Full title: The Experienced English Housekeeper for the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers and Cooks, &c. Written purely from practice; being an entire New Collection of the most Genteel, yet least Expensive Receipts in every branch of Cookery[...] Together with the Art of Marketing [...] with General Directions for the Courses or Removes. The Whole Made Easy to the Meanest Capacity. [...] To which is added The Physical Directory. Being near two hundred safe and certain receipts for the cure of most disorders incident to the human body. With a variety of Made Dishes.
8vo in 4s. 96 pp. Woodcut vignette at end. Manchester: A. Swindells for T. Thomas, J. Sadler & D. Jones, [c.1762].
The Experienced English Housekeeper aims to provide comprehensive instruction to the housewife, with reliable recipes “such as will not only save a deal of experience, but much time also”, rendering the reader “a complete english (sic) cook and prudent housewife”(Dedicatory epistle). The work includes marketing instructions for choosing the best fresh meat and fish, as well as a list of poultry, meat, fish, fruits, and roots. Brooks claims that her recipes have met with success whilst the work was being compiled: “I have had the opinion of several profest cooks and the receipts have met with the approbation of them all.” Particularly interesting are the instructions on candying - recipes for cherries, barberries, grapes, lemon and orange-peels and apricots are offered (p.58-59). Another interesting inclusion is the recipe for a “young rook pye” (p.39). Notoriously an acquired taste, with the potential to become dry, Brooks recommends “ agreat deal ofbutter” to line the rook pie crust, followed by forcemeat balls. If the pie appears dry whencooked, she advises the addition of parboile drook liquor through the crust. The work also contains a selection of medical advice for treating common concerns of the day, with cures that are “safe and cheap”. These receipts are attributed to a “Dr Mead”, i.e. the eminent physician Richard Mead, M.D. (1673-1754). Wear to lower corners of pages through about half of volume, still about very good.
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