“Drink, friendly to Nature and accommodated to General
Use” was the topic last year of Deb Peterson’s annual
Historic Foodways Symposium. As usual, a hearth cooking
workshop was held afterwards, wherein dishes related
to the event’s subject were prepared. Participants toiled
happily at the two hearths in the kitchens of Pennsbury
Manor, creating dishes that used a variety of “spirituous
liquors.” For my part, I teamed up with two fellow historic
food enthusiasts*, and together we made a trout dish
and a drink known as a posset.
Now, for the posset, ideally we needed an authentic
posset pot. Or at the very least, a fairly reasonable,
period-correct, reproduction. Fortunately for us, we
had such a vessel, for one of our instructors, Nancy
Webster, had brought hers. Interestingly, she’d found
it on e-Bay. Apparently, a few years ago the cosmetics
company Avon had the pots made, and then they were
“awarded” to the Company’s top sellers. Who knew?!
Of course, I have to wonder what folks thought after
receiving one. Perhaps, “What the heck is THIS?!” and
“Just WHAT do I do with it?!” LOL In any event, one
such high-sales “gift” was eventually auctioned off,
it was purchased, and now it was to hold our posset.
So, to make this long story at least a tiny bit shorter,
since last spring, I’ve been yearning, and patiently
looking and waiting, for another Avon posset pot
to come up for bid on e-Bay. Then, lo and behold, it
recently did! I just happened to look one day, and
there it was; I bid, and I won! HUZZAH!
And so, without further ado, here’s my newly-acquired
reproduction posset pot:
Here’s the receipt we used during Deb’s 2011 Historic
Foodways Symposium at Pennsbury Manor (PA). It’s
taken from Robert May’s The Accomplisht Cook (1685,
To make a Posset simple.
Boil your milk in a clean scowred skillet,
and when it boils take it off, and warm
in the pot, bowl, or bason some sack,
claret, beer, ale, or juyce of orange;
pour it into the drink, but let not your
milk be too hot, for it will make the curd
hard, then sugar it.
I’m SO excited! I can hardly wait to use it. HUZZAH!!
*NOTE: I must give a hale ‘n hearty HUZZAH! to the members
of my hearth cooking team: Bill Martell of The Griffith Morgan
House, NJ; and Jacob Fish, of Long Island, NY.