Pilgrim Breakfast Receipts

Part 2 in a special series on the Pilgrim Breakfast

In 1957 the Plymouth Antiquarian Society published The Plimoth Colony Cook Book. It featured “receipts” used in Plymouth from the colonial period to the end of the 19th century. Antiquarians Elizabeth St. John Bruce and Edith Stinson Jones collected the recipes, preserving culinary methods and traditions passed down in local families for generations. Their meticulous documentation and faithful recreation using period tools provided the foundation for cooking demonstrations at the Harlow House.

The first pages of the cookbook feature recipes served to guests at the Pilgrim Breakfast. Recognizing that not everyone had access to a brick oven, the Antiquarians modernized the recipes for this publication.

Interested in recreating the Pilgrim Breakfast at home? Download our recipe sheet here.

Harlow House Mulled Cider

3 quarts cider
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
ginger, if liked
¾ teaspoon cloves
1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Add the spices and salt to the heated cider and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 24 punch cup servings.

Harlow House Doughnuts

often called “Wonders”
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Beat sugar, eggs, and milk together, add butter. Sift 3 cups flour with rest of ingredients, add to first mixture and stir until smooth. Add more flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough. Chill dough overnight. Roll out on floured board and cut with doughnut cutter. Fry in fat hot enough to brown a 1-inch cube of bread in 40 seconds (375 F.). As doughnuts rise to top, turn and brown on other side. Remove, drain on absorbent paper.

Harlow House Baked Beans

2 pounds pea beans
1 onion
2 teaspoons mustard
½ cup molasses
½ teaspoon salt
3/8 pound salt pork

Pick over, wash, and soak the beans overnight. In the morning, drain, rinse, and cover with cold water, bring to a boil and cook until the beans can be pierced with a pin. Drain, put in bean pot with an onion in the bottom. Add mustard, molasses, and salt. Scrape and score the pork and bury it in the beans so that only the top shows. Cover with water and bake in a slow oven (300 F.) about 6 hours, adding water as needed. Uncover the pot for the last hour to brown the pork. 6-8 servings.

Harlow House Fish Cakes

4 cups potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 cup salt fish, picked and shredded
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Boil together potatoes and fish until potatoes are tender. Drain, mash, and beat in eggs. Drop by spoonfuls in hot fat, (390 F.) and fry for 1 minute. Drain on absorbent paper. 6-8 servings.

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