Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Made Dish From Martha Washington's Kitchen

Our Inauguration Day Brunch Menu yesterday included:
A Made Dish of Panperdy
Take stale white bread & slyce it, & lay it to steep in white wine all night, Ye next day take youlks of eggs & creame and sugar and beat them well together; then take the bread out of ye wine, & put it in ye creame, & when it hath been in a quarter of an houre, take it out and lay it in a frying pan, & poure ye cream yet is left upon it; & when it is fryed enough, lay it in a dish, & strew on it sugar and grated nutmegg and soe serve it up.
This dish, from Martha Washington's "A Booke of Cookery", is a rich and elegant version of pain perdu - or French toast. Panperdy is a charming corruption of Pain Perdu (lost bread). You can, if you like, steep the bread in white wine overnight or you may omit that step altogether and steep the bread overnight in the egg and cream mixture. Be sure and refrigerate it.
The recipe does not include any specific measurements, leaving it to the cook to decide, based on how much stale bread is available, what the measurements should be.


Debby said...

I was reading the recipe and I thought, 'gees, that sounds like french toast!' What an interesting history. Pain perdu. Panperdy. That was a nice post.

mommaof4wife2r said...

super fun...but how do we know it's from her kitchen? i mean, did they publish church cookbooks back then? just wondering...ha!

Cheeky Greek said...

Yum! How did it turn out?

MuseSwings said...

Thank you Debby!

Mommaof4 Hahahaha! Martha inherited 2 cookbooks from her family when she married. It was handwritten, and passed down from one generation to the next.

Cheeky - uhm, I didn't actually make this recipe for the post. I snagged the picture from flickr. I've made several versions of this from other cookbooks and the bottom line is French toast is always good - no matter how you make it or what you call it.

Mim said...


Bibi said...

I love pain perdu, French toast, or whatever you call it. I think it's so interesting how the names of some places have been 'corrupted.' When I was little, we used to go to a place in Maryland that I thought of for a long time as 'Havverdigrass,' which turned out to be spelled 'Havre de Grace."

Jeanne said...

When I was researching my first (unpublished) novel, I was amazed to discover that cookbooks as we know them today (with measurements and cook times and temperatures) didn't exist until around the turn of the last century. Of course, the ability to closely regulate oven temperature is a fairly new innovation, too. Prior to that, cooks would put a bake sheet with a mound of flour in the oven and see how long it took for the flour to blacken to determine temperature.

Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

I love the archaic spelling and verbiage! How fun!