Of Preserves


Of Preserves are sundry sorts, and the operation of all being somewhat different, we will handle them all apart. These are preserved with sugar :

   1. Flowers
2. Fruits
3. Roots
4. Barks

1. Flowers are very seldom preserved; I never saw any that I remember, save only cowslip flowers, and that was a great fashion in Sussex when I was a boy. It is thus done: Take a flat glass, we call them jat glasses; strew on a laying of fine sugar, on that a laying of flowers, and on that another laying of sugar, on that another laying of flowers, so do till your glass be full; then tie it over with a paper, and in a little time, you shall have very excellent and pleasant preserves.

There is another way of preserving flowers; namely, with vinegar and salt, as they pickle capers and broom-buds; but as I have little skill in it myself, I cannot teach you.

2. Fruits, as quinces, and the like, are preserved two ways:

(1) Boil them well in water, and then pulp them through a sieve, as we shewed you before; then with the like quantity of sugar, boil the water they were boiled in into a syrup, viz. a pound of sugar to a pint of liquor; to every pound of this syrup, add four ounces of the pulp; then boil it with a very gentle fire to their right consistence, which you may easily know if you drop a drop of it upon a trencher; if it be enough, it will not stick to your fingers when it is cold.

(2) Another way to preserve fruits is this: First, pare off the rind; then cut them in halves, and take out the core: then boil them in water till they are soft; if you know when beef is boiled enough, you may easily know when they are. Then boil the water with its like weight of sugar into a syrup; put the syrup into a pot, and put the boiled fruit as whole as you left it when you cut it into it, and let it remain until you have occasion to use it.

3. Roots are thus preserved. First, scrape them very clean, and cleanse them from the pith, if they have any, for some roots have not, as Eringo and the like. Boil them in water till they be soft, as we shewed you before in the fruits; then boil the water you boiled the root in into a syrup, as we shewed you before; then keep the root whole in the syrup till you use them.

4. As for barks, we have but few come to our hands to be done, and of those the few that I can remember, are, oranges, lemons, citrons, and the outer bark of walnuts, which grow without side the shell, for the shells themselves would make but scurvy preserves; these be they I can remember, if there be any more put them into the number.

The way of preserving these, is not all one in authors, for some are bitter, some are hot; such as are bitter, say authors, must be soaked in warm water, oftentimes changing till their bitter taste be fled. But I like not this way and my reason is this: because I doubt when their bitterness is gone, so is their virtue also. I shall then prescribe one common way, namely, the same with the former, viz.: First, boil them whole till they be soft, then make a syrup with sugar and the liquor you boil them in, and keep the barks in the syrup.

5. They are kept in glasses or in glazed pots.

6. The preserved flowers will keep a year, if you can forbear eating of them; the roots and barks much longer.

7. This art was plainly and first invented for delicacy, yet came afterwards to be of excellent use in physic; For,

(1) Hereby medicines are made pleasant for sick and squeamish stomachs, which else would loathe them.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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