R is for Recipes

You want to know a cure for boils? Or how to roast a capon? Or how to make wartime rations go further? We have a recipe for you!

In the archive we have a number of handwritten recipe books, both culinary and medical (often the two were mixed rather randomly in the same book), dating back to the 17th century, together with a few printed leaflets giving advice on frugal cooking and the like. Here, for your delectation and delight, are a couple of examples from the late 18th century. First a recipe for gingerbread (cake rather than cookies).


One quart of the best Flower, half a pound of treacle with half a pound of Butter melted in it, half a pound of sugar, three quarters of an oz. of Grated Ginger. Mix these all well together. Bake them.

And secondly a medical recipe. I can only think that adding extra shades of yellow was in some way supposed to be beneficial.

Cure for Jaundice

Two pennyworth of Turmerick, the same of Saffron, the same of Cloves, the same of Treacle – to be boil’d in two quarts of spring water till reduced to one, a Teacupful to be taken in a morning fasting.


5 thoughts on “R is for Recipes”

    1. What a wonderful idea! At least the law here is resolving that issue, with provision for orphan works and a “70 years after death” rule for unpublished items, but why oh why did they have to decide that the new rule would not take effect until 2040?


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