Potato Puffs

This recipe is on page three of Maimie’s recipe book (which also duplicates some of her mother Althea’s recipes). The recipes from this book tend to be undated but I would hazard a guess at the 1880s for this one. Indeed, a search of English newspapers finds a very similar recipe (almost word for word!) first occurring in 1862 and very much peaking in the 1880s.

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To Cook Pike or other white fish

At last, a savoury dish appears in the recipe books! (What a shame that my photography skills can’t do it justice…) This recipe is on the second page of Maimie’s book so, as ever, is difficult to date. The mid-1880s would be my best guess. Maimie is in her late teens or early twenties. Two of her younger brothers, Charles and James, are off at boarding school, leaving Maimie with her siblings Ethel and Edmund.

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Store Barm or Yeast

When I first looked through the recipe books, with starting a blog in mind, I thought that I would be making a lot of cakes and puddings. Certainly, the recipes from Harriet’s books have so far backed up this notion. However, Althea’s book in particular is proving to throw up some rather more fascinating and challenging recipes; first we had North Country Curds and then, turning to the next page, I found ‘Store Barm or Yeast.’ My first thought was ‘What on earth is this?’ and, on reading through the recipe, I was none the wiser. What was she making?

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North Country Curds

This is the first hand-written recipe in Althea’s book. It is dated to 1866 and credited to ‘M.N.’ in Liverpool. I presume that this is Mary Newton, Althea’s sister-in-law, as Althea and her husband appeared to spend the first few months of their marriage living with the Newtons in Catharine Street, Liverpool.

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Cold Fruit Pudding

The book containing this recipe has an inscription in its front cover, written by my grandmother, that says ‘Recipe Book belonging to our grandmother. A.M. Harrison, Newby Bridge and mother M.A.M. Fullmer, West Felton and Clifton Reynes.’ It’s difficult to work out who has written each recipe, as the handwriting in both is often similar. There are clues though to make me think that Maimie wrote a great deal of it. Althea‘s own, earlier book is very precise; pages are numbered, there is an index at the back and most of the recipes are dated and attributed to a person or publication. In contrast, there is no such order in this book, especially in the earlier pages. Several recipes have been copied directly from Althea’s book, which also leads me to think it likely to be her daughter’s.

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Excellent Gingerbread

This is the first recipe in Althea’s recipe book, stuck on the opposite page to the first, proper hand-written page. Underneath it, Althea has written her name ‘Althea N. Harrison‘ and the date ‘November 20th 1866.’ On the inside cover, in faint pencil, someone (probably her husband, James, after he was widowed) has written ‘Dear Althea’s Recipe Book‘ and ‘Catherine Street. 20th November 1866.’ The recipe is a newspaper cutting, and the only recipe in the book that is not hand-written.

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