Bonito Pudding

This recipe is from Maimie’s book and follows the recipe for Tinned Tomato Soup. The pages in this book are not numbered and the dates jump about, as if notes and clippings were all written up at a later date. Whereas the soup recipe dates from 1896, this one goes back in time a whole decade, to 1886. It is attributed to the ‘Manchester School of Cookery.’ A pencilled note next to the recipe title suggests ‘Rather less sugar.’

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Tinned Tomato Soup

This recipe is from Maimie’s book and is dated from March 1896, a year before her marriage. If there is a theme to this post as a whole it is that I consistently underestimate the Victorians and how they lived, ate, travelled and innovated. As with a recent post about pineapples, it came as a surprise to me that tinned food was so readily available at this time. It also came as a surprise to find out that Maimie’s travels were not restricted to jaunts around the Lake District…

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To Preserve Pineapples

I have to admit, that when I set out to recreate Victorian recipes from a Lancashire cook book, tropical fruit were not at the top of my shopping list. But here we are, on page nine of Althea’s book, in 1868, preserving pineapples. Clearly, they were not being grown on the balmy shores of Lake Windermere in Victorian times but I had also assumed that such fruits would be difficult and expensive to obtain. It turns out I was wrong.

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Orange Marmalade

This recipe is from Maimie’s book. Because marmalade is seasonal I skipped several pages to find the recipe. I also tinkered with the quantities somewhat, as I’m the only one who eats marmalade in my house and it looked like it was going to produce industrial quantities! The recipe is neither dated nor attributed to anyone but I estimate it to be from the 1880s. Unlike some of the recipes in this book, which were copied out by her mother, Althea, this recipe is in Maimie’s handwriting.

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Brandy Snaps

The pages in Maimie’s book are not numbered but this recipe features on what would be page five. Intriguingly, a number of pages before this one have been cut out and part of a recipe for ‘Rolls’ on the page opposite has been crossed out. Maimie’s recipe book can only be called slapdash when compared with that of her mother Althea’s, where the pages are numbered, there is an index at the back and the majority of recipes are dated, and even attributed. However, the hand of Althea is never far from this book too, as this recipe is in her handwriting and she has initialled it at the bottom: ‘ANH‘.

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Finnan Haddock Squares

This recipe is from page three of Maimie’s book. Although I believe that some of the recipes in this book have been copied out by her mother Althea, this one is in Maimie’s handwriting. I estimate it to be from the late 1880s or early 1890s.

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To Preserve (Bottle) Raspberry

This recipe is on page six of Althea’s recipe book. It is dated 1889, which is some twenty years after the recipes just a couple of pages back. There seems little doubt that Althea wrote up her recipes at a later date, as the times continue to jump about all over the place throughout the book.

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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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