‘Love food, hate waste’ the 18th century way

The Georgians delighted in gastronomic dishes, but they were also talented in consuming food efficiently, with very little waste.

Our Cookbook of Unknown Ladies contains many good examples of the  Georgians’ “waste not want not” ethic in the kitchen. Here, a recipe for roast hare is paired with another for preparing the pelt.

18th century recipe for roast hare from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

18th century recipe for roast hare from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

To Roast An Hare

Lard ye hinder quarters but not ye fore. Put a pudding in ye belly made of ye liver minc’d, an anchovy shred, some crumbs of bread, & nutmeg, a raw egg, some good cream. Mix all these & stuf it & stick it up, & beast yr hare wth cream.

The second recipe is attributed to Mrs Hayne, who we last met when we looked at tansies. She washes the hare’s skin, reserved when preparing the roast, and treats it by steeping it in a strong pickle. After three days of pickling and washing, the tanned hide was hung up to dry:

Mrs Hayne's way to dress a hare's skin, an 18th century recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Method for dressing a hare’s skin, an 18th century recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Mrs Haynes Way to Dress an Hairs Skin

Take a fresh skin & boyle bran & water & wash ye skin in it. When it is milk warm, let it lye therein 4 or 5 hours. Yn wash ye bran of it & make a strong pickle of salt, allom, & water. Boyle ye pickle & when milk warm, wash ye skin well in it. Let it lye in ye pickle 24 hours, yn squeese it dry & warm ye pickle milk warm & wash it again. Doo this for 3 days, still taking out ye skin while ye pickle is warming, yn boyle bran & water & wash ye skin in it milk warm & hang it up to dry.

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