For Woodcock, Snipe, &c.

PERIOD: England, 17th century | SOURCE: The Art of Cookery Refined and Augmented, 1654 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A wine sauce for small game birds

For Woodcock, Snipe, &c..

You may make sauce for Woodcocks or Snipes as followeth; If you draw your Fowle put an Onion in the belly, then spit them, roast them with a dish under them, in which let there be Claret, Vinegar, an Anchove, Pepper and Salt; the Fowle being roasted, put a little piece of Butter and a little grated Bread, shaking it well together and dish it with your Fowl.

It is a very good sauce for a wilde Duck, onely rub your dish with a clove of Garlike, because it is a ranker fowle.

Back when I first moved to Tennessee those many moons ago, a lot of pranks were played on this burgeoning Yank-a-Billy.  Being a young , gullible innocent and so eager to “fit in”, I’d sit in the teacher’s lounge after school and be “educated” (“Miss Ramona , haven’t you ever heard of a yaller dope and a Moon Pie?”) and I bit on most of them. Notably there were the fox hunts (TVA line paths that one could see over the mountains), what to do after eating wild ramps ( gargle with lemon juice so you wouldn’t offend anyone within a mile of your mouth), the secret of what to do to brown beans so one wouldn’t have gas ( and then you fart yourself into next Tuesday!). The biggie was “snipe hunting”. Now around here snipe hunting is BIG, real BIG and every newbie is asked if any of the locals have taken you to go snipe hunting. It would make me wonder when some of the teachers who didn’t have poker faces would snigger but who would have thought? What I was told eventually is that there are no snipes and what they meant was had anyone ever taken you into the woods at night and scared the living crap out of you.

Guess what? It took forty plus years to find out that, in fact, there is such a bird and I even got a picture from the internet  to prove it. I was looking at obscure recipes of the 17th century and found one for the sauce which I reprinted above in the original. Actually it looks like a wonderful sauce that I’ll make when I roast the duck breasts I have in my freezer. Low and behold, though, that one can roast  snipe and use the sauce for them. It can’t be a very big bird so one would have to have several if one were not to starve to death. Well, well, well!!! If I could only go back in time and proffer my smart phone to my “friends” and say, guess what, there IS SUCH A THING AS A SNIPE AND NO, I HAVEN’T BEEN HUNTING. Oh,  the joy! Then I’d invite  them to participate in a fox hunt.




Beef and Horseradish Sauce on a Baguette with a shave of fresh Parmesan cheese

My horseradish is doing well, so well in fact,that’s I’ve been raiding it all summer. I love the bite of fresh horse radish, the heat that makes your scalp tingle and raise the hair on your head. The wimp stuff one buys in the bottle is for wusses; gotta go for the real thing.

I bought a lovely piece of London Broil and this week I made two fresh baguettes (one eaten, one to go!) I used Hannah Glasses receipt for the sauce.


mix together one teaculful grated Horse Radish, one Tablespoonful ground mustard (I use Poupon), one tablespoonful Sugar, four tablespoonfuls VINEGAR (I use apple cider unpasturized ) or Olive Oil if you prefer, Pepper and salt to taste and one Teaspoonful Tumeric (gives this a nice twist, don’t leave it out).

Chill in the fridge- this will keep for quite a while.

(I wonder if Hannah Glasse would have winced if she heard Rachael Ray refer to Olive Oil as EVOO?)


Sprinkle the London Broil with pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.Heat butter and olive oil and sear beef. Lower heat to medium and  pan fry 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning frequently. Let stand 15 minutes. Slice thin and sprinkle with pan juices.

Slice your baguette , shave some fresh Pamesan cheese thin, wash and spin dry some fresh spinach or leaf lettuce and drain some capers

THEN: Arrange fresh spinach evenly on bread slices. Place 1 beef slice and about 1 tablespoon chilled sauce over each bread slice. Arrange capers and cheese evenly over sauce.

History of Condiments is pretty interesting:  (If you can’t click to the site, copy and paste the link into your address line)

Lavendar's Blue music sheet 1877 at V&A Museum

I have a whole bunch of lavendar ; so much that even after I made sachets I have a bagful more. SOOOOOOO I looked up recipes for Lavendar Jelly and made a batch. It turned out excellently. I also found that the nursery rhyme- song goes back to the 17th century. It was first published in a broadside somewhere between 1672 and 1685 and named Diddle, Diddle. Over time, it went to around 30 verses. Burl Ives did it best

The most beautiful link to get you in the mood for making this delicious jelly is here :



LAVENDAR JELLY with CAMOMILE (I jazzed the recipe up a little)

  • 1/4 cup Dried Lavendar
    (buds, the flowers before they open)
  • 1 chamomile
    tea bag
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup creme de cassis (optional- it’s like blackberry liquour)
  • 3 ounces liquid pectin


Prep Time: 15

Total Time: 45

  1.  Sterilize jars and keep them
  2. Pour boiling water over lavender
    and let steep for 15 minutes add tea bag for five.
  3.  Strain tea into saucepan.
  4.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups additional
    water, sugar, lemon juice and creme de cassis.
  5.  Heat to a full rolling boil,
    stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.
  6.  Pour in pectin and return to a
  7.  Boil hard for 1 minute stirring
  8.  Remove from heat and skim off
  9.  I add back a couple of lavender
  10.  Just so you can see them in the
  11.  Pour into hot jars or glasses
    to 1/2 inch of tops.
  12.  Wipe rims with a sterile
  13.  Screw on tops.
  14.  Place in a water bath for 10
  15.  Let sit in pot 5 more minutes
    with flame off.
  16.  Remove and place in a draft
    free spot with out tilting.

Read more:




Skillet Cranberries


  I found a great website fore 18th century Thansgiving receipts and made Skillet Cranberries to accompany a roasted chicken herbed with garlic and fresh rosemary tonight. It was wunderbar!!!

                Skillet Cranberries
(Adapted from the “Thirteen Colonies Cookbook”)

Serves 4-6

“Arrived at Dr. Tufts where I found a fine Wild Goose on the
Spit and Cranberries in the Skillet for Dinner” – John Adams,
April 8, 1767

1 pound fresh cranberries
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup brandy or rum

Spread 1 pound of fresh cranberries in an iron skillet.  Sprinkle the sugar over
them, cover the skillet (with foil), and place in a warm oven 250 degrees F for 1
hour.  Remove the foil and pour ¼ cup brandy or rum.  Continue cooking and
do not stir since this breaks up the cranberries.  Continue cooking until rum or
brandy evaporates.

Is she singing the Strawberry Song?

With all the strawberries in season, I thought you’d like this dessert. It’s easy to make and a real winner. 


Homemade Strawberry Jam

I cut the strawberries only in half to make a delicious chunky jam. Makes a wonderful filling for the Gateau Basque to follow.


  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 5 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I use champagne vinegar but apple cider vinegar works well
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. In a stockpot, combine the strawberries, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, and cook stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the temperature of the mixture has reached 220 degrees F (use a candy thermometer)
  2. Transfer the mixture to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process jars for 10 minutes in a water bath. Refrigerate jam once the seal is broken. If you’re using the jam right away, just refrigerate.

Gâteau Basque

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (50 or so)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jar strawberry jam
  1. In a food processor (or just use your finger tips), blend together the flour, butter, sugar, egg, 2 of the egg yolks, vanilla, baking powder and salt just until dough starts forming and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Dump the dough onto a well floured surface and finish blending with your finger tips.
  3. Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 parts, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly butter a 9 inch cake pan. Use your finger tips to fit the larger portion of dough evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Fill with the jam. On a floured surface, roll the other part of the dough into a 9 inch or so circle. Place this on top and pinch the edges closed. If it breaks a bit with handling, don’t worry, just pinch and smooth it together. Make a pattern with the tines of a fork on the top of the cake if you wish.
  5. Mix the remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the top of the cake with this.
  6. Bake in a 350°F oven for 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove from the pan and allow to completely cool before wrapping in plastic wrap (be careful not to break the cake while wrapping – it is crumbly). Allow to sit at room temperature at least one day before enjoying.

Makes 8 servings.

Strawberry Song

19th Century Hot Sauce


 There’s been a lot of discussion on Savory Faire, the Yahoo 18th Century cooking group, about hot sauces that were made in the 18th century. So many of our memebers love things spicy, I thought it was work reproducing one of the receipts. Over to the side, I linked to an excellent source for 18th century cooking,French style, and she has a recipe for period hot sauce and marinade. Check it out.

Vinegar Chili

This is commonly made with the foreign bird pepper; but you will obtain a
much finer flavor from infusing fifty fresh English Chilies (cut in half, or
pounded) in a pint of the best vinegar (cider vinegar) for a fortnight, or a quarter of an
ounce of cayenne pepper. Many people cannot eat fish without the addition of
an acid and cayenne pepper; to such palates this will be an agreeable

Mrs. NKM Lee, A Boston Housekeeper

There are other references to the same recipe in the  Tradecards of the 18th century . Check this FABULOUS site out for  more explanations.