"The Gift of My Mother to Me," English Receipt Book, 1779-1838
[Library Title: The gift of my mother to me [manuscript], 1779-1838]
Holding Library Call No.LMC 2435
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#461
Place of OriginEngland
Date of Composition1779-1838
DescriptionThis 204-page English receipt book is written from both front and back. The inside front cover is inscribed: The Gift of My Mother to Me Mary Hudson. The date 1783 and the number 18 are written below the inscription, possibly with a different squib and in a different hand. The inside back cover (digital image 71) is inscribed: This Receipt Book I give to My Dear Polly as She Stayed the last with Me. Accounts in the front portion of the book (digital images 5 & 6) are dated 1779 and a recipe for "Tea Cakes" in the back portion of the book (digital images 196-7) is dated 1838.
Both the front and back portions of the book appear to comprise eighteenth-century recipe books to which multiple later authors, possibly including those who inscribed the inside front and back covers, appended recipes. The eighteenth-century recipe book in the front, which is written in two handsome hands, is indexed directly following the inscription. (The index starts with page 37, presumably because the preceding page is missing.) The eighteenth-century recipe book in the back is written on the rectos of the leaves (through digital image 104 or 108). Later recipes were written both on the versos of the leaves and in open spaces on the rectos. There are hard-to-explain elements in both books that closer study might elucidate.
The recipes in the eighteenth-century book at the front are organized in four groups, with blank leaves in between: miscellaneous dishes, wines, preserved foods, and remedies. The eighteenth-century book at the back is entirely culinary. The later added recipes are both culinary and medical, with some household formulas as well.