Receipt book of Mary Hookes, ca. 1675-1725

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Manuscript Location
Folger Shakespeare Library, Manuscripts
Holding Library Call No.
Manuscript Cookbooks Survey Database ID#
Place of Origin
Date of Composition
ca. 1675-1725
This receipt book comprises approximately 98 pages of culinary recipes at the front and approximately 26 pages of medical and household recipes at the back. Some recipes are attributed by name (Mrs. Carr, Lady Lockhart, Lady Wharton, Dr. Clifford, etc.).

The front flyleaf is inscribed "Mary Hookes, 1680," and it appears that the index that follows, which includes entries through page 64, and the recipes written on the first 64 numbered pages of the front section are in her hand. This section particularly focuses on recipes for dessert cakes and biscuits, dessert creams and jellies, fruit preserves and confectionary, and sweet wines, but also includes a few recipes for principal dishes, including an uncommon recipe for "Beef Pie in blood," page 64. Also unusual is the recipe for "Whitt Leach of Allmonds," a very stiff sort of blancmange that was popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The recipe reads, "when yt is cold you may slice it, & serve it on glass plats" [to eat with the fingers, as was typical] "or in puffe past," [that is, as a tart, which was not typical].

After the final recipe in Mary Hookes's hand, on page 64, there is a note in small script: "an end of my [Grs ?]". The recipes from the bottom of page 64 through page 98 are written in alphabetical order, which is rare: apples, beef, cakes, cherries, chickens, creams, eels, fish, florentines, jumballs, marmalade, mustard, pancakes, pasties, pottages, puddings, syllabubs, wines, and venison, among others. The sections containing the greatest number of recipes are beef, creams, puddings, and wines. This part of the book may have been written in the early eighteenth century, but a number of the recipes look back to the seventeenth century, including "Cabage Cream," page 70, Froise of Apples (a sort of omelet), page 78, "The Countis of Norwich Buttered Loaf," page 80, and "Liver Puddings," page 88.

The back of the book contains 24 pages of medical recipes, followed by many blank leaves, 2 pages of household recipes (ink and washing lace), and an index, all appearing to be in the hand of Mary Hookes.