Well, I thought I had the whole goofer/gofer wafer and regular
wafer dilemma all sorted out. You know, that basically, they’re
one and the same. But then I discovered a twist to the puzzle.
You see, in The Experienced English Housekeeper (1769), by
Britisher Elizabeth Raffald, there’s not only a receipt entitled
“To make Gofers,” but there’s also “To make Wafers.”
dagnabit. What’s up with that?! And no, the two receipts are
only slightly similar. Take a look:
To make Gofers
Beat three eggs well with three
spoonfuls of flour and a little
salt. Then mix them with a pint
of milk, an ounce of sugar and
half a nutmeg grated. Beat them
well together. Then make your
gofer tongs hot, rub them with
fresh butter, fill the bottom part
of your tongs and clap the top on.
Then turn them, and when a fine
brown on both sides put them in
a dish and pour white wine sauce
over them. Five is enough for a dish.
Don’t lay them one upon another,
it will make them soft. You may
put in currants if you please.
To Make Wafers
Take two spoonfuls of cream, two
of sugar, the same of flour, and
one spoonful of orange flower
water, beat them well together
for half an hour. Then make your
wafer tongs hot and pour a little
of your batter in to cover your
irons. Bake them on a stove fire.
As they are baked roll them round
a stick like a spiggard. As soon as
they are cold they will be very crisp.
They are proper for tea, or to put
upon a salver to eat with jellies.
Interesting. Note that one says to “make your gofer tongs hot,”
while the other “your wafer tongs.” So, does that mean they
are NOT the same piece of equipment? And if so, how are
they different? Does it have anything to do with the shape?
Is a round one for gofers and the rectangular for wafers?
Or vice versa? Then the one states to cook them “on a stove
fire.” Does that mean NOT over an open fire? Does it mean
a stew stove? And then, the wafer, but not the gofer, is to
be rolled “round a stick.” So, like a cannoli? And what does
“like a spiggard” mean? I checked my OED (Oxford English
Dictionary), modern versions, and online…nothing. Although
I did discover Spiggard as a family’s name. Of course, then I
tried different spellings, so it’s possible it’s a version of spigot,
which would’ve been commonly used in the 18th century on
beer and wine casks. So…maybe? Or…maybe not?!
Ahh, more food forensics. Gotta love it! In any event, again,
there are more questions than answers. dagnabit.
Another pair of wafer, er gofer (?), tongs: