Part 2 out of 3
of currants, washed and dried; some cloves, mace, nutmeg, a little
salt, sugar and sack, and put to all these as many yolks of raw eggs,
and whites of two, as will make it a moist forc'd-meat; work it with
your hands into a body, and make it into balls as big as a turkey's
egg; then having your coffin made put in your balls. Take the marrow
out of three or four bones as whole as you can: let your marrow lie a
little in water, to take out the blood and splinters; then dry it, and
dip it in yolk of eggs; season it with a little salt, nutmeg grated,
and grated bread; lay it on and between your forc'd-meat balls, and
over that sliced citron, candied orange and lemon, eryngo-roots,
preserved barberries; then lay on sliced lemon, and thin slices of
butter over all; then lid your pye, and bake it; and when 'tis drawn,
have in readiness a caudle made of white-wine and sugar, and thicken'd
with butter and eggs, and pour it hot into your pye.
_Very fine Hogs Puddings_:--Shred four pounds of beef-suet very fine,
mix with it two pounds of fine sugar powder'd, two grated nutmegs,
some mace beat, and a little salt, and three pounds of currants wash'd
and pick'd; beat twenty-four yolks, twelve whites of eggs, with a
little sack; mix all well together, and fill your guts, being clean
and steep'd in orange-flower-water; cut your guts quarter and half
long, fill them half full; tye at each end, and again thus oooo. Boil
them as others, and cut them in balls when sent to the table.
_To make Plumb-Porridge_:--Take a leg and shin of beef to ten gallons
of water, boil it very tender, and when the broth is strong, strain it
out, wipe the pot, and put in the broth again; slice six penny-loaves
thin, cutting off the top and bottom; put some of the liquor to it,
cover it up, and let it stand a quarter of an hour, and then put it in
your pot, let it boil a quarter of an hour, then put in five pounds of
currants, let them boil a little, and put in five pounds of raisins,
and two pounds of prunes, and let them boil till they swell; then put
in three quarters of an ounce of mace, half an ounce of cloves, two
nutmegs, all of them beat fine, and mix it with a little liquor cold,
and put them in a very little while, and take off the pot, and put in
three pounds of sugar, a little salt, a quart of sack, and a quart of
claret, the juice of two or three lemons; you may thicken with sagoe
instead of bread, if you please; pour them into earthen pans, and keep
them for use.
III.--SWEET-PUDDINGS, PIES, ETC.
_To make New-College Puddings_:--Grate a penny stale loaf, and put to
it a like quantity of beef-suet finely shred, and a nutmeg grated, a
little salt, some currants, and then beat some eggs in a little sack,
and some sugar, and mix all together, and knead it as stiff as for
manchet, and make it up in the form and size of a turkey-egg, but a
little flatter; then take a pound of butter, and put it in a dish, and
set the dish over a clear fire in a chafing-dish, and rub your butter
about the dish till 'tis melted; put your puddings in, and cover the
dish, but often turn your puddings, until they are all brown alike,
and when they are enough, scrape sugar over them, and serve them up
hot for a side dish.
You must let the paste lie a quarter of an hour before you make up
_To make a Spread-Eagle pudding_:--Cut off the crust of three
half-penny rolls, then slice them into your pan; then set three pints
of milk over the fire, make it scalding hot, but not boil; so pour it
over your bread, and cover it close, and let it stand an hour; then
put in a good spoonful of sugar, a very little salt, a nutmeg grated,
a pound of suet after 'tis shred, half a pound of currants washed and
picked, four spoonfuls of cold milk, ten eggs, but five of the whites;
and when all is in, stir it, but not till all is in; then mix it well,
butter a dish; less than an hour will bake it.
_To make a Cabbage Pudding_:--Take two pounds of the lean part of a
leg of veal; take of beef-suet the like quantity; chop them together,
then beat them together in a stone mortar, adding to it half a little
cabbage, scalded, and beat that with your meat; then season it with
mace and nutmeg, a little pepper and salt, some green gooseberries,
grapes, or barberries in the time of year. In the winter put in a
little verjuice; then mix all well together, with the yolks of four or
five eggs well beaten; then wrap it up in green cabbage leaves; tye a
cloth over it, boil it an hour: melt butter for sauce.
_To make a Calf's Foot Pudding_:--Take two calf's feet finely shred;
then of biskets grated, and stale mackaroons broken small, the
quantity of a penny loaf; then add a pound of beef-suet, very finely
shred, half a pound of currants, a quarter of a pound of sugar; some
cloves, mace and nutmeg, beat fine; a very little salt, some sack and
orange-flower-water, some citron and candied orange-peel; work all
these well together, with yolks of eggs; if you boil it, put it in the
caul of a breast of veal, and tie it over with a cloth; it must boil
four hours. For sauce, melt butter, with a little sack and sugar; if
you bake it, put some paste in the bottom of the dish, but none on the
brim; then melt half a pound of butter, and mix with your stuff, and
put it in your dish, and stick lumps of marrow in it; bake it three or
four hours; scrape sugar over it, and serve it hot.
_To make a Chestnut Pudding_:--Take a dozen and half of chestnuts, put
them in a skillet of water, and set them on the fire till they will
blanch; then blanch them, and when cold, put them in cold water, then
stamp them in a mortar, with orange-flower-water and sack, till they
are very small; mix them in two quarts of cream, and eighteen yolks of
eggs, the whites of three or four; beat the eggs with sack, rose-water
and sugar; put it in a dish with puff-paste; stick in some lumps of
marrow or fresh butter, and bake it.
_To make a Brown-bread Pudding_:--Take half a pound of brown bread,
and double the weight of it in beef-suet; a quarter of a pint of
cream, the blood of a fowl, a whole nutmeg, some cinnamon, a spoonful
of sugar, six yolks of eggs, three whites: mix it all well together,
and boil it in a wooden dish two hours. Serve it with sack and sugar,
and butter melted.
_To make a baked Sack Pudding_:--Take a pint of cream, and turn it to
a curd with a sack; then bruise the curd very small with a spoon; then
grate in two Naples-biskets, or the inside of a stale penny-loaf, and
mix it well with the curd, and half a nutmeg grated; some fine
sugar, and the yolks of four eggs, the whites of two, beaten with two
spoonfuls of sack; then melt half a pound of fresh butter, and stir
all together till the oven is hot. Butter a dish, and put it in, and
sift some sugar over it, just as 'tis going into the oven half an hour
will bake it.
_To make an Orange Pudding_:--Take two large Sevil oranges, and grate
off the rind, as far as they are yellow; then put your oranges in fair
water, and let them boil till they are tender; shift the water three
or four times to take out the bitterness; when they are tender, cut
them open, and take away the seeds and strings, and beat the other
part in a mortar, with half a pound of sugar, till 'tis a paste; then
put in the yolks of six eggs, three or four spoonfuls of thick cream,
half a Naples-biscuit grated; mix these together, and melt a pound of
very good fresh butter, and stir it well in; when 'tis cold, put a bit
of fine puff-paste about the brim and bottom of your dish, and put it
in and bake it about three quarters of an hour.
_Another sort of Orange Pudding_:--Take the outside rind of three
Sevil oranges, boil them in several waters till they are tender; then
pound them in a mortar with three quarters of a pound of sugar; then
blanch and beat half a pound of almonds very fine, with rose-water to
keep them from oiling; then beat sixteen eggs, but six whites, and
a pound of fresh butter; beat all these together very well till 'tis
light and hollow; then put it in a dish, with a sheet of puff-paste at
the bottom, and bake it with tarts; scrape sugar on it, and serve it
_To make a French-Barley Pudding_:--Take a quart of cream, and put to
it six eggs well beaten, but three of the whites; then season it with
sugar, nutmeg, a little salt, orange-flower-water, and a pound of
melted butter; then put to it six handfuls of French-barley that has
been boiled tender in milk: butter a dish, and put it in, and bake it.
It must stand as long as a venison-pasty, and it will be good.
_To make a Skirret Pye_:--Boil your biggest skirrets, and blanch them,
and season them with cinamon, nutmeg, and a very little ginger and
sugar. Your pye being ready, lay in your skirrets; season also the
marrow of three or four bones with cinamon, sugar, a little salt and
grated bread. Lay the marrow in your pye, and the yolks of twelve hard
eggs cut in halves, a handful of chesnuts boiled and blanched, and
some candied orange-peel in slices. Lay butter on the top, and lid
your pye. Let your caudle be white-wine, verjuice, some sack and
sugar; thicken it with the yolks of eggs, and when the pye is baked,
pour it in, and serve it hot. Scrape sugar on it.
_To make a Cabbage-Lettuce Pye_:--Take some of the largest and hardest
cabbage-lettuce you can get; boil them in salt and water till they are
tender; then lay them in a colander to drain dry; then have your paste
laid in your pattipan ready, and lay butter on the bottom; then lay
in your lettuce and some artichoke-bottoms, and some large pieces of
marrow, and the yolks of eight hard eggs, and some scalded sorrel;
bake it, and when it comes out of the oven, cut open the lid; and pour
in a caudle made with white-wine and sugar, and thicken with eggs; so
serve it hot.
_Potato, or Lemon Cheesecakes_:--Take six ounces of potatoes, four
ounces of lemon-peel four ounces of sugar, four ounces of butter; boil
the lemon-peel til tender, pare and scrape the potatoes, and boil them
tender and bruise them; beat the lemon-peel with the sugar, then beat
all together very well, and melt all together very well, and let it
lie till cold: put crust in your pattipans, and fill them little more
than half full: bake them in a quick oven half an hour, sift some
double-refined sugar on them as they go into the oven; this quantity
will make a dozen small pattipans.
_To make Almond Cheesecakes_:--Take a good handful or more of almonds,
blanch them in warm water, and throw them in cold; pound them fine,
and in the pounding put a little sack or orange-flower-water to keep
them from oiling; then put to your almonds the yolks of two hard eggs,
and beat them together: beat the yolks of six eggs, the whites of
three, and mix with your almonds, and half a pound of butter melted,
and sugar to your taste; mix all well together, and use it as other
_To make the light Wigs_:--Take a pound and half of flour, and half a
pint of milk made warm; mix these together, and cover it up, and let
it lie by the fire half an hour; then take half a pound of sugar, and
half a pound of butter; then work these in the paste, and make it into
wigs, with as little flour as possible. Let the oven be pretty quick,
and they will rise very much.
_To make very good Wigs_:--Take a quarter of a peck of the finest
flour, rub into it three quarters of a pound of fresh butter, till
'tis like grated bread, something more than half a pound of sugar,
half a nutmeg, and half a race of ginger grated; three eggs, yolks
and whites beaten very well, and put to them half a pint of thick
ale-yeast, three or four spoonfuls of sack. Make a hole in your flour,
and pour in your yeast and eggs, and as much milk just warm, as will
make it into a light paste. Let it stand before the fire to rise half
an hour; then make it into a dozen and half of wigs; wash them over
with eggs just as they go into the oven; a quick oven, and half an
hour will bake them.
_To make Carrot or Parsnip Puffs_:--Scrape and boil your carrots or
parsnips tender; then scrape or mash them very fine, add to a pint of
pulp the crumb of a penny-loaf grated, or some stale biscuit, if
you have it, some eggs, but four whites, a nutmeg grated, some
orange-flower-water, sugar to your taste, a little sack, and mix it up
with thick cream. They must be fry'd in rendered suet, the liquor very
hot when you put them in; put in a good spoonful in a place.
_A Tansy_:--Boil a quart of cream or milk with a stick of cinamon,
quarter'd nutmeg, and large mace; when half cold, mix it with twenty
yolks of eggs, and ten whites; strain it, then put to it four grated
biskets, half a pound of butter, a pint of spinage-juice, and a little
tansy, sack, and orange-flower-water, sugar, and a little salt; then
gather it to a body over the fire, and pour it into your dish, being
well butter'd. When it is baked, turn it on a pye-plate; squeeze on
it an orange, grate on sugar, and garnish it with slic'd orange and a
little tansy. Made in a dish; cut as you please.
_To make Sack Cream_:--Take the yolks of two eggs, and three spoonfuls
of fine sugar, and a quarter of a pint of sack: mix them together, and
stir them into a pint of cream; then set them over the fire till 'tis
scalding hot, but let it not boil. You may toast some thin slices of
white bread, and dip them in sack or orange-flower-water, and pour
your cream over them.
_To make Quince Cream_:--Take quinces, scald them till they are soft;
pare them, and mash the clear part of them, and pulp it through a
sieve; take an equal weight of quince, and double-refin'd sugar beaten
and sifted, and the whites of eggs, and beat it till it is as white as
snow, then put it in dishes.
_To make Pistachia Cream_:--Peel your pistachias, and beat them very
fine, and boil them in cream; if 'tis not green enough, add a little
juice of spinage; thicken it with eggs, and sweeten to your taste;
pour it in basons, and set it by till 'tis cold.
_To make white Jelly of Quinces_:--Pare your quinces, and cut them in
halves; then core them and parboil your quinces; when they are soft,
take them up, and crush them through a strainer, but not too hard,
only the clear juice. Take the weight of the juice in fine sugar;
boil the sugar candy-height, and put in your juice, and let it scald
awhile, but not boil; and if any froth arise, scum it off, and when
you take it up, have ready a white preserved quince cut in small
slices, and lay them in the bottom of your glasses, and pour your
jelly to them, it will candy on the top and keep moist on the bottom a
_To make Hart's-Horn Jelly_:--Take a large gallipot, and fill it full
of hart's-horn, and then fill it full with spring-water, and tie a
double paper over the gallipot, and set it in the baker's oven with
household bread; in the morning take it out, and run it through a
jelly-bag, and season it with juice of lemons, and double-refin'd
sugar, and the whites of eight eggs well beaten; let it have a boil,
and run it thro' the jelly-bag again into your jelly-glasses; put a
bit of lemon-peel in the bag.
_The Queen's Cheese_:--Take six quarts of the best stroakings, and
let them stand till they are cold; then set two quarts of cream on the
fire till 'tis ready to boil; then take it off, and boil a quart of
fair water, and take the yolks of two eggs, and one spoonful of sugar,
and two spoonfuls of runnet; mingle all these together, and stir it
till 'tis blood warm: when the cheese is come, use it as other cheese;
set it at night, and the third day lay the leaves of nettles under and
over it: it must be turned and wiped, and the nettles shifted every
day, and in three weeks it will be fit to eat. This cheese is made
between Michaelmas and Alhallontide.
_To make a Slip-coat Cheese_:--Take new milk and runnet, quite cold,
and when 'tis come, break it as little as you can in putting it into
the cheese-fat, and let it stand and whey itself for some time; then
cover it, and set about two pound weight on it, and when it will hold
together, turn it out of that cheese-fat, and keep it turning upon
clean cheese-fats for two or three days, till it has done wetting,
and then lay it on sharp-pointed dock-leaves till 'tis ripe: shift the
_To make a New-market Cheese to cut at two Years old_:--Any morning
in September, take twenty quarts of new milk warm from the cow, and
colour it with marigolds: when this is done, and the milk not cold,
get ready a quart of cream, and a quart of fair water, which must be
kept stirring over the fire till 'tis scalding hot, then stir it well
into the milk and runnet, as you do other cheese; when 'tis come, lay
cheese-cloths over it, and settle it with your hands; the more hands
the better; as the whey rises, take it away, and when 'tis clean gone,
put the curd into your fat, breaking it as little as you can; then put
it in the press, and press it gently an hour; take it out again, and
cut it in thin slices, and lay them singly on a cloth, and wipe them
dry; then put it in a tub, and break it with your hands as small as
you can, and mix with it a good handful of salt, and a quart of cold
cream; put it in the fat, and lay a pound weight on it till next day;
then press and order it as others.
_To make Shrewsbury Cakes_:--Take to one pound of sugar, three pounds
of the finest flour, a nutmeg grated, some beaten cinamon; the sugar
and spice must be sifted into the flour, and wet it with three eggs,
and as much melted butter, as will make it of a good thickness to roll
into a paste; mould it well and roll it, and cut it into what shape
you please. Perfume them, and prick them before they go into the oven.
_To make Whetstone Cakes_:--Take half a pound of fine flour, and half
a pound of loaf sugar searced, a spoonful of carraway-seeds dried,
the yolk of one egg, the whites of three, a little rose-water, with
ambergrease dissolved in it; mix it together, and roll it out as thin
as a wafer; cut them with a glass; lay them on flour'd paper, and bake
them in a slow oven.
_To make Portugal Cakes_:--Take a pound and a quarter of fine flour
well dried, and break a pound of butter into the flour and rub it in,
add a pound of loaf-sugar beaten and sifted, a nutmeg grated, four
perfumed plums, or some ambergrease; mix these well together, and
beat seven eggs, but four whites, with three spoonfuls of
orange-flower-water; mix all these together, and beat them up an hour;
butter your little pans, and just as they are going into the oven,
fill them half full, and searce some fine sugar over them; little more
than a quarter of an hour will bake them. You may put a handful of
currants into some of them; take them out of the pans as soon as they
are drawn, keep them dry, they will keep good three months.
_To make Jumbals_:--Take the whites of three eggs, beat them well, and
take off the froth; then take a little milk, and a little flour, near
a pound, as much sugar sifted, a few carraway-seeds beaten very fine;
work all these in a very stiff paste, and make them into what form you
please bake them on white paper.
_To make March-pane_:--Take a pound of Jordan almonds, blanch and beat
them in a marble mortar very fine; then put to them three-quarters
of a pound of double-refin'd sugar, and beat with them a few drops of
orange-flower-water; beat all together till 'tis a very good paste,
then roll it into what shape you please; dust a little fine sugar
under it as you roll it to keep it from sticking. To ice it, searce
double-refined sugar as fine as flour, wet it with rose-water, and mix
it well together, and with a brush or bunch of feathers spread it
over your march-pane: bake them in an oven that is not too hot: put
wafer-paper at the bottom, and white paper under that, so keep them
_To make the Marlborough Cake_:--Take eight eggs, yolks and whites,
beat and strain them, and put to them a pound of sugar beaten and
sifted; beat it three-quarters of an hour together; then put in
three-quarters of a pound of flour well dried, and two ounces of
carraway-seeds; beat it all well together, and bake it in a quick oven
in broad tin-pans.
_To make Wormwood Cakes_:--Take one pound of double-refin'd sugar
sifted; mix it with the whites of three or four eggs well beat; into
this drop as much chymical oil of wormwood as you please. So drop them
on paper; you may have some white, and some marble, with specks of
colours, with the point of a pin; keep your colours severally in
little gallipots. For red, take a dram of cochineel, a little cream of
tartar, as much of allum; tye them up severally in little bits of fine
cloth, and put them to steep in one glass of water two or three hours.
When you use the colour, press the bags in the water, and mix some
of it with a little of the white of egg and sugar. Saffron colours
yellow; and must be tyed in a cloth, as the red, and put in water.
Powder-blue, mix'd with the saffron-water, makes a green; for blue,
mix some dry powder-blue with some water.
_A French Cake to eat hot_:--Take a dozen of eggs, and a quart of
cream, and as much flour as will make it into a thick batter; put to
it a pound of melted butter, half a pint of sack, one nutmeg grated,
mix it well, and let it stand three or four hours; then bake it in
a quick oven, and when you take it out, split it in two, and pour a
pound of butter on it melted with rose-water; cover it with the other
half, and serve it up hot.
_To make the thin Dutch Bisket_:--Take five pounds of flour, and two
ounces of carraway-seeds, half a pound of sugar, and something more
than a pint of milk. Warm the milk, and put into it three-quarters of
a pound of butter; then make a hole in the middle of your flour, and
put in a full pint of good ale-yeast; then pour in the butter and
milk, and make these into a paste, and let it stand a quarter of an
hour by the fire to rise; then mould it, and roll it into cakes pretty
thin; prick them all over pretty much or they will blister; so bake
them a quarter of an hour.
_To make Dutch Ginger-bread_:--Take four pounds of flour, and mix with
it two ounces and a half of beaten ginger; then rub in a quarter of
a pound of butter, and add to it two ounces of carraway-seeds,
two ounces of orange-peel dried and rubb'd to powder, a few
coriander-seeds bruised, two eggs: then mix all up in a stiff paste,
with two pounds and a quarter of treacle; beat it very well with
a rolling-pin, and make it up into thirty cakes; put in a candied
citron; prick them with a fork: butter papers three double, one white,
and two brown; wash them over with the white of an egg; put them into
an oven not too hot, for three-quarters of an hour.
_To make Cakes of Flowers_:--Boil double-refin'd sugar candy-high, and
then strew in your flowers, and let them boil once up; then with your
hand lightly strew in a little double-refin'd sugar sifted; and then
as quick as may be, put it into your little pans, made of card, and
pricked full of holes at bottom. You must set the pans on a pillow, or
cushion; when they are cold, take them out.
VI.--CAUDLES AND POSSETS.
_To make a Posset with Ale: King-William's Posset_:--Take a quart of
cream, and mix with it a pint of ale, then beat the yolks of ten eggs,
and the whites of four; when they are well beaten, put them to the
cream and ale, sweeten it to your taste, and slice some nutmeg in it;
set it over the fire, and keep it stirring all the while, and when
'tis thick, and before it boils, take it off, and pour it into the
bason you serve it in to the table.
_To make the Pope's Posset_:--Blanch and beat three-quarters of a
pound of almonds so fine, that they will spread between your fingers
like butter, put in water as you beat them to keep them from oiling;
then take a pint of sack or sherry, and sweeten it very well with
double-refin'd sugar, make it boiling hot, and at the same time put
half a pint of water to your almonds, and make them boil; then take
both off the fire, and mix them very well together with a spoon; serve
it in a china dish.
_To make Flummery Caudle_:--Take a pint of fine oatmeal, and put to it
two quarts of fair water: let it stand all night, in the morning stir
it, and strain it into a skillet, with three or four blades of mace,
and a nutmeg quartered; set it on the fire, and keep it stirring,
and let it boil a quarter of an hour; if it is too thick, put in
more water, and let it boil longer; then add a pint of Rhenish or
white-wine; three spoonfuls of orange-flower-water, the juice of two
lemons and one orange, a bit of butter, and as much fine sugar as will
sweeten it; let all these have a warm, and thicken it with the yolks
of two or three eggs. Drink it hot for a breakfast.
_To make Tea Caudle_:--Make a quart of strong green tea, and pour it
out into a skillet, and set it over the fire; then beat the yolks of
four eggs and mix with them a pint of white-wine, a grated nutmeg,
sugar to your taste, and put all together; stir it over the fire till
'tis very hot, then drink it in china dishes as caudle.
VII.--CONSERVES, DRIED AND CAN-DIED FRUITS, MARMALADES, ETC.
_To dry Apricocks like Prunella's_:--Take a pound of Apricocks; being
cut in halves or quarters, let them boil till they be very tender in
a thin syrup; let them stand a day or two in the stove, then take
them out of the syrup, and lay them drying till they be as dry as
prunello's, then box them: you may make your syrup red with the juice
of red plums; if you please you may pare them.
_To candy Angelica_:--Take angelica that is young, and cut it in
fit lengths, and boil it till it is pretty tender, keeping it close
covered; then take it up and peel off all the strings; then put it in
again, and let it simmer and scald till 'tis very green; then take it
up and dry it in a cloth, and weigh it, and to every pound of angelica
take a pound of double-refin'd sugar beaten and sifted; put your
angelica in an earthen pan, and strew the sugar over it, and let it
stand two days; then boil it till it looks very clear, put it in a
colander to drain the syrup from it, and take a little double-refin'd
sugar and boil it to sugar again; then throw in your angelica, and
take it out in a little time, and put it on glass plates. It will dry
in your stove, or in an oven after pyes are drawn.
_To candy Orange-Flowers_:--Take half a pound of double-refin'd
sugar finely beaten, wet it with orange-flower-water, then boil
it candy-high, then put in a handful of orange-flowers, keeping it
stirring, but let it not boil, and when the sugar candies about them,
take it off the fire, drop it on a plate, and set it by till 'tis
_To make Conserve of Red-Roses, or any other Flowers_:--Take
rose-buds, and pick them, and cut off the white part from the red,
and put the red flowers, and sift them through a sieve to take out the
seeds; then weigh them, and to every pound of flowers take two pounds
and a half of loaf-sugar, beat the flowers pretty fine in a stone
mortar; then by degrees put the sugar to them, and beat it very well
till 'tis well incorporated together; then put it into gallipots, and
tye it over with paper, and over that leather, and it will keep seven
_To preserve white Pear Plumbs_:--Take pear plumbs when they are
yellow, before they are too ripe; give them a slit in the seam, and
prick them behind; make your water almost scalding hot, and put a
little sugar to it to sweeten it, and put in your plumbs and cover
them close; set them on the fire to coddle, and take them off
sometimes a little, and set them on again: take care they do not
break; have in readiness as much double-refin'd sugar boiled to a
height as will cover them, and when they are coddled pretty tender,
take them out of that liquor, and put them into your preserving-pan to
your syrup, which must be but blood-warm when your plumbs go in. Let
them boil till they are clear, scum them and take them off, and let
them stand two hours; then set them on again and boil them, and when
they are thoroughly preserved, take them up and lay them in glasses;
boil your syrup till 'tis thick; and when 'tis cold, put in your
plumbs; and a month after, if your syrup grows thin, you must boil it
again, or make a fine jelly of pippins, and put on them. This way
you may do the pimordian plumb, or any white plumb, and when they are
cold, paper them up.
_To preserve Mulberries whole_:--Set some mulberries over the fire
in a skillet, and draw from them a pint of juice, when 'tis strained.
Then take three pounds of sugar, beaten very fine; wet the sugar with
the pint of juice; boil up your sugar, and scum it, and put in two
pounds of ripe mulberries, and let them stand in the syrup till they
are thoroughly warm; then set them on the fire, and let them boil very
gently; do them but half enough, so put them by in the syrup till next
day; then boil them gently again, and when the syrup is pretty thick,
and will stand in a round drop when 'tis cold, they are enough; so put
all together in a gallipot for use.
_To preserve whole Quinces white_:--Take the largest quinces of the
greenest colour, and scald them till they are pretty soft; then pare
them and core them with a scoop; then weigh your quinces against so
much double-refin'd sugar, and make a syrup of one half, and put in
your quinces, and boil them as fast as you can; then you must have
in readiness pippin liquor; let it be very strong of the pippins, and
when 'tis strained out, put in the other half of your sugar, and make
it a jelly, and when your quinces are clear, put them into the jelly,
and let them simmer a little; they will be very white; so glass them
up, and when they are cold, paper them and keep them in a stove.
_To make white Quince Marmalade_:--Scald your quinces tender, take off
the skin and pulp them from the core very fine, and to every pound
of quince have a pound and half of double-refin'd sugar in lumps, and
half a pint of water; dip your sugar in the water and boil and scum it
till 'tis a thick syrup: then put in your quince, boil and scum it on
a quick fire a quarter of an hour, so put it in your pots.
_To make red Quince Marmalade_:--Pare and core a pound of quince, beat
the parings and cores and some of your worst quinces, and strain out
the juice; and to every pound of quince take ten or twelve spoonfuls
of that juice, and three-quarters of a pound of loaf-sugar; put all
into your preserving-pan, cover it close, and let it stew over a
gentle fire two hours; when 'tis of an orange-red, uncover and boil it
up as fast as you can: when of a good colour, break it as you like it,
give it a boil, and pot it up.
_To make Melon Mangoes_:--Take small melons, not quite ripe, cut
a slip down the side, and take out the inside very clean; beat
mustard-seeds, and shred garlick, and mix with the seeds, and put in
your mangoes; put the pieces you cut out into their places again, and
tye them up, and put them into your pot, and boil some vinegar (as
much as you think will cover them) with whole pepper, and some salt,
and Jamaica pepper, and pour in scalding hot over your mangoes, and
cover them close to keep in the steam; and so do every day for nine
times together, and when they are cold cover them with leather.
_To make Conserve of Hips_:--Gather the hips before they grow soft,
cut off the heads and stalks, slit them in halves, and take out all
the seed and white that is in them very clean; then put them in an
earthen pan, and stir them every day, else they will grow mouldy;
let them stand till they are soft enough to rub through a coarse
hair-sieve; as the pulp comes, take it off the sieve; they are a dry
berry, and will require pains to rub it through; then add its weight
in sugar, and mix it well together without boiling; keeping it in deep
gallipots for use.
_To make clear Cakes of Gooseberries_:--Take your white Dutch
gooseberries when they are thorough ripe, break them with your fingers
and squeeze out all the pulp into a fine piece of cambrick or thick
muslin to run thro' clear; then weigh the juice and sugar one against
the other; then boil the juice a little while, then put in your sugar
and let it dissolve, but not boil; scum it and put it into glasses,
and stove it in a warm stove.
_To make white Quince Paste_:--Scald the quinces tender to the core,
and pare them, and scrape the pulp clean from the core, beat it in
a mortar, and pulp it through a colander; take to a pound of pulp a
pound and two ounces of sugar, boil the sugar till 'tis candy-high;
then put in your pulp, stir it about constantly till you see it come
clear from the bottom of the preserving-pan; then take it off, and lay
it on plates pretty thin: you may cut it in what shape you please, or
make quince chips of it; you must dust it with sugar when you put it
into the stove, and turn it on papers in a sieve, and dust the other
side; when they are dry, put them in boxes with papers between. You
may make red quince paste the same way as this, only colour the quince
_To make Syrup of any flower_:--Clip your flowers, and take their
weight in sugar; then take a high gallipot, and a row of flowers, and
a strewing of sugar, till the pot is full; then put in two or three
spoonfuls of the same syrup or still'd water; tye a cloth on the top
of the pot, and put a tile on that, and set your gallipot in a kettle
of water over a gentle fire, and let it infuse till the strength is
out of the flowers, which will be in four or five hours; then strain
it thro' a flannel, and when 'tis cold bottle it up.
_To pickle Nasturtium-Buds_:--Gather your little knobs quickly after
your blossoms are off; put them in cold water and salt for three days,
shifting them once a day; then make a pickle (but do not boil it
at all) of some white-wine, some white-wine vinegar, eschalot,
horse-radish, pepper, salt, cloves, and mace whole, and nutmeg
quartered; then put in your seeds and stop them close; they are to be
eaten as capers.
_To keep Quinces in Pickle_:--Cut five or six quinces all to pieces,
and put them in an earthen pot or pan, with a gallon of water and two
pounds of honey; mix all these together well, and then put them in
a kettle to boil leisurely half an hour, and then strain your liquor
into that earthen pot, and when 'tis cold, wipe your quinces clean,
and put them into it: they must be covered very close, and they will
keep all the year.
_To pickle Ashen-keys_:--Take ashen-keys as young as you can get them,
and put them in a pot with salt and water; then take green whey, when
'tis hot, and pour over them; let them stand till they are cold before
you cover them, so let them stand; when you use them, boil them in
fair water; when they are tender take them out, and put them in salt
_To pickle Pods of Radishes_:--Gather the youngest pods, and put them
in water and salt twenty-four hours; then make a pickle for them of
vinegar, cloves, mace, whole pepper: boil this, and drain the pods
from the salt and water, and pour the liquor on them boiling hot: put
to them a clove of garlick a little bruised.
_To pickle Broom-Buds_:--Put your broom-buds into little linnen-bags,
tie them up, and make a pickle of bay-salt and water boiled, and
strong enough to bear an egg; put your bags in a pot, and when your
pickle is cold, put it to them; keep them close, and let them lie till
they turn black; then shift them two or three times, till they change
green; then take them out, and boil them as you have occasion for
them: when they are boiled, put them out of the bag: in vinegar they
will keep a month after they are boiled.
_To pickle Purslain Stalks_:--Wash your stalks, and cut them in pieces
six inches long; boil them in water and salt a dozen walms; take
them up, drain them, and when they cool, make a pickle of stale beer,
white-wine vinegar, and salt, put them in, and cover them close.
_To make strong Mead_:--Take of spring-water what quantity you please,
and make it more than blood-warm, and dissolve honey in it till 'tis
strong enough to bear an egg, the breadth of a shilling; then boil
it gently near an hour, taking off the scum as it rises; then put to
about nine or ten gallons, seven or eight large blades of mace, three
nutmegs quarter'd, twenty cloves, three or four sticks of cinamon, two
or three roots of ginger, and a quarter of an ounce of Jamaica pepper;
put these spices into the kettle to the honey and water, a whole
lemon, with a sprig of sweet-briar, and a sprig of rosemary; tie the
briar and rosemary together, and when they have boiled a little while,
take them out and throw them away; but let your liquor stand on the
spice in a clean earthen pot till the next day; then strain it into a
vessel that is fit for it; put the spice in a bag, and hang it in the
vessel, stop it, and at three months draw it into bottles. Be sure
that 'tis fine when 'tis bottled; after 'tis bottled six weeks 'tis
fit to drink.
_To make small White Mead_:--Take three gallons of spring-water and
make it hot, and dissolve in it three quarts of honey and a pound of
loaf sugar; and let it boil about half an hour, and scum it as long
as any rises, then pour it out into a tub, and squeeze in the juice of
four lemons; put in the rinds of but two; twenty cloves, two races of
ginger, a top of sweet-briar, and a top of rosemary. Let it stand in
a tub till 'tis but blood warm; then make a brown toast and spread it
with two or three spoonfuls of ale-yeast, put it into a vessel fit for
it; let it stand four or five days, then bottle it out.
_To make Frontiniac Wine_:--Take six gallons of water and twelve
pounds of white sugar, and six pounds of raisins of the sun cut small;
boil these together an hour; then take of the flowers of elder, when
they are falling and will shake off, the quantity of half a peck;
put them in the liquor when 'tis almost cold, the next day put in six
spoonfuls of syrup of lemons, and four spoonfuls of ale-yeast, and
two days after put it in a vessel that is fit for it, and when it has
stood two months bottle it off.
_To make English Champagne, or the fine Currant Wine_:--Take to three
gallons of water nine pounds of Lisbon sugar; boil the water and sugar
half an hour, scum it clean, then have one gallon of currants pick'd,
but not bruised, pour the liquor boiling-hot over them, and when cold,
work it with half a pint of balm two days; then pour it through a
flannel or sieve, then put it into a barrel fit for it with half an
ounce of ising-glass well bruised; when it has done working, stop
it close for a month, then bottle it, and in every bottle put a very
small lump of double-refin'd sugar. This is excellent wine, and has a
_To make Saragossa Wine, or English Sack_:--To every quart of water,
put a sprig of rue, and to every gallon a handful of fennel-roots,
boil these half an hour, then strain it out, and to every gallon of
this liquor put three pounds of honey; boil it two hours, and scum
it well, and when 'tis cold pour it off and turn it into a vessel, or
such cask that is fit for it; keep it a year in the vessel, and then
bottle it; 'tis a very good sack.
_Mountain Wine_:--Pick out the big stalks of your Malaga raisins,
then chop them very small, five gallons to every gallon of cold
spring-water, let them steep a fortnight or more, squeeze out the
liquor and barrel it in a vessel fit for it; first fume the vessel
with brimstone; don't stop it up till the hissing is over.
_To make Quince Wine_;--Take your quinces when they are thorough ripe,
wipe off the fur very clean; then take out the cores and bruise them
as you do apples for cyder, and press them, and to every gallon of
juice put two pounds and a half of fine sugar, stir it together till
'tis dissolved; then put it in your cask, and when it has done working
stop it close; let it stand till March before you bottle it. You may
keep it two or three years, it will be better.
_To make Plumb Wine_:--Take twenty pounds of Malaga raisins, pick,
rub, and shred them, and put them into a tub; then take four gallons
of fair water and boil it an hour, and let it stand till 'tis
blood-warm; then put it to your raisins; let it stand nine or ten
days, stirring it once or twice a day, strain out your liquor, and mix
with it two quarts of damson juice, put it in a vessel, and when it
has done working, stop it close; at four or five months bottle it.
_To make Birch Wine_:--In March bore a hole in a tree, and put in a
faucet, and it will run two or three days together without hurting the
tree; then put in a pin to stop it, and the next year you may draw as
much from the same hole; put to every gallon of the liquor a quart of
good honey, and stir it well together, boil it an hour, scum it well,
and put in a few cloves, and a piece of lemon-peel; when 'tis almost
cold, put to it so much ale-yeast as will make it work like new ale,
and when the yeast begins to settle, put it in a runlet that will
just hold it: so let it stand six weeks or longer if you please; then
bottle it, and in a month you may drink it. It will keep a year or
two. You may make it with sugar, two pounds to a gallon, or something
more, if you keep it long. This is admirably wholesome as well as
pleasant, an opener of obstructions, good against the phthisick, and
good against the spleen and scurvy, a remedy for the stone, it will
abate heat in a fever or thrush, and has been given with good success.
_To make Sage Wine_:--Boil twenty-six quarts of spring-water a quarter
of an hour, and when 'tis blood-warm, put twenty-five pounds of Malaga
raisins pick'd, rubb'd and shred into it, with almost half a bushel of
red sage shred, and a porringer of ale-yeast; stir all well together,
and let it stand m a tub cover'd warm six or seven days, stirring it
once a day; then strain it out, and put it in a runlet. Let it work
three or four days, stop it up; when it has stood six or seven days
put in a quart or two of Malaga sack, and when 'tis fine bottle it.
_Sage Wine another way_:--Take thirty pounds of Malaga raisins pick'd
clean, and shred small, and one bushel of green sage shred small, then
boil five gallons of water, let the water stand till 'tis luke-warm;
then put it in a tub to your sage and raisins; let it stand five or
six days, stirring it twice or thrice a day; then strain and press the
liquor from the ingredients, put it in a cask, and let it stand six
months: then draw it clean off into another vessel; bottle it in two
days; in a month or six weeks it will be fit to drink, but best when
'tis a year old.
_To make Ebulum_:--To a hogshead of strong ale, take a heap'd bushel
of elder-berries, and half a pound of juniper-berries beaten; put in
all the berries when you put in the hops, and let them boil together
till the berries brake in pieces, then work it up as you do ale; when
it has done working, add to it half a pound of ginger, half an ounce
of cloves, as much mace, an ounce of nutmegs, and as much cinamon
grosly beaten, half a pound of citron, as much eringo-root, and
likewise of candied orange-peel; let the sweetmeats be cut in pieces
very thin, and put with the spice into a bag and hang it in the vessel
when you stop it up. So let it stand till 'tis fine, then bottle it up
and drink it with lumps of double-refined sugar in the glass.
_To make Cock Ale_:--Take ten gallons of ale, and a large cock, the
older the better, parboil the cock, flea him, and stamp him in a stone
mortar till his bones are broken, (you must craw and gut him when you
flea him) put the cock into two quarts of sack, and put to it three
pounds of raisins of the sun stoned, some blades of mace, and a few
cloves; put all these into a canvas bag, and a little before you find
the ale has done working, put the ale and bag together into a vessel;
in a week or nine days' time bottle it up, fill the bottles but just
above the necks, and leave the same time to ripen as other ale.
_To make it Elder Ale_:--Take ten bushels of malt to a hogshead, then
put two bushels of elder-berries pickt from the stalks into a pot or
earthen pan, and set it in a pot of boiling water till the berries
swell, then strain it out and put the juice into the guile-fat, and
beat it often in, and so order it as the common way of brewing.
_To clear Wine_:--Take half a pound of hartshorn, and dissolve it in
cyder, if it be for cyder, or Rhenish-wine for any liquor: this is
enough for a hogshead.
_To fine Wine the Lisbon way_:--To every twenty gallons of wine take
the whites of ten eggs, and a small handful of salt, beat it together
to a froth, and mix it well with a quart or more of the wine, then
pour it in the vessel, and in a few days it will be fine.
In 1747 appeared a thin folio volume, of which I will transcribe the
title: "The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, which far Exceeds
Every Thing of the Kind Ever yet Published ... By a Lady. London:
Printed for the Author; and sold at Mrs. Ashburn's, a China Shop, the
Corner of Fleet Ditch. MDCCXLVII." The lady was no other than Mrs.
Glasse, wife of an attorney residing in Carey Street; and a very
sensible lady she was, and a very sensible and interesting book hers
is, with a preface showing that her aim was to put matters as plainly
as she could, her intention being to instruct the lower sort. "For
example," says she, "when I bid them lard a fowl, if I should bid them
lard with large lardoons they would not know what I meant; but when
I say they must lard with little pieces of Bacon, they know what
I mean." I have been greatly charmed with Hannah Glasse's "Art of
Cookery," 1747, and with her "Complete Confectioner" likewise in a
modified degree. The latter was partly derived, she tells you, from
the manuscript of "a very old experienced housekeeper to a family of
the first distinction." But, nevertheless, both are very admirable
performances; and yet the compiler survives scarcely more than in
an anecdote for which I can see no authority. For she does not say,
"First catch your hare" [Footnote: Mrs. Glasse's cookery book was
reprinted at least as late as 1824].
Mrs. Glasse represents that, before she undertook the preparation
of the volume on confectionery, there was nothing of the kind for
reference and consultation. But we had already a curious work by E.
Kidder, who was, according to his title-page, a teacher of the art
which he expounded eventually in print. The title is sufficiently
descriptive: "E. Kidder's Receipts of Pastry and Cookery, for the use
of his Scholars, who teaches at his School in Queen Street, near St.
Thomas Apostle's, [Footnote: In another edition his school is in
St. Martin's Le Grand] on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in the
afternoon. Also on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, in the afternoon,
at his School next to Furnivalls Inn in Holborn. Ladies may be taught
at their own Houses." It is a large octavo, consisting of fifty pages
of engraved text, and is embellished with a likeness of Mr. Kidder.
For all that Mrs. Glasse ignores him.
I have shown how Mrs. Glasse might have almost failed to keep a place
in the public recollection, had it not been for a remark which that
lady did not make. But there is a still more singular circumstance
connected with her and her book, and it is this--that in Dr. Johnson's
day, and possibly in her own lifetime, a story was current that the
book was really written by Dr. Hill the physician. That gentleman's
claim to the authorship has not, of course, been established, but at a
dinner at Dilly's the publisher's in 1778, when Johnson, Miss Seward,
and others were present, a curious little discussion arose on the
subject. Boswell thus relates the incident and the conversation:--"The
subject of cookery having been very naturally introduced at a table,
where Johnson, who boasted of the niceness of his palate, avowed that
'he always found a good dinner,' he said, 'I could write a better book
about cookery than has ever yet been written; it should be a book
upon philosophical principles. Pharmacy is now made much more simple.
Cookery may be so too. A prescription, which is now compounded of five
ingredients, had formerly fifty in it. So in Cookery. If the nature of
the ingredients is well known, much fewer will do. Then, as you cannot
make bad meat good, I would tell what is the best butcher's meat,
the best beef, the best pieces; how to choose young fowls; the proper
seasons of different vegetables; and then how to roast, and boil, and
DILLY:--"Mrs. Glasse's 'Cookery,' which is the best, was written by
Dr. Hill. Half the trade know this."
JOHNSON:--"Well, Sir, that shews how much better the subject of
cookery may be treated by a philosopher. I doubt if the book be
written by Dr Hill; for in Mrs. Glasse's Cookery, which I have
looked into, saltpetre and salt-prunella are spoken of as different
substances, whereas salt-prunella is only saltpetre burnt on charcoal;
and Hill could not be ignorant of this. However, as the greatest part
of such a book is made by transcription, this mistake may have been
carelessly adopted. But you shall see what a book of cookery I could
make. I shall agree with Mr. Dilly for the copyright."
Miss SEWARD:--"That would be Hercules with the distaff indeed!"
JOHNSON:--"No, Madam. Women can spin very well; but they cannot make a
good book of cookery."
But the Doctor's philosophical cookery book belongs to the voluminous
calendar of works which never passed beyond the stage of proposal; he
did not, so far as we know, ever draw out a title-page, as Coleridge
was fond of doing; and perhaps the loss is to be borne with. The
Doctor would have pitched his discourse in too high a key.
Among the gastronomical enlargements of our literature in the
latter half of the last century, one of the best books in point of
classification and range is that by B. Clermont, of which the third
edition made its appearance in 1776, the first having been anonymous.
Clermont states that he had been clerk of the kitchen in some of the
first families of the kingdom, and lately to the Earl of Abingdon. But
elsewhere we find that he had lived very recently in the establishment
of the Earl of Ashburnham, for he observes in the preface: "I beg the
candour of the Public will excuse the incorrectness of the Language
and Diction. My situation in life as an actual servant to the Earl of
Ashburnham at the time of the first publication of this Book will I
trust plead my Apology." He informs his readers on the title-page, and
repeats in the preface, that a material part of the work consists of a
translation of "Les Soupers de la Cour," and he proceeds to say,
that he does not pretend to make any further apology for the title of
_supper_, than that the French were, in general, more elegant in their
suppers than their dinners. In other words, the late dinner was still
The writer had procured the French treatise from Paris for his own
use, and had found it of much service to him in his capacity as clerk
of the kitchen, and he had consequently translated it, under the
persuasion that it would prove an assistance to gentlemen, ladies,
and others interested in such matters. He specifies three antecedent
publications in France, of which his pages might be considered the
essence, viz., "La Cuisine Royale," "Le Maitre d'Hotel Cuisinier," and
"Les Dons de Comus"; and he expresses to some of his contemporaries,
who had helped him in his researches, his obligations in the following
terms:--"As every country produces many Articles peculiar to itself,
and considering the Difference of Climates, which either forward or
retard them, I would not rely on my own Knowledge, in regard to such
Articles; I applied therefore to three Tradesmen, all eminent in their
Profession, one for Fish, one for Poultry, and one for the productions
of the Garden, viz., Mr. Humphrey Turner, the Manager in St. James's
Market; Mr. Andrews, Poulterer in ditto; and Mr. Adam Lawson, many
years chief gardener to the Earl of Ashburnham; in this article I
was also assisted by Mr. Rice, Green-Grocer, in St. Albans Street."
Clermont dates his remarks from Princes Street, Cavendish Square.
While Mrs. Glasse was still in the middle firmament of public favour,
a little book without the writer's name was published as by "A Lady."
I have not seen the first or second editions; but the third appeared
in 1808. It is called "A New System of Domestic Cookery, Formed upon
Principles of Economy, and Adapted to the use of Private Families."
The author was Helene Rundell, of whom I am unable to supply any
further particulars at present. Mrs. Rundell's cookery book, according
to the preface, was originally intended for the private instruction of
the daughters of the authoress in their married homes, and specially
prepared with an eye to housekeepers of moderate incomes. Mrs. Rundell
did not write for professed cooks, or with any idea of emolument; and
she declared that had such a work existed when she first set out in
life it would have been a great treasure to her. The public shared
the writer's estimate of her labours, and called for a succession
of impressions of the "New System," till its run was checked by
Miss Acton's still more practical collection. Mrs. Rundell is little
consulted nowadays; but time was when Mrs. Glasse and herself were the
twin stars of the culinary empyrean.
Coming down to our own times, the names most familiar to our ears
are Ude, Francatelli, and Soyer, and they are the names of foreigners
[Footnote: A fourth work before me has no clue to the author, but
it is like the others, of an alien complexion. It is called "French
Domestic Cookery, Combining Elegance and Economy. In twelve Hundred
Receipts, 12mo, 1846." Soyer's book appeared in the same year. In
1820, an anonymous writer printed a Latin poem of his own composition,
called "Tabella Cibaria, a Bill of Fare, etc., etc., with Copious
Notes," which seem more important than the text]. No English school of
cookery can be said ever to have existed in England. We have, and
have always had, ample material for making excellent dishes; but if
we desire to turn it to proper account, we have to summon men from a
distance to our aid, or to accept the probable alternative--failure.
The adage, "God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks," must surely
be of native parentage, for of no country is it so true as of our own.
Perhaps, had it not been for the influx among us of French and
Italian experts, commencing with our Anglo-Gallic relations under
the Plantagenets, and the palmy days of the monastic orders, culinary
science would not have arrived at the height of development which it
has attained in the face of great obstacles. Perchance we should
not have progressed much beyond the pancake and oatmeal period. But
foreign _chefs_ limit their efforts to those who can afford to pay
them for their services. The middle classes do not fall within the
pale of their beneficence. The poor know them not. So it happens that
even as I write, the greater part of the community not only cannot
afford professional assistance in the preparation of their meals,
which goes without saying, but from ignorance expend on their larder
twice as much as a Parisian or an Italian in the same rank of life,
with a very indifferent result. There are handbooks of instruction,
it is true, both for the middle and for the lower classes. These books
are at everybody's command. But they are either left unread, or if
read, they are not understood. I have before me the eleventh edition
of Esther Copley's "Cottage Comforts," 1834; it embraces all the
points which demand attention from such as desire to render a humble
home comfortable and happy. The leaves have never been opened. I will
not say, _ex hoc disce omnes_; but it really appears to be the
case, that these works are not studied by those for whom they are
written--not studied, at all events, to advantage.
Dr. Kitchener augmented this department of our literary stores in
1821 with his "Cook's Oracle," which was very successful, and passed
through a series of editions.
In the preface to that of 1831, the editor describes the book as
greatly enlarged and improved, and claims the "rapid and steady sale
which has invariably attended each following edition" as a proof
of the excellence of the work. I merely mention this, because in
Kitchener's own preface to the seventh issue, l2mo, 1823, he says:
"This last time I have found little to add, and little to alter." Such
is human fallibility!
The "Cook's Oracle" was heralded by an introduction which very few
men could have written, and which represents the Doctor's method
of letting us know that, if we fancy him an impostor, we are much
mistaken. "The following Recipes," says he, "are not a mere marrowless
collection of shreds and patches, of cuttings and pastings--but a
bona-fide register of practical facts--accumulated by a perseverance,
not to be subdued or evaporated by the igniferous Terrors of a
Roasting Fire in the Dog-days:--in defiance of the odoriferous
and calefaceous repellents of Roasting, Boiling,--Frying, and
Broiling;--moreover, the author has submitted to a labour no preceding
Cookery-Book-maker, perhaps, ever attempted to encounter,--having
eaten each Receipt before he set it down in his Book."
What could critics say, after this? One or two large editions must
have been exhausted before they recovered their breath, and could
discover how the learned Kitchener set down the receipts which he had
previously devoured. But the language of the Preface helps to console
us for the loss of Johnson's threatened undertaking in this direction.
Dr. Kitchener proceeded on different lines from an artist who closely
followed him in the order of publication; and the two did not probably
clash in the slightest degree. The cooking world was large enough to
hold Kitchener and the _ci-devant chef_ to the most Christian King
Louis XVI. and the Right Honourable the Earl of Sefton, Louis Eustache
Ude. Ude was steward to the United Service Club, when he printed his
"French Cook" in 1822. A very satisfactory and amusing account of this
volume occurs in the "London Magazine" for January 1825. But whatever
may be thought of Ude nowadays, he not only exerted considerable
influence on the higher cookery of his day, but may almost be said to
have been the founder of the modern French school in England.
Ude became _chef_ at Crockford's Club, which was built in 1827, the
year in which his former employer, the Duke of York, died. There is a
story that, on hearing of the Duke's illness, Ude exclaimed, "Ah, mon
pauvre Duc, how much you shall miss me where you are gone!"
About 1827, Mrs. Johnstone brought out her well-known contribution
to this section of literature under the title of "The Cook and
Housewife's Manual," veiling her authorship under the pseudonym of
Mistress Margaret Dods, the landlady in Scott's tale of "St. Ronan's
Well," which appeared three years before (8vo, 1824).
Mrs. Johnstone imparted a novel feature to her book by investing it
with a fictitious history and origin, which, like most inventions of
the kind, is scarcely consistent with the circumstances, however it
may tend to enliven the monotony of a professional publication.
After three prefaces in the fourth edition before me (8vo, 1829) we
arrive at a heading, "Institution of the Cleikum Club," which narrates
how Peregrine Touchwood, Esquire, sought to cure his _ennui_ and
hypochondria by studying Apician mysteries; and it concludes with the
syllabus of a series of thirteen lectures on cookery, which were to
be delivered by the said Esquire. One then enters on the undertaking
itself, which can be readily distinguished from an ordinary manual by
a certain literary tone, which certainly betrays a little the hand or
influence of Scott.
But though the present is a Scottish production, there is no narrow
specialism in its scheme. The title-page gives a London publisher as
well as an Anglo-Athenian one, and Mrs. Johnstone benevolently adapted
her labours to her countrywomen and the unworthier Southrons alike.
I imagine, however, that of all the latter-day master-cooks, Alexis
Soyer is most remembered. His "Gastronomic Regenerator," a large and
handsome octavo volume of between 700 and 800 pages, published in
1846, lies before me. It has portraits of the compiler and his wife,
and many other illustrations, and is dedicated to a Royal Duke. It was
produced under the most influential patronage and pressure, for Soyer
was overwhelmed with engagements, and had scruples against appearance
in print. He tells us that in some library, to which he gained access,
he once found among the works of Shakespeare and other _chefs_ in a
different department, a volume with the words "Nineteenth Edition"
upon it, and when he opened it, he saw to his great horror "A receipt
for Ox-tail Soup!" Why this revelation exercised such a terrifying
effect he proceeds to explain. It was the incongruity of a cookery
book in the temple of the Muses. But nevertheless, such is the frailty
of our nature, that he gradually, on regaining his composure, and at
such leisure intervals as he could command, prepared the "Gastronomic
Regenerator," in which he eschewed all superfluous ornaments of
diction, and studied a simplicity of style germane to the subject;
perchance he had looked into Kitchener's Preface. He lets us know that
he had made collections of the same kind at an earlier period of his
career, but had destroyed them, partly owing to his arduous duties
at the Reform Club, and partly to the depressing influence of the
nineteenth edition of somebody else's cookery book--probably, by
the way, Ude's. The present work occupied some ten months, and was
prepared amid the most stupendous interruptions from fair visitors to
the Club (15,000), dinners for the members and their friends (25,000),
dinner parties of importance (38), and the meals for the staff (60).
He gives a total of 70,000 dishes; but it is not entirely clear
whether these refer to the 38 dinner parties of importance, or to
the 25,000 of inferior note, or to both. The feeling of dismay at the
nineteenth edition of somebody must have been sincere, for he winds
up his preface with an adjuration to his readers (whom, in the
"Directions for Carving," he does not style Gentle, or Learned, or
Worshipful, but HONOURABLE) not to place his labours on the same shelf
with "Paradise Lost."
Soyer had also perhaps certain misgivings touching too close an
approximation to other _chefs_ besides Milton and Shakespeare, for he
refers to the "profound ideas" of Locke, to which he was introduced,
to his vast discomfort, "in a most superb library in the midst of a
splendid baronial hall." But the library of the Reform Club probably
contained all this heterogeneous learning. Does the "Gastronomic
Regenerator," out of respect to the fastidious sentiments of its
author, occupy a separate apartment in that institution with a
It seems only the other day to me, that Soyer took Gore Lodge, and
seemed in a fair way to make his removal from the Reform Club a
prosperous venture. But he lost his wife, and was unfortunate in other
ways, and the end was very sad indeed. "Soyez tranquille," was the
epitaph proposed at the time by some unsentimental wagforpoor Madame
Soyer; it soon served for them both.
But nearly concurrent with Soyer's book appeared one of humble
pretensions, yet remarkable for its lucidity and precision, Eliza
Acton's "Modern Cookery in all its Branches reduced to an easy
practice," 16mo, 1845. I have heard this little volume highly
commended by competent judges as exactly what it professes to be; and
the quantities in the receipts are particularly reliable.
The first essay to bring into favourable notice the produce of
Colonial cattle was, so far as I can collect, a volume published
in 1872, and called "Receipts for Cooking Australian Meat, with
Directions for preparing Sauces suitable for the same." This
still remains a vexed question; but the consumption of the meat
is undoubtedly on the increase, and will continue to be, till the
population of Australasia equalises supply and demand.
Besides the authorities for this branch of the inquiry already cited,
there are a few others, which it may assist the student to set down
1. A Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of
the Royal Household (Edward III. to William and Mary). 4to, 1790.
2. The book of Nurture. By Hugh Rhodes, of the King's Chapel. Printed
in the time of Henry VIII. by John Redman. 4to.
3. A Breviate touching the Order and Government of the House of a
Nobleman. 1605. _Archaeologia_, xiii.
4. Orders made by Henry, Prince of Wales, respecting his Household.
1610. _Archaeologia_, xiv.
5. The School of Good Manners. By William Phiston or Fiston. 8vo,
6. The School of Virtue, the Second Part. By Richard West. 12mo, 1619.
7. The School of Grace; or, A Book of Nurture. By John Hart. 12mo.
8. England's Newest Way in all Sorts of Cookery. By Henry Howard, Free
Cook of London. 8vo, London, 1703.
9. A Collection of above three hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick
and Surgery, for the use of all Good Wives, Tender Mothers, and
Careful Nurses. By several Hands. The second edition, to which is
added a second part. 8vo, London, 1729. Fifth edition, 8vo, London,
10. The Compleat City and Country Cook. By Charles Carter. 8vo,
11. The Compleat Housewife: or, Accomplish'd Gentlewomans Companion:
Being a collection of upwards of Five Hundred of the most approved
Receipts in Cookery, Pastry, Confectionery, Preserving, Pickles,
Cakes, Creams, Jellies, Made Wines, Cordials. With Copper Plates....
And also Bills of Fare for every month in the year.... By E. Smith.
Seventh edition, with very large additions, near fifty Receipts
being communicated just before the author's death. 8vo, London, 1736.
Eleventh edition. 8vo, London, 1742.
12. The Complete Family Piece: A very Choice Collection of Receipts
in... Cookery. Seventh Edition. 8vo, London, 1737.
13. The Modern Cook. By Vincent La Chapelle, cook to the Prince of
Orange. Third edition. 8vo, London, 1744.
14. A Treatise of all Sorts of Foods, both Animal and Vegetable, and
also of Drinkables, written originally in French by the Learned M.L.
Lemery. Translated by D. Hay, M.D. 8vo, London, 1745.
15. The Housekeeper's Pocket-Book. By Sarah Harrison. Sixth edition, 2
vols. 12mo, London, 1755.
16. Professed Cookery. By Ann Cook. Third edition. 8vo, London (about
17. The Experienced English Housekeeper. By Elizabeth Raffald. Second
edition. 8vo, London, 1771. There were an eighth, tenth, and eleventh
editions, and two others, described as "New Editions," between this
date and 1806. The compiler dedicates her book to "The honourable Lady
Elizabeth Warburton," in whose service she had been. She mentions that
the volume was published by subscription, and that she had obtained
eight hundred names. In the preface Mrs. Raffald begins by observing:
"When I reflect upon the number of books already in print upon this
subject, and _with what contempt they are read_, I cannot but be
apprehensive that this may meet the same fate with some who will
censure before they either see it or try its value." She concludes by
saying that she had not meddled with physical receipts, "leaving them
to the physician's superior judgment, whose proper province they are."
The author of the "Experienced Housekeeper" tells us that she had not
only filled that post in noble families during fifteen years, but
had travelled with her employers, and so widened her sphere of
18. The Young Ladies' Guide in the Art of Cookery. By Elizabeth
Marshall. 8vo, Newcastle, 1777.
19. English Housewifery Exhibited in above 450 Receipts. By Elizabeth
Moxon. Fourth edition. 8vo, Leeds (about 1780).
20. The Practice of Modern Cookery. By George Dalrymple. 8vo,
21. The Ladies' Assistant for Regulating and Supplying the Table. By
Charlotte Mason. 8vo, London, 1786.
22. The Compleat Family Companion. 8vo, London, 1787 (?).
23. The Honours of the Table; or, Rules for Behaviour during Meals,
with the whole Art of Carving.... By the Author of "Principles of
Politeness," etc. (Trusler). Second edition. Woodcuts by Bewick. 12mo,
24. The French Family Cook: being a complete system of French Cookery.
From the French. 8vo, London, 1793.
25. The British Housewife; or, The Cook's, Housekeeper's, and
Gardener's Companion. By Martha Bradley. 8vo.
26. Cookery and Pastry. By Mrs. Macivey. New edition, 12mo, Edinburgh,
27. The London Art of Cookery. By John Farley. Fourth edition. 8vo,
28. The School of Good Living; or, A Literary and Historical Essay on
the European Kitchen, beginning with Cadmus, the Cook and King, and
concluding with the Union of Cookery and Chymistry. 12 mo, London,
29. _Culina Famulatur Medicina_. Receipts in Modern Cookery, with
a Medical Commentary by Ignotus, and revised by A. Hunter, M.D.,
F.A.S.L. and E. Fourth edition, 12mo, York, 1806.
30. The Universal Cook. By Francis Collingwood and T. Woollams. Fourth
edition. 8vo, London, 1806.
31. A Complete System of Cookery. By John Simpson, Cook. 8vo, London,
1806. Again, 8vo, London, 1816.
32. Simpson's Cookery Improved and Modernised. By H.W. Brand. 8vo,
33. The Imperial and Royal Cook. By Frederick Nutt, Esquire, Author of
the "Complete Confectioner." 8vo, London, 1809.
34. The Housekeeper's Domestic Library. By Charles Millington. 8vo,
35. The Housekeeper's Instructor; or, Universal Family Book. By W.A.
Henderson. Seventeenth edition. By S.C. Schrubbelie, Cook to the
Albany, London. 8vo, London, 1811.
36. The Art of Preserving all kinds of animal and vegetable Substances
for several years. By M. Appert. Translated from the French. Second
edition. 8vo, London, 1812. With a folding Plate.
37. Domestic Economy and Cookery, for Rich and Poor. By a Lady.
8vo, London, 1827. In the preface the author apprises us that a long
residence abroad had enabled her to become a mistress of the details
of foreign European cookery; but she adds: "The mulakatanies and
curries of India; the sweet pillaus, yahourt, and cold soups of
Persia; the cubbubs, sweet yaughs and sherbets of Egypt; the cold
soups and mixed meats of Russia, the cuscussous and honeyed paste
of Africa, have been inserted with the view of introducing a less
expensive and more wholesome and a more delicate mode of cookery."
38. Apician Morsels; or, Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and Larder. By
Dick Humelbergius Secundus. 8vo, London, 1834.
39. Cottage Economy and Cookery. 8vo, London, 1844.[Footnote:
Reprinted from the Journal of the Agricultural Society, 1843, vol.
iii, part I].
DIET OF THE YEOMAN AND THE POOR.
The staple food among the lower orders in Anglo-Saxon and the
immediately succeeding times was doubtless bread, butter, and
cheese, the aliment which goes so far even yet to support our rural
population, with vegetables and fruit, and occasional allowances of
salted bacon and pancakes, beef, or fish. The meat was usually boiled
in a kettle suspended on a tripod [Footnote: The tripod is still
employed in many parts of the country for a similar purpose] over a
wood-fire, such as is used only now, in an improved shape, for fish
The kettle which is mentioned, as we observe, in the tale of "Tom
Thumb," was the universal vessel for boiling purposes [Footnote: An
inverted kettle was the earliest type of the diving-bell], and the
bacon-house (or larder), so called from the preponderance of that
sort of store over the rest, was the warehouse for the winter stock of
provisions [Footnote: What is called in some places the keeping-room
also accommodated flitches on the walls, and hams ranged along the
beams overhead; and it served at the same time for a best parlour].
The fondness for condiments, especially garlic and pepper, among the
higher orders, possibly served to render the coarser nourishment of
the poor more savoury and flavorous. "It is interesting to remark,"
says Mr. Wright [Footnote: "Domestic Manners and Sentiments," 1862,
p. 91], "that the articles just mentioned (bread, butter, and cheese)
have preserved their Anglo-Saxon names to the present time, while all
kinds of meat--beef, veal, mutton, pork, even bacon--have retained
only the names given to them by the Normans; which seems to imply that
flesh-meat was not in general use for food among the lower classes of
In Malory's compilation on the adventures of King Arthur and his
knights, contemporary with the "Book of St. Alban's," we are expressly
informed in the sixth chapter, how the King made a great feast at
Caerleon in Wales; but we are left in ignorance of its character. The
chief importance of details in this case would have been the excessive
probability that Malory would have described an entertainment
consonant with the usage of his own day, although at no period of
early history was there ever so large an assemblage of guests at one
time as met, according to the fable, to do honour to Arthur.
In the tenth century Colloquy of Archbishop Alfric, the boy is made to
say that he is too young to eat meat, but subsists on cabbages,
eggs, fish, cheese, butter, beans, and other things, according to
circumstances; so that a vegetable diet was perhaps commoner in those
days even among the middle classes than at present. This youth, when
he is asked what he drinks, replies, water, or ale if he can get it.
The dish so deftly constructed by King Arthur, according to one of
his numerous biographers, exhibited that wedlock of fruit with animal
matter--fat and plums--which we post-Arthurians eye with a certain
fastidious repugnance, but which, notwithstanding, lingered on to
the Elizabethan or Jacobaean era--nay, did not make the gorge of our
grandsires turn rebellious. It survives among ourselves only in the
modified shape of such accessories as currant jelly and apple sauce.
But the nursery rhyme about Arthur and the bag-pudding of barley
meal with raisins and meat has a documentary worth for us beyond the
shadowy recital of the banquet at Caerleon, for, _mutato nomine_,
it is the description of a favourite article of popular diet in the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The narrative of Mrs. Thumb and
her pudding is more circumstantial than that of King Alfred and the
housewife; and if the tradition is worthless, it serves us so far,
that it faithfully portrays a favourite item of rustic consumption in
old times. We are told that the pudding was made in a bowl, and that
it was chiefly composed of the flesh and blood of a newly-killed hog,
laid in batter; and then, when all was ready, the bag with all its
savoury burden was put into a kettle.
As we are already on the threshold of legend and myth, we may linger
there a moment to recall to memory the resemblance between the
description of this piece of handiwork and that ascribed to good King
Arthur, who lived in days when monarchs were their own _chefs_,
for the Arthurian dish was also prepared in a bag, and consisted,
according to the ditty, of barley-meal and fat. Soberly speaking, the
two accounts belong, maybe, to something like the same epoch in the
annals of gastronomy; and a large pudding was, for a vast length
of time, no doubt, a prevailing _piece de resistance_ in all
frugal British households. It was the culinary forefather of
toad-in-the-hole, hot-pot, Irish stew, and of that devil-dreaded
Cornish pasty. The Elizabethan transmitters of these two Apician
nuggets possibly antedated the popular institution of the bag-pudding;
but the ancientest gastronomical records testify to the happy
introduction of the frying-pan about the era when we were under
Alfred's fatherly sway. It may have even preceded the grill, just
as the fork lagged behind the spoon, from which it is a seeming
evolution. That no reader may doubt the fact, that Tom's mother made
the pudding, and that Tom held the candle, we refer to the old edition
of this choice piece of chapman's ware, where an accurate drawing of
Mrs. Thumb, and the board, and the bowl, and Tom with the candle, may
be inspected. The _prima stamina_ of the modern fruit-pudding really
appear to be found in the ancient bag-pudding, of which Tom Thumb had
such excellent reason to be acquainted with the contents. The mode
of construction was similar, and both were boiled in a cloth. The
material and subsidiary treatment of course differed; but it is
curious that no other country possesses either the tart or the
pudding, as we understand them, and as the latter has perhaps been
developed from the dish, of the making of which Tom Thumb was
an eye-witness to his sorrow, so the covered fruit tart may not
improbably be an outgrowth from the old coffin pasty of venison or
game, with the superaddition of a dish for the safe custody of the
Another rather prominent factor in the diet of the poor classes, not
only in Scotland but in the North of England, was oatmeal variously
prepared. One very favourable and palatable way was by grinding the
meal a second time as fine as flour, boiling it, and then serving it
with hot milk or treacle. There is something in the nature of this
food so peculiarly satisfying and supporting, that it seems to have
been destined to become the staple nourishment of a poor population
in a cold and bracing climate. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
unquestionably saw a great advance in the mystery of cookery and
in the diversity of dishes, and the author of "Piers of Fulham"
complains, that men were no longer satisfied with brawn and powdered
beef, which he terms "store of house," but would have venison, wild
fowl, and heronshaw; and men of simple estate, says he, will have
partridges and plovers, when lords lack. He adds quaintly:
"A mallard of the dunghill is good enough for me,
With pleasant pickle, or it is else poison. pardy."
We have for our purpose a very serviceable relic of the old time,
called "A Merry Jest, how the Ploughman learned his Paternoster." The
scene purports to be laid in France, and the general outline may have
been taken from the French; but it is substantially English, with
allusions to Kent, Robin Hood, and so forth, and it certainly
illustrates the theme upon which we are. This ploughman was in fact a
farmer or husbandman, and the account of his dwelling and garden-stuff
is very interesting. We are told that his hall-roof was full of
bacon-flitches, and his store-room of eggs, butter, and cheese. He had
plenty of malt to make good ale--
"And Martlemas beef to him was not dainty;
Onions and Garlic had he enough,
And good cream, and milk of the cow."
But in "Vox Populi Vox Dei," written about 1547, and therefore
apparently not from the pen of Skelton, who died in 1529, it is said
that the price of an ox had risen to four pounds, and a sheep without
the wool to twelve shillings and upwards, so that the poor man could
seldom afford to have meat at his table. This evil the writer ascribes
to the exactions of the landlord and the lawyer. The former charged
too highly for his pastures, and the latter probably advanced money on
terms. The old poem depicts in sad colours the condition of the
yeoman at the same period, that had had once plenty of cows and cream,
butter, eggs, cheese, and honey; all which had gone to enrich upstarts
who throve by casting-counters and their pens. The story of the "King
and a poor Northern Man," 1640, also turns upon the tyranny of the
lawyers over ignorant clients.
The "Serving-man's Comfort," 1598, draws a somewhat gloomy picture
of the times. The prices of all provisions, among other points, had
trebled since the good old days, when his father and grandfather kept
house. Then people could buy an ox for 20s., a sheep for 3s., a calf
for 2s., a goose for 6d., a capon for 4d., a hen for 2d., a pig for
the same, and all other household provisions at a like rate. The
reason given by the farmer was that the landlords had raised their
rent. Let them have the land on the old terms, and the former prices
would pay. This plea and demand have come back home to us in 1886.
The tradition is, that when Queen Elizabeth received the intelligence
of the defeat of the Armada, she was dining off a goose--doubtless
about eleven o'clock in the morning. It was an anxious moment, and
perhaps her majesty for the moment had thrown ceremony somewhat aside,
and was "keeping secret house."
The author of the "Serving-man's Comfort," 1598, also laments the
decay of hospitality. "Where," he inquires "are the great chines
of stalled beef, the great, black jacks of double beer, the long
hall-tables fully furnished with good victuals?" But he seems to have
been a stickler for the solid fare most in vogue, according to his
complaint, formerly; and he represents to us that in lieu of it one
had to put up with goose-giblets, pigs' pettitoes, and so many other
boiled meats, forced meats, and made dishes. Things were hardly so
very bad, however, if, as he states previously, the curtailment of the
expenditure on the table still left, as a medium repast, two or three
dishes, with fruit and cheese after. The black jack here mentioned was
not discarded till comparatively modern days. Nares, who published his
Glossary in 1822, states that he recollects them in use.
"A meal's meat twice a week, worth a groat," is mentioned as the farm
servant's portion in "Civil and Uncivil Life," 1579. In "A Piece of
Friar Bacon's Brasen-heads Prophesie," a unique poem, 1604, we read
that at that time a cheesecake and a pie were held "good country
meat." The author adds:
"Ale and Spice, and Curdes and Creame,
Would make a Scholler make a Theame."
Breton, in his "Fantasticks," 1626, observes: "Milk, Butter and Cheese
are the labourers dyet; and a pot of good Beer quickens his spirits."
Norfolk dumplings were celebrated in John Day the playwright's time.
He has put into the mouth of his east-country yeoman's son, Tom
Strowd, in "The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green," written long before
it was printed in 1659, the following:--"As God mend me, and ere
thou com'st into Norfolk, I'll give thee as good a dish of Norfolk
dumplings as ere thou laydst thy lips to;" and in another passage of
the same drama, where Swash's shirt has been stolen, while he is in
bed, he describes himself "as naked as your Norfolk dumplin." In
the play just quoted, Old Strowd, a Norfolk yeoman, speaks of his
contentment with good beef, Norfolk bread, and country home-brewed
drink; and in the "City Madam," 1658, Holdfast tells us that before
his master got an estate, "his family fed on roots and livers, and
necks of beef on Sundays." I cite these as traits of the kind of
table kept by the lower grades of English society in the seventeenth
MEATS AND DRINKS.
Slender: You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?
Anne: Aye, indeed, Sir
Slender: That's meat and drink to me, now.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, i, 1.
The manufacture of wine and of fruit preserves, and many of the
processes of cookery, could have scarcely been accomplished without a
large and constant supply of sugar.
The exact date of the first introduction of the latter into England
continues to be a matter of uncertainty. It was clearly very scarce,
and doubtless equally dear, when, in 1226, Henry III. asked the Mayor
of Winchester to procure him three pounds of Alexandria sugar, if so
much could be got, and also some rose and violet-coloured sugar;
nor had it apparently grown much more plentiful when the same prince
ordered the sheriffs of London to send him four loaves of sugar to
Woodstock. But it soon made its way into the English homes, and before
the end of the thirteenth century it could be procured even in remote
provincial towns. It was sold either by the loaf or the pound. It was
still exorbitantly high in price, varying from eighteen pence to
three shillings a pound of coeval currency; and it was retailed by the
In Russell's "Book of Nurture," composed about 1450, it occurs as an
ingredient in hippocras; and one collects from a letter sent by Sir
Edward Wotton to Lord Cobham from Calais in 1546, that at that time
the quantities imported were larger, and the price reduced; for Wotton
advises his correspondent of a consignment of five-and-twenty loaves
at six shillings the loaf. One loaf was equal to ten pounds; this
brought the commodity down to eight pence a pound of fifteenth century
The sugar of Cyprus was also highly esteemed; that of Bezi, in the
Straits of Sunda, was the most plentiful; but the West Indian
produce, as well as that of Mauritius, Madeira, and other cane-growing
countries, was unknown.
Of bread, the fifteenth century had several descriptions in use:
pain-main or bread of very fine flour, wheat-bread, barley-meal
bread, bran-bread, bean-bread, pease-bread, oat-bread or oat-cakes,
hard-bread, and unleavened bread. The poor often used a mixture
of rye, lentils, and oatmeal, varied according to the season and
The author of "The Serving-man's Comfort," 1598, however, seems to say
that it was counted by the poorer sort at that time a hardship only to
be tolerated in a dear year to mix beans and peas with their corn,
and he adds: "So must I yield you a loaf of coarse cockle, having no
acquaintance with coin to buy corn."
In a _Nominale_ of this period mention is made of "oblys," or small
round loaves, perhaps like the old-fashioned "turnover"; and we come
across the explicit phrase, _a loaf of bread_, for the first time,
a pictorial vocabulary of the period even furnishing us with a
representation of its usual form.
Nor were the good folks of those days without their simnels,
cracknels, and other sorts of cakes for the table, among which in the
_wastel_ we recognise the equivalent of the modern French _gateau_.
Besides march-pain or pain-main, and pain-puff, two sorts baked
on special occasions, and rather entering into the class of
confectionery, our better-to-do ancestors usually employed three
descriptions of bread: manchete for the master's table, made of fine
boulted flour; chete, of unboulted flour, but not mixed with any
coarser ingredient; and brown-bread, composed of flour and rye meal,
and known as _maslin_ (mystelon).
A bushel of wheat, in a romance of the thirteenth century, is
estimated to produce twenty loaves; but the statement is obviously
to be taken with allowance. The manchet was sometimes thought to be
sufficient without butter, as we now eat a scone. In the "Conceits of
Old Hobson," 1607, the worthy haberdasher of the Poultry gives some
friends what is facetiously described as a "light" banquet--a cup
of wine and a manchet of bread on a trencher for each guest, in an
apartment illuminated with five hundred candles.
There is no pictorial record of the mode in which the early baker
worked here, analogous to that which Lacroix supplies of his sixteenth
century _confrere_. The latter is brought vividly enough before us in
a copy of one of Jost Amman's engravings, and we perceive the bakery
and its tenants: one (apparently a female) kneading the dough in a
trough at the farther end, a second by a roasting fire, with a long
ladle or peel in his hand, putting the loaf on the oven, and a third,
who is a woman, leaving the place with two baskets of bread, one on
her head and one on her arm; the baker himself is almost naked, like
the operatives in a modern iron furnace. The artist has skilfully
realised the oppressive and enervating atmosphere; and it was till
lately quite usual to see in the side streets of Paris in the early
morning the _boulanger_ at work precisely in the same informal
costume. So tenacious is usage, and so unchanging many of the
conditions of life.
The Anglo-Norman used butter where his Italian contemporary used oil.
But it is doubtful whether before the Conquest our ancestors were
commonly acquainted with butter.
The early cook understood the art of glazing with yolk of egg, and
termed it endoring, and not less well that of presenting dishes under
names calculated to mislead the intended partaker, as where we find
a receipt given for _pome de oringe_, which turns out to be a
preparation of liver of pork with herbs and condiments, served up in
the form of glazed force-meat balls.
Venison was salted in troughs. In the tale of "The King and the
Hermit," the latter exhibits to his unknown visitor his stock of
preserved venison from the deer, which he had shot in the forest.
The mushroom, of which so many varieties are at present recognised
by botanists, seems, from the testimony of an Italian, Giacomo
Castelvetri, who was in London in 1614, and to whom I have already
referred, to have been scarcely known here at that time. I cannot
say, of course, how far Castelvetri may have prosecuted his inquiries,
though he certainly leaves the impression of having been intelligently
observant; or whether he includes in this observation the edible
toadstools; but even now much unreasonable prejudice exists as to the
latter, and very limited use is made of any but two or three familiar
sorts of the mushroom itself. It is a pity that this misconception
should not be dissipated.
Caviary had been brought into England, probably from Russia, at the
commencement of the seventeenth century, perhaps sooner. In 1618, "The
Court and Country," by Breton, seems to represent it as an article of
diet which was little known, and not much relished; for a great lady
had sent the writer's father a little barrel of it, and it was no
sooner opened than it was fastened down again, to be returned to the
donor with a respectful message that her servant had black soap enough
In the time of James I. the ancient bill of fare had been shorn of
many of its coarser features, so far as fish was concerned; and
the author of "The Court and Country" tells a story to shew that
porpoise-pie was a dish which not even a dog would eat.
The times had indeed changed, since a King and a Cardinal-archbishop
judged this warm-blooded sea-dweller a fit dish for the most select
It is not a despicable or very ascetic regimen which Stevenson lays
before us under April in his reproduction of Breton's "Fantasticks,"
1626, under the title of the "Twelve Months," 1661:--"The wholesome
dyet that breeds good sanguine juyce, such as pullets, capons, sucking
veal, beef not above three years Old, a draught of morning milk
fasting from the cow; grapes, raysons, and figs be good before meat;
Rice with Almond Milk, birds of the Field, Peasants and Partridges,
and fishes of stony rivers, Hen eggs potcht, and such like."
Under May he furnishes us with a second and not less appetising
"Butter and sage are now the wholesome Breakfast, but fresh cheese and
cream are meat for a dainty mouth; the early Peascods and Strawberries
want no price with great Bellies; but the Chicken and the Duck are
fatted for the Market; the sucking Rabbet is frequently taken in the
Nest, and many a Gosling never lives to be a Goose."
Even so late as the succeeding reign, Breton speaks of the good cheer
at Christmas, and of the cook, if he lacks not wit, sweetly licking
The storage of liquids became a difficult problem where, as among our
ancestors, glazed pottery was long unknown; and more especially with
regard to the supply of water in dry seasons. But so far as milk was
concerned, the daily yield probably seldom exceeded the consumption;
and among the inhabitants further north and east, who, as Caesar says,
partook also of flesh, and did not sow grain--in other words, were
less vegetarian in their habits from the more exhausting nature of the
climate--the consideration might be less urgent. It is open to doubt
if, even in those primitive times, the supply of a national want
lagged far behind the demand.
The list of wines which the King of Hungary proposed to have at the
wedding of his daughter, in "The Squire of Low Degree," is worth
consulting. Harrison, in his "Description of England," 1586, speaks of
thirty different kinds of superior vintages and fifty-six of commoner
or weaker kinds. But the same wine was perhaps known under more than
Romney or Rumney, a Hungarian growth, Malmsey from the Peloponnesus,
and Hippocras were favourites, and the last-named was kept as late as
the last century in the buttery of St. John's College, Cambridge,
for use during the Christmas festivities. But France, Spain, Greece,
almost all countries, contributed to furnish the ancient wine-cellar,
and gratify the variety of taste among connoisseurs; and for such as
had not the means to purchase foreign productions, the juice of the
English grape, either alone or mingled with honey and spice, furnished
a not unpalatable and not very potent stimulant. As claret and hock
with us, so anciently Bastard and Piment were understood in a generic
sense, the former for any mixed wine, the latter for one seasoned with
In "Colin Blobol's Testament," a whimsical production of the fifteenth
century, Tent and Valencia wines are mentioned, with wine of Languedoc
and Orleans. But perhaps it will be best to cite the passage:--
"I trow there shall be an honest fellowship, save first shall they of
ale have new backbones. With strong ale brewed in vats and in tuns;
Ping, Drangollie, and the Draget fine, Mead, Mattebru, and the
Metheling. Red wine, the claret and the white, with Tent and Alicant,
in whom I delight. Wine of Languedoc and of Orleans thereto: Single
beer, and other that is double: Spruce beer, and the beer of Hamburgh:
Malmsey, Tires, and Romany."
But some of the varieties are hidden under obscure names. We recognise
Muscadel, Rhine wine, Bastard, Hippocras, however. On the 10th of
December, 1497, Piers Barber received six shillings and eight pence,
according to the "Privy Purse Expences of Henry VII.," "for spice for
Metheglin and beer of some kind appear to be the most ancient liquors
of which there are any vestiges among the Britons. Ferguson, in his
Essay "On the Formation of the Palate," states that they are described
by a Greek traveller, who visited the south of Britain in the fourth
century B.C. This informant describes metheglin as composed of wheat
and honey (of course mixed with water), and the beer as being of
sufficient strength to injure the nerves and cause head-ache.
Worlidge, in his "Vinetum Britannicum," 1676, gives us receipts for
metheglin and birch wine. Breton, in his "Fantasticks," 1626, under
January, recommends a draught of ale and wormwood wine mixed in
a morning to comfort the heart, scour the maw, and fulfil other
The English beer of by-gone times underwent many vicissitudes, and it
was long before our ancestors conquered their dislike to the bitter
hop, after having been accustomed to a thick, sweet liquor of which
the modern Kentish ale is in some measure a survival. Beer was made
from a variety of grain; oats were most commonly employed. In France,
they resorted even to vetches, lentils, rye, and darnel. But as a rule
it was a poor, thin drink which resulted from the operation, and the
monks of Glastonbury deemed themselves fortunate in being allowed by
their abbot to put a load of oats into the vat to improve the quality
of the beverage; which may account for Peter of Blois characterising
the ale in use at Court in his day (he died about the end of the
twelfth century) as potent--it was by contrast so. The first assize of
ale seems not to have been enacted till the reign of Henry III.
From a glossary of the fourteenth century, inserted in "Reliquse
Antique," 1841, it appears that whey was then used as a drink; it
occurs there as "cerum, i, quidam liquor, whey."
In direct connection with cookery as with horticulture, are the
utensils and appliances which were at the command of those who had to
do with these matters in days of yore; and in both cases an inquirer
finds that he has to turn from the vain search for actual specimens
belonging to remoter antiquity to casual representations or
descriptions in MSS. and printed books. Our own museums appear to be
very weakly furnished with examples of the vessels and implements in
common use for culinary purposes in ancient times, and, judging from
the comparatively limited information which we get upon this subject
from the pages of Lacroix, the paucity of material is not confined to
ourselves. The destruction and disappearance of such humble monuments
of the civilisation of the past are easily explained; and the survival
of a slender salvage is to be treated as a circumstance not less
remarkable than fortunate.
It seems that the practice was to cut up, if not to slaughter,
the animals used for food in the kitchen, and to prepare the whole
carcase, some parts in one way and some in another. We incidentally
collect from an ancient tale that the hearts of swine were much prized
Besides a general notion of the appointments of the cooking
department, we are enabled to form some conception of the aspect
of the early kitchen itself from extant representations in the
"Archaeological Album," the "Penny Magazine" for 1836, and Lacroix
[Footnote: "Moeurs, Usages et Costumes au Moyen Age," 1872, pp 166,
170, 177]. The last-named authority furnishes us with two interesting
sixteenth century interiors from Jost Amman, and (from the same
source) a portraiture of the cook of that period.
The costume of the subject is not only exhibited, doubtless with the
fidelity characteristic of the artist, but is quite equally applicable
to France, if not to our own country, and likewise to a much earlier
date. The evidences of the same class supplied by the "Archaeological
Album," 1845, are drawn from the MS. in the British Museum,
formerly belonging to the Abbey of St. Albans. They consist of two
illustrations--one of Master Robert, cook to the abbey, as elsewhere
noticed, accompanied by his wife--unique relic of its kind; the other
a view of a small apartment with dressers and shelves, and with plates
and accessories hung round, in which a cook, perhaps the identical
Master Robert aforesaid, is plucking a bird. The fireplace is in
the background, and the iron vessel which is to receive the fowl,
or whatever it may really be, is suspended over the flame by a long
chain. The perspective is rather faulty, and the details are not very
copious; but for so early a period as the thirteenth or early part of
the following century its value is undeniable.
The "Penny Magazine" presents us with a remarkable exterior, that of
the venerable kitchen of Stanton-Harcourt, near Oxford, twenty-nine
feet square and sixty feet in height. There are two large fireplaces,
facing each other, but no chimney, the smoke issuing atthe holes, each
about seven inches in diameter, which run round the roof. As Lamb
said of his Essays, that they were all Preface, so this kitchen is
all chimney. It is stated that the kitchen at Glastonbury Abbey was
constructed on the same model; and both are probably older than the
reign of Henry IV. The one to which I am more immediately referring,
though, at the time (1835) the drawing was taken, in an excellent
state of preservation, had evidently undergone repairs and structural
It was at Stanton-Harcourt that Pope wrote a portion of his
translation of Homer, about 1718.
A manufactory of brass cooking utensils was established at Wandsworth
in or before Aubrey's time by Dutchmen, who kept the art secret.
Lysons states that the place where the industry was carried on bore
the name of the "Frying Pan Houses" [Footnote: A "Environs of London,"
1st ed., Surrey, pp. 502-3].
In the North of England, the _bake-stone_, originally of the material
to which it owed its name, but at a very early date constructed of
iron, with the old appellations retained as usual, was the universal
machinery for baking, and was placed on the _Branderi_, an iron frame
which was fixed on the top of the fireplace, and consisted of
iron bars, with a sliding or slott bar, to shift according to the
The tripod which held the cooking-vessel over the wood flame, among
the former inhabitants of Britain, has not been entirely effaced. It
is yet to be seen here and there in out-of-the-way corners and
places; and in India they use one constructed of clay, and differently
contrived. The most primitive pots for setting over the fire on the
tripod were probably of bronze.
The tripod seems to be substantially identical with what was known in
Nidderdale as the kail-pot. "This was formerly in common use," says
Mr. Lucas; "a round iron pan, about ten inches deep and eighteen
inches across, with a tight-fitting, convex lid. It was provided with
three legs. The kail-pot, as it was called, was used for cooking
pies, and was buried bodily in burning peat. As the lower peats became
red-hot, they drew them from underneath, and placed them on the top.
The kail-pot may still be seen on a few farms." This was about 1870.
The writer is doubtless correct in supposing that this utensil was
originally employed for cooking kail or cabbage and other green stuff.
Three rods of iron or hard wood lashed together, with a hook for
taking the handle of the kettle, formed, no doubt, the original
tripod. But among some of the tribes of the North of Europe, and
in certain Tartar, Indian, and other communities, we see no such
rudimentary substitute for a grate, but merely two uprights and a
horizontal rest, supporting a chain; and in the illustration to
the thirteenth or fourteenth century MS., once part of the abbatial
library at St. Albans, a nearer approach to the modern jack is
apparent in the suspension of the vessel over the flame by a chain
attached to the centre of a fireplace.
Not the tripod, therefore, but the other type must be thought to have
been the germ of the later-day apparatus, which yielded in its turn to
The fireplace with a ring in the middle, from which is suspended the
pot, is represented in a French sculpture of the end of the fourteenth
century, where two women are seated on either side, engaged in
conversation. One holds a ladle, and the other an implement which may
be meant for a pair of bellows.
In his treatise on Kitchen Utensils, Neckam commences with naming a
table, on which the cook may cut up green stuff of various sorts, as
onions, peas, beans, lentils, and pulse; and he proceeds to enumerate
the tools and implements which are required to carry on the work:
pots, tripods for the kettle, trenchers, pestles, mortars, hatchets,
hooks, saucepans, cauldrons, pails, gridirons, knives, and so on.
The head-cook was to have a little apartment, where he could prepare
condiments and dressings; and a sink was to be provided for the
viscera and other offal of poultry. Fish was cooked in salt water or
Pepper and salt were freely used, and the former must have been ground
as it was wanted, for a pepper-mill is named as a requisite. Mustard
we do not encounter till the time of Johannes de Garlandia (early
thirteenth century), who states that it grew in his own garden at
Paris. Garlic, or gar-leac (in the same way as the onion is called
_yn-leac_), had established itself as a flavouring medium. The
nasturtium was also taken into service in the tenth or eleventh
century for the same purpose, and is classed with herbs.
When the dish was ready, it was served up with green sauce, in which
the chief ingredients were sage, parsley, pepper, and oil, with a
little salt. Green geese were eaten with raisin or crab-apple sauce.
Poultry was to be well larded or basted while it was before the fire.
I may be allowed to refer the reader, for some interesting jottings
respecting the first introduction of coal into London, to "Our English
Home," 1861. "The middle classes," says the anonymous writer, "were
the first to appreciate its value; but the nobility, whose mansions
were in the pleasant suburbs of Holborn and the Strand, regarded it as
a nuisance." This was about the middle of the thirteenth century. It
may be a mite contributed to our knowledge of early household economy
to mention, by the way, that in the supernatural tale of the "Smith
and his Dame" (sixteenth century) "a quarter of coal" occurs. The
smith lays it on the fire all at once; but then it was for his forge.
He also poured water on the flames, to make them, by means of his
bellows, blaze more fiercely. But the proportion of coal to wood
was long probably very small. One of the tenants of the Abbey of
Peterborough, in 852, was obliged to furnish forty loads of wood, but
of coal two only.
In the time of Charles I., however, coals seem to have been usual
in the kitchen, for Breton, in this "Fantasticks," 1626, says, under
January:--"The Maid is stirring betimes, and slipping on her Shooes
and her Petticoat, groaps for the tinder box, where after a conflict
between the steele and the stone, she begets a spark, at last the
Candle lights on his Match; then upon an old rotten foundation of
broaken boards she erects an artificiall fabrick of the black Bowels
of New-Castle soyle, to which she sets fire with as much confidence as
the Romans to their Funerall Pyles."
Under July, in the same work, we hear of "a chafing dish of coals;"
and under September, wood and coals are mentioned together. But
doubtless the employment of the latter was far less general.
In a paper read before the Royal Society, June 9, 1796, there is an
account of a saucepan discovered in the bed of the river Withain, near
Tattersall Ferry, in Lincolnshire, in 1788. It was of base metal, and
was grooved at the bottom, to allow the contents more readily to
come within reach of the fire. The writer of this narrative, which
is printed in the "Philosophical Transactions," considered that the
vessel might be of Roman workman-ship; as he states that on the handle
was stamped a name, C. ARAT., which he interprets _Caius Aratus_. "It
appears," he adds, "to have been tinned; but almost all the coating
had been worn off.... The art of tinning copper was understood and
practised by the Romans, although it is commonly supposed to be a
Neckam mentions the roasting-spit, elsewhere called the roasting-iron;
but I fail to detect skewers, though they can hardly have been
wanting. Ladles for basting and stirring were familiar. As to the spit
itself, it became a showy article of plate, when the fashion arose
of serving up the meat upon it in the hall; and the tenure by which
Finchingfield in Essex was held _in capite_ in the reign of Edward
III.--that of turning the spit at the coronation--demonstrates that
the instrument was of sufficient standing to be taken into service as
a memorial formality.
The fifteenth century vocabulary notices the salt-cellar, the spoon,
the trencher, and the table-cloth. The catalogue comprises _morsus,
a bit_, which shows that _bit_ and _bite_ are synonymous, or rather,
that the latter is the true word as still used in Scotland, Yorkshire,
and Lincolnshire, from the last of which the Pilgrims carried it
across the Atlantic, where it is a current Americanism, not for
one bite, but as many as you please, which is, in fact, the modern
provincial interpretation of the phrase, but not the antique English
one. The word _towel_ was indifferently applied, perhaps, for a
cloth for use at the table or in the lavatory. Yet there was also the
_manuturgium_, or hand-cloth, a speciality rendered imperative by the
mediaeval fashion of eating.
In the inventory of the linen at Gilling, in Yorkshire, one of the
seats of the Fairfax family, made in 1590, occur:--"Item, napkins vj.
dozen. Item, new napkins vj. dozen." This entry may or may not warrant
a conclusion that the family bought that quantity at a time--not a
very excessive store, considering the untidy habits of eating and the
difficulty of making new purchases at short notice.
Another mark of refinement is the resort to the _napron_, corruptly
_apron_, to protect the dress during the performance of kitchen work.
But the fifteenth century was evidently growing wealthier in its
articles of use and luxury; the garden and the kitchen only kept pace
with the bed-chamber and the dining-hall, the dairy and the laundry,
the stable and the out-buildings. An extensive nomenclature was
steadily growing up, and the Latin, old French, and Saxon terms were
giving way on all sides to the English. It has been now for some time
an allowed and understood thing that in these domestic backgrounds the
growth of our country and the minuter traits of private life are to be
studied with most clear and usurious profit.
The trencher, at first of bread, then of wood, after a while of
pewter, and eventually of pottery, porcelain or china-earth, as it was
called, and the precious metals, afforded abundant scope for the fancy
of the artist, even in the remote days when the material for it came
from the timber-dealer, and sets of twelve were sometimes decorated
on the face with subjects taken from real life, and on the back with
emblems of the purpose to which they were destined.
Puttenham, whose "Art of English Poetry" lay in MS. some years before
it was published in 1589, speaks of the posies on trenchers and
banqueting dishes. The author of "Our English Home" alludes to a very
curious set, painted in subjects and belonging to the reign of James
I., which was exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries' rooms by
It is to be augured that, with the progress of refinement, the meats
were served upon the table on dishes instead of trenchers, and that
the latter were reserved for use by the guests of the family. For
in the "Serving-man's Comfort," 1598, one reads:--"Even so the