Catherine Cruger Bard Receipt Book

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Manuscript Location
Bard College, Stevenson Library
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
United States ➔ New York
Date of Composition
1803 [bulk]
This manuscript cookbook comprises approximately 72 pages of recipes and a 13-page index at the end. The first 36 pages are in the hand of Catherine Cruger Bard (1781-1868), wife of William Bard (1778-1853) and mother of John Bard (1819-1899), who helped found St. Stephen's College. She dated the book 1803 and it would appear from the fairly uniform hand that she copied out most of it within a fairly short span of time. While most recipe books of the time tend to focus on desserts, cakes, and  preserves, Catherine Cruger Bard presents a diverse selection of recipes: Pepper Pot (with sheeps' feet and bellies, root vegetables, and "plenty of red pepper," page 11); Trinklets (noodles, page 17); Curing Shad (page 21); White Fricassee of Rabbits  (page 26); Poke Mela [?] (cucumbers pickled with white oak and black currant leaves, page 27); Rose Water (page 30); and Herring Pie (page 33). The recipes are uncommonly thorough and clear.

The remainder of the book, written in a number of different hands, is mostly given over to recipes for pickles, cakes, desserts, and preserves. Cake recipes on pages 69 and 72 call for the chemical  leavenings saleratus and cream of tartar respectively, which came into use around 1840. The index shows all or most of Catherine Cruger Bard's entries and some of the later recipes.