...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the Season to Serve Breakfast

One of these mornings, someone is going to stumble sleepily over to the stocking hanging from this mantle and expect to find treasures inside it. Almost immediately afterward, that same person will expect something else: breakfast! It is Christmas--that one time of the year when breakfast is just naturally a "company" meal so today I'll share a classic breakfast recipe...but with a quirky twist. On a recent post, a friend commented on the pleasure she found in poring over old cookbooks, a comment that reminded me of a novelty cookbook I had on my own cookbook shelf. It was a souvenir gift from my son.
This cookbook takes the modern chef back to the Tudor kitchen of the 1500's. Not only does it contain historic "kitchen" artwork and descriptions of life in that Old World hub of activity, it also has the novelty of recipes listed in their original language...back when neither spelling nor measurement were standardized.
So, just for the fun of it, I thought I'd offer you this breakfast recipe puzzle. Today you'll get the recipe for Payn Purdeuz (French Toast) in the original language from Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books. Try your hand at the translation; then tomorrow I'll give the "modernized" companion recipe and you can see how closely your translation matches!

Happy studying!
Take faire yolkes of eyren, and try hem from the white, and drawe hem thorgh a streynour; and then take salte, and caste thereto; and then take manged brede or paynman, and kutte hit in leches; and then take faire buttur, and clarefy hit or elles take fressh grece and put hit yn a faire pan and make hit hote; And then wete the brede well there in the yolkes of eyren, and then ley hit on the batur in the pan, whan the buttur is al hote; and then whan it is fried ynowe, take sugur ynowe, and caste there-to whan hit is in the dissh. And so serve hit forth.

eyren: eggs
try: pull
payn man: bread loaf
manged brede: manchet bread


  1. OK tell me how close I am...
    I'm not sure if faire is four or if it means something else. So I'm just gonna say...
    Take four eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.
    Add a pinch of salt to the yolks.
    Cut bread or biscuits into thin strips (not sure what leches means so I'm guessing from the pic)
    Add butter or grease to the hot skillet.
    Soak the bread in the egg yolks and fry in the buttered skillet.
    Sprinkle some sugar over the bread and serve.

    How'd I do?

  2. Excellent job! Official "answer key" will be up later in the day.