A Week of Martha Washington’s Pies, Day 3 (of 4)

Food & Lifestyle

November 22, 2017
by Editors Also by this Author


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Wool production was critical to the early American economy, and if there were sheep in the fields there were bound to be sheep dishes on the table. The recipes in Martha Washington’s cookbook show that no part of these utilitarian animals was wasted. The directions for the pie featured today include the wise advice to use “as much sugar as you please,” insuring that it could be satisfying to the most discerning of diners.

To Make a Sheep’s Tongue Pie 

Boil the tongues tender, then peel them & slit them in the middle, and lay them in the pie, like an oyster pie, with some butter, grated bread, & nutmeg, & some salt; and when it is baked, melt & beat some butter and white wine together, and some capers which have been scalded in water, & as much sugar as you please, then cut the lid open, and pour it all in, & then serve it up, without setting it into the oven again.

[This recipe is taken from Karen Hess, Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981). The spelling has been modernized for readability.]

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