Sometimes it pays to do your spring cleaning. A woman in Plymouth, England, recently found a 200-year-old cookbook in the back of her kitchen drawer. Written in 1796 by Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, offers recipes (called receipts at the time), remedies, and even "cures" for illnesses like rabies. The first edition of the book was published in 1747 and continued to be published until 1843.Despite its huge popularity, Hannah herself ended up in a debtor's prison and almost faded into obscurity while others took credit for her work. Her identity was finally confirmed in the 1930s and she was even featured in recent years in a BBC documentary titled "Hannah Glasse: The First Domestic Goddess." You can see the link here.
For photos of the recently discovered book, click here for the news story. There's even a play-by-play description there for how to cook a calf's head. Just in case you were planning that as the centerpiece for your next dinner party.
Meanwhile, the next time you do decide to pull a cookbook off the shelf, pause to remember Hannah and her groundbreaking legacy. All of us modern-day domestic goddesses owe her our gratitude for curing rabies, if nothing else. How many of us can claim to have done that?