Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 44 Bonse desyre

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany
 (Beinecke MS 163)

This manuscript is dated about 1460.

The 200 (approx.) recipes in the Wagstaff miscellany are on pages 56r through 76v.

Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the Yale University Library website.

I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.

Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Myers,


44.  Bonse desyre
Take blaunche almondez grynde them drawe theme up wythe swete brothe and swete wyne do ther do a quantite of white sugur do hit in a pott and cast ther do take porke wel sodyne tender and grynde hit smalle and medille hit wythe yolkys of eyrone pouder and salt and make pelettes ther of [61v] the gretnys of the yolke have a bature of yolkes of eyrene & paryd floure turne the pelets ther yne take hem frye hem rolle hem up in a panne that they may be rounde lay ham hote yne dysches dresse the sewe a bovyne loke hit be renynge and on do the fische dayes thou may withe pike haddok or codlynge do in the same maner.


In spite of the odd spelling in the title, this recipe is a variation of "Blanche Desyre", which is believed to be a corruption of the French "Blanc de Syrie" meaning "White of Syria".  There are dozens of versions of this recipe, including two in A Noble Boke off Cookry.
To mak bland sorre tak the mylk of almondes blanched mad with capon brothe then tak the braun of a capon and bet it in a mortair and mele the fishe and the mylk to gedur in the mortair with the pestelle and thik it with flour of rise and boile it put ther to sugur or hony and mak it stondinge then lesk it in dyshes and diaper it with turnsole and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

To mak blank de fire tak ryse and wesshe it and grind it small and temper it up with almond mylk and boile it then tak the braun of capon or henne and hew it small and grind it with myed bred and sesson it with sugur and florishe it with almondes and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

The most notable aspect of the Wagstaff version of the recipe is that it appears to be the only one that calls for pork.  The majority of the others call for capon or chicken as the meat to be use, with one or two that include an option for beef or veal.

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