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Christmas recipes

Christmas Recipe

Boyle a neats tongue tender then blansh it & let it coole then slice it thin with twice as much beef suet ten pippins & ye peel of a lemon a pound of sun raisons ston'd mince all well together then season it with a pound & half of Currants; 2 nutmegs, cloves & mace a pound & half of sugar & as much salt as will season it to your tast and 2 ounces of sweet meats such as  cittern & orang add ½ a pint of sack* the juce of 2 lemons & a little rose or orang flower water you may make a Lomber pye of the same meat onely you must add some grated bread spinage minced a little cream & ye yolks of 2 or 3 eggs then fill your pye & on ye top lay yolks of eggs marrow candied lime cittern dates barbarys gooseberrys a little butter then cover and bake it then cut up the lid and lace it with some sack* the yolks of 2 eggs the juce of a limon a piece of butter and a little sugar (2oz), To make short past - Take 7 pound of flower 3 pound of butter rub it in the flower beat in 4 eggs and make it up with hot water.' *a white wine imported from Spain

Enough to make plenty of pies!

Although goose would be a more popular dish at the time another - unknown - cook records her recipe for 'Stuffing for a Boil'd Turkey' [Ref. SM/E49] in the late 18th Century: 'Boil the sweet bread of veal shed it fine with some beef suet a handful of Bread Crumbs a little lemon peel, part of the liver a spoonful or two of cream with nutmeg pepper salt & two eggs mix all together and stuff ye crop of your turkey, one hour will boil it if young if not young longer.'

To make the party go with a swing, we go back to the recipes of Elizabeth Jenkyn: 'To make Cowslip Wine Gallon of Spring water 2pound & ½ of good whyte sugar lett it boyle gently an hour then take half a peck of cowslip flowers clean picked from ye green and when ye liquor is pretty coole put in with ye juce of 2 lemons and ye peele of half lemon take half a spoonful of ale yeast make a pretty thick toast of bred spread ye yeast on it and put it into the wine let it stand together in a narrow vessel & keep it close covered then strain it and put ye liquor into a barrel when it has done working stop it close & when it has stood a fortnight or three weeks if it be clear bottle it.'

For a full list of dishes described in these books see ref. PM2600 and SM/E49 at 'Search Our Catalogues' above BHRS Vol 37 includes transcriptions of the recipes of Diana Orlebar nee Astry and a list of recipe books in other collections. The documents can be viewed on request in our searchroom.

Editors note: Tastes in the 18th Century were fairly robust, and these recipes may not be suitable for more delicate 21st Century palates & stomachs!