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Category: Historic Recipes


All That Glisters …

This Hallowmas, as a time for remembering all the faithful departed, known and unknown, I salute John Colyns, Mercer and Bookseller of London, and the anonymous Mediӕval Artisan whose recipes for glues, dyes, and pigments he faithfully transcribed in Middle English during the early 16th century. While exploring his Commonplace Book in the Manuscripts Reading… Read more »

Wassail, wassail, all over the town …

I ordered up a festive document to read in the Map and Large Document Reading Room at The National Archives, to celebrate today as the first day of Winter and toast Yuletide in style: a Tudor-Stuart era Recipe for “Eppocras” (a mulled wine, more usually spelled as Ypocras or Hippocras), sized to fill the largest… Read more »

Inky Fingers, part 2

Inky Fingers, part 2 – read part 1 here Middle English Dictionaries confirm that context should provide the key to filling in the measure, which in this case must logically be a weight. Shifting to a microfilm reader in the Map and Large Document Reading Room at The National Archives, I transcribed a second recipe,… Read more »

Inky Fingers, part 1

29 May being Oak Apple Day – the anniversary of the Restoration of King Charles II, honouring the ‘Royal Oak’ at Boscobel House which shielded him from Cromwell’s men after the Battle of Worcester – it feels appropriate to spare a thought for the humble oak apple, which plays such a large part in my… Read more »