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From the Museum

May 15, 2019 Uncategorized No Comments

The Martinborough Cook Book (undated) was published as a fundraiser for the Martinborough and District Women’s Rest Room, a now vanished but once important amenity in the town.   Each of the 100 recipes recognises the person who provided it, creating a wonderful record of the women of the district at that time.

The book includes the usual range of baking but with self-sufficiency often a necessity it also contains some very interesting household recipes.

There’s a cough mixture that’s guaranteed to make you happier if not healthier with its “threepennyworth each of laudanum and paregoric” (both opium derivatives).    

The hair tonic is innocuous enough until you reach the line that asks for “two ounces of spermacetti”.   That’s a substance obtained from the head of sperm whales (best not to ask how it was harvested).   The embrocation recipe, intended to ease aches and pains, seems guaranteed to increase them. It requires the cook to “beat the mixture for one hour”!

You can see this and other historic cookbooks at the museum Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 1.30-3.30pm

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