These pages are from a particularly early “receipt,” or recipe, book that has been dated to about 1610. Printed and manuscript recipe books are an important source of clues to how household affairs were conducted in Tudor and Stuart times. This one was compiled by Mistress Sarah Longe, a middle-class Elizabethan housewife.
Longe’s book is typical in that it freely mingles culinary and medicinal recipes, reflecting a time when health was still primarily a domestic concern. These pages, for example, include a recipe for haggis, preventives against the plague and the risk of miscarriage, and sugared syrup of violets, which was sometimes used medicinally.
Sarah Longe and other, unidentified writers—probably, subsequent members of the family, who may have handed the book down—also created three indexes, for preserves and conserves, cookery, and medicine.