[Sca-cooks] Martha Washington's Booke was Pancakes and Fruitcakes was Happy Shrove/Fat Tuesday

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Tue Feb 24 09:49:55 PST 2009

I don't suppose we can say it too often but Martha Washington's Booke of 
was owned by Martha but wasn't written by her.

What we have here are two culinary manuscripts that are Tudor-Jacobean  
(recipes dated circa 1580-1625) that were passed
down in the family of Martha Washington's first husband. Martha rec'd 
the manuscripts when
she married Daniel Custis in 1749. She kept the two manuscripts until 
she gave them to Nelly
Custis, her granddaughter in 1799.
The book is titled the way it is because mentioning Martha Washington
draws attention to the volume and she was the most famous of the owners.

Karen Hess transcribed the manuscripts and added helpful notes and 
commentary. One thing Hess did was
mention contemporary recipes that are similar to the ones in the 
So she refers to Markham, Plat, Dawson, etc.
The manuscripts are
'A Booke of Cookery' which has 206 recipes while 'A Booke of Sweetmeats' 
has 326 recipes.
All in all a great book to own for not only the recipes but for the 
bibliography and all the notes.
The book was first published in 1981 and remains in print.


Cat . wrote:
> Hi, that actually looks just about PERFECT with all the currants, but isnt it 'post period?'  at least I thought Martha was 1700s...
> I realize I did not specify that I was looking for pre 1600, but that is the aim.
> Purr
> Gwen getting hungry now Cat
> ---Johnnae wrote---snipped
> MWBoC has this one-- pounds of currants and eggs and ale barm.
> *Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery*. pp.315
> This would be Tudor-Jacobean. My version of the recipe is in the 
> Florilegium.
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