Mrs Beeton's cookbook
A selection of recipes from Mrs Beeton's cookbook All About Cookery appear below.
This 'new edition' of the cookbook was published in both London and Melbourne in 1905. The cookbook was mainly for the middle classes, but also contains recipes that were widely used throughout Australia at the time of the Harvester Case in 1907.
The Harvester minimum wage of 7 shillings a day for an unskilled labourer was based on an assessment of the cost of living for a family of five. These recipes can be used to test the buying power of the 7 shillings a day wage.
What food could an unskilled labourer's family of five buy and cook each day? Just under 2 shillings a day (20 1/2 pence) could be spent on food with the rest spent on rent, clothing and miscellaneous. The prices of food in 1907 (e.g. cabbages and mutton) are set out on p.68 of Waltzing Matilda and the Sunshine Harvester Factory. The full student's exercise is set out in Unit 2 of the Teachers' Kit.
ALL ABOUT COOKERY New Edition 1905
By Mrs Isabella Beeton
A Collection of Practical Recipes,
ARRANGED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Preface to the New Edition
MRS BEETON'S 'All About Cookery' has long held its own as a complete and useful book, containing more recipes for every kind of cookery than any other volume of its size.
Compiled with a view of making it suitable for households where such an one of the price and size of Mrs. Beeton's well-known and valued "Household Management" was not required, it has necessarily fallen upon the same useful lines. Thus, as in the larger work, not only is the Season given when all fresh provisions can be obtained, but the cost of every dish for which a recipe is given is carefully reckoned; so that the young housekeeper may see at a glance if what she requires be obtainable, and also if it be within her means. This shows one reason for a New Edition, as we all know that the prices of many articles of food have changed during the past few years, and the Dictionary would be less valuable if present prices were not quoted.
Another reason may be found in the fact that we have new provisions (especially tinned ones) constantly introduced, and it is, therefore, necessary that every Cookery Book should have recipes for the best means of using those that have become valuable articles of food.
Although, for these reasons alone, a new edition is needed, the present editors, after most careful examination, have come to the conclusion that nothing need be taken from the old edition, though much could be, and has been, added.
Special pains have been taken with the Menus given for every month in the year, and we think our readers cannot fail to be pleased, not only with them, but with the prettily-designed cards on which many are printed—designs in every case suitable for the month for which the dinner is intended. From these many ideas may be taken by those with a talent for drawing.
Not only are there new menus for dinner (these both in French and English), there are some for every other meal, both for the family as well as those to which guests would be bidden.
In connection with dinner giving, as well as other forms of entertainment, the subject of table decoration has found a place in the new edition. As the menus, the decoration of the table is treated for every month in the year, and the suggestions given are purposely those that might be taken by ladies who like to arrange their own tables; while the flowers and foliage named for them are such as would, in most cases, be obtainable without much expense or trouble.
Briefly, the improvements and additions made in the new edition may be described under the following heads:-
- The thorough revision of all the recipes contained in the last edition.
- The new recipes for every branch of Cookery.
- The newest modes of serving dinners and other meals shown in the New Menus.
- Floral and other pretty designs for Menu Cards.
- Table decorations for all seasons, being practical suggestions for the beauty of the home.
- The new and beautifully-executed coloured plates, new full-page and other illustrations.
Having thus greatly enlarged and thoroughly brought up to date the present work, the Editors offer the public a Cookery Book that, for its size and price, cannot be rivalled.
Cookbook donated courtesy of RS Hamilton
Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management
In addition to the recipes below, the website mrsbeeton.com is an extensive on-line resource replicating the book Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, published in 1861:
Comprising Information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and under house-maids, Lady's-maid, Maid-of-all-work, Laundry-maid, Nurse and nurse-maid, Monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc. etc. also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort.
Recipes from All About Cookery