One of the problems about getting so involved with these m/s recipe books is that I feel as though I almost know the women who wrote them.
I can see how they start out so enthusiastically using their best handwriting, etc. Recipes abound, interspersed with recipes for soothing babies suffering from wind, croup and the like, as well as how to treat sore breasts - presumably from breastfeeding.
Over the many pages the handwriting slowly changes and evolves, often becoming shakier, entries dwindle.
The tan-coloured book (right next to the blue) has a high quality binding and extremely beautiful handwriting within.
It was begun in 1851 and was used for many hundreds of recipes and receipts, then in 1917 it was briefly used for a few dozen entries by someone else.
The entry which caught my eye today, was the penultimate one entered by the original owner, C Cooper.
Nourishment when nothing else will stay in the stomach
The white of an egg. well whisked. then add a tablespoonful of cream to a tablespoonful of brandy. 😟
It always makes me think of my mother, she died about 25 years ago, from stomach cancer. It seemed a particularly cruel fate for someone who really enjoyed her food, to go.
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.