American Songbook, 1767, with 19th Century Recipes Added

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[Library Title: Songbook and receipt book [manuscript], 1767.]

Holding Library Call No.
LMC 2435
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Composition
recipes written ca. 1820 to ca. 1860
This volume of 24 leaves began as a songbook and contains fifteen pages of neatly copied lyrics and music to "Barby," "Parindon," "Burnham," "Evening Hymn-new," "Evening Hymn-old," "The King's Anthem--Psalm LXXII," and "An Anthem for Christmas Day." These, presumably, were copied into the book by Samuel Gerry, who inscribed his name and the date 1767 on the inside front cover.

Later owners turned the book upside down and, beginning at the back, copied recipes into it. The recipes, written in multiple unknown hands, some in ink and some in pencil, mostly focus on cakes and sweet dishes, particularly puddings. The initial cake recipes in the book call for the alkaline leavening pearl ash (potassium carbonate), which was in use in American kitchens through the 1830s. Subsequent cake recipes in the book call for saleratus, or modern baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), which emerged around 1840 and was called by its original name until around 1870. The leavenings, as well as other evidence, suggest that the recipes were written over a span of years, probably from around 1820 to the time of the Civil War. A number of recipes on newspaper clippings are pasted in.