Wednesday, 2 May 2012

More recipes from the Tudor receipt book...

                                  medieval woman collecting sage,  a common ingredient

These remedies come from an unpublished manuscript in the possession of my family, containing cures and cooking instructions. Many aristocratic families developed their own collections over generations, literacy allowing, but the majority of such receipts (recipes) stayed firmly in the oral tradition for centuries. Although levels of female literacy advanced significantly with the onset of the Reformed faith in the sixteenth century, writing was still largely a male preserve, hence the social class and rarity of those surviving manuals. Many cures address common ailments while the recipes would be more for the lady of the house than her illiterate cook- as such, many are for jellies, jams and other luxuries made in the stillroom not the kitchen. In this MS, some are described as "probatum," meaning they have been tried and tested and found to work. For the modern reader, their ingredients and methods sound bizarre although there may well have been a placebo effect or real comfort from those herbs included which still form the basis of some modern alternative medicines. However, I suggest you don't try these at home !!

                                                        To take away warts:
Purslane (parsley) rubbed on warts pulleth them upp by the Roots. Also if they be anoynted with the juice of Figgs itt will doe the same.

                                                    For the Megrime (migrane ?):
Take iii handfulls of redd rose flowers fresh in summer and in winter velked asmuch of vervanie, breake them smale with your hands and boyle them with a pottle of white Gasconie wine if it may be had or else in Rochell Wine till itt come to a quarte, then putt them in 3 baggs brosed flatte like a paister and lay itt where the Ache is, so hotte as the sicke may suffer and chaunge the hotte and hott a day and anight and longer if need require.

                                                          To make lypsalve:
Take a quantity of newe butter unsalted, melt it by ittself and scomme of the froth clene as it riseth, then take a quantity of waxe and melt itt allso and scomme it cleane, then put them together with a little Rosewater and as need shall require use itt after it is cold at your pleasure.

                                                            For the Meazells:
Take half a pinte of Alle, a little English saffron, putt thereto a crust of Bread hole and seeth them together, so give itt to the patient to drinke warme at iii sundry times and putt thereto a sponefull of Treacle of geyne mingled like and at night to bedward a Rosted Figge.

                      For the Bytinge of a madd dogge if it be taken within ix dayes:
Take a Lylly roote, double dazyes, Isope (hyssop), Rosemary, Sage and Sage Ambrose which is a wild sage, stampe alltogether, putt thereto a sponefull of Aquavity and Treacle, so drinke them with Ale or mylke.

                                                    To make past(ry) for Tarts:
First take fine flower, Yolks of eggs, sweete butter and sweete creame, put all these to your flower and so make paste and so raise your paste for all manner of tartes.

                                                To make dry conserve of Quinces:
Take your Quinces, pare them and coare them then putt them in an Earthen pott, stewe in the Imbers with wine then take out  and straine them and boyle them in coales, season them with suger and make it, then cast suger one your mould and so put it in and close it and so sett it on the Oven till it be dry.

All spelling and punctuation remains true to the MS !