Balderdash definition and posset recipes


sb. 1596. [Of unkn. orig. Cf. med. L. balductum posset, -a pl. curd, used in Eng. for 'balderdash', 'trashy' XVI.] † 1. ? Froth –1599. † 2. A jumbled mixture of liquors, e.g. of milk and beer, beer and wine, etc. –1693. 3. transf. A senseless jumble of words; trash 1674.

a short verse about the dietary virtues of posset

Milke, crayme, and cruddes, and eke the Ioncate,

þey close a mannes stomak / and so dothe þe possate;

þerfore ete hard chese aftir, yef ye sowpe late,

and drynk romney modoun, for feere of chekmate.

A plain ordinary posset

Put a pint of good Milk to boil; as soon as it doth so, take it from the fire, to let the great heat of it cool a little; for doing so, the curd will be the tenderer, and the whole of a more uniform consistence. When it is prettily cooled, pour it into your pot, wherein is about two spoonfuls of Sack, and about four of Ale, with sufficient Sugar dissolved in them. So let it stand a while near the fire, till you eat it.

A barley sack posset

Take half a pound or more of French barley, (not Perle-barley) and pour scalding water upon it, and wash it well therein, and strain it from the water, & put it into the Corner of a Linnen-cloth and tie it up fast there, and strike it a dozen or twenty blows against a firm table or block, to make it tender by such bruising it, as in the Countrey is used with wheat to make frumenty.

Then put it into a large skillet with three pints of good milk. Boil this till at least half be consumed, and that it become as thick as hasty pudding, which will require at least two hours; and it must be carefully stirred all the while, least it burn too: which if by some little inadvertence it should do, and that some black burned substance sticketh to the bottom of the skillet, pour all the good matter from it into a fresh skillet (or into a basin whiles you scoure this) and renew boiling till it be very thick; All which is to make the barley very tender and pulpy, and will at least require two or near three hours.

Then pour to it three pints of good Cream, and boil them together a little while, stirring them always. It will be sometime before the cold Cream boil, which when it doth, a little will suffice. Then take it from the fire, and season it well with Sugar.

Then take a quarter of a pint of Sack, and as much Rhenish-wine (or more of each) and a little Verjuyce, or sharp Cider, or juyce of Orange, and season it well with Sugar (at least half a pound to both) and set it over Coals to boil. Which when it doth, and the Sugar is well melted, pour the Cream into it; in which Cream the barley will be settled to the bottom by standing still unmoved, after the Sugar is well stirred and melted in it, or pour it through a hair-sieve; and you may boil it again, that it be very hot, when you mingle them together; else it may chance not curdle. Some of the barley (but little) will go over with it, and will do no hurt.

After you have thus made your Posset, let it stand warm a while that the curd may thicken: but take heed it boil not, for that would dissolve it again into the consistence of Cream. When you serve it up, strew it over with Powder of Cinnamon and Sugar. It will be much the better, if you strew upon it some Ambergreece ground with Sugar. You may boil bruised sticks of Cinnamon in the Cream, and in the Sack, before you mingle them. You must use clear Charcoal-fire under your vessels. The remaining barley will make good barley Cream, being boiled with fresh Cream and a little Cinnamon and Mace; to which you may add a little Rosemary and Sugar, when it is taken from the fire: or butter it as you do wheat. Or make a pudding of it, putting to it a Pint of Cream, which boil; then add four or five yolks, and two whites of Eggs, and the Marrow of two bones cut small, and of one in lumps: sufficient Sugar, and one Nutmeg grated. Put this either to bake raw, or with puff-past beneath and above it in the dish. A pretty smart heat, as for white Manchet, and three quarters of an hour in the Oven. You may make the like with great Oat-meal scalded (not boiled) in Cream, and soaked a night; then made up as the other.

a posset pot