Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 135 Leche fryed

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 © 2014 by Daniel Myers,


135. Leche fryed
Take tendyr chese cut hit in shivers do hit in hote skallyng watyr when hit rennyth & yelleth to gedyr do a wey the watyr as clene as thu may & do ther ro claryfydd buttur al hote a grete dele & claryfyed hony & tayl hit well to gadyr with yolkes of eyron have cofyns with low bredrreys as thin as thu may draw hem put yn some stuf that the botom be helyd & let hem bake esyly & serve hem forth.


This recipe is clearly related to recipe 75 from A Noble Boke off Cookry.
To mak lesche freey tak and cutt tenches in sshevers and put it in hot skaldinge watur and when it rynnyth and yeldithe to gedure ye may do away the watir clene and and put it to clarified buttur hot a gret dele and hony clarified and toile them to gedur with yolks of eggs then tak brod coffyns with lowe lidds as thyn as ye may dryf them and fill them with the stuf and bak them and serue them [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

The most notable difference between the two is that where Wagstaff calls for cheese, Noble has a type of fish (tench). The use of cheese in the recipe is supported by another version from Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books.
Lese fryes. Take nessh chese, and pare it clene, and grinde hit in a morter small, and drawe yolkes and white of egges thorgh a streynour, and cast there-to, and grinde hem togidre; then cast thereto Sugur, butter and salt, and put al togidre in a coffyn of faire paast, And lete bake ynowe, and then serue it forthe.  [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]

It is likely that the difference between the Wagstaff and Noble versions is a copying error where "neshchese" was taken as "tenches". It is also possible that it is a transcription error on the part of Ms. Napier when transcribed Noble back in 1882.

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