The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Revolutionary 1805 Classic

The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Revolutionary 1805 Classic

by Hannah Glasse

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486795768
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 08/19/2015
Edition description: First Edition, First
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 373,788
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Hannah Glasse (1708–70) was the author of several cookbooks, The Art of Cookery being the most successful. Forced to sell the copyright in 1754, she wound up in debtors' prison. Glasse's legacy endures, and English celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright hailed her as "the mother of the modern dinner party."

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The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy

The Revolutionary 1805 Classic

By Hannah Glasse

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Hannah Glasse
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-80576-4


The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy

I Believe I have attempted a branch of Cookery which nobody has yet thought worth their while to write upon: but as I have both seen, and found by experience, that the generality of Servants are greatly wanting in that point, I therefore have taken upon me to instruct them in the best manner I am capable; and, I dare say, that every Servant who can but read, will be capable of making a tolerable good Cook; and those who have the least notion of Cookery, cannot miss of being very good ones.

I do not pretend to teach professed Cooks, my design being to instruct the ignorant and unlearned, (which will likewise be of use in all private families.) and that in so full and plain a manner, that the most ignorant Person, who can but read, will know how to do Cookery well. As Marketing must be the first branch of Cookery, I shall begin with that Table first.


And the Seasons of the Year for Butchers' Meat, Poultry, Fish &c.


To choose Lamb.

IN a fore-quarter of lamb mind the neck-vein: if it be an azure blue, it is new and good; but if greenish or yellowish, it is near tainting, if not tainted, already. In the hinder-quarter, smell under the kidney, and try the knuckle: if you meet with a faint scent, and the knuckle be limber, it is stale killed. For a lamb's head, mind the eyes; if they be sunk or wrinkled, it is stale; if plump and lively, it is new and sweet. Lamb comes in in April, and holds good till the end of August.


If the bloody vein in the shoulder looks blue, or of a bright red, it is new killed; but if blackish, greenish, or yellowish, it is flabby and stale: if wrapped in wet cloths, smell whether it be musty or not. The loin first taints under the kidney; and the flesh, if stale killed, will be soft and slimy.

The breast and neck taints first at the end, and you will perceive some dusky, yellowish, or greenish appearance; the sweetbread on the breast will be clammy, otherwise it is fresh and good. The leg is known to be new by the stiffness of the joint; if limber, and the flesh seems clammy; and has green or yellowish specks, it is stale. The head is known as the lamb's. The flesh of a bull-calf is more red and firm than that of a cow-calf, and the fat more hard and curdled.


If the mutton be young, the flesh will pinch tender; if old, it will wrinkle, and remain so; if young, the fat will easily part from the lean; if old, it will stick by strings and skins; if ram-mutton, the fat feels spongy, the flesh close-grained and tough, not rising again when dented with your finger; if ewe mutton, the flesh is paler than wether-mutton, a closer grain, and easily parting. If there be a rot, the flesh will be palish, and the fat a faint whitish, inclining to yellow, and the flesh will be loose at the bone. If you squeeze it hard, some drops of water will stand up like sweat. As to the newness and staleness, the same is to be observed as by lamb.


If it be right ox-beef, it will have an open grain; if young, a tender and oily smoothness: if rough and spongy, it is old, or inclining to be so, except the neck, brisket and such parts as are very fibrous, which in young meat will be more rough than in other parts. A carnation, pleasant colour betokens good spending meat; the suet a curious white; yellowish is not so good.

Cow-beef is less bound and closer grained than the ox, the fat whiter, but the lean somewhat paler ; if young, the dent you make with your finger will rise again in a little time.

Bull-beef is of a close grain, deep dusky red, tough in pinching, the fat skinny, hard, and has a rammish rank smell; and for newness and staleness, this flesh bought fresh has but few signs, the more material is its clamminess, and the rest your smell will inform you. If it be bruised, these places will look more dusky or blackish than the rest.


If it be young, the lean will break in pinching between your fingers; and if you nip the skin with your nails, it will make a dent; also if the fat be soft and pulpy, in a manner like lard; if the lean be tough, and the fat flabby and spongy, feeling rough, it is old, especially if the rind be stubborn, and you cannot nip it with your nails.

If of a boar, though young, or of a hog gelded at full growth, the flesh will be hard, tough, reddish, and rammish of smell; the fat, skinny and hard; the skin very thick and tough, and, pinched up, will immediately fall again.

As for old and new killed, try the legs, hands, and springs, by putting your finger under the bone that comes out: for if it be tainted, you will there find it by smelling your finger; besides the skin will be sweaty and clammy when stale, but cool and smooth when new.

If you find little kernels in the fat of the pork, like hail-shot, if many, it is measly, and dangerous to be eaten. Pork comes in in the middle of August, and holds good till Lady-day.

How to choose Brawn, Venison, Westphalia Hams, &c.

Brawn is known to be old or young by the extraordinary or moderate thickness of the rind; the thick is old, the moderate is young. If the rind and fat be very tender, it is not boar-brawn, but barrow or sow.


Try the haunches or shoulders under the bones that come out, with your finger or knife, and as the scent is sweet or rank, it is new or stale; and the like of the sides in the most fleshy parts: if tainted, they will look greenish in some places, or more than ordinary black. Look on the hoofs, and if the clefts are very wide and rough, it is old; if close and smooth, it is young.

The buck venison begins in May, and is in high season till All-hallows-day: the doe is in season from Michaelmas to the end of December, or sometimes to the end of January.

Westphalia Hams, and English Bacon.

Put a knife under the bone that sticks out of the ham, and if it comes out in a manner clean, and has a carious flavour, it is sweet and good; if much smeared and dulled, it is tainted or rusty.

English gammons are tried the same way; and for the other parts, try the fat: if it be white, oily in feeling, does not break or crumble, good; but if the contrary, and the lean has some little streaks of yellow, it is rusty, or will soon be so.

To choose Butter, Cheese, and Eggs.

When you buy butter, trust not to that which will be given you to take, but try in the middle, and if your smell and taste be good, you cannot be deceived.

Cheese is to be chosen by its moist and smooth coat: if old cheese be rough-coated, rugged, or dry at top, beware of little worms or mites: if it be over full of holes, moist, or spongy, it is subject to maggots: if any soft or perished place appear on the outside, try how deep it goes, for the greater part may be hid within.

Eggs hold the great end to your tongue; if it feels warm, be sure it is new; if cold, it is bad, and so in proportion to the heat and cold, is the goodness of the egg. Another way to know a good egg, is to put the egg into a pan of cold water; the fresher the egg the sooner it will fall to the bottom; if rotten, it will swim at the top. This is also a sure way not to be deceived. As to the keeping of them, pitch them all with the small end downwards in fine wood ashes, turning them once a week end-ways, and they will keep some months.


January. — Hen-turkeys, capons, pullets with eggs, fowls, chickens, hares, all sorts of wild-fowl, tame-rabbits, and tame-pigeons.

February. — Turkeys, and pullets with eggs, capons, fowls, small chickens, hares, all sorts of wild-fowl, (which in this month begin to decline,) tame and wild-pigeons, tame-rabbits, green-geese, young ducklings, and turkey-poults.

March. — This month the same as the preceding months; and in this month wild-fowl goes quite out.

April. — Pullets, spring fowls, chickens, pigeons, young wild-rabbits, leverets, young geese, ducklings, and turkey-poults.

May and June. — The same.

July. — The same; with young partridges, pheasants, and wild-ducks, called slappers or moulters.

August. — The same.

September, October, November, and December. — In these months all sorts of fowl, both wild and tame, are in season; and in the three last is the full season for all manner of wild-fowl.

How to choose poultry,

To know whether a Capon is a true one, young or old, new or stale.

If he be young, his spurs are short, and his legs smooth: if a true capon, a fat vein on the side of his breast, the comb pale, and a thick belly and rump: if new, he will have a hard close vent; if stale, a loose open vent.

A Cock or Hen Turkey, Turkey-poults.

If the cock be young, his legs will be black and smooth and his spurs short: if stale, his eyes will be sunk in his head, and the feet dry; if new, the eyes lively, and feet limber. Observe the like by the hen; and moreover, if she be with egg she will have a soft open vent; if not, a hard close vent. Turkey-poults are known the same way, and their age cannot deceive you.

A Cock, or Hen, &c.

If young, his spurs are short and dubbed, but take particular notice they are not pared or scraped: if old, he will have an open vent; but if new, a close hard vent. And so of a hen for newness or staleness: if old, her legs and comb are rough; if young, smooth.

A Tame Goose, Wild Goose, and Bran Goose.

If the bill be yellowish, and she has but few hairs, she is young; but if full of hairs, and the bill and foot red, she is old: if new, limber-footed; if stale, dry-footed. And so of a wild goose bran goose.

Wild and Tame Ducks.

The ducks, when fat, is hard and thick on the belly; but if not, thin and lean: if new, limber-footed; if stale, dry-footed. A true wild duck has a reddish foot, smaller than the tame one.

Pheasant, Cock and Hen.

The cock, when young, has dubbed spurs; when old, sharp small spurs: if new, a fat vent; and if stale, an open flabby one. The hen if young, has smooth legs, and her flesh of a curious grain: if with egg, she will have a soft open vent; and if not, a close one. For newness or staleness, as the cock.

Partridge, Cock and Hen.

The bill white, and the legs bluish, shew age; for if young, the bill is black, and legs yellowish if new, a fast vent; if stale, a green and open one. If their crops be full, and they have fed on green wheat, they may taint there; and for this smell in their mouth.

Woodcock and Snipe.

The woodcock, if fat, is thick and hard; if new, limber-footed; when stale, dry-footed; or if their noses are snotty, and their throats muddy and moorish, they are not good. A snipe, if fat, has a fat vein in the side under the wing, and in the vent feels thick. For the rest, like the woodcock.

Doves and Pigeons.

To know the turtle-dove, look for a blueish ring round his neck, and the rest mostly white. The stock-dove is bigger; and the ring-dove is less than the stock-dove. The dove-house pigeons, when old, are red-legged; if new and fat, they will feel full and fat in the vent, and are limber-footed; but if stale, a flabby and green vent.

And so green or grey plover, fieldfare, black-bird thrush, larks, & c.

Of Hare, Leveret, or Rabbit.

Hare will be whitish and stiff, if new and clean killed: if stale, the flesh blackish in most parts, and the body limber: if the cleft in her lips spread very much, and her claws wide and ragged, she is old; and the contrary, young: if the hare be young, the ears will tear like a piece of brown paper; if old, dry and tough. To know a true levere, feel on the foreleg near the foot, and if there be a small bone or knob, it is right; if not, it is a hare. A rabbit, if stale, will be limber and slimy; if new, white and stiff: if old, her claws are very long and rough, the wool mottled with grey hairs; if young, the claws and wool smooth.


Candlemas Quarter.

Lobsters, crabs, crawfish, guard-fish, mackerel, bream, barbel, roach, shad or alloc, lamprey or lamper-eels, dace, bleak, prawns, and horse mackerel.

The eels that are taken in running water are better than pond eels: of these the silver ones are most esteemed.

Midsummer Quarter.

Turbots and trouts, soals, grigs, and shufflings and glout, tenes, salmon, dolphin flying-fish, sheep-head, tollis both land and sea, sturgeon, scale, chub, lobsters, and crabs.

Sturgeon is a fish commonly found in the northern seas; but now and then we find them in our great rivers, the Thames, the Severn, and the Tyne. This fish is of a very large size and will sometimes measure eighteen feet in length. They are much esteemed when fresh, cut in pieces, roasted, baked, or pickled for cold treats. The cavier is esteemed a dainty, which is the spawn of this fish. The latter end of this quarter come smelts.

Michaelmas Quarter.

Cod and haddock, coal-fish, white and pouting hake, lyng, tuske and mullet (red and grey,) weaver, gurnet, rocket, herrings, sprats, soals, and flounders, plaise, dabs and smeare dabs, eels, chars, scate, thornback and homlyn, kinson, oysters and scallops, salmon, sea perch and carp, pike, tench, and sea tench.

Scate-maids are black, and thornback-maids white. Gray bass comes with the mullet.

In this quarter are fine smelts, and hold till after Christmas.

There are two sorts of mullets, the sea mullet and river mullet; both equally good.

Christmas Quarter.

Dorey, brile, gudgeons, gollin, smelts crouch, perch, anchovy and loach, scollop and wilks, periwinkles, cockles, mussels, geare, bearbet, and hollebet.

How to choose Fish. To choose Salmon, Pike, Trout, Carp, Tench, Grailing, Barbel, Chub, Ruff, Eel. Whiting, Smelt, Shad, &c.

All these are known to be new or stale by the colour of their gills, their easiness or hardness to open, the hanging or keeping up their fins, the standing out or sinking of eyes, &c. and by smelling their gills.


He is chosen by his thickness and plumpness: and if his belly be of a cream color, he must spend well; but if thin, and his belly of a bluish white, he will eat very loose.

Cod and Codling.

Choose him by his thickness towards his head, and the whiteness of his flesh when it is cut; and so of a codling.


For dried lyng, choose that which is thickest in the poll, and the flesh of the brightest yellow.

Scate and Thornback.

These are chosen by their thickness; and the she-scate is the sweetest, especially if large.


These are chosen by their thicknes and stiffness. When their bellies are of a cream colour, they spend the firmer.


If it cuts without crumbling, and the veins and gristles give a true blue where they appear, and the flesh a perfect white, then conclude it to be good.

Fresh Herrings and Mackerel.

If their gills are of a lively shining redness, their eyes stand full, and the fish is stiff, then they are new; but if dusky and faded, or sinking and wrinkled, and tails limber, they are stale.


Choose them by their weight; the heaviest are best, if no water be in them; if new, the tail will pull smart, like a spring; if full, the middle of the tail will be full of hard, or reddish-skinned meat. Cock lobster is known by the narrow back part of the tail, and the two uppermost fins within his tail are stiff and hard; but the hen is soft, and the back of her tail broader.

Prawns, Shrimps, and Crabfish.

The two first, if stale, will be limber, and cast a kind of slimy smell, their colour fading and they slimy: the latter will be limber in their claws and joints, their red colour blackish and dusky, and will have an ill smell under their throats; otherwise all of them are good.

Plaise and Flounders.

If they are stiff, and their eyes be not sunk or look dull, they are new; the contrary when stale. The best sort of plaise look bluish on the belly.

Pickled Salmon.

If the flesh feels oily, and the scales are stiff and shining, and it comes in flakes and parts without crumbling, then it is new and good, and not otherwise.

Pickled and Red Herrings.

For the first, open the back to the bone, and if the flesh be white, flaky, and oily, and the bone white, or a bright red, they are good. If red herrings carry a good gloss, part well from the bone, and smell well, then conclude them to be good.

Of Roasting, Boiling, &c.

I shall first begin with roast and boiled of all sorts, and must desire the cook to order her fire according to what she is to dress; if any thing very little or thin, then a pretty little brisk fire that it may be done quick and nice; if a very large joint, then be sure a good fire be laid to cake. Let it be clear at the bottom; and when your meat is half done, move the dripping-pan and spit a little from the fire, and stir up a good brisk fire; for according to the goodness of your fire, your meat will be done sooner or later.


If beef, be sure to paper the top, and baste it well all the time it is roasting, and throw a handful of salt on it. When you see the smoke draw to the fire, it is near enough; then take off the paper, baste it well and dredge it with a little flour to make a fine froth. Never salt your roast meet before you lay it to the fire, for that draws out all the gravy. If you would keep it a few days before you dress it, dry it very well with a clean cloth, then flour it all over, and hang it where the air will come to it; but be sure always to mind that there is no damp place about it, if there is, you must dry it well with a cloth. Take up your meat, and garnish your dish with nothing but horse-radish.


Excerpted from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse. Copyright © 2015 Hannah Glasse. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents


The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare: January,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for February,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for March,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for April,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for May,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for June,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for July,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for August,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for September,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for October,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for November,
The Order of a Modern Bill of Fare, for December,

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The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy: The Revolutionary 1805 Classic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Art Of Cookery Made Plain and Easy - The Revolutionary 1805 Classic Author: Hannah Glasse Published: 8-19-15 Publisher: Dover Publications Pages: 320 Genre: Food & Wine Sub Genre: History; Cooking; European; English Scottish & Welsh ISBN: 9780486795768 ASIN: B0188FBZN4 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . If you are looking to cook over an open hearth like our colonial ancestors did then this may not be the book you are looking for without further researching the subject. This is a book for those at least have some experience of colonial style cooking in the authentic way. Beginners such as myself will need more practice to master the techniques. I personally was hoping to use the techniques and recipes as I live in a very rural area renowned for looking power at the first sign of acclimate weather. It is a great historical tool of the times and can be enjoyed just for that purpose. My father built me an Adobe oven for my birthday present one year after I visited an Indian village and was fascinated watching them cooking in one these odd looking ovens. A kind woman in the village allowed me to watch her and learn a few of her recipes. I was hoping that this book could be used with that oven or show me how to use my own fireplace, but alas no. That does not mean I will give up. There are plenty of renaissance fairs and colonial reenactment villages to visit to see how it is done. Perhaps I can learn the basics from them and still feel more confident to try some of the more interesting recipes in this book. Originally published in 1847 and considered the premier cookbook of its time in America, England and throughout Europe. Hannah Glasse wanted a cookbook of recipes for the everyday woman with good hardy food to feed her family that tasted good. Even George Washington was known to have a copy. Ms Glasse told her readers how to find the freshest meat at the butcher and even how to make soaps and Scents to place around the home. Even if you do not plan on using any of the recipes and insights found in the book it will make for interesting reading as a way of looking how our ancestors lived their daily lives. I found the Art of Cookery a delight to read and a must for anyone who studies the colonial period from a woman who lived it.