Scottish Genealogy

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sunday Supper - a trip through the archives

A chance encounter with a mention of a recipe in the catalogue of the National Records of Scotland [formerly National Archives of Scotland] got me wondering how many recipes from former days might be recorded in the archives.  

A quick look through the online catalogue for the Scottish archives at gave some intriguing examples:

Some of the 18th century recipes sound fairly reasonable (don't really fancy the boar's head or snail water myself!):

GD150/3413: Recipe to cure a boar's head   
RH15/10/18a: Recipe for making snail water 
GD16/58/5: Recipe for orange wine
RH9/17/191: Recipe for baking herrings. Taken from my Lady Glenorchy's book
GD68/2/156: Recipe for making ginger wine

By the 19th and 20th centuries, we have moved on to some quite tasty sounding offerings:

GD172/2880: Recipe for buttermilk cheese
GD113/5/106c: a recipe for raspberry vinegar
GD157/1744: Recipe for sponge cake

But I think that my two favourites have to be a couple of undated offerings that tell us more about the politics of those who wrote them than they do about their tastebuds...
GD24/5/162/27: A recipe for making a true whig
the ingredients guarentteed to make anyone 'as sound a whig as ever  beheaded a King, murdered a bishop or abjured a Lawfull Prince'

GD157/1384: An abusive recipe for making a presbyterian in two days
Description: `Take the roots of hipocrisie and ambitione ... ane handfull of the spirit of pride, two drams of the seed of disentione and discord ...'

Food for thought?


  1. Love it! What on earth was the snail water for I wonder?!?!

  2. Abbi - you probably don't want to know! It's not a food/drink - it's a remedy for a rather unpleasant condition. Another blogger has mentioned snail water and included a full (and rather nasty sounding) recipe in their blog if you want to have a look...