Does the title sound too Anthony Bourdain?
The Westminster City Archives has established a blog for a cookbook in its collection of compiled recipes. The handwritten volume compiles recipes with roots in the late 17th century up until the first quarter of the 19th. Dubbed the “Cookbook of Unknown Ladies” the recipes are recorded in a number of scripts, indicating the volume’s inheritance and longevity of use over a 150 period.
The blog highlights various recipes (Potato Balls Ragout, Chocolate Cream) and highlights the capers of the Westminster City Archives Cooking Up History group. A cooking group in an archives, you ask? While maybe a little dubious to an insitution’s Integrated Pest Management program, it’s benefit is in making the content of this archival resource more accessible to users. They are using a modern kitchen and taking some modern shortcuts so 18th century living historian heads may shake at this, but their attempts at two different almond pudding recipes and various sauces (pudding catsup, for one) are fun to peruse.
The recipe for Stewed Cheese combines butter, egg, and cheese prepared on a chafing dish over coals sounds good as our spring weather continues to evoke winter. The project has been posting a new recipe every couple of days, so it looks to be a source of interest for 18th century foodways enthusiasts.