Friday, April 10, 2015

Subtleties&Stuffe Rebecca Price

How to Boyle suger to a candy High

Rebecca Price’s Receipt Book is an example of a family manuscript of cookery recipes. Rebecca was born in 1660, married Nehemiah Brandreth in 1683, and died in 1740. She was the mother of two sons and two daughters. Rebecca began her recipe book prior to her marriage in 1681. The surviving handwritten collection is estimated to contain as many as a thousand recipes. Rebecca’s recipe below for sugar boiling came from a delightful and informative volume of selected recipes published in 1974 by Madeleine Masson under the title The Compleat Cook Or the Secrets of a Seventeenth-Century Housewife.

How to Boyle suger to a candy High: Newton’s Receipt

Take what quantity of suger you please beat it very fine and dryly wett it with a little fayre water, set it on the fire and boyle it apasse [apace] keepeing it stirring all the time, and it comes to almost a candy high it will make a great noise in the boyleing and blader very much more then it did at first;  and when it begins to be at full candy high, it will grow very thike and make a broyleing noise like frying which when it doth so, it will immediately candy and turn all to sugar againe. [p 278]

The instruction of taking sugar and beating it fine appears in a number of earlier texts. For example,then take some double refined suger, and beat it very fine” appears in a recipe for [21] To Candy Rose leaues as naturally as if they grew vpon the Tree in the 1608 A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen.***

Price, Rebecca. The Compleat Cook Or the Secrets of a Seventeenth-Century Housewife. [1681] Compiled and introduced by Madeleine Masson. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974.

 ***See my earlier posts on this volume and also See

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