If you are like me, you can tell which recipes are your favorites by the way the pages stick together in the cookbook. Treasured recipes from family and friends lie jumbled in a recipe box…some actually on recipe cards– others printed on index cards, slips of note paper, sticky notes and even the backs of other recipes.
Instead of hunting to find each recipe every time you want to use it, why not “take a page” from the women of old and create your own household book! Not only will you have all your favorite recipes in one place, it will, no doubt, become a treasured family keepsake in years to come.
Many of these types of little books with recipes ranging from puddings to shoe blacking, have found their way back into print and they are as delightful to read, as they are fascinating windows into history. Both Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats (edited by Karen Hess) and
A Jane Austen household book, collected by Peggy Hickman, offer hand written recipes (in Austen’s case, by Martha Lloyd, her dear friend) as well as editorial insight into the food of Jane Austen’s era.
Start with a small, blank notebook (like the floral journal from the giftshop!) and dedicate a page or two to each recipe. Don’t forget to include the names of those who gave you the recipes! Martha Lloyd often does this and it gives an added layer of texture to Jane Austen’s letters when the same friends and neighbors she gossips so freely about with Cassandra show up in these pages of biscuits, puddings and marmalades.
Have a look at the auhor of this article’s best selling recipe book – Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends – available to buy online!