Week 2 - Pottage of Cherries

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The spectacular weather continues here on Newfoundland’s Southern Avalon. Great for archaeology. Not so great for encouraging you to get into your kitchens and cook! With that in mind, this week’s recipe is super quick, super simple and most importantly.... out of this world delicious.

Pottage of Cherries comes from the 1591 edition of A Book of Cookrye with recipes gathered by A. W. It goes like this:

Fry white bread in butter til it be brown and so put it into a dish, then take Cherries and take out the stones and frye them where you fried the bread then put thereto Sugar, Ginger, and Sinamon, for lacke of broth, take White or Claret Wine, boyle these togither, and that doon, serve them upon your Tostes.

A.W. provides no amounts for any of the ingredients. Nada. Zip. But don’t let the thought of freestyle cooking scare you. If you’ve been following the Colony’s Facebook page, you’ll know that Lori and Krista tried this recipe on Monday, announced they’d “cracked it” on the first try (which almost never happens), and declared the results scrumdiddlyumptious!!!! (yes, they really did include four exclamation marks!). But honestly, was there any doubt? I don’t know about you, but this recipe had me at “fry bread in butter”.

Since it’s doubtful Ferryland’s early colonists had access to fresh cherries, Lori and Krista will be making two versions of this dish - the original, with cherries, and a second using what I refer to as “forgotten fruit” ... a giant bag of last year’s local plums discovered at the bottom of a friend’s freezer. Conveniently, plum pits recovered during excavation of the Colony’s 17th century privy provide clear evidence that plums were a part of Ferryland’s 17th century diet.  

Plum pits recovered during excavations of the Colony's 17th century waterfront privy.

Plum pits recovered during excavations of the Colony's 17th century waterfront privy.

Ready to give pottage of cherries (or plums) a go? Don’t forget to post a pic of your results on the Colony’s Facebook page. All posts will be entered into this week’s draw for a reproduction 17th century Bellarmine jug (an excellent place to store any leftover claret) PLUS you’ll be automatically entered for our grand prize.