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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Lemon Cheesecakes

This recipe is from page seven of Harriet’s cook book and so is likely to date from 1902 or 1903. There was no making them look any nicer than they do in this photograph. They were a disaster. Welded to the baking pan and yet not properly set. One day, one of Harriet’s recipes will turn out well but today was not that day.

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Ginger Bread

This recipe is from pages six to seven of Harriet’s book. This is the third gingerbread recipe I have posted so far (if you include Parkin, which I do). It seems that, if they were united by little else, both Lancastrians and Yorkshire folk did love their gingerbread. I’ll be honest from the start though: it wasn’t nice. It has become a running theme of this blog that Harriet’s recipes do not always please modern tastes. Previously, I’ve speculated that perhaps she was learning to cook from relatives that were used to ‘making do’, as many of them had experienced acute poverty in their lives. Harriet did not have an easy start in life, as this post will sadly expand upon.

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Corn Flour Cake

This recipe is from Harriet’s book, on page six. The photograph above, terrible as it is, fully does justice to the dry and inedible quality of this cake. At least, unlike Harriet’s Sponge Cake, this does have some fat in it but it only makes for a marginal improvement in taste and texture.

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Fig Pudding

This recipe is from Althea’s book. This week, I decided to deviate from my usual method of trying, more or less, to stick to the recipes in order. I thought I’d try and find something festive. Surprisingly, given that this book is by far the longest of the three, Christmas recipes were few and far between. Fig Pudding is on page 148 (which perhaps gives you some indication of just how long this book is!)

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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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Parkin

Strictly speaking, it should be the turn of Maimie’s book this week but, given that it’s the first week of November, it seemed only right to make Parkin. Traditionally a Yorkshire delicacy (although Lancashire and other Midlands and Northern counties make a version too), I turned to Harriet’s book and skipped a few pages to find her first Parkin recipe (oh yes, there’s more than one!)

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Pound Cake

This recipe is on page three of Harriet’s recipe book. It’s interesting that, so far, Harriet’s book has provided only sweet recipes, for cakes, buns and tea-cakes. Perhaps she was watching the cook that she worked alongside in the vicarage, as she provided afternoon tea for the vicar, his daughters and parishioners. Or, as I speculated in a previous post, her grandmother Ann could have been teaching her to cook – and we all know what a sweet tooth grandmothers tend to have (or perhaps that was just mine!)

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Transparent Pudding

This recipe is from Althea’s book. It is not dated but sandwiched between recipes from 1880 and 1889. Confusingly, Althea’s recipes jump about in time, as if she collected them and wrote them up at a later date. I confess that I’ve skipped a couple of recipes on page three; the first because no-one in my household will eat clarified dripping in a million years, and the second because, as is often the case with Althea’s recipes, it demands more thought, preparation and purchasing than appears at first glance! That one will follow in due course.

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Sponge Cake

Anyone who has been reading this blog so far will know that Harriet’s recipes are known for their brevity and this one doesn’t disappoint. Crammed on to the bottom of a page, it’s little more than a list of ingredients, although it is pleasingly splattered and singed, as if it’s been consulted many times.

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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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Queen Cakes

In my last post about Harriet, she was working as a servant to a vicar in rural Yorkshire. This recipe follows the pattern set by her previous ones: scribbled, abbreviated, difficult to read. The instructions she gives are brief and, despite her notebook being small, she manages to cram three recipes on to one page.

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Victoria Buns

This recipe from Harriet is another hastily scribbled one, consisting of a list of ingredients and little else. I’m guessing that working as a domestic servant was not leaving her with much leisure time to perfect her recipes.

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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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Tea Cakes

This recipe is from the first page of Harriet’s book. Inside the front cover, she has written her name, ‘Harriet Ibson’ and ‘1903, Huttons Ambo Vicarage.’ Harriet was 22. Two years previously she had been working in nearby Pickering as the maid for a widowed solicitor, so I presume that this was a similar position. She was employed by a Welsh vicar, Reverend John Griffiths, and his wife and three daughters.

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