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Pease Pudding

Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire

Pease pudding (pease pottage or pease porridge or peasen) is a near-solid cooked mix of boiled split peas, usually including yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt and spices, often cooked with a bacon or ham joint. Sometimes bound with egg or mashed potato.

Although now especially associated with the North East, it was formerly more widespread, being known at least since 'The House-Keeper's Pocket-Book' of 1739, Family Guide 1747 and in Glasse 1747, Kitchiner 1845, Mrs.B, etc.

Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);

To make a pease-pudding.
BOIL it till it is quite tender, then take it up, until it, stir in a good piece of butter, a little salt, and a good deal of beaten pepper, then tie it up tight again, boil it an hour longer, and it will eat fine.

The origin of the Rhyme 'Pease Pudding Hot' is unknown, but is included in James Orchard Halliwell's 1846 'The Nursery Rhymes of England' as a clapping game.

Pease-pudding hot,
Pease-pudding cold,
Pease-pudding in the pot,
Nine days old;
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.
   (Grigson 1974)

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

1323. INGREDIENTS: 1-½ pint of split peas, 2 oz. of butter, 2 eggs, pepper and salt to taste.
Mode: Put the peas to soak over-night, in rain-water, and float off any that are wormeaten or discoloured. Tie them loosely in a clean cloth, leaving a little room for them to swell, and put them on to boil in cold rain-water, allowing 2-½ hours after the water has simmered up. When the peas are tender, take them up and drain; rub them through a colander with a wooden spoon; add the butter, eggs, pepper, and salt; beat all well together for a few minutes, until the ingredients are well incorporated; then tie them tightly in a floured cloth; boil the pudding for another hour, turn it on to the dish, and serve very hot. This pudding should always be sent to table with boiled leg of pork, and is an exceedingly nice accompaniment to boiled beef.
Time: 2-½ hours to boil the peas, tied loosely in the cloth; 1 hour for the pudding.
Average cost: 6d.
Sufficient: for 7 or 8 persons.
Seasonable: from September to March.


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