Manuscript Cookbooks as Autobiography: A Glimpse at the Life of Emma Blomfield Schreiber

Emma Blomfield Schreiber was christened at the Anglican Church in Bradwell-near-the-sea on September 19, 1834. … Emma collected recipes for desserts, made dishes, beverages, remedies, cleaning solutions, and preserves. The careful record of the source for many recipes preserves her network of female friends and relatives. A recipe for plum pudding dated December 1887 suggests Emma (or someone else) used, added to, and revised her recipe book for at least thirty years.

Rachel A. Snell, “Manuscript Cookbooks as Autobiography: A Glimpse at the Life of Emma Blomfield Schreiber,” Khronikos: the University of Maine graduate history student blog (blog), December 4, 2013.


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Learning to cook in early modern England

Where do recipes fit into historical understanding of pedagogical processes around food? Various scholars (including myself) have speculated about the compilation of manuscript recipe collections as part of a domestically-located education for young girls and teens prior to marriage. Some seventeenth-century English printed recipe collections also speak explicitly of who they are intending to educate in the ‘art and mystery’ of cookery (and, in William Rabisha’s case, who not: those without any culinary aptitude, for one).
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Analysis of Pie Recipes in 13th and 14th Century English Culinary Manuscripts

I’m working on a big fun research project right now and I’ve made a little progress that I thought I’d share. This table shows pie recipes and pie-like recipes in the MSs collected in Curye on Inglysch.
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Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (15th Century)

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I recently posted the last month of instructions from La Maison Rustique on “The works that the laborer should do for each month of the year.”  That means I should probably find something else to do that’s useful.

One of the projects I’ve been working on for some time is a transcription of the recipes from the Wagstaff miscellany dated about 1460 (Beinecke MS 163).  This is the manuscript presented in An Ordinance of Pottage by Constance Hieatt.
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