1893 text

Boiled salt beef. To powder was to sprinkle with salt, and the powdering tub a vessel in which meat was salted. [One form of beef, from 22nd February 1659/60 entry, PG]

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

6 Annotations

First Reading

language hat  •  Link

powdered beef:
From Latham's Companion:
"Fresh meat is said to have been difficult to obtain in the winter, because cattle, for lack of winter feed, were killed off in the autumn, so that housewives had to preserve their meat in brine or by powdering it with salt. But Pepys mentions eating salted or powdered beef only very occasionally

Grahamt  •  Link

Loathe as I am to disagree with Latham, I would question the statement that cattle were killed off in Autumn. Autumn, harvest time, is a time of plenty. Cattle, fowl and swine were traditionally killed in midwinter when forage was getting scarce. Thus the midwinter or Yule festival, to take advantage of the glut of meat. Preserved food would then last almost to Easter, (Lent) when people would fast until the new season's meat became available (lamb, chicken, veal, etc.)
By Pepys time, husbanding cattle by storing winter feed was probably becoming more common, especially to feed the better off in the cities throughout the year. If the less well off ate meat at all in late winter, then it would have been preserved by salting or smoking.

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Nissenbaum: FRESH meat in December

"December was the season

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Prime Chine Time

Copy of my entry from 8 December 1660 entry (where there's more discussion on the topic):

Nissenbaum certainly seems to exaggerate by saying early winter was the

David Quidnunc  •  Link

Chine of Beef: Statistical Overkill


"good chine of beef" -- six (35 percent)
"brave" -- once
"most brave" -- once
"great" -- once
"lovely" -- once
"rare" -- once
no adjectives -- six (35 percent)

1660 -- 2
1661 -- 4
1662 -- 3
1663 -- 2
1664 -- 2
1665 -- 2
1666 -- 2
1667 -- 0
1668 -- 0
1669 -- 0

David Quidnunc  •  Link

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