Thursday, 22 September 2011

From the Tudor Receipt Book

My in-laws have in their possession the transcription of an unpublished late Tudor/early Jacobean receipt book, including a range of instructions for some delicious sounding dishes and some rather worrying cures.

Here's the entry "to bake a crane." Spelling and grammar not my own.

"First take a crane and parboil him a little, then take swete larde and larde it withall then put it into the coffin (pastry case) and take peper and salte a good quantity and season them together and cast upon it and then take butter and put it into the coffin and let it bake the space of four howers."

Incase that doesn't agree with you, here's a remedy "for a pain in the stomach."

"Take wormewood, commen and sentory and egremony and speard mints of each a handfull, a few Rostleans, heate them all with a little vineger, a little rosewater, upon a chaffindysh then putt them into a Bagge and quilt and soe lay it to your stomach."

I must report that I have not tried either of these and would not recommend the use of wormwood, which is very bitter and was used for weaning, nor the application of small birds to various parts of the anatomy although the use of spearmint for an upset stomach clearly has its roots in something.

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