Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 2 For to make canabenes

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 © 2012 by Daniel Myers, MedievalCookery.com


2.  For to make canabenes
Take white benes ley hem in watyre rennynge too days and change the watyre take hem & ley heme dry thene dry heme harder vppone a stone or apone a este than shylle theme atte a tjylle and do a way the evehys and close the benys iij or iiij at the most and thene make hem clene and so may thou kepe heme as longe as thou wylte.


This recipe shows some of the problems with transcribing a handwritten manuscript.  There are words here that are unclear, and it could be a problem with spelling, with my reading or with the scribe who wrote it in the first place.

Using a parallel recipe from A Noble Boke off Cookry makes it a bit clearer.

To mak canebyns tak whit benes and lay them to stepe in rynynge water ij dais and ij nights and change the water eury day then tak them up and let them are and put them in an ovene to hardyne and shelle them at the mylne and put away the hulles and clef the benes in ij or iij or iiij at the most and fry them and ye may kep them as longe as ye will.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

The word "tjylle" is most likely meant to be "mill", and "evehys" to be "hulls", but no matter how I look at the script I can't get the letters to resolve that way.

Interesting that the first two recipes in this book look to be the same as recipes 142 and 143 in A Noble Boke off Cookry, but of course the cookbooks of the time often copied from others.  We'll have to see how long the trend continues.

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