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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Bachelor’s Pudding

After skipping forward a few pages to reach her Parkin recipe, this post takes us back to page three of Harriet’s recipe book, so it can likely be dated to around 1903. Here we find the first pudding recipe in the book. As ever, Harriet’s instructions are nothing if not concise!

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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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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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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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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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