Today Beatrix Potter's very rare personal recipe book will go on sale in London. The children's author is most famously known for creating the Peter Rabbit stories (although there are no recipes for rabbit in the book!). The 161-year-old book recipe book is full of what were most likely family recipes, probably handed down over generations, with recipes for sponge cake, roast turkey, curry, and gingerbread. And thanks to an official release by the book's handlers, we have the actual gingerbread recipe here!
The earliest entry dates from 1851, and continues on through many decades. After Potter died in 1943 at the age of 77, many of her possessions were auctioned off in a sale in 1954. It's believed that this recipe book was among those sold at the time, and was only recently discovered again among other Beatrix Potter ephemera. The recipe book will go on sale today at Mullock's showroom in Ludlow, Shropshire, and it's expected to sell between £200-£400.
Beatrix Potter's Gingerbread Recipe
3.5 lb wheat meal
3.5 lb treacle
12 oz sugar
12 oz butter
2 oz ground ginger
1 oz pounded allspice
1 pint of ale
Add two thirds of the ale to the other ingredients and beat them well for some time then dissolve 1oz of common washing soda in the rest of the ale and add it just before you put it into the oven.
It requires a slow oven - (let all the ingredients except the flour and soda be put before the fire to dissolve for an hour or two.)
Charming! I love getting a glimpse into the history and habits of my favorite authors.