Martha Washington's Boke of Cookery, and Booke of Sweetmeats:

being a Family Manuscript, curiously copied by an unknown Hand sometime in the seventeenth century, which was in her Keeping from 1749...

Transcribed by Karen Hess. Columbia University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-231-04930-7.

CURRENTLY IN PRINT! "Our manuscript is especially interesting...because the recipes span the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, or from mid-sixteenth century to about1625."--introd.

The contents are much older than the title would suggest, falling just at the end of period (1550-1625). Hess gives the original recipes and copious notes, but no modern redactions (!) She does often give notes about how to make the recipes more "cook-able"--I'm quite sure she has actually cooked most of them. Her notes are marvelous.

She gives a small essay on 16-17th C. food philosophy in the intro to the Sweetmeats section; Appendix1 is about the history of this manuscript and about English household recipe manuscripts in general; Appendix 2 is more about dating the parts of the manuscript. 20 p. annotated bibliography and 30 p. index.

Last updated 2/10/97.

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