified) sugar. For a fuller and more precise account, see Elizabeth David (1977, 142). Lump sugar was just lumps broken off the loaf, whereas powdered sugar had been grated from the loaf. The name candy sugar, from ‘khanda’, the Sanskrit word for ‘a piece’, applied and still applies to large crystalline pieces of sugar grown on threads suspended in a saturated solution of refined sugar. The six stages successively reached by sugar when boiled had been defined by Massialot (1702) in terms echoed by Carter (1732). These, with corresponding modern terms, are: 1. smooth, thin thread (or smooth); 2. pearled, thick thread ; 3. blown, soft ball ; 4. feathered, hard ball ; 5. cracked, light- or hard-crack ; 6. caramel, caramel. Hannah Glasse evidently recognized something like this system, although the recipes in The Art of Cookery, 154-5, mention four stages only: numbers 2 and 3, plus ‘in hairs’ and ‘to a candy height’ (? both corresponding to 1).(Glasse, 1747)

SUGAR BOILING: Nott’s directions concerning this branch of the pastrycook’s and confectioner’s art are very sound – and detailed. (John Nott, 1726)

SUGAR, THIN: A thin syrup. (John Nott, 1726)

SUPERFICIES: surface. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SURFEIT-WATER: a ‘water’ or medicinal drink to cure excessive indulgence in food and drink. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SURTOUT: Coat, surcoat. A number of receipts are so described, e.g. pigeons in surtout. A surtout was also a rather grand ornamental table centrepiece. (John Nott, 1726)

SURTOUT. Literally, ‘covered all over’. Thus in ‘Pigeons surtout’, 44, the birds are covered with a slice of veal and breadcrumbs; and the snipes, 49, are smothered in forcemeat. In the latter recipe, but not the former, the birds are also cooked in a surtout, meaning a tureen.(Glasse, 1747)

SWANSKIN JELLY BAG.Swanskin was a strong, dense, white flannel.(Glasse, 1747)

SWEET-BRYAR: Rosa rubiginosa. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SWEET HERBS. The reference, 46, to a branch of sweet herbs must have meant something very close to what is called a bouquet garni nowadays, i.e. parsley, thyme etc. ‘Sweet’ was specified to exclude bitter herbs, which were more in use then than now.(Glasse, 1747)

SWEET-OAK: possibly the oak fern Dryopteris, or, a species of teucrium whose leaves, which are scolloped around the edges, bear some resemblance to baby oak. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

SWEET-SAUCE, 7, is always to be served with venison. It would have been based on redcurrant jelly, or a preparation of red wine, as suggested in Different Sorts of Sauce for a Hare,(Glasse, 1747)

SWEETMEAT: any sweet food, such as sugared cakes, preserved or candied fruits, sugared nuts, etc. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SWEETMEATS, 84. This term, as used in the 18th century, referred to a wide variety of edibles: preserved, candied fruits; sugared seeds and nuts; sugared cakes and pastries; sugar boiled with pulp of various fruits, or flavourings, and fashioned into little flat cakes, lozenges, drops, etc.(Glasse, 1747)

SWERD: Rind of ham, bacon, pork. (John Nott, 1726)

SYLLABUB: there are several recipes for syllabub (for instance numbers 175, 216 and 217) which speak of various bits of equipment for this dish – see Wooden cow, below, for one of them – and a variety of techniques for making it curdle or to whip up a foam. The accepted way that milk should be added to a syllabub is seen in the near invariable use of the phrase, ‘milk the milk to…’. Receipt 139 calls for the cream to be poured into the syllabub pot through a funnel from on high. Receipt 265 repeats this instruction, and adds a rider emphasising the need to pour the cream from a high spot to make it ‘curdle the better’. Some syllabub glasses had spouts on them to draw or drink off the whey from the curds; others were simply glass bowls in which the syllabub could be mixed without tainting the milk; still more seem to be churns or stoppered glass vessels (for instance, that mentioned by Elinor Fettiplace). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

SYLLABUB: a drink or dish made with milk or cream curdled by the addition of wine or cider and often sweetened and flavoured. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

SYRINGE, 82. A piping tube. Syringes, small and larger, had been in use medically since at least the Middle Ages. The larger sort, or something very similar, was used by cooks to make syringed fritters or biscuits. Massialot (1702) says that syringes specially made for marchpane and biskets are part of the confectioner’s equipment. La Chapelle (1733) has syringed almond paste (‘having pass’d it through the syringe, let it be fried in a pan’).(Glasse, 1747)

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