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Cree'd Wheat

Staffordshire, Lincolnshire

Grains, usually frumenty wheat, or occasionally rice or oats stewed very slowly until all the available water is absorbed. Usually then enriched with, for instance, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, sweet pepper, bay, sometimes with egg, fruit.

'English Housewifry' by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764 (Moxon 1764) has, of Pea Soup, "Garnish your dish with creed rice, and red beet-root."

Original Receipt in 'The Farmhouse Kitchen' Festival Food, page 206, by Mary Norwak, c1980, (with thanks to Linda Johnson)

Creed Wheat and Frumenty

8oz wheat grains
Pinch of salt
3 pints water
2 pints milk
2oz raisins
2oz currants
Pinch of nutmeg
2oz sugar
2 eggs, beaten (optional)

Garnish (see recipe)
Put the wheat and salt into three pints water in a casserole. Put into a very low oven and leave overnight to simmer until there is no water left. The wheat will then be “creed”. Leave until needed. Then add the milk and dried fruit, together with the nutmeg and sugar, and cook gently on the hob or in the oven for two hours. Some recipes also include two beaten eggs just before the frumenty is ready. Serve with sweetened whey, chopped fresh fruit, or with rum or brandy and cream.

In Wiltshire, this used to be eaten on Mothering Sunday in Lent, and the "creed" wheat could be bought ready for the dish. In Lincolnshire, it was served hot or cold at sheep-shearing time, and at harvest suppers. In Yorkshire, it was a traditional Christmas Even or Twelfth Night dish. It is also known as Furmenty and Firmity, and a “firmity tea” was often served to Lincolnshire children to celebrate sheep clipping”.


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