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National Pie Week: Pie-Off in Special Collections

Until Maia moved to Scotland, she had never known that macaroni cheese and pastry went together. Now, Maia knows that you can put anything in a pie if you live here. However, this is not a new phenomenon, the idea of a handy pastry crust wrapping and protecting your lunch before the invention of Tupperware…

5 March 2019Historical baking How-To's Manuscript Collection Rare Book Collection

The Great Plum Pudding ‘Bake’-Off

Four more sleeps till Christmas. The mental background burble of the culinary checklist is getting louder. Make pastry. Bake biscuits for gingerbread house. Make mince pies. Prove stollen. Decorate Christmas cake. Raised pie, bread sauce, chestnutstuffingbrandybutterturkey … In the legendary Book of Household Management, first published in book form in 1861, Isabella Beeton identified ‘the…

21 December 2017How-To's Manuscript Collection Rare Book Collection

Historical Cooking, Week 9: Almond Porridge

In our final post in this Historical Cooking series, Ines tries Almond Porridge. After being lured by my colleagues and my curiosity into the Renaissance Cooking manuscript, my attention was caught by the recipe for Mandel brey (Almond porridge). The complete manuscript is available through the Digital Collections Portal. I am an undeniable enthusiast for…

8 December 201617th Century cooking How-To's Manuscript Collection

Historical Cooking, Week 7: Filled Pears

This week Catherine attempts to make Filled Pears using a recipe from book – the complete manuscript is available for viewing on our Digital Collections Portal After last week’s predominance of mollusc-based protein we thought we’d try to fit in one of our ‘five fruit and vegetables a day’ and try a variation on a pear…

24 November 201617th Century cooking How-To's Manuscript Collection

Historical Cooking, Week 6: Fried Snails

This week Sean is brave enough to attempt a fried snail dish from our recipe book – the complete manuscript is available for viewing on our Digital Collections Portal This week we tried fried snails – seeing as the chef hadn’t eaten escargots in any form, renaissance style or contemporary, this seemed like a good opportunity…

17 November 201617th Century cooking general information How-To's Manuscript Collection

Historical Cooking, Week 5: Soup

This week we have a guest post from Amanda Zoch in the USA who attempts to make a soup from our recipe book – the complete manuscript is available for viewing on our Digital Collections Portal  My previous attempts at renaissance cookery have been limited to desserts, and though I love baking, when approached with the…

10 November 201617th Century cooking general information How-To's Manuscript Collection

Historical How-To’s, Special Holiday Edition: The Great Gingerbread Bake-Off

This week, the Historical How-To’s return for a brief encore.  Since the Mince Pie Bake-Off last Christmas was such a success, the staff here at Special Collections decided to celebrate the 2014 holidays with another bake-off, this time focusing on historical recipes for gingerbread. Born of a discussion over coffee about the merits of gingerbread…

24 December 2014Archives How-To's Rare Book Collection

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s: Reflections and Visual Index

It all started with a scruffy manuscript recipe book from the 1830s and a few reckless comments about what fun it would be to have a go at trying some of the recipes. I doubt Maia realised that her casual remarks would be the spark that kindled the great flame that was 52 Weeks of…

6 November 2014How-To's

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 52: A Special Scrapbook and Commonplace Book

We’ve sadly come to the end of our year long exploration of our collections. We’ve had tremendous fun getting to know obscure corners of our photographs, manuscripts, rare books and muniments better. Next week we’ll round up the year’s work, examine what we’ve learnt and what the future may hold. But there’s one last project…

30 October 2014Archives How-To's Manuscript Collection

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 51: How to discover a planet

Humans have been looking to the night sky for millennia in awe and wonder of the heavens above us, or in contemplation of the complex forces that guide the seemingly clockwork nature of our universe. The basic make-up of our solar system (Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) has been understood since the…

23 October 2014How-To's Rare Book Collection