For those of us who spend the night in the period camp, morning is a particular challenging part of the day. What do we make for breakfast? Breakfast usually happens before the public comes in, so we could always opt for a 20th-century menu like store-bought doughnuts and Mountain Dew, but where's the fun in that? Following are a few options for period breakfast fixin's. These can all be made right in camp over the fire in full view of the public -- welcome news for you late risers!
One word of warning; though these might SEEM like cookies, that term did not appear in print until around 1796, so these -- or any type of "cookie" should always be referred to as "cakes" in the period camp.
Brown the sausages. Mix together the other ingredients and pour batter over finished sausages. Bake in a covered, 8" Dutch oven for 30 minutes, or until top is puffy and lightly browned. Serves 2.5
ingredients8 oz. flour (1 cup)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 lb. pork sausage links (the "toads")
Finished "toad" should be moist (but not runny) with a slight crust on top and around the edges. Try it at home first (bake in a 400* oven for 30 minutes) so you'll know how it's supposed to turn out.
Turner also talks of "plum pudding", so if you crave sweets in the morning, canned or fresh plums can be substituted for the sausages. Why not experiment?! Try throwing your favorite fruit or meat into your pudding and see what happens!
1) A Dictionary of the English Language by Dr. Samuel Johnson, originally published in London in 1755.
4) The Diary of Thomas Turner, 1754-1765, Oxford University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-19-281899-6 (page 83). Turner's Journal features dozens of food references and is a must-read for anyone interested in 18th-century cuisine.
5) The "toad" recipe is based on one I obtained from my mother, Violet Jean (Hare) Tully, who was born and raised in the east end of London. It was handed down to her from her mother, who got it from her mother, and so on. It is essentially Yorkshire pudding with sausages in it. Yorkshire pudding is often substituted for potatoes with any meat dish. In this case it is usually served with a thin gravy.