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Friday Food: The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse

glasse002_lg In March,Special Collections, Archives and Rare Books will be participating in Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition.  We also maintain a collection of rare and historic cookbooks dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth century.  To highlight these rich holdings, we’ll be sharing a recipe each week through March 16, the symposium weekend.

This week’s feature is Hannah Glasse.  Born in 1708, Glasse eloped at age 16.  By the time she was 40, she found herself living in not-so-genteel poverty as a widow with ten children.  Glasse turned to writing cookbooks to support her family, publishing The Art of Cookery in 1747.  Although The Art of Cookery was very successful, Glasse still ended up in debtor’s prison.  To add insult to injury, the public didn’t think that such a successful cookbook could have been written by a woman.  The cookbook was thought to have been written by Dr. John Hill, using Hannah Glasse as a penname, until the 1930s.

Hannah Glasse’s Recipe for Pound Cakeglasse003_lg

Take a pound of butter, beat it in an earthen pan with your hand one way, till it is like a fine thick cream, then have ready twelve eggs, but half the whites; beat them well, and beat them up with the butter, a pound of flour beat in it, a pound of sugar, and a few carraways. Beat it all well together for an hour with your hand, or a great wooden spoon, butter a pan and put it in, and then bake it an hour in a quick oven. For change, you may put in a pound of currants, clean washed and picked.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust or Find a 1774 edition in Special Collections


Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is head of the Special Collections and Rare Books department.

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