[Sca-cooks] Butter

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Tue Jun 24 07:22:16 PDT 2008

Or one could just read what Thomas Cogan has to say.

Thomas Cogan, [1545?-1607] The haven of health is up as a searchable 
text in the 1636 edition.
There's an earlier 16th century edition here on the shelf, but this one 
from EEBO-TCP is easy to
search and find the references in.

There are a number of May butter mentions such as:

For the Collicke take unset Leekes, blades and all, chop them small, 
boyle them in good white wine, with May Butter  or fresh  Butter, untill 
the wine be in a manner wasted away, then lay them abroad betweene a 
cleane linnen cloth plaisterwise on the belly, so hot as the patient may 
well abide it, and at the cooling of that, apply another hot plaister, 
and thus doe the third or fourth time together, if need shall so require.

But here  is the passage  for Drummond and Wilson--

Pages 181-182

The necessity of Butter in dressing of meates, in making of salves and 
oyntments, I overpasse, yet would I wish that such as have children to 
bring up, would not bee without May Butter in their houses. It is to bee 
made chiefly in May, or in the heat of the yeare, by setting Butter new 
made without salt, so much as you list in a platter, open to the Sunne 
in faire weather for certaine daies, untill it bee sufficiently 
clarified, and altered in colour, which will be in twelve or fourteene 
daies, if there be faire Sunne shining. This is of marvellous vertue in 
any exulceration, and I have knowne the wilde fire healed therewith, 
 being incorporate with Sage leaves. And for the ease of Infants to 
bring forth their teeth,  Galen adviseth us to rubbe their gummes 
oftentimes with fresh Butter, and thinketh it of no lesse force than 
Hony, for that purpose. Of the making of Butter is left a kinde of whey, 
which they commonly call Butter milke, or soure milke, which after it 
hath stood a time, becommeth soure, and is much used to bee eaten either 
of it selfe, or with sweet milke, especially in the Summer season, 
because it is cooling, and no doubt but that it is both moyst and 
nourishing, and cleanseth the brest and is shortly digested. Also with 
it is made together with sweet milke, a kinde of posset, which is called 
a posset of two milkes, or a soure milke posset, which is a very 
temperate and cooling drinke, and is used in hot diseases with great 
successe, and doth coole more than any other drinke, as is proved daily 
in Lankashire, where it is most usuall.

Hope this helps


Doc wrote:
>> Okay, here we go:
>> "In early summer May butter was prepared for the
>> benefit of children.  
>> Thomas Cogan described how it was made by setting
>> new, unsalted butter  
>> out on open platters out in the sun for twelve to
>> fourteen days. This  
>> bleached out the colour and much of the vitamin A,
>> and made the butter  
>> very rancid. But, it acquired extra vitamin D from
>> exposure to the  
>> sun's rays, and thus had some curative power for
>> children with rickets  
>> or pains in the joints. [21]"
>> "Ch. 5, 21: 	Cogan, p. 156; Sir J.C. Drummond and A.
>> Wilbraham, 'The  
>> Englishman's Food' (1939), p. 83."
>> The above quotes are from C. Anne Wilson's "Food and
>> Drink in  
>> Britain", c. 1973 C. Anne Wilson, Academy Chicago
>> Publishers, Chicago,  
>> 1991.
> So what we have here is a tertiary source (Wilson)
> quoting another tertiary source (Drummond).  What's
> more, "The Englishman's Food" is one of the root
> sources for the Moldy-Meat-Myth.  Again, since vitamin
> D was unknown before the 20th century (along with any
> connection to rickets), and since butter can only
> *lose* vitamin D over time, Drummond's statement is
> certainly completely fabricated.
> When I get home I'll check through my copy of Drummond
> and see if he has any sources at all to back it up. 
> I'll be really surprised if he does.  I'm used to
> expecting fluff in Drummond's book.  Unfortunately
> this makes me have to double check "facts" in Wilson's
> book as well.
> - Doc

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