Manuscripts and Special Collections

Category: Recipe of the Month

This category contains 14 posts

Recipe of the month: Stewed rump of beef ‘the Welsh way’

November 1st, 2011 at 08:11

The large quantities of herbs and spices used in 18th-century recipes are thought by some to have helped to disguise the taste of old meat, as preservation of fresh food before the invention of reliable refrigeration techniques was difficult. However, rich families with access to their own livestock, or the money to buy quality food, [...]

Recipe of the month: Cheese rolls

October 1st, 2011 at 08:10

A recipe for dinner party canap├ęs, not from the 1970s, but from somewhere around the 1770s, this recipe for puff pastry Cheshire cheese rolls come from an undated recipe book in the collection attributed to the Willoughby family of Aspley and Cossall. Cheese Rolls (MS 87/1, p. 2) A quarter of a pound of Chesire [...]

Recipe of the Month: Curry and mango pickle

September 1st, 2011 at 08:09

Last month’s pickled cauliflower recipe made use of exotic spices from the East and West Indies. British people who lived and worked in the colonies often brought back ‘foreign’ recipes and adapted them for home use. Curry was very popular. These recipes are taken from Elenor Mundy’s book, begun in 1728. The curry recipe was [...]

Recipe of the Month: Pickled cauliflowers

August 1st, 2011 at 08:08

18th-century recipe books are full of pickles and preserves. Before refrigerators and freezers were invented, fresh food went off very quickly. The summertime glut of fresh produce needed to be managed, and made into jams and savoury pickles. Most of the traditional pickle recipes, like this one, were quite time-consuming, involving a number of separate [...]

Recipe of the Month: Strawberry wine

July 1st, 2011 at 08:07

As it’s the beginning of July, and the Wimbledon tournament is on, it seemed appropriate to find a strawberry recipe. This recipe for fortified strawberry wine comes from a recipe book started in 1737 by Mrs Margaret Willoughby, wife of Edward Willoughby of Aspley Hall.

Recipe of the month: Thin cream pancakes

June 4th, 2011 at 08:06

These very thin pancakes are somewhat richer than those we are used to eating on Pancake Day, as they contain cream (instead of milk), and added brandy or ‘sack’ (fortified wine, such as sherry or madeira). The opulent ingredients would have meant these pancakes were reserved only for the rich. The name ‘quire of paper’ [...]

Recipe of the month: Eggs with asparagus

May 1st, 2011 at 05:05

British-grown asparagus has only a short season at the start of the summer. Nowadays it is possible to buy asparagus in supermarkets most of the year round, but in the 18th century it would have been a seasonal treat. This simple recipe for a kind of asparagus omelette comes from Elenor Mundy’s 1728 recipe book. [...]

Recipe of the month: Cracknells

April 1st, 2011 at 08:04

Cracknells are thin almond biscuits. This particular recipe has a line written at the end, ‘These were very pleasing, Carolo Secundo’, suggesting that they were a favourite snack enjoyed by King Charles II. Staff from Manuscripts and Special Collections have tried cooking them. They are very tasty, but hard, and should be rolled thinly in [...]

Recipe of the month: Shrub

March 1st, 2011 at 08:03

Shrub is a cordial made with fruit juice and a spirit – in this case brandy, but often rum – which was very popular in the 18th and early-19th centuries. A non-alcoholic version is made with vinegar. The quantities in this recipe are enormous – 3 gallons equals 8 pints! The recipe was probably intended [...]

Recipe of the month: Chicken pie

February 1st, 2011 at 08:02

Elenor Mundy’s recipe book, dated 1728, contains this recipe for a warming chicken pie. The pie also includes ‘forcemeat’ – a type of stuffing – and rather more surprisingly, a large quantity of oysters. The recipe implies that the chickens were placed whole into the pastry casing, but the procedure must surely have involved chicken [...]