Sir Thomas Gower’s Metheglin for Health

September 8th, 2017

First boil the water and scum it; Then to 12 Gallons put 6 handfuls of Sweet-bryar-leaves, of Sweet-marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, of each one a handful: Flowers of Marigold, Borrage, Bugloss, Sage, each two handfuls. Boil all together very gently, till a third waste. To eight Gallons of this put two Gallons of pure honey, and boil them till the Liquor bear an Egge, the breadth of threepence or a Groat, together with such spices as you like (bruised, but not beaten) an ounce of all is sufficient.

You must observe carefully. 1. Before you set the Liquor to boil, to cause a lusty Servant (his Arms well washed) to mix the honey and water together, labouring it with his hands at least an hour without intermission. 2. That when it begins to boil fast, you take away part of the fire, so as it may boil slowly, and the scum and dross go all to one side, the other remaining clear. When you take it off, let none of the liquor go away with the dross. 3. When you take it from the fire, let it settle well, before it be tunned into the vessel, wherein you mean to keep it: and when it comes near the bottom, let it be taken carefully from the sediment, with a thin Dish, so as nothing be put into the vessel, but what is clear. 4. Stop it very close (when it is set in the place, where it must remain) cover it with a cloth, upon which some handfuls of Bay-salt and Salpeter is laid, and over that lay clay, and a Turf. 5. Put into it, when you stop it, some New-laid-eggs in number proportionable to the bigness of the vessel, Shell’s unbroken. Six Eggs to about sixteen Gallons. The whole Egg-shell and all will be entirely consumed.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

Conserve of Red Roses

August 13th, 2017

Doctor Glisson makes his conserve of red Roses thus: Boil gently a pound of red Rose leaves (well picked, and the Nails cut off) in about a pint and a half (or a little more, as by discretion you shall judge fit, after having done it once; The Doctors Apothecary takes two pints) of Spring water; till the water have drawn out all the Tincture of the Roses into it self, and that the leaves be very tender, and look pale like Linnen; which may be in a good half hour, or an hour, keeping the pot covered whiles it boileth. Then pour the tincted Liquor from the pale Leaves (strain it out, pressing it gently, so that you may have Liquor enough to dissolve your Sugar) and set it upon the fire by it self to boil, putting into it a pound of pure double refined Sugar in small Powder; which as soon as it is dissolved, put in a second pound; then a third, lastly a fourth, so that you have four pound of Sugar to every pound of Rose-leaves. (The Apothecary useth to put all the four pounds into the Liquor altogether at once,) Boil these four pounds of Sugar with the tincted Liquor, till it be a high Syrup, very near a candy height, (as high as it can be, not to flake or candy) Then put the pale Rose-leaves, into this high Syrup, as it yet standeth upon the fire, or immediately upon the taking it off the fire. But presently take it from the fire, and stir them exceeding well together, to mix them uniformly; then let them stand till they be cold; then pot them up. If you put up your Conserve into pots, whiles it is yet throughly warm, and leave them uncovered some days, putting them in the hot Sun or stove, there will grow a fine candy upon the top, which will preserve the conserve without paper upon it, from moulding, till you break the candied crust, to take out some of the conserve.

The colour both of the Rose-leaves and the Syrup about them, will be exceeding beautiful and red, and the taste excellent; and the whole very tender and smoothing, and easie to digest in the stomack without clogging it, as doth the ordinary rough conserve made of raw Roses beaten with Sugar, which is very rough in the throat. The worst of it is, that if you put not a Paper to lie always close upon the top of the conserve, it will be apt to grow mouldy there on the top; especially aprés que le pot est entamé.

The Conserve of Roses, besides being good for Colds and Coughs, and for the Lunges, is exceeding good for sharpness and heat of Urine, and soreness of the bladder, eaten much by it self, or drunk with Milk, or distilled water of Mallows, and Plantaine, or of Milk.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

Broth for Sick and Convalescent Persons

July 24th, 2017

Put a Crag-end of a Neck of Mutton, a Knuckle of Veal, and a Pullet into a Pipkin of water, with a spoonful or two of French-barley first scalded in a water or two. The Pullet is put in after the other meat is well skimmed, and hath boiled an hour. A good hour after that, put in a large quantity of Sorrel, Lettice, Purslane, Borage and Bugloss, and boil an hour more at least three hours in all. Before you put in the herbs, season the broth with Salt, a little Pepper and Cloves, strain out the broth and drink it.

But for Potage, put at first a good piece of fleshy young Beef with the rest of the meat. And put not in your herbs till half an hour before you take off the Pot. When you use not herbs, but Carrots and Turneps, put in a little Peny-royal and a sprig of Thyme. Vary in the season with Green-pease, or Cucumber quartered longwise, or Green sower Verjuyce Grapes; always well-seasoned with Pepper and Salt and Cloves. You pour some of the broth upon the sliced-bread by little and little, stewing it, before you put the Herbs upon the Potage.

The best way of ordering your bread in Potages, is thus. Take light spungy fine white French-bread, cut only the crusts into tosts. Tost them exceeding dry before the fire, so that they be yellow. Then put them hot into a hot dish, and pour upon them some very good strong broth, boiling hot. Cover this, and let them stew together gently, not boil; and feed it with fresh-broth, still as it needeth; This will make the bread swell much, and become like gelly.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

To Make a Meath Good for the Liver and Lungs

July 6th, 2017

Take of the Roots of Coltsfoot, Fennel and Fearn each four Ounces. Of Succory-roots, Sorrel-roots, Strawberry-roots, Bitter-sweet-roots, each two Ounces, of Scabious-roots and Elecampane-roots, each an Ounce and a half. Ground-ivy, Hore-hound, Oak of Jerusalem, Lung-wort, Liver-wort, Maiden-hair, Harts-tongue of each two good-handfulls. Licorish four Ounces. Jujubes, Raisins of the Sun and Currents, of each two Ounces; let the roots be sliced, and the herbs be broken a little with your hands; and boil all these in twenty quarts of fair running water, or, if you have it, in Rain water, with five Pints of good white honey, until one third part be boiled away; then pour the liquor through a jelly bag often upon a little Coriander-seeds, and Cinnamon; and when it runneth very clear, put it into Bottles well stopped, and set it cool for your use, and drink every morning a good draught of it, and at five in the afternoone.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby