An 18th Century Easter Meal

With Easter not too far away it is the perfect time to prepare a lovely meal for the family. If you’re feeling brave why not try some of these 18th Century recipes to tempt your loved ones.

Firstly, hare soup:

Cut your hare in quarters, and the rest in small pieces, put it in a stew pot with a crag or knuckle of veal; put in a gallon of water, a bunch of sweet herbs, let it stew till the gravy is very good, fry a little of the veal and put in it to make it brown, put in bread to thicken the soup, or you may put in rice, but boil it first a little, or fine barley, a quarter of a pound of either will do; season it with pepper, salt, and mace, with an onion stuffed with cloves; take out the herbs, veal and onion, before you dish it.

A nice simple recipe for soup that sounds lovely and hearty for a cool evening in Scotland.

For a centrepiece of a main course it has to be a roast ham or gammon:

Take off the skin, and lay it to steep in luke warm water; then lay it in a pan, pour on it a mutchkin of canary, and let it steep in it twelve hours; then spit it and paper it over the fat side; pour the canary it was soaked in, into the driping-pan, and baste it with it all the while it is roasting; when it is roasted enough, pull off the paper and drudge it well with crumbs of bread, and parsley shred fine, brown it well and let it to cool. Serve it with green parsley.

Whilst the soup was fairly easy to follow we needed a bit of help with this one. The mutchkin of canary stumped us for a moment. However, a mutchkin is an old Scottish unit of measurement that is equal to about 0.43 litres, or quarter of an old Scottish pint. Canary is a type of wine from the Canary Islands which made the recipe instantly more exciting. Not sure how many people have a spit they can roast their ham on so it will probably have to go in the boring modern oven.

And finally for desert how about a carrot pudding:

Boil as many carots as will be half a pound; cut them and pound them fine with half a pound of fine sugar; then beat ten eggs and three whites, and mix them with the carots; grate an orange in it, and just as you are going to put it in the oven, put into it half a pound of clarified butter. All the butter that is put in baked puddings must be clarified, and the skim and bottom taken from it.

It couldn’t be Easter without a carrot recipe and this one sounds simple which could either be a good thing or a bad thing.

All of these recipes come from the wonderful book ‘A New and Easy Method of Cookery’ by Elizabeth Cleland and was apparently designed for all the young women who attended her school.

Hopefully we’ve given you an idea of what to cook for Easter, or maybe what to avoid! As always please like, share, comment and tweet.

All the best, The Culloden Team

Saratoga’s Scotsmen Fought for King George (Guest Blog by Saratoga National Historical Park, NY) BBC Civilisations Festival



For the BBC Civilisations Festival we have some special guest posts. This one is written by Eric Schnitzer from Saratoga National Historical Park, Stillwater, NY.

A correspondent…with the officers of the Highland regiments at present serving in America, informs us, that nothing displeases the common men of that corps so much as to hear the provincials called Rebels. On a former occasion [the 1745 Jacobite Rising] many of themselves were dignified with that appellation. They then fought bravely, in what they thought was a just cause. The Americans will scarce fight at all, though they pretend their cause is equally just. The Highlanders, therefore, conceive themselves highly affronted, when the designation of Rebel is applied to an American. They think it involves in it a tacit reflection against themselves, as if they were cowards as well as the rebels. Of this they can by no means admit, and consequently will allow the Americans no other title than that of cowardly rascals.

 Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 1 January 1777

Considering the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Scottish support at home and abroad for the Georgian monarchy against the rebellion in North America may seem counterintuitive. Although Scottish emigration to North America throughout the 18th century constituted perhaps as many as 70,000 people, Scottish support for the American Revolution was not fueled by Jacobean animus for the House of Hanover. In fact, Scottish immigrants and their descendants were more likely to side with government on this matter than against it. This is exemplified in the 1777 Battles of Saratoga, fought in upstate New York during the American War for Independence.

Many Scottish Americans supported the revolution, and many served it in key leadership roles. But the American revolutionaries who fought at Saratoga under the command of General Horatio Gates (an Englishman) were, categorically, from New England and New York’s Hudson Valley, neither of which were known for being heavily settled by Scotsmen. At Saratoga, the highest percentage of revolutionary Scotsmen served in a corps of 400 elite riflemen led by Colonel Daniel Morgan, the son of Welsh immigrants. This unit’s personnel were drawn from men who hailed from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, places more widely settled by Scottish immigrants. This was the most elite battalion that Gates had at his disposal.

house saratoga
Main house on the country estate of Philip Schuyler at Saratoga NP

But it was General John Burgoyne’s British Army at Saratoga which benefited more from the services of Scotsmen. Hundreds of the soldiers in his redcoat ranks were from Scotland, and Scottish officers in Burgoyne’s army held important leadership positions, such as the Earl Balcarres, who commanded the elite British light infantry battalion, and John Anstruther of Balcaskie, who commanded the 62nd Regiment of Foot. One of the regiments in Burgoyne’s army was the fusilier regiment representing Scotland, the 21st or Royal North British Fusiliers, whose officers and men were, predominantly, Scottish. But Scottish support for Georgian Britain didn’t end there, as substantial numbers of men loyal to the crown resided in upstate New York’s Lake Champlain and Hoosic River Valleys. The entire region was pocketed with lands granted to veterans whose battalions were downsized or disbanded after the Seven Years’ War. A high percentage of these men were from Scotland—in fact, the property owned by the author is surrounded by plots given to veteran Scottish officers named Grant, Campbell, Gregor, Bain, Gordon, and Monro. Most of these former British soldiers and their families flocked to the British banner and joined Samuel MacKay’s “Loyal Volunteers,” Daniel McAlpin’s “American Volunteers,” or Allan Maclean’s “Royal Highland Emigrants,” amongst others. Nowhere in the Army of the United States was Scottish patriotism likewise manifested.

Reflecting upon the Caledonian Mercury article above, overwhelming support for the crown as expressed by Scottish people becomes understandable. Supporters of the Jacobite Risings of 1715 and 1745 believed they were restoring the British Constitution, not destroying it. But as the 18th century wore on, and the Glorious Revolution and 1706/07 Acts of Union surpassed living memory, Jacobean sentiments were generally subsumed by British nationalism and loyalty to the Georgian monarchy. This generational shift is exemplified by the Frasers. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, was executed in 1747 for his support of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. However, his son, General Simon Fraser of Lovat, raised a highland regiment which was deployed to America to combat the “cowardly rascals” in 1776. A cousin, General Simon Fraser of Balnain, commanded Burgoyne’s most elite troops and was mortally wounded in the 2nd Battle of Saratoga (7 October) whilst fighting to restore British governance in America. As to that, no one knows which American rifleman fired the shot, but stories point to Timothy Murphy (an Irishman), William Critchlow (an Englishman), or one Thomas Scott—a Scotsman.

By Eric Schnitzer, Saratoga National Historical Park

‘A New and Easy Method of Cookery’

The 18th Century has some fantastic recipes, which we love to read and perhaps occasionally try. This time we are looking at the book ‘ A New and Easy Method of Cookery’ by Elizabeth Cleland which was used by those women who attended her school.


The recipes can be said to be varying by our standards, with everything from pork steaks, to eel soup and lemon puddings. Here’s just a few of our favourites.

Firstly, since it is Spring, here’s a recipe for a simple Spring Soup:

Spring Soup

Take twelve lettices, cut them in slices, and put them into strong broth, get six green cucumbers, pare them, and cut out the cores, cut them into little bits and scold them in boiling water, and put them into your broth; let them boil very tender, with a mutchkin of young pease and some crumbs of bread.

(Your mutchkin of peas, is essentially just less than a pint.) For the main course, we turn to a Scottish classic of Salmon.

To roast or bake a salmon,

Score it on the back, season it with salt, pepper, mace and nutmeg; put grated bread, the grate of a lemon, parsley, thyme salt and butter in every score, and in the belly; put it in a close cover’d pan in the oven, with some butter on the top and bottom. You may give it either oyster or lobster sauce, or plain butter.

Finally for desert, why not try some Almond Puffs.

Almond Puffs

Blanch two ounces of almonds, then take their weight of fine loaf-sugar, beat them together with orange-flower water; then whip up the whites of three eggs and put to them, and add as much sifted sugar as will make it into a paste; then make into little cakes, and bake them in a very slow oven.

We hope you enjoyed reading these recipes. As always please like, share, tweet, comment and feel free to try the recipes out for yourself.

All the best, K & D