January 4, 2022

Colonial Classics: The Gables revives a savory cheese pudding recipe

by Felicia Cheney

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From The House of the Seven Gables

We may not know whether Massachusetts Bay Colony British governor and Salem’s cofounder ate the cheese pudding named for him — John Endicott’s Savory Cheese Pudding Dinner — but it’s possible. Early Puritans came here with cows. And cheese-making skills. And we do know palates in the mid-1600s appreciated the glories of cheese even if other pleasures like Christmas were off limits. 

On Wednesday, January 5, from 6 to 7 p.m., all are invited to sign on to a live, virtual cooking demonstration hosted by Kaylee Redard and The House of the Seven Gables. To register for the event, use this link. It’s free, but The Gables greatly appreciates donations of $10, when possible, to help cover costs and to support the Settlement programs. Those who attend may chat with Redard and the staff, and they will receive the pudding recipe that has been updated for contemporary cooks.

The New Year’s first Colonial Classics Food Demonstration leans on cheese not just because it’s tasty but because it was something colonists had access to. Back in Gov. Endicott’s day, the cheese most used was likely cheddar, a forgiving cheese not so easily compromised by weather extremes.

Comfort foods is the theme of this winter’s demonstrations, says Redard, who is assistant visitor services manager. “I picked this recipe because of the cheese. Two cups of it, along with flour, salt, pepper, milk, butter, breadcrumbs, eggs and whipped egg whites. “The pudding is a little like quiche. In winter, my mother makes Quiche Lorraine, and this recipe feels like nostalgia to me. I think a lot of people find comfort in cheese, especially when it’s warm.”

According to the Cheese Grotto website, between 1630 and 1640 about 20,000 Puritans sailed to New England. Almost every ship carried dairy cows that, once situated, grazed in the forested lands. By the mid-1600s, New England exported cheese to the West Indies’ vast plantations where the enslaved people from Africa labored. 

Part of the appeal of Colonial Classics is the dip into food history. Those participating in the hour-long demonstration and open discussion will hear some background on this recipe. All in attendance are invited to join in the discussion and ask questions while Redard prepares the nostalgic dish. 

Further Colonial Classics demonstrations featuring comfort foods are scheduled for Feb. 2 and March 2 — all Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m.

About The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association 

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to be a welcoming, thriving, historic site and community resource that engages people of all backgrounds in our inclusive American story. For more information visit www.7gables.org

Stories are at the core of what we do at The House of the Seven Gables. They are not just a part of our past, but also our present and future. In 2021, we look forward to exploring the lore of our historic site and surrounding community with a special series of lectures, programs and events.