A book of cookery and medicinal recipes collected and recorded by Lady
Anne Blencowe towards the end of the seventeenth century, with 43 of the
cookery recipes interpreted for today's use by Christina Stapley. The
medicinal recipes are largely unsuitable for use in this century. However,
for easy and interesting reading in this section of the book, the unusual
ingredients are detailed, some of their sources are given and medical
thought of the time is explained as necessary.
The only previous edition being 1925 with only a foreword to guide the
reader, this new edition brings Lady Anne's recipes and times to life
for the first full appreciation of the rich flavours and elegance Lady
Anne offered her family and guests. The work sprang from a chance meeting
between Christina Stapley who was already using the 1925 edition recipes
at historical workshops and descendants of Lady Anne. Jack Blencowe has
drawn the unique combination of Lady Anne's original format and words
and Christina's interpretation of individual recipes for the modern cook
and well-researched explanations together.
The Blencowe family have been deeply involved in the development of the
book with Peter Blencowe writing the foreword, giving a family background
to Lady Anne and his writing together with Jack's footnotes provide explanations
for the identity of some of the recipe contributors.
At £7.50 this hard-back book is an excellent value gift for anyone interested
either in cookery, history or both.
Although the format of the book has been retained, a second, ordered Contents
list offers an easy guide to cooks of recipes for today. These are divided
into cakes and biscuits, desserts, savoury dishes, preserves and drinks.
For samples of the interpreted cookery recipes see below.
Extract page 32.
To Make Bisketts, Mrs. B.'s way.
Take a pound of fine powder shugar, put it into a stone morter & brake
into it 5 egges, leaving out 2 whites. Then beat them very well & put
in 6 spoon- fuls of Rose watter, & beat it very well againe till all ye
lumps be broken, & then strike in by degrees a pound of fine flower, wanting
3 spoonfuls, & beat all together for half an houer, or not so much if
your Ovon be hott. Let your Ovon be heating all ye while, if not before
you go about them. When your ovon is hott, put in 2 spoonfuls of caraway
seeds or ye pell of a Lemon greated & put a spoonfull into a plate, being
butterred, & scrape over them a littil fine sugar when it gos in. As soone
as they are a littill yellow, cut them out. If you lay them when warm
it will be ye better.
This recipe is reminiscent of one for Prince Bisket in Sir Hugh Platt's
Delights for Ladies published in 1603. To the modern cook, it may be appreciated
as a very light biscuit, towards the flavour of a macaroon, despite the
absence of almonds. Very tasty.
1/4 lb (120g) golden caster sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons of rosewater
4oz (120g) white self raising flour less 3/4 dessertspoonful, ground caraway,
or grated lemon peel and caraway seeds (optional)
Beat the eggs well with the sugar, then add the rose- water and beat again.
Add the sieved flour steadily and beat all together for half an hour,
or 3-5 minutes in an electric mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground caraway,
or the grated lemon peel. Ladle 1/2 dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto
a well greased or lined tray, with a little sugar sprinkled on each. If
using lemon peel, a few pounded caraway seeds can be sprinkled on top
of biscuits. Put into a moderate oven (170oC for fan assisted) on a low
shelf for 10-12 minutes - until golden.
Extract page 84
To make Petty Pattys
Take the breast of a fowl or Turkey, mince it very fine, with the marrow
of one bone, a few Crumbs of bread, a little Parcely and thime, some peper
& salt, & a little onion. Mix all these together with an Egg as for forst
meat, then bake them in the smallest patty pans you have, in puff paste,
& before you send them to Table cut the tops off, and put in a little
gravy. To be eat hot.
12oz (340g) minced turkey breast
3 small slices of brown bread
1 teaspoon of fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 medium onion
1lb (450g) puff pastry
Mix the meat, breadcrumbs, herbs and finely chopped onion together; season
with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and add sufficient to bind the ingredients
together. Save a little to paint onto the pastry case before it goes into
Roll out the puff pastry and line small bun tins or a larger dish, leaving
sufficient to lay over the top. Fill the pastry cases and seal the puff
pastry lids with the egg you have set on one side. Paint the top of each
patty with egg and cook at 170oC for 40-50 minutes in a fan-assisted oven.
Following Mrs. Barnidston's instruction,
remove the lids just before serving and pour in a little gravy.
These are very tasty and suitable for serving for a light meal with salad.
The physic recipes are as fascinating as the cookery is delicious. However,
most are not to be tried at home.
Recipe to make ye Green Ointment that cured Lady Probyn's Coachman's
Take of Sage and Rue of each one handfull, of wormwood and bay leaves,
each half a pound. Gather these in the heat of the Day. They must be unwashed
and Shread small. And take a pound and half of sheep suet and stamp it
with the herbs untill they be all of one couler; put it in a pint and
half of the best Sallet Oil, and stir them well together, and put it in
a pot and stop it close up, and let it stand nine days. Then boil it till
the strength of the herbs be gon, and take care in boiling that, you doe
not burn it. And when it is boil'd put in an ounce and half of Oil of
spike, and keep it for your use. It is good for all manner of wounds,
bruises, burns and sprains. The best time to make it is in may.
This is a typical early ointment for treating muscular Aches and pains.
Wormwood is no longer commonly Used in external applications. Handling
rue can produce a long-lasting blistering rash. I have previously made
recipes with sage, bay and lavender and have found these very comforting
and analgesic. Oil of spike would be a rather powerful lavender oil.
Spermaciti, one Drachm, Nitre, half a Drachm, fine Sugar, two or three
Drachms. Beat all these together with the Yolk of an Egg, then gradually
add near half a pint of Barley water. Give two spoonfulls Every two or
Spermaceti is described by Quincy as more properly Oleum Ceti being an
oil from the head of a particular sort of whale. He recommends it as safe
and effectual in coughs, pleurisies and dysentery. Nitre, or salt- petre
seems to have been imported largely from India for medicine, Quincy suspects
it to have been obtained from the excrement of a large fowl. He writes
it has greater repute as a universal medicine abroad.