Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163)
This manuscript is dated about 1460.
The 200 (approx.) recipes in the Wagstaff miscellany are on pages 56r through 76v.
Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the Yale University Library website.
I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.
Copyright © 2014 by Daniel Myers, MedievalCookery.com
100. Gely on fysch days
Splat pekys & tenches chop hem in small pecys & draw smal perchys fle elys chop hem & do to gedyr in a pan & boyle hoit with rede wyne take hit up ley hit on a clene cloth or on a clene bord pyle out the bonys strip the sknyn kepe the pecys hole couch hem in dischys the pyke & the tenche to gedyr & the gobenys of the elys & stryp the skyn a wey of the perchis & couch hem put one in a dysch & othir charge nowght thi dyschis over muche with youre fisch set hit on a colde place ther they may stond styll & set the panne aghene over the fyre & take barbell or congure playce or thornebake or othir good fisch that wil a gely & loke the skynys of the elys be clene & do ther to boyle hit in the same broth skeme hit clene that ther be no fat of the fisch ther on take hit up with a skemer do hit where thu wilt poure the broth thorow a clene cloth in to a clene pott set hit aghen on the fyre do ther to poudyr of pepyr & longe pepyr brekyd in a morter & thu may yf thu wilt have smal bagges of lynnyn cloth iij or iiij & put youre poudres ther yn sew hem that they go nought out henge over the sydys of the panne when ye boyle youre fisch a way tyl the seson hit take hem out & wryng out the broth & do hem awey & that ys bettyr maner then take up some ther of & poure hit on the brerd of a disch & let hit be cold & ther thu shalt se where hit be chargeaunt or els take more fisch that wolle gely & put hit ther yn do a wey the fisch sesyn the broth with venyger & salt colour with watyr of safron that hath be longe sokyd to gedyr so that the watyr have drawn out al the colour of the safron & shall kepe youre gely clere & bryght as lambour do on a drop or ij on the brede of a dysch & ther thu shalt a se yf that thy coloure be good salt hit take a clene clothe bynde the corners hong hit up poure the gely ther yn have a vessell undyr nethe kepe that rennought fyl up your dysches ther with when the most hete hit [f.68v] splat hit with blaunched almonds that they may hong ther yn and hole clovys & macys when hit ys cold florych hit with paryd gynger & serve hit forthe.
There is a recipe for fish jelly in A Noble Boke off Cookry, but the wording and instructions are very different.
To mak tenche in gilly put red wyn in a pan then skald the tenche and splat him and cast hym into the panne and sethe hym and when he is enoughe lay hym in a plater and pill of the skyn and pik out the bones then set the licour and the skyn to the fyere and put ther to sugur to mak it doucet but ye may not put in the sugar till they two have boiled then cast in saffron salt ginger and vergius and let it renne throughe a strene and lay your tenche in a platter and plant hyme with blanched almondes and put on the gilly and serue it. [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]
The fish jelly recipes from other sources describe much the same process, but again with different wording.
GELE OF FYSSH. C. I. Take Tenches, pykes, eelys, turbut and plays, kerue hem to pecys. scalde hem & waische hem clene. drye hem with a cloth do hem in a panne do þerto half vyneger & half wyne & seeþ it wel. & take the Fysshe and pike it clene, cole the broth thurgh a cloth into a erthen panne. do þerto powdour of pep and safroun ynowh. lat it seeþ and skym it wel whan it is ysode dof grees clene, cowche fisshes on chargeours & cole the sewe thorow a cloth onoward & serue it forth. [Forme of Cury (England, 1390)]
Cx - Gelye de Fysshe. Take newe Pykys, an draw hem, and smyte hem to pecys, and sethe in the same lycoure that thou doste Gelye of Fleysshe; an whan they ben y-now, take Perchys and Tenchys, and sethe; and Elys, an kutte hem in fayre pecys, and waysshe hem, and putte hem in the same lycoure, and loke thine lycoure be styf y-now; and 3if it wolle notte cacche, (Note: stick; see other Cookery, No. 174) take Soundys of watteryd Stokkefysshe, or ellys Skynnys, or Plays, an caste ther-to, and sethe ouer the fyre, and skeme it wyl; and when it ys y-now, let nowt the Fysshe breke; thenne take the lycoure fro the fyre, and do as thou dedyst be (Note: By, with) that other Gelye, saue, pylle the Fysshe, and ley ther-off in dysshis, that is, perche and suche; and Flowre hem, and serue forthe. [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]
It is worth noting that the recipes from Wagstaff and Noble appear to be the only fish jelly recipes that call for almonds.