Reading a Recipe
Step 1 of 3: Look at the recipe.
In colonial times, a recipe book was kept by the mistress of the household. It was her guide to cookery as well as her treasury of family recipes. Most women did not own a printed cookbook such as the ones we see today. Cookbooks were expensive and of limited availability. When a young woman left her home to be married, she would copy her mother's recipes to take with her.
This recipe is from a collection started by Isabella Morris Ashfield (1705-1741). The collection was passed on to her daughter-in-law Elizabeth (1729-1762). These recipes are usually for large social family or ceremonial gatherings such as weddings. (See the complete lesson plan, from our American Stories curriculum.)
The New Jersey Historical Society