Reading a Recipe

Step 2 of 3: Look at the “To make a Tansey” recipe

Here is what the recipe To make a Tansey says:
A tansey is an omelet-like pudding flavored with tansey, an aromatic, bitter herb. Take the yolks of 18 eggs, the whites of 4, half a pint of cream, half a pint of the juice of spinage and tansey together, one spoonfull of grated bread, and a grated nutmeg, a little salt, and sweeten it to your fancy. Then beat it well together and put it into a skillet and stir it over the fire till it yellows. Then put it into a hot frying pan and turn it quick. Then put it into your dish and strew loaf sugar over it. Garnish it with oranges cut in quarters and serve it up hot.

How many people do you think this is for? How can you tell?
What do you think spinage is?
The other unfamiliar term is tansey. Tansey was an aromatic, bitter herb not available today. Tansey is both the name of the recipe and the herb used in the recipe.

Look at this picture of a whole nutmeg and compare it to already grated nutmeg. How do these compare? How would you use the whole nutmeg mentioned in recipe? nutmeg

Why don’t people usually buy a whole nutmeg today?

Why do recipes have exact measurements?

What hint is there that the tansey was cooked over a flame in an open hearth?

What are the last toppings to be put on the tansey?

Look at the picture of the sugar tongs. These were used to get sugar pieces from the loaf sugar. Loaf sugar was a compact cone of sugar. How do you think the tongs were used?sugartongs

One spice is used to make Tansey which was not available to everyone in Colonial America. Which do you think this is? Where do we get spices today?


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