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Wifie Recipes


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As requested sharing some old British recipes I have collected on my travels from two cookbooks. Both were printed in the 1930s by the Womens Federation. One in Yorkshire, the other in the Peebles. They were small, paper books, out of print and probably unavaliable unless inherited. Now I warn you, I have yet to try these but as the recipes were collected by local women who prided themselves on their cooking, I suspect they'll turn out what they are. Whether they taste good is another matter!




Bramble Wine


Twelve pints of berries to 1 gallon of cold water. Allow to stand 10 days stirring every day, then strain and add

3 1/2lbs sugar to 1 gallon of wine. Stir well and let it stand for fermentation about 5 days. Skim every morning.

Bottle with corks out until fermentation.


Carrot Wine


8lbs carrots, 1 gallon water. Wash and scrub carrots and cut into pieces, boil until tender. To each gallon of

liquid, add 3 1/2lbs sugar, 1/4oz cloves and 1/4 stick root ginger. Boil these together for 20minutes, strain

and when cold add 10z yeast, allow to work. Put into cask and stand three months, then bottle.


Cowslip Wine


Ingredients: 9lbs of loaf sugar, 2 gallons of water, peel of 4 lemons, 2oz bruised ginger


Boil together for 20mins, pour on to the cowslip flowers and lemons (8 or 9 pints of cowslip flowers which have

been gathered when in full bloom). When the liquid is the temperature of new milk, add 1oz of yeast on toast, stir

every day for 9 days, strain, add 1oz of isinglass and put into a jug. Lightly cork for some days, then gradually

tighten the cork and leave for 6 months before using. The flavour is much improved by keeping.



May Blossom Wine


To 1 gallon of water 3 1/2lbs of loaf sugar and 1 quart of blossom. Boil the sugar and water together for 10mins

and then let it cool. Then pour it on the blossom with 1 tablespoonful of yeast and 1 orange to each gallon.

Let it stand 3 days, then strain it in your cask, and let it work. Add a little brandy if desired. Do not put the water on the blossom hot, only lukewarm.


Mayflower Wine


Ingredients: 1 gallon of water, 4lbs sugar, 1/4 stone mayflowers, 2 lemons, small piece root ginger, 1oz yeast

1 orange


Peel and squeeze the lemons and put all into a bowl. Boil the water and pour over the lot. Let it stand 24 hours then put it into a cask and bottle in 8 weeks. Do not put the yeast in until it cools.



Rhubarb Wine


Cut 7lbs rhubarb in small pieces. Pour over 2 gallons of boiling water. Let it stand 3 days, then strain it and add 7lb sugar. Let it stand 12 more days. Pour into bottles and leave it uncorked for a month, then cork again. The longer it is kept, the better.



Nettle Beer


Ingredients: A bass of nettles, 2lbs sugar, 1oz yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoonful cream tartar


Boil the nettles in about 2 gallons of water, strain the liquor, add the sugar, ginger, cream of tartar. When

nearly cold ferment with yeast, mixing yeast first with a little of liquid, then pour into the whole and leave

overnight. Skim off the froth and bottle sometime the following day, putting 1/2 teaspoonful sugar into the bottom of each bottle. Cork tightly and it will be ready for use in two or three days. Screw top bottles are easiest and quickest.



Elder Syrup


To 3 quarts of syrup add 6lbs of moist sugar, 1oz of cloves, 1oz cassia buds, 1oz of white ginger (bruised).

Boil all together for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour through a sieve and bottle when cold.



Elderberry Syrup


Take the berries from the stalks and just cover with cold water in a preserving pan. Boil 1 hour, strain through

a piece of muslin. Squeeze them well, let it stand till it is cold, then add 1/2oz of cloves and 1d. worth of

crushed whole ginger. Put both in a bag. Put it to the liquid, and boil again, allowing 1/2lb of sugar to each

pint of syrup. Boil 1 hour, then when cold put it in bottles. Two tablespoonfuls of this syrup in hot water is

invaluable for bad colds.



Rowan Jelly


2lbs rowan berries, 2lb green apples, juice and rind of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoonful cloves, sugar, 1lb to 1 pint juice


Wash the apples and cut them up, removing any bruse, but do not peel or core them. Put them with all the other

ingredients (Except the sugar) into a preserving pan, cover with water, and boil to a pulp. Put the pulp into

a large jelly bag, and strain all night. Allow 1lb sugar to each pint juice, and boil until it jellies.



Siberian Crab Jelly (crab-apple)


Take off the stalks, weigh and wash the crabs, then to each 1 1/2lbs add 1 pint of water and boil them gently

until they are broken, but do not allow them to fall to a pulp. Pour the whole into a jelly bag and when the juice

is quite transparent, weight it and put into a clean preserving pan. Boil it quickly for 15 minutes. Take from

the fire and stir in it until dissolved 3/4lb of fine sugar to each 1lb of the juice. Boil the jelly from 15 to

20 mins. Skim it very clean and pour it into the moulds. Should the quantity be large, boil 5 minutes before the

sugar is added. Test before taking up, to make sure the syrup sets.

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How lovely of you to share ! Yay ! Look at all that wine, I can try !


Thank you Ettrick for taking the time to post these. :D





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Thank you so much Ettrick! Question on the Bramble wine .....when you say to add wine do you mean wine that is already made? Like a Chardonay perhaps? I am going to try them out. They sound delish :atoast: . Cheers Mate!

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My question would be: What if you don't have a cask? Is there a proper substitution? I've never made homemade wine, so I'm just wondering. :)

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Thank you so much Ettrick! Question on the Bramble wine .....when you say to add wine do you mean wine that is already made? Like a Chardonay perhaps? I am going to try them out. They sound delish :atoast: . Cheers Mate!

The original writer means to add the amount of sugar to each gallon of the bramble/wine mix. Understandably t's been written in such a way that it's quite confusing.



My question would be: What if you don't have a cask? Is there a proper substitution? I've never made homemade wine, so I'm just wondering. :smile:


I haven't either (I will be experimenting on one of these and giving an update later), but I'd suggest the bucket to bottle process that the other recipes follow. So, maybe 5-9 days fermenting then bottling and then allowing to age. Casks were rarely used so the individual who wrote the recipe must have been quite the wine enthusiast.

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The last of Wifie Recipes for now until I can find new sources:



Yorkshire Fritters



2lbs flour, 1lb apples- minced, 3/4lb sugar, 3/4lb raisins, 3/4 currants, 4 eggs, 1oz yeast, 3 gills of milk



Let the mixture rise until next day, then fry in a hot greased pan. If prefered leave for 2 or 3 days till

raisins ferment, then fry and heat them between two plates, as required. Sprinkle sugar over when served

and add sherry if liked. (Edit: basically, mix all the ingredients except the apples together. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and store

perhaps on a countertop or an airing cupboard. The next day cut the apples into thickish rings, dip into the batter and fry. I think lard might be good for the frying. Golden is the aim.)



Apple Soup



1lb of good apples (rather tart), 1oz butter, 1 1/2 pints of good stock, 1oz flour, pinch of ground cloves,

ginger and curry powder, seasoning


Heat the stock and slice the apples into it without coring or peeling, put in all the seasoning and boil gently

to a pulp, then pass through a sieve, put it back into the saucepan with some boiled spinach, chopped very fine

(enough to fill a breakfastcup). Boil up again and put in some small lettuce, shredded, and some mixed powdered

herbs. Boil for a few minutes longer and serve with eggballs and fried bread cut into strips or diced.



Arrowroot Pudding for Invalids


Put into a pan 1/2pt of new milk with a little lemon rind, allow it to boil. Moisten a large teaspoonful of

arrowroot with a little milk (cold) and pour boiling milk over it, add a little sugr and when cold put in the

yolk of 1 egg, then whip the white to a stiff froth and mix lightly in. Pour into a buttered pie dish and bake

for 20mins.



Amber Jelly for invalids



1/2oz gelatine, 6ozs sugar, 3/4pint water, juice of 3 lemons, 3 eggs, rind of 2 lemons thinly pared


Soak the gelatine in the water. Put in a saucepan with all ingredients except the eggs, stir gently until it all

boils. Cool a little. Add the beaten eggs, stir again over the fire, but do not allow to boil. Strain into a

wet mould.



Martimas Beef

(An old Yorkshire recipe, 1760)


Take ribs of beef, cut off the thin fat part of the ribs, then salt it well with saltpetre and common salt, and

after that is very well rubbed in, let the beef lie 10 days. Then drain it well and dredge all over with flour

and hang it up 2 or 3 days in a dry place, but not too near a fire, then it take it down and light a very little

fire in a stove or a chimney and throw a few juniper berries into the fire, a few at a time not to make too great

a smoke, or some sawdust and hang your beef so that they smoke may come to it. Do this three or four times an

hour at a time and hang it in a dry place for use. It will be fit to eat in about four months. (I think this will make a really lovely treat for October/November. I'd personally use a mix of Kosher with table salt, and drain every 1-2 days, renewing the salt when necessary. A different cut and different method of cold smoking could be used to modernize and economize this recipe. Will get back to you on it later!)



Mock Foie Gras


Twice mince 1/4lb cooked liver and two rashers of bacon. Melt 1 1/2oz butter, add mince and a dessertspoonful of grated

onion. Cook gently, sprinkling with salt, cayenne pepper, and dry mustard. Put in pots and cover with melted




Yorkshire Rarebit


Ingredients: 1/4lb ham, pepper and salt, 2 eggs, 1/2lb short crust


Line a dinner plate with crust, cut the ham up fine and spread evenly over the pastry. Beat eggs, add seasoning

and pour over ham. Damp edges and cover with a round of pastry.

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