Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And Lo, The Sick And Infirm Shall Preserve Cherries

I was conferring with Martha Washington about the brunch we will be serving at Mount Vernon on Inauguration day. We haven't finalized the menu, but I have nixed her suggestions for a few dishes such as stewed sparrows on toast, humble pie, boiled pike and stewed carpe. She is sending me a copy of her recipe books, A Booke of Cookery and A Booke of Sweetmeats. I asked her to please explain several terms that pop up frquently in her recipes: sops, sippits, sack, suckets and verges.

Bing - the "bling" of cherrydom

We talked about the holidays, and Martha was reminded of a method she uses to "keepe cherries that you may have them for tarts at Christmass without preserving."
To do this you will need the following:
Cherries
Barrell
Hay
Feather Bed
Invalid
Take ye fayrest cherries you can get, fresh from ye trees; with out bruising, wipe them one by one with a linnen cloth, then put them into a barrell of hay and lay them in ranks, first laying hay on the bottom, and then cherries, & then hay agayne. Stop them close up that no ayre get to them. Then set them under a fether bed where one lyeth continually, for the warmer they are kept, the better it is. See they are neere noe fire. Thus doing you may have cherries any time of ye yeare.

Invalid Cherry Pie

On the subject of cherries, Martha asked me to remind you that George did not chop down a cherry tree and then admit to his father "I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet." Mason Locke Weems invented this story for his Biography of George Washington. A bit of dishonesty to express honesty. Honest.

26 comments:

soulbrush said...

talking about cherries, how did martha lose hers? i hope it was george who deflowered her! mind you it's better seeing her face on the stamp, than our queenie on ALL our stamps here...booooorrrriiiiiinnnnggggg!

Mim said...

oh sb...you devil!

Bibi said...

Getting a pie like the one in your photo is almost worth getting sick for! Now you've got me yearning for cherries....

Dave King said...

I believe you. Have done similarly myself... Sh!

Leilani Lee said...

Now I am flashing back to when we lived in Oregon and we picked cherries and canned them (well, those we managed not to just pop in our mouths and eat) and how beautiful they were floating in the jars and Lord, have mercy... I want Cherry Pie...

MuseSwings said...

Soul...Tch tch tch. Martha was married to Daniel Custis, produced 4 children of which 2 survived. Was widowed at age 26 and then met and married George W. So....no is the answer to your question.

I got you all jonesin for a cherry pie now - the whole time I was writing the post my head voice was saying cherrypiecherrypiecherrypie. I have to search one out at Publix TODAY.

Patty said...

I'm not who soulbush is but tell him/her that George indeed did NOT de-flower Martha, she had been married before to a man named Curtis and they had several children, one for sure died young and is actually buried here in Williamburg VA...Thought you might enjoy a history lesson this morning :)

Martha said...

Thank ye kindly for shering of the receipts of our Esteemed Martha Washington.

Renee said...

I love when you do these posts because they are so much fun.

Thanks.

Renee

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

The pie picture looks sooo scrumptious I wish I liked cherries. Sweetie loves fresh ones. I'm an apple girl meself. Baked, fried, raw, peeled, not peeled, you name it, I like it! [drool]

Since I don't like to cook I'm taking a different tack for Inauguration day. I thought I'd go all Historical on ya. (Probably better than trying to be Hysterical .. HAR DE HAR HAR) :o)
Sparky ♥ ∞

Leilani Lee said...

thanks for your remarks on my blog. We are at constant war with the mice (nests in filing cabinets, nests in dresser drawers, mouse poop on the silverware) which is why leaving the nest alone was just... weird. Oh yeah, every wire in our attic is now in metal conduit.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Ok, Muse, my invitation is posted, so it's official for me.
Mmmmm. That cherry pie looks delectable! A small taste of what's to come. ;)

Ragamuffin Gal said...

I had to eat a cherry cordial kiss to control my craving for cherry pie after seeing your picture. Your wit so makes my day today ~ I had no idea about Martha's cooking! Blessings, Katie

Jeanne said...

What an incredibly beautiful pie. I actually bake pies (Occasionally. Okay, rarely.). Maybe I'll try to make one all frou-frou like your picture!

steviewren said...

Ragamuffin Gal, I finished off my dinner with a couple of cherry cordial kisses. I bought a couple of bags during the holidays and stowed them in the freezer for any sudden cravings.

Muse, oncst more ye hast brought wondrous knowledge to mine notice. I thank thee sincerely.

Tiffany said...

That pie looks divine! I do have some cherries I kept, but not in a barrel of hay - just my trusty freezer. I'll have to bake pies again someday, but mine don't look that pretty.

Safire said...

Beautiful beautiful pie. Yum! (Over here from SITS)

MuseSwings said...

I shopped at publix yesterday - they had quite an assortment of cherry desserts, but though my hand hovered and my mind screamed buyitbuyit I came home with the essentials knowing full well I have Christmas cookies and candy that must be attended to before I bring one more sugary treat into the house. Stevie, I moste esspessially like the opportunity to spelle as I pleaze. Which I do most of the tyme anyway!

Debby said...

I will be glad to store anyone's 'fayrest cherries' beneath my bed. At no additional charge, I will pull the barrels of ye cherries out, root around in the straw, and sample them, to make sure that they retaineth their flavour. I;m noble like that.

MuseSwings said...

Note to self: Do not store cherries at Debby's

dAwN said...

Oh my ...those cherries sound delicious...I am thinking I would like to visit Debby and help her eat those cherries she is storin.
Yummy...
i guess i will just go out and buy me a cherry pie!

Genevieve said...

that pie looks scrumptous....

Thanks for all of your kind and caring comments, I'm so behind in replying, so sorry love.

Julie said...

That pie is just gorgeous. Too pretty to eat...hehe.
Thanks for coming by my blog.

mommaof4wife2r said...

if i said i was sick, could i get a pretty pie too!?!

Devoted said...

ah, um...think I stick to my trusty dehydrator. It works wonders for dried cherries to put in chicken salad. YUM! One of the best things about being married to a produce man...the first pick of cherries as soon as they come in season...all over the USA!

Sweet Repose said...

I just bought a bag of dried cherries at the Amish bulk food store...mmmmm on branflakes, breakfast of champions, don't forget the soy milk!