Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Jane Langborne's cookery book

Jane Langborne's cookery book & handwritten recipes

Jane Galilee (1783-1856), the second wife of George Langborne (1773-1832), owned a copy of Mrs Rundell's celebrated book,  A New System of Domestic Cookery; formed upon Principles of Economy: and Adapted to the Use of Private Families

The small volume is packed with recipes: Soles in the Portuguese way – rolled beef that equals hare – Spadbury's Oxford sausages – green sauce for green geese – eel pie – gooseberry fool – stewed golden pippins rout drop-cakes ...

There are instructions for the cook:  how to stew a shoulder of venison – how to salt pork – how to brew very fine Welch ale ... 

There are chapters of advice on how to manage the dairy and the poultry yard and on cooking for the sick and for the poor.  A chapter headed Various Receipts includes instructions on how to make Lavender Water, on how to make ink, and how to preserve furs and woollen from moths.

No wonder it was a publishing sensation in Britain and America, as this article in the Guardian explains.  Mrs Rundell was the Mrs Beeton or Delia Smith of her age. 

Jane's copy was the 1810 edition, published in London by John Murray.  A couple of recipes are jotted on the last page of the index.  One is a Receipt for making Ink:
5 oz of Powdered Gall
2 oz of Copperass
1 oz of Gum Arabic
1 oz of Rock Alum
1 Quart of Watter
Infuse them a month
stirring them every Day
("Watter" for "water" must be a reflection of the local dialect – as can be found in Wordsworth, in fact).

Useful recipes on slips of paper have been preserved between the pages: Calves Foot Jelly, Raspberry Vinegar, Plum Cake ...

For anyone eager to try it, here is a useful recipe for Parkin:
2 lbs of oatmeal
2 lbs of treacle, warmed
half a pound of brown sugar
½ an ounce of ground ginger
¼ lb of candid lemon
a table spoonful of carbonate of soda
½ lb of butter melted & mixed with the treacle
bake into dishes or tins well buttered in a slow oven
and in these straitened times, the recipe that Mrs Holtby kindly wrote out for Mrs Langborne might be useful:
A Cheap Plum Pudding
Half a pound of Potatoes, ¼ lb of Carrots boiled till they can be mashed quite fine, ½ lb of Flour, ¾ of Currants, ¼ of Suet shred fine, ¼ lb of Moist Sugar to be mixed with the Potatoes and Carrots when you mash them, 1 oz of Candied Lemon, a little Cinnamon, and Nutmeg, to your taste.  Mix all together over night, and boil it 4 hours.
[signed] Mrs Holtby

As you might have guessed, I did not spoil the charm by altering the spelling of the originals ...

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