Tag Archives: Free Cookbook

13th Century Al-Andalus Cookbook: Syrups

The Book of Cooking in Maghreb and Andalus in the era of Almohads, by an unknown author. Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook is 13th Century with a variety of recipes from “healthful cooking” to many things you wouldn’t think was so healthy at all. I’ll be posting a few samples from this cookbook. My source for the cookbook was found over here complete (I believe this is a reposting from David Freeman’s version, but I am not 100% sure).

Charles Perry was the translator of the text.

Some Syrups:

Syrup of Mint: Way of Making It
Take mint and basil, citron and cloves, a handful of each, and cook all this in enough water to cover, until its substance comes out, and add the clear part of it [filter it] to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar.

The [spice] bag: an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of flower of cloves. And cook all this [the essence, the sugar, and the spice bag] until a syrup is made.

Its benefits: it frees bodies that suffer from phlegm, and cuts phlegmatic urine, fortifies the liver and the stomach and cheers it a great deal; in this it is admirable.

Syrup of Fresh Roses, and the Recipe for Making It
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of fresh roses, after removing the dirt from them, and cover them with just boiled water for a day and a night, until the water cools and the roses fall apart in the water. Filter it and take the clean part of it and add to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar. Cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of this with two of hot water. Its benefits are at the onset of dropsy [swelling from water, edema], and it fortifies the stomach and the liver and the other internal organs, and lightens the constitution; in this it is admirable.

Syrup of Simple Sikanjabîn [vinegar syrup]
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of strong vinegar and mix it with two ratls [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar, and cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of this with three of hot water when fasting. It is beneficial for fevers of jaundice, and calms jaundice and cuts the thirst

Since sikanjabîn syrup is beneficial in phlegmatic fevers: make it with six ûqiyas [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] of sour vinegar for a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of honey and it is admirable.

Syrup of Pomegranates
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sour pomegranates and another of sweet pomegranates, and add their juice to two ratls [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of sugar. Cook all this until it takes the consistency of syrup. Keep until needed.

Its benefits: it is useful for fevers, and cuts the thirst, it benefits bilious fevers and lightens the body gently.

Syrup of Lavender [Halhâl]
Take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of lavender and cook it in [enough] water to cover it until its substance comes out. Then take the clear part of it [filter it] and add it to a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of honey. Cook all this until it takes the form of a syrup.

Drink an ûqiya [1 ûqiya=39g/7tsp] and a half of this with three of hot water. Its advantages are in cleaning the brain and the stomach; it lightens the body and dries up black bile gently, but it contracts the breath, and it is fitting to regulate the drink with a cheering drink or cheering water.

Syrup of Lemon
Take lemon, after peeling off the skin, press it [to a pulp] and take a ratl [1 ratl=468g/1lb] of juice, and add as much of sugar. Cook it until it takes the form of a syrup.

Its advantages are for the heat of bile; it cuts the thirst and binds the bowels.

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The L.W. Cookbook

I’m always looking around on the net for unique recipes and books that are within our little historical time bubble. I really shouldn’t say “little” since we really have a large timeline to work in.

I came across this Church Cookbook with nearly 400 recipes contributed by “Many Good Cooks” originally done in 1908. The entire cookbook is scanned, advertisements and all (by honest solicitors, for they wouldn’t have asked terrible people to advertise in their wonderful publications, now would they?). With tasty morsels as rice soup (I don’t believe anyone would eat that), Croutons (I love that you can store them in tin cans), and pressed meat. How can you go wrong with that recipe book?

Download this lovely Cookbook (some of the recipes actually do look good) for free over here: The L.W. Cookbook.

Downloading Historical Cookbooks

I came across a fantastic website, a non-profit, which has many historical and non-historical cookbooks available for download. They have various years, various types and in different formats (some in Kindle and mostly in HTML). For those trying to save money, this is a great resource for research.

Project Gutenberg: Books in Cookery

Some of the sample downloads available are The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887), Foods that will win the War and How to Cook Them (1918), Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome by Apicius, Accomplisht Cook by Robert May, Forme of Cury, Book of Household Management by Mrs. Beeton… just to name a few.

Happy reading!