Invasive species recipes from Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery

May 23, 2012


In the original manuscript, each recipe was numbered; that number appears to the left of the name of the recipe below. “C” is for Booke of Cookery; “S” for Booke of Sweetmeats. Page numbers given after the recipe are from the first edition, Columbia University Press, 1981. Several species, such as the brown trout and the common carp, were not introduced until after Washington compiled her book, supporting the English origin of the recipes.

Bird cherry (Prunus avium)
Introduced in 1629 by the English in Massachusetts; later in California by Spanish missionaries. Pioneers and fur traders took them West.
C153 To Keepe Cherries Yet You May Haue Them for Tarts at Christmass Without
Preserueing, p. 162
S42-S45 To Preserue Cherries, p. 251-253
S121 To Make Any Kind of Red Paste of Damsons Cherries Barbaries or Other Red
Plums, p. 299
S250 To Make Cherry Wine, pp. 378-379

Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
Introduced in 1883, by the US Fish Commission, established to replenish overharvested native fish stocks and to provide food sources for growing human population.
C189 To Boyle a Trout
C191 To Dress a Pike Ca[rpe Jub] or Large Trout

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Introduced in late 1700s as forage crop; roots sometimes harvested as coffee substitute. Classified as noxious weed.
S78 To Make Conserve of Suckory Flowers, pp. 276-277

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Introduced in early 1600s, for herbal medicine. Found almost everywhere.
S246 To Make Sirrup of Horehound

Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Introduced in early 1600s, for dye and jam; discovered to harbor wheat rust, which led to import of Japanese barberry in 1875, which is even more invasive.
C168 [To P]ickle Up Barbaries, p. 172
C169 To Pickle Barbaries Another Way, p. 172
S63 To Preserue Barberries, p. 265
S64 To Preserue Barbarries, p. 266
S65 To Preserue Barberries, p. 266
S76 To Make a Conserue of Barberries, pp. 275-276
S121 To Make Any Kind of Red Paste of Damsons Cherries Barbaries or Other Red Plums, p. 299
S194 To Make Jumbals of Barbaries, pp. 350-351
S232 To Make Sirrup of Barberries or Mulberries, p. 369

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio)
Introduced in 1877, by the US Fish Commission, established to replenish overharvested native fish stocks and to provide food sources for the growing human population.
C185 To Stew a Carpe, p. 182
C186 To Make a Broth for a Carpe or Pike, pp. 182-183
C187 To Boyle a Carpe [in its] Blood, pp. 183-184
C188 [To] Roste a Carpe, pp. 184-185
C191 To Dress a Pike Ca[rpe Jub] or Large Trout, p. 186
C193 [To] Make a Carpe or Tench Pie, pp. 187-188

Common plantain (Plantago major)
Introduced in early 1600s. Among its common names are “White man’s foot” and “Englishman’s foot,” translations of what the Native Americans called the plant that bloomed wherever the white invaders explored. “White man’s foot” may be the earliest descriptor for the term invasive species.
S325 To Keepe the Teeth Clean & White & to Fasten Them

Dog rose (Rosa canina)
Introduced in the early 1700s? Wild almost everywhere.
C68 To Make Tart of Hipps, p. 97
S127 To Make Paste of Eglantine of Ye Culler of Red Currall, p. 302
S138 To Make Cakes of Roses, p. p 307

House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
1851, first introduction by “acclimatization societies”; more followed, in hopes of controlling insects like the elm spanworm, a defoliator of hardwoods.
C19 To Stew Sparrows, p. 57

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
The origin of purslane in North America remains obscure, though there is evidence that it has been here for several thousand years. It is likely that European lineages of the plant arrived with and were spread by colonists and immigrants.
C164 To Pickle Pursland, p. 170
S239 To Make a Sirrup of Purslane, p. 372

Rock dove, or pigeon (Columbia livia)
First recorded in Nova Scotia in 1606 and Jamestown in 1607. Many later introductions.
C18 To Boyle Pigeons, p. 56
C21 To Boyle Pigeons With Puddings, p. 58
C55 To Make a Pigeon Pie, p. 88

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Introduced in 1760s, when it was recommended to Virginia farmers for hedges and to feed pigs. Jefferson grew it at Monticello. The first settler of Vancouver Island, a British army captain planted it there in the 1805s. Now invasive throughout much of North America.
C165 To Pickle Broomebuds, p. 170

White mulberry (Morus alba)
Introduced in the 1700s by the English in an attempt to establish a silk industry. Found throughout the US.
S71 To Make Marmalet of Mulberies or Rasberies, p. 273
S232 To Make Sirrup of Barberries or Mulberries, p. 370
S233 To Make Sirrup of Mulberries, p. 370
S234 To Make Sirrup of Mulberries or Raspberries, p. 370

Wild or European Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
Introduced in the early 1700s, by settlers; long considered “naturalized”? Where is it not?
S253 To Make Blackberrie Wine, p. 380

Wild boar (Sus scrofa)
First introduced in 1539, by DeSoto to Gulf Coast, then in the early seventeenth century, by English immigrants to the Atlantic coast. Subsequent introductions have occurred thoughout the Americas.
C35 To Souce a Pigg of 3 or 4 Shillings Price, p. 72
C42 To Roste a Pigg, p. 77
C58 To Make a Porke Pie, p. 88

Yellow sweetclover, (Melilotus officinalis)
First reported in 1664, for forage, nitrogen fixation, and nectar source for honey bees. Now found in waste ground and roadsides throughout North America.
S269 To Make Aquimirabelis, pp. 394-395
S271 To Make Aquimirabelis, p. 398
S272 To Make Aquimirabelis, p. 399

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