If you are a serious knitter, you may know this term. Although I do knit, and at times have been called a knitting fanatic, I don’t consider myself serious enough like my good friend Jolene, to know what a niddy-noddy is…until late last night.
Just before I turned off the lights and headed to bed, a book I was looking in for old pie recipes, fell open to the glossary and there I spied Niddy-noddy (Niddle-noddle): To nod rapidly to and fro, hence a name given to a device used to wind and measure yarn. The name tickled me, and I went to bed with smile on my face. When I got up today, I couldn’t wait to learn a bit more about my new favorite term. Even Leonardo da Vinci knew about it as it is held by the Christ Child in Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Yarnwinder. Here’s a link to more niddy-noddy history and information. You can make your own out of wood or even PVC pipe. Who knew? Just think what I’ve been missing out on all these years. 😉
That’s not what I intended on sharing with you in this post. Today I’m thinking about old cooking terms like peck, peel, pettitoes, and pipkin. Peck and peel I do know about, although I did have to look up peck’s modern day equivalent. Peck: A measure of capacity used for dry goods, One-fourth part of a bushel or two gallons. And Peter Piper? His peck of pickled peppers was 1/4 of a bushel amounting to the equivalent of two gallons of dry weight, or 10 to 14 pounds. If he had picked two pecks, it would have been a kenning, and most exciting of all, I learned that in Scotland, four pecks was known as a firlot. (Yes, you must know by now, how easily amused I am.)
A culinary measurement that we have somewhat forgotten about is the knife-tip. I was taught about it when I was a little girl from my grandmother (Geeg), my mom (Louise), and Sadie who lived next door. It’s one I still use today. How much does a knife tip measuring approximately? About 1/16th of a teaspoon. I’ve been on a sweet potato pie kick recently, and the addition of a knife tip of ground cloves is just right for the filling in a 9″ deep dish pie pan.
Now excuse me why I cut a piece or two of a freshly baked sweet potato pie to take to a neighbor who needs a little cheering up today.
Have a wonderful day, my friends!