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

wyldrose wyldrose at tds.net
Wed Sep 8 08:58:35 PDT 2010

Having grown up in a family that was basically illiterate and did things the 
way their parents did,    in the winter we always had a pot of 'soup' going 
and you added 'left overs' into the soup.  It was cooked on the back of the 
stove, and then covered at night and reheated in the morning.   In it went 
extra veggies and assorted meat that was left over.  In lean times, you 
would add potato, carrot and other  peelings, extra bones left over, and a 
little spice. (bay leaf, pepper, celery seed, etc) My Mom would empty the 
pot and rewash it every few days, especially if she was making something 
like pea soup or 'boiled' dinner.
   There was one time in my life where we were snowed in for over three 
months with no outside source of food (Minnesota in the 1960's) and the soup 
pot was all we ate.  My parents butchered the farm animals and  we used up 
the canned food.  Toward the end it was mostly broth, but no one starved or 
went hungry.   I would imagine that this was probably what peasants did to 
make food 'stretch' during the 'lean' months.
    As for spices and spoiled food,  I know that 'corning' food  and brining 
food helps keep foods from going bad.   If you have to preserve something, 
spices would help with the flavor (some meats can be bland)  and the 
process.   (brining, smoking, etc)   People who were not familiar with a 
culture might think the food was  spoiled when in fact it was preserved and 
looked differently than what they had 'back home.'
    There is a show on TV (Discovery channel) that is about a group of 
'survivors from an epidemic.  They are trying to survive in a 'hot' climate 
(Louisiana I think).  In one episode they try to smoke fish and then end up 
tossing it out after it appears moldy and has fly maggots on it.  One of the 
other 'colonists' who has a back ground in anatomy and survival grabbed up 
the discarded fish and ate it. (and did not get sick.)  He pointed out to 
another colonist that was with him, that the food was preserved and the fly 
maggots were extra protein.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fields Family Farm" <fields at texas.net>
To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Leftovers, questions and discussion [long]

>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
> _______________________________________________
> Sca-cooks mailing list
> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org 

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list