A Receipt Book, or, The Fruits of a Young Woman's Spare Hours

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Manuscript Location
Pennsylvania State University, Paterno Library
Holding Library Call No.
02495 box01 VAULT/T/17.4 bound in Robert Barclay of Ury family papers and maps, 1685-1835
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
Date of Composition
This recipe book is part of the library's collection of Robert Barclay of Ury family papers and maps, 1685-1835. The book's author, Christian Barclay, was a daughter of the prominent Scottish Quaker Robert Barclay of Ury. She married Alexander Jaffray on April 23, 1700. Her recipe book contains two pages of marriage and birth records of her children with Alexander Jaffray.

The book's title page reads: "A Receipt Book, or, The Fruits of a Young Woman's Spare Hours / into three parts, the first containing severall recipts of Phisick; the second concerning Cookrie and the third of dying very necessary and profitable." The title page contains the date Anno domini 1697. The library believes that the book was continued to 1727.

The cookery section extends from digital images 90 to 172 (of 283). It is written in a number of different hands, many of them recurring, indicating that it was a collaborative project. The section begins with a neatly printed two-page "index" that omits some of the entries. The recipes particularly focus on fruit preserving and confectionary, pickled vegetables, and fruit and flower wines. There are also a fair number of recipes for cakes; tarts, pies, and pastes; and dessert creams. There is a surprising recipe for fried cakes called "Donuts" (digital image 128). Among hot dishes only puddings are significantly represented. There are very few recipes for principal dishes featuring meat or fish and, it seems, none for soups, hot vegetables, or the clever side dishes often called "made dishes." There is an uncommon recipe for saltpeter (digital image 167), and there are sporadic out-of-category recipes for cures, cosmetics, and dyes. None of the recipes are distinctively Scottish, but some recipes use Scottish measures.