Treasure Chest Thursday: Grannies' 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book'

I have in my possession two volumes of Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book which have been handed down to me. Both books are old and well used, one originally having been owned by one of my maternal great-grandmothers, Florence Weaver, nee Smale, and the other by my paternal grandmother, Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando, and perhaps her mother before her.

The 1894 Edition on the left was owned by my grandmother, Ivy Alice Dando.
The 1909 Edition on the right belonged to my great-grandmother, Florence Smale.

The oldest of the books is an edition published in 1894 (pictured on the left) and its full title is 'Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book and Household Guide'. The hardback cover states 'One Shilling Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book New & Enlarged Edition'. Inside the front cover are a number of loose recipes which my grandmother presumably collected over the years, although they are not all written in her handwriting. The contents of the book include the following sections; The Cook's Time Table, Invalid Cookery, Hints to Prevent Waste, American Cookery, Table Decorations and Marketing.
The second book is larger than the first and more than twice as thick. Published in 1909, the title is 'Mrs Beeton's Every-Day Cookery New Edition'. Inside the front cover is written 'Florence Smale August 25th 1915'. Florence married Henry J Weaver in the December of that year so could it be that this was an engagement present or at least an aid to prepare for married life?

Both books are sprinkled with illustrations and some of those in the newer edition are in colour. I soon noticed a corner folded over on page 335 of the 1909 publication. On this page is a recipe for Devonshire Junket as well as others, including Devonshire Cream. My gran, Florence's daughter, often made junket although, to my knowledge, she never added the desertspoonful of brandy suggested in this recipe. Rather touchingly, pinned onto the corner of page 63, is a small newspaper cutting of a notice of Florence and Henry's marriage. Did Florence pin it there herself all those years ago? I like to think so!

Some of the books' content is quite amusing but it also sheds light on how things were back then. In future I shall be posting some recipes and excerpts from the books.

[Why Treasure Chest Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

Category: Mrs Beeton's Cookery Books

« Prev item - Next Item »


Oh what treasures! I'm looking forward to seeing the recipes you post.
I have just received a copy of the 2nd book and although it's in fabulous condition I couldn't find a publication date. Thank you for posting this blog, I'm chuffed to find out that it is, as I thought, Edwardian.

Leave comment

(Comments will be approved before being published.)