Miss Caldwell cookbook, 1757-1790

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Manuscript Location
University of Iowa Main Library, Special Collections, Szathmary Culinary Archive
Place of Origin
England ➔ Southhampton
Date of Composition
1757
Description
Tightly organized and written on the recto only of approximately 114 leaves, in a beautiful hand full of flourishes, this cookbook was clearly produced by a professional scribe, perhaps at the behest of a Miss Caldwell, who inscribed the book Miss Caldwells Book August the 13 1757 on the inside back cover. The book was later owned Catherine Sparks and Jane Sparks, who wrote their names in the book several times, Jane quite elaborately on page 4, with a date of September 1794. The Sparks women may be responsible for the material scrawled on the backs of some of the leaves, little of it culinary and none of it of interest. The book contains approximately 110 recipes for pies, puddings, pastries, meat and fish dishes, soups, cakes, sweets, preserves, and home-made wines. Recipes include: mutton stake pye, an arty-choak pye, a neats tongue pye, an orange pudding, a carrot pudding, a tanzey pudding, an amblett, almond flummery, an olio, almond soop, an eell soop, sturgeon of a turkey, to make mangoes, to pickle barberrys, a sack possett, whipp sillybub, a plum cake, a ratifia cake, naple biscakes, a bog-berry tort, and a codling tort. There is a complete index at the back of the book, followed by 11 pages of dinner menus, including a classic eighteenth-century English Christmas bill of fare that features roast beef, plum pudding, and mince pie in the first course.