A short time ago we explored some of the cookery ideas in Eighteen Books of the Secrets of Art And Nature (1661) by Johann Jacob Wecke. There are a few more snippets of wisdom in the book which are interesting and revealing.
It seems that even two and a half centuries ago, there was the need for some hints to speed up or slow down the cooking. I don’t know if the methods work – somehow I doubt it! My extensive kitchen armamentarium does not include a female tortoise shell, however, so I am unable to test the final method.
That a Chicken may be soon rosted.
Also I thought fit to let you know, that a Wallnut put into a Chickens belly will make him rost quickly.
To make flesh he quickly boyld.
Some say it is certain that a piece of a Melon put into the pot will make the flesh boyl suddenly, and others fay that Nettleseed or Mustard seed will do the like, or stalks of the Figtree.
That a Pot may never boyl.
The shell of a female Tortois laid over a Pot, will cause that the Pot shall never boyl.