Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .Cxlviij. Whyte Pesyn in grauey.- White Peas in Gravy

.Cxlviij. Whyte Pesyn in grauey.- White Peas in Gravy

This is the second recipe that I intperpreted from Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 Thomas Austin which features dried peas.  It was very hard to choose between the two dishes that were cooked which was the better as each of them were unique in their flavors.  While the Cxlv. Blaunche Perreye. - White Pea Soup was the more savory of the two dishes, the combination of almond milk and sugar made this dish delightfully sweet and much more delicate in flavor. We believe that it is not as capable of standing up to richer or heartier dishes such as ham, cured meats or beef.  The taste testers and I felt that this dish would do better with chicken or fish which had been lightly sauced or seasoned and salads. Where you would fit this into your menu is entirely up to you.

.Cxlviij. Whyte Pesyn in grauey.—Take Whyte Pesyn, & hoole hem in þe maner as men don Caboges, or blaunche perry; þan sethe hem with Almaunde mylke vppe, putte þer-to Sugre y-now, & fryid Oynonys & Oyle, & serue forth.

Cxlviij - Whyte Pesyn in grauey. Take Whyte Pesyn, and hoole hem in the maner as men don Caboges, or blaunche perry; than sethe hem with Almaunde mylke vppe, putte ther-to Sugre y-now, and fryid Oynonys and Oyle, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

168 - White Peas in Gravy - Take white peas and hull them in the manner as men do cabboges, or blaunche perry; then cook them with almond milk up, put there-to sugar enough, and fried onions and oil, and serve forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                      Serves 1 as Main, two as Side

1/2 cup pre-cooked peas
1 cup almond milk
1-2 Tsp. sugar or to taste (I used 2)
2 Tbsp. thin sliced onion
1 Tbsp. oil (I used olive)
Salt and Pepper to taste

This is a very quick recipe to put together and simple. It falls under the category of "heat and eat" dishes, and--I suspect this would freeze well and could be used at a later date. That being said, I used the quick cook method for the peas.  To quick cook you take 1 to 2 cups of dried peas and add them to 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. I usually boil about five minutes or so and then turn the heat off and allow the peas to soak in the water until it has cooled.  I then drain the water and continue to cook the peas as needed.

For this recipe, I lightly fried the onions in the oil, added the almond milk, sugar and pre cooked peas and cooked until the peas softened.  Although the recipe does not call for it, I did at salt and pepper to taste. Our modern day palates are very happy with us when we do this!

This is another dish that is quite versatile, it could easily be made at a camp, served at lunch--I would not hesitate to serve it as a breakfast as it does have a similar consistency to oatmeal.  It would make a delicious lunch for royalty dish, as well as easily served in the lunch taverns, or as a dish at a feast.  I urge you to try it and would very much like to hear back from you on your experiences.

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Of other small pottages. Small pottages such as greens of chard; cabbages; turnips; leeks; veal with Yellow [Sauce]; pottages of scallions without anything else; peas; milled, pounded or sieved beans with or without the pod; pork intestine; soup with pork pluck (women are mistresses of it, and each knows how to make it); and tripes – these I have not put in my viandier, for one knows well how they should be eaten.

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (England, 1460)
Pome perre. Boyle white pesyn hool hem take hem fro the fyre when they have restyd a whyle then take the cleryst in to a nothir pott then have mylke of almond drawyn up with wyen figes of amely sigure and salte and yf thou wylte reysons fryed w lytyll & do to gedyr boyle hit kepe hit and serve hit forth.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak pessen de almonds tak whit pessen and wesshe them and sethe them till they hulle and when they be done cast they in to a pot and couer it and boile it and cast ther to almond mylk flour of ryse and salt it colour it with saffronand serve it.

The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell (England, 1597)

For White pease pottage.. TAke a quart of white Pease or more & seeth them in faire water close, vntill they doe cast their huskes, the which cast away, as long as any wil come vp to the topp, and when they be gon, then put into the peaze two dishes of butter, and a little vergious, with pepper and salt, and a little fine powder of March, and so let it stand till you will occupy it, and the[n] serue it vpon sops. You may sée the Porpose and Seale in your Pease, seruing it forth two péeces in a dish.