A Choice Collection of Experimental Receipts

This Jelly of Cream recipe calls for 4 oz. of heartshorn (bakers ammonia) and two spoonfuls of sack (sherry)

Food could account for as much as fifty percent of an 18th-century English household's budget, and this cookbook from around 1784 provides over 100 recipes (or "receipts" as they were known) for common English dishes. Some are quite familiar, such as beef stew or lemon pudding and clotted cream, while others might not be so tempting or familiar to our palettes today, like "To make a Calves Head Hash" or "To make Jelly of Cream" (pictured above).

In the chapter "The Art of Preserving" Amy Gregg also includes a few recipes for self-preservation (that is, cosmetics), such as this one for a face cream:

 "Mrs. Sarah Hughes way To Make Pomatum for the Face"

Virgins Wax one Ounce, Trover Oyl four Ounces,Spermacity two Drams, Oyl of Ben one Ounce & one Ounce of Oyl of Almonds, -- shave ye Wax very fine & put it in with the Oyls in your Pot & set if over ye fire in Water till the wax is Melted then pour it into a Bason of Water very Clean & beat it up with a Pint of Damask Rose Water. The Longer you keep beaten it, ye Better.

Spermacity is a wax present in the head cavities of the sperm whale.

Oil of Ben is from the Horseradish tree.

We’re not sure what Trover Oyl is— have you heard of it?

 The Leon Levy Foundation is generously underwriting a major project to upgrade catalog records for the Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts. The project is the most substantive effort to date to improve primary research information on a portion of this large and highly important collection.

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