Monday, February 17, 2014

Side Notes #1

Side notes, ya know, those things you don't think of until after you have already made your post or find out later and don't feel like editing to add. That is what this is and I am likely to have many of them so I have decided to number them.

This one in particular is about the mustard experiment. What I had intended to start that post off with was by sharing my deep and profound respect for professions in period who hand ground things. I tried to grind mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle and wow! I have neither the strength nor the callouses needed to be as effective as I need to be. My hat is off to them, or it would be if I wore a hat. With this in mind I was talking to my husband about it and he offered an Idea i had not thought about until then, they likely "milled" their spices. I know a simple thought but for some reason it just did not occur to me to be a logical one. They had small mills at home, hand held ones for grinding small amount of flour, why would they not have used them for spices or other things of a dry nature that they wanted "powdered".  I began to think about Scappi and his reference to fennel flour and the hard time I had  trying to grind dry fennel by hand. Why wouldn't a mill have been used, one of the hand size ones would be easy to use as well as easy to clean. It seems like such a simple solution.

Now do I have any proof, no, or maybe I should say not yet. While I am not going to run right out and hunt  I will now have an ear open to the information if I happen to stumble across it.

1 comment:

  1. Mustard was certainly milled, in industrial quantities sometimes. I've visited a still-working mustard mill at Zaanse Schaans in the Netherlands. This particular mill isn't period, but I believe mustard mills as a phenomenon were.