[Sca-cooks] Leftovers, questions and discussion [long]

Fields Family Farm fields at texas.net
Wed Sep 8 08:41:36 PDT 2010

Ack.  I get this in digest form, so I can just imagine the answers that have
already headed my way.  The smiley (indicating a joke) was supposed to be at
the end of the 'cover up spoiled flavors' line, as I'm aware that that is
more of an urban legend that pushes some people's buttons.  Please don't
beat me too much.


On Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 9:56 AM, Fields Family Farm <fields at texas.net> wrote:

> I have a couple of comments and questions on this line of conversation, but
> with a caveat - I have done no research (yet) into period cooking.  I'm
> mainly on this list to get good recipes.  :)
> From more general reading into history, I was under the impression that
> what we would consider spoiled food was often eaten, even by those wealthier
> than peasants.  Weren't some spices even used to cover up the spoiled
> flavors?
> As for food poisoning, it's my impression that today we have much more
> 'delicate stomachs' than was common in period.  I know that one can build up
> resistances to many of the 'poisons' caused by spoilage bacteria, to the
> point where they don't really affect the eater much, if at all, and
> apparently such built up resistances were common.
> As for 'pease porridge in the pot nine days old', I know of a technique
> still used today to prevent food spoilage - put a tight lid on the pot while
> it is still hot enough to kill the bacteria, and then let the fire die.  If
> the lid is tight enough, and the porridge was hot enough, no bacteria are
> there to spoil it.  Heat the pot back up the next day when adding more to
> it.  I've heard of 'stews' that were added to for many days this way without
> spoilage.
> Hrethric
> I remember reading somewhere (in a book about period cookery, not some
>> random place, but I cannot remember where) that the lower classes would
>> basically put all their food in one pot (vegetables, grain, bacon etc) and
>> boil it up, and then the next day just add some more to whatever was left
>> over and so on and so on. The 'pease porridge in a pot nine days old'
>> rhyme
>> was quoted in support of this. This seemed rather dubious to me at the
>> time,
>> not to mention a recipe for serious food poisoning.
>> Angharad

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