W

WAFFERS, wafer: wafers, waffles, gaufres: crisp honeycombed pancakes (‘hollow biscuits’, Receipt 210) made in a wafer iron. See the index for mentions of this implement in the text, and note the instructions for ways of greasing and handling it. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WALES, TO MARINATE: The half pound of rosemary called for in this receipt might well go some way to drown the taste and smell of whale-meat. (John Nott, 1726)

WALL-REW: a small fern, Asplenium ruta-muraria. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WALLOPS describe the bubbling of water when coming to the boil, i.e. ‘boiled a few wallops’. Ellis’ use seems archaic, most of the citations by OED are early. (William Ellis, 1750)

WALM (a variant of WARM), 49, 50, 52-3, etc: a distinctive Robert May usage, though it does occur in works by other authors. Phrases such as ‘give them a warm’ or ‘a warm or two’ abound, and seem usually to mean to heat / boil for just a short period. It is curious that in the early part of his book May used the spelling ‘warm’ and later on switched to ‘warm’. See the other references to this word for a more exact definition. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

WALM: a bubble in boiling; a boiling-up. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WALME, walm: the heaving action of boiling. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WALNUTS. White walnuts, 154, were peeled young ones, pickled in distilled vinegar or preserved in sugar. A recipe is given for white walnut pickle, 131, plus recipes for ‘Wallnuts green and black’. Green ones were peeled and preserved in layers of vine leaves with vinegar, greened in a copper pan. Black were the fully ripe ones, pickled with alum, spites and vinegar.(Glasse, 1747)

WARDENS, 240-42, and WARDONS, 35: winter cooking pears, usually put into pies. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

WARDENS: Winter cooking pears. Usually put into pies. (John Nott, 1726)

WASH is, generally, liquid food for animals, but usually it denotes refuse, kitchen or brewery swill, given especially to pigs (hogwash). (William Ellis, 1750)

WATER: many of the receipts specify the type of water to be used, or at the least insist it should be ‘fair’ water, which in this context means pure. Compare Dorothy Hartley’s comments in her Water in England, and Hilary Spurling’s in her edition of Elinor Fettiplace. Receipt 62 uses fountain water to mix an orange drink; Receipt 67, for jelly of veal, demands fair conduit water, while 243, for calves foot jelly, says spring water; Receipt 145, for collar of beef, suggests the hardest pump water obtainable; and Receipt 186, for currant wine, advises spring water. Alan Davidson wrote an entertaining piece about Thom. Cocke’s Kitchin Physick (1676) in Twelve Times a Year, March 1985, which is a book that puts water (and watergruel, see for instance Evelyn’s Receipt 30) in perspective. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WATER-COD, 91, a mysterious term which may refer to the practice of keeping cod alive in salt water until the time came to sell them; or it may just mean fresh as opposed to salt cod.(Glasse, 1747)

WATER-DOCK-ROOT is debatable. It may refer to the butterbur (Petasites hybridus), called the water-docken in Cumbria, and known as a plant whose leaves were good for wrapping butter (as was dock). The root was a febrifuge (Grigson). (William Ellis, 1750)

WATER FRITTERS: See Fritters. (John Nott, 1726)

WATER SOKEY, 90, water-souchy, from the Dutch ‘waterzootje’. This dish, popular in England since the 17th century, was fish (properly perch) boiled and served in its own liquor. The spelling varied. Bailey (1736) gave ‘Soochy’, defined as: ‘A water soochy, a dish of perch dressed after the Holland fashion.’(Glasse, 1747)

WATER SOOCHY (water-souchy). Bradley seems to have been the first person in England to publish this Dutch recipe for preparing perch. It was picked up by later 18th-century cookery writers such as Nathan Bailey, Hannah Glasse, and Elizabeth Raffald and became a very popular dish. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

WATERS of various kinds are mentioned, 159. Some are simply categories of plain water: rock water, from underground rock deposits (sometimes considered too ‘hard’ because of the minerals present); spring water; fair water (clean water); and stilled water (distilled, therefore purified). Others are medicinal preparations. Hannah Glasse gives a restricted selection of these, copying them mostly from Eliza Smith (1742), who had in turn taken them from earlier authors. These special distilled ‘waters’, such as hysterical water, plague-water, surfeit water, and treacle water had enjoyed a long vogue, but were gradually making their exit from cookery books. It is noticeable that Mrs Raffald (1769) had pared the number down to one: milk water. Mrs Cole (1791), although appending a lengthy section called ‘The Family Physician’ to her cookery book, dropped all the old faithfuls in favour of waters prepared from rose-petals, lavender, etc.(Glasse, 1747)

WEAVERS: Spiny Mediterranean fish.Trachinus araneus. In French vives. (John Nott, 1726)

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: many of the words used to denote size, weight or volume in this manuscript are given their own entry in this glossary.

However, the first page of the original volume containing these receipts is an ornamental title page, headed ‘receipts medicinal’. It contains tables of weights and measures, and notes of the symbols used for minerals, aspects and astrological signs. The weights and measures defined are as follows:

‘General: Granum or a Barley Corne out of the midst of ye Eare; Scrupulus a Scruple or 20 Barley Cornes; obolus or 10 Gr.; Drachma or 3 Scruples; Uncia or 8 Dragmes; Libra or a Pound containing 12 oz.; Manipulus or a great handfull; Pugillum or a small handfull; Aña, of each alike; q.s., quantum sufficit, as much as is sufficient.

[This set of measurements is based on the troy pound of 12 ounces or 5,760 grains, used by apothecaries and in bullion transactions. The avoirdupois pound was 7,000 grains and 16 ounces and was used in markets and everyday kitchens. The presumption has to be that most of the culinary receipts, as opposed to those for medicines, or perhaps still-room concoctions, used avoirdupois. Note, however, that the measures employed in Receipt 2 are troy ounces of 8 drams, not the avoirdupois ounce of 16 drams. It is most likely that the Evelyn kitchen did not own weights for the ounce avoirdupois, only the ounce troy. There are several instructions, for example in Receipt 80, to take ‘half a quarter’, where we would have written ‘2 ounces’.]

‘The measure of liquids: A Pinte; a Quart is two pints; a Pottell is two Quarts; a Gallon is two Pottells.

‘The measure of arids: A Pecke is 2 Gallons; a Bushell 4 Peckes; a Coumb 4 Bushells; a Quarter 2 Coumbs.

‘Ale measure: Ale measure to wine measure is in proportion as 33 to 28, or in lesse terms is 16 1/2 to 14. Therefore one quart of Ale should conteine one quart, & 7 tenths of a quart so that if the ale qrt conteine 2 wine qrts it is too great by 3 tenths of a quart. The surest way therefore will be by weight, for a true ale quart must conteyne in water 2 pound 6 ounces.’(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WESTMINSTER POOL: See Fool. (John Nott, 1726)

WESTPHALIA HAM: This Prussian ham was much prized in the 17th and 18th centuries for its delicate flavour, due to the fragrant woods over which it was smoked and the diet of acorns on which the pigs were fed. The cookery books of the period all give painstaking receipts for imitating Westphalian ham. (John Nott, 1726)

WESTPHALIA HAM. From his letters to James Petiver it seems that Bradley was interested in the secret of salting, drying, and blackening bacon, gammon, or ham in the west German way as early as 1714. The method of preparing this great 17th- and early 18th-century delicacy eluded him, however, until his great friend John Warner of Rotherhithe actually went to Germany and wrote him a letter on the subject in about 1721: ‘Friend Bradley, Thy Favour of the 30th ult. I receiv’d; in Answer to which, I send thee the Method used to cure Bacon in and about Hamburgh and Westphalia, which is after this Manner: Families that kill one, two, or three Hogs a Year, have a Closet in the Garret joyning to their Chimney, made very tight and close, to contain Smoke, in which they hang their Bacon to dry out of the Reach of the Heat of the Fire, that it may be gradually dried by the Smoke only, and not by Heat; the Smoke is convey’d into the Closet by a Hole in the Chimney near the Floor, and a Place made for an Iron Stopper to be thrust into the Funnel of the Chimney about one Foot above the Hole, to stop the Smoke from ascending up the Chimney, and force it through the Hole into the Closet. The Smoke is carried off again by another Hole in the Funnel of the Chimney above the said Stopper, almost at the Ceiling, where it vents itself. The upper Hole must not be too big, because the Closet must be always full of Smoke, and that from Wood Fires; for Coal, or Turf, or Peat Smoke, I apprehend will not do so well.

The Manner of Salting is no other than as we salt Meat in common; sometimes they use our Newcastle Salt, or St. Ubes, or Lisbon Salt, and a Salt that’s made at Nuremberg (not so good as Newcastle) made from Salt Springs; in those Parts they do not salt their Bacon or Beef so much as we do in England, because the Smoke helps to Cure, as well as the Salt; for I have seen when dry’d Flesh hath no hang’d long enough in the Smoke, it would be green within, when if it had hung its Time, it would have been red quite through; for as the Smoke penetrates, it cures the Flesh, and colours it red without any Salt-Petre, or any other Art.

As to the Feed of their Swine, I saw no difference between their Feed and ours here; if any have the Preference, I believe the English, and our Bacon would be full as good, if not better than the Westphalia, if cured alike.’ (A General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening, volume I, 1726, pp. 115-16)

At least one of Bradley’s friends pounced on this valuable information on how to avoid producing over-salted, rusty coloured hams. For in The Gentleman and Farmer’s Guide (1729, p. 106), Bradley related that ‘my learned and curious Friend, Dr Corbet of Bourn-Place near Canterbury, has built a Bacon House capable of drying… sixty large hogs at one Time’. See also SMOKING CLOSETS. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

WHEAT EARS. Small birds, of the species Oenanthe oenanthe. They had the reputation of turning up to help eat the wheat harvest, but their common name has nothing to do with that, being derived from ‘white arse’ in allusion to their white rumps.(Glasse, 1747)

WHISK: although there are suggestions that eggs and similar substances should be whisked with a piece of wood split into four (for instance Receipts 132 and 168), there is also (Receipt 210) a mention of the action of whisking with no comment on the tool itself. John Nott, in his recipe for Snow Cream, suggests that the cook rolls a cleft stick between his or her hands to effect the whisking motion, and The Compleat Cook advises you to roll between your hands a whisk made of a bundle of reeds tied together. Receipt 32 specifies a whisk of dry birch twigs, with a bunch of rosemary and a sliver of lemon peel tied into the bundle to impart their special fragrances to a whipped cream. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WHITE-ASH-HERB is probably ground elder. (William Ellis, 1750)

WHITE POTS: These seem to have been the ancestors of Victorian bread and butter pudding. They are also very similar to the bread and cream fools of Nott’s period. See Fool. (John Nott, 1726)

WHITE-POT. Together with trifles and fools, white-pot was among the dishes using cream which became increasingly popular during the Tudor and Stuart periods. Hannah Glasse’s two recipes for it, 79, may be compared with the 11 in Nott (1726) and with numerous other earlier versions. Her first recipe echoes, but in summary form, one of those already current. Her second is virtually identical with one which can be traced back to Eliza Smith (1742), John Nott (1726), and Mary Kettilby (1719), whose version may be the earliest.(Glasse, 1747)

WHITE-WORT: perhaps feverfew, Chrysanthemum parthenium. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WHITPOTT: whitepot: a custard or milk pudding, mainly in Devonshire (OED). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WHOPPER, 215: [‘a whooping] … anyway, a sea bird of some sort. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

WIG is a small cake of lightly spiced and sweetened bread dough, or more simply (for a harvest-man’s beaver) just a small cake of dough. (William Ellis, 1750)

WIGEONS, widgeons.(Glasse, 1747)

WIGGS: Enriched yeast-leavened dough originally baked in wedges. The name comes from the Dutch wig, wedge. Nott’s first receipt is unusual in that coriander seeds replace the more usual caraways as a flavouring. Wiggs were once a Lenten speciality. (John Nott, 1726)

WIGS, 141. ‘Wigs . . . were small cakes of lightly spiced and sweetened bread dough, sometimes containing caraway seeds; and had been known under that name since late medieval times. Like currant buns they became associated with Lent, and wigs and ale were a Lenten supper in Pepys’ day. There are many eighteenth century recipes for them in varying degrees of richness. Economical wigs, with neither eggs nor butter in the paste, accompanied the harvest workers’ four o’clock beaver (drink) of ale, or were dipped in a bowl of ale for his supper.’ (Anne Wilson, 1973, 266) Wigs were originally wedge-shaped, being made as large round cakes crossed so as to be easily divided into quarters. (Cf the recipe by Florence White, 1932, 74-5.)(Glasse, 1747)

WILLD-DRAGONS: wild tarragon. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WINE QUART: a measure – one quarter of a wine gallon, the equivalent of the US gallon, smaller than the imperial gallon. (See Weights and measures.)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WINES (ENGLISH). Bradley thought ‘all, our English Wines should be encouraged, because they are wholesome, and will come at little Expence’. Accordingly, in The Country Gentleman and Farmer’s Monthly Director (second edition, 1727, p. 140), he promised to publish a large number of recipes for country housewives. In fact he only published eleven. These were for wines made out of apricots, black elderberries, cherries, currants, gooseberries, honey, quinces, raspberries, red elderberries, red gooseberries, and white elderberries. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

WINES (IMPORTED). There are thirteen different kinds of imported wines mentioned in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director: Canary wine, a light sweet wine from the Canary Islands off the west African coast; claret, a word used in Bradley’s time as a general term for red wine, not as applying only to the red wines of the Bordeaux region; Cyprus wine; Florence wine; Fronteniac, a muscat wine made at Frontignan in France; Hermitage, a French wine produced near Valence; Madera, a white wine produced on the island of Madeira and fortified by brandy for the sea voyage to England; Malaga, a wine imported from the seaport of that name in the south of Spain; Mountain, a variety of Malaga wine made from grapes grown on the mountains; Port, a strong (fortified), dark-red and sweet wine from Portugal; Rhenish wine, i.e. wine produced in the Rhine region; Sack, a general name for a class of white wines imported from Spain and the Canaries; and Tockay, a rich, sweet wine with an aromatic flavour made near Tokay in Hungary. See also the entry under VINES/VINEYARDS. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

WIVERS, 342: weevers, small sea fish with venomous spines, which are present in British waters but are caught and eaten more in the Mediterranean, so figure more naturally in French recipes than English ones. It is likely that the presence of no fewer than seven weever recipes in Nott (1726) reflected nothing more significant than a borrowing from a French book not available to earlier authors. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

WIVOS ME QUIDOS, 438. It seems clear that this has to be a Spanish name for an egg dish, which May had heard said but had not seen in writing. Thus ‘huevos’ (eggs) comes out as ‘wivos’. The other two words might correspond to one word, mezclados, meaning ‘mixed’, or almizclados, meaning ‘musky’. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

WOOD-ASHES. Eggs used to be preserved by various means, which included keeping them in sand, meal or bran. The use of wood ashes, t61, which is similarly effective, was one method commended to ships’ cooks by La Chapelle (1733), who advised layering them with good ashes in a cask and commented: ‘in case any one of them breaks, the ashes presently stop the hole, and hinder the other from being spoiled.’(Glasse, 1747)

WOOD-BETTONY: bugle, Ajuga reptans, a wound-herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WOOD-BIND: woodbine, bindweed. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WOOD-SORREL: Oxalis acetosella: pleasantly sharp, like sorrel. John Evelyn includes it as a kitchen-garden plant. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WOODEN COW: some syllabubs were made by drawing the milk directly from the cow on to alcohol and/or acids. If you lacked a cow, you could replicate the effect as Sir Kenelm Digby advises in his receipt: ‘Take a reasonable quantity (as about half a Porrenger full) of the Syrup, that hath served in the making of dryed plums; and into a large Syllabub-pot milk or squirt, or let fall from high a suficient quantity of Milk or Cream.’ To achieve the ‘squirt’, an instrument, presumably like a syringe, was available. It was called a wooden cow. In one of John Nott’s recipes for syllabub he recommends you to ‘squirt them into the Pot with a wooden Cow made for the Purpose, which you may buy at the Turners.’ The cow is suggested in the Evelyn ms as an aid to making buttermilk curds, Receipt 158. See also C. Anne Wilson, pp. 170–1. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

WOODEN COW: A dairy utensil from which milk was poured or squirted so as to fall foaming into a basin. (John Nott, 1726)

WORMWOOD. Roman wormwood and just plain wormwood are mentioned, 159. The former is Artemisia absintha, the latter A. pontica.(Glasse, 1747)

WORT: an infusion of malt which after fermentation becomes beer. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

WORT: brewer’s wort, unfermented beer, an infusion of grain or malt.(Glasse, 1747)

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