Eunice (Williams) Stone Cookbook

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[Library Title: Cookbook Collection, c. 1770-c. 1890, Volume 1a]

Holding Library Call No.
Mss. Octavo Vols. C
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Composition
1750-1800, with a few later additions
This book is in two principal parts. The first part, in the front of the book, contains miscellaneous culinary recipes, particularly for puddings and cakes. Then there are several blank leaves, followed by a second part featuring recipes for sweetmeats and pickles. A few formulas for remedies and household products appear in both sections. The recipes are in a single hand except for seven written at the end of the first part: cookies, wonders (crullers of a sort), pound cake, diet bread (sponge cake), tea cakes, anise seed water, and clove water. Six of these recipes are in one hand; the tea cakes may be in yet another hand.

The recipes in the main hand were current in the mid- to late-eighteenth century and are mostly English, using English vocabulary such as "treacle," "penny loaf," and "Lisbon sugar," and echoing recipes seen in printed English cookbooks. (At least two recipes in the main hand were copied virtually verbatim from English cookbooks: "A cheap seed cake," from Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747, and "Dutch Gingerbread," from E. Smith's The Compleat Housewife, 1727.) However, the main writer was likely American, for the writer twice uses the word "emptins" (the dregs from cider or beer brewing used as yeast), which is generally thought to be an Americanism. The seven recipes in a different hand (or hands) are likely slightly later, for two call for "pearl ash," a type of baking soda, which is not recorded in print until Amelia Simmons's "American Cookery" (1796). The recipes are uncommonly clear and thorough. A recipe for Lemon Pudding concludes with the charming note, "'tis a most delicate pudding & a very exact & certain way for either orange or lemon [pudding]." The recipe titled "Common Breakfast Cake" turns out to be a sponge cake with caraway seeds.

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