More minimalist recipes

I came across some recipes form 1879 – the instructions were minimal to say the least! I don’t think this shows carelessness or indifference on the part of the person who wrote them – C.A.E. who sent them to an Australian local newspaper, I think it shows how anyone reading the recipe was an experienced cook and would understand them!

Small Cakes

  • 1 pint of flour
  • 1 pint of fine sugar
  • two or three tablespoonfuls of butter or clarified dripping
  • 12 drops of essence of lemon
  • a small pinch of carbonate of soda
  • two large or three small eggs
  1.  mix all
  2. roll thin and cut out
  3. bake in not too hot an oven, they take only a few minutes

… and that is it! This recipe is written without an ingredient list – which is how before the cooks of the nineteenth century, everything was written. Are they biscuits? They don’t sound like cakes at all!

Tomato Jam

  1. boil ripe tomatoes till clear from the skins
  2. … then strain through a cullender (this is the actual spelling)
  3. to every pint 1 lb. of sugar
  4. boil till thick
  5. … then add essence of lemon to suit the taste
  • ripe tomatoes
  • 1 lb sugar per pint of tomatoes
  • essence of lemon

Rock Melon Jam.

  1. peel the rock melon and take the seeds out
  2. cut the melon up
  3. …  and to every pound of fruit put half a pound of sugar
  4. … and boil it
  • rock melon
  • sugar

… and that is it!! Fruit and sugar! Nothing more, nothing less!

You will find more delights like I have here:


    1. Lois

      It sounds sort of gross… but maybe in a cheese sandwich? I once made green tomato jam -it was disgusting and much as I hate to throw anything away, it went in the bin (recycling bin of course!)


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