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This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.


Saturday, 5 March 2016

Sitting Comfortably? Then I'll begin...

...which is easier said than done.    I am spoilt for choice with these books,  there are so many things I would love to share with you.


Of course there are lots of recipes for soups, pies, puddings, cakes and so on, but that's not all. there are tips on how to clean kid gloves, how to clean silk, preparing the washing, cleaning all manner of utensils and then there are the cough medicines, the wound dressings, salves and creams, lotions and potions.  

A mind-blowing collection.

I had to remind myself to take a deep breath, take my time.

I have decided that every now and then I'll make one of the recipes - I am vegetarian, so it won't be a meaty one, although I will sometimes post a meat meal recipe for you.  

Cakes, biscuits and puddings will probably be as far as I go in actually trying out the recipes, with perhaps some of the summer drinks and the pickles and preserves, if I think anyone will actually eat them.

If you have any obscure recipe which you have been searching for, send me a message and I scan through the books to see if it is written down anywhere.




Today I thought I'd share this:

School Dinner and Teachers' Teas
August 27th 1849
for
Children 180
Teachers 35

118 lbs Beef
23 lbs suet
2 loaves  
5 stones flour for puddings
Bread for dinner - 15 loaves

40 lbs fruit
10 lbs sugar
1 oz spice
60 eggs
7 lbs butter
6 lbs loaf sugar

2 dozen Tea Cakes

Milk and cream
8 gallons of beer
Tea

The cost for this meal came to £8.  11s.    3d.   (about £8.57)


This detailed list is a random page in one of the books, a little further on there is something similar for the year 1853.   There is no mention of why it is there.   Mysteries abound, I'm so happy that someone took the time and trouble to write it all down, for whatever reason.

More next time.

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