R.: abbreviation for Recipe (from the Latin: the imperative form of recipere, to receive), or its English equivalent, ‘Take’, often placed at the outset of instructions. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RABBIT. Rarebit. Scotch, Welsh, and (two) English versions are given, 97. The origin of this dish and the much debated question ‘rabbit or rarebit?’ are both insoluble problems. For what it is worth, the OED traces Welsh rabbit back to 1725 and Welsh rarebit only to 1785. What does seem clear is that the Welsh demonstrated a fondness for roasted cheese (caws pobi) from very early times. See Bobby Freeman (1980), who quotes the famous tale in Andrew Boorde (1547) of how all the Welshmen in Heaven were tricked into leaving by cries of ‘Cause Babe’. It seems reasonable to leave the Welsh with principal credit for the dish, and to take Hannah Glasse’s collection of recipes as interesting evidence of the extent to which it had gained popularity elsewhere in Britain by the middle of the 18th century.(Glasse, 1747)

RABET: rabbit. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RACE: root (of ginger). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RACE: root, of ginger (raceme). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RACE: Root, a root of ginger. (John Nott, 1726)

RACES, RASES. Racemes or rhizomes of ginger, often referred to as ginger roots although this is not botanically correct.(Glasse, 1747)

RADDLE is red-ochre. Rams wear a raddle (ruddle, reddle) or harness of coloured earth strapped to their chests so as to mark any ewes that they have tupped. (William Ellis, 1750)

RAGOO. An anglicized version of the French word ragout, meaning a sort of stew to which a highly flavoured sauce was added near the end of the cooking time. From the 17th century onwards this was often thickened with fried flour. The English translator of Massialot (1702), who provided a glossary of culinary terms as a preface to the work, simply says: ‘Ragoo, a high season’d Dish, after the French way.’(Glasse, 1747)

RAGOUT: a dish of meat cut in small pieces, stewed with vegetables and highly seasoned. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

RAIES: Possibly reeves, small birds, the females of ruffs. The old form of the word ree. (John Nott, 1726)

RAISINS OF THE SUN, a frequent ingredient: sun-dried raisins. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

RAISINS, reasons: sun-dried grapes, sometimes called raisins-of-the-sun to distinguish them from raisins of Corinth, i.e. currants. In Receipt 105, they are called ‘malago raisins’. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RAISINS OF THE SUN meant simply sun-dried grapes. The phrase had been in use from mediaeval times to distinguish true raisins from raisins of Corinth, which were currants (and also sun- dried). (Glasse, 1747)

RAMOLADE: An early version of sauce rémoulade, now more usually made on a basis of mayonnaise. (John Nott, 1726)

RAMPONS, 160: now known as ramsons, or broad-leaved garlic, Allium ursinum. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

RANCH-SIEVE: perhaps a sieve mounted on a stand, from rance, ranse, a prop. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RAND, 332, 367-8: a side of fish; the head and shoulders were called the jole. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

RAND: a strip or slice of meat cut from the margin of a part, or from between two joints. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RAND OF SALMON, STURGEON: A rend is a strip or long slice. (John Nott, 1726)

RANDAN is the coarsest wheat flour. Other citations in the OED define it as bran ground as fine as flour. (William Ellis, 1750)

RANGE: A sieve on a stand. (John Nott, 1726)

RANSOLES, 65, and RANSOLS, 66. May describes in detail how to make these (evidently Italian) filled dumplings (if that is the right description). It is tempting to see a connection with ravioli. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

RAP VINEGAR, see VINEGAR.(Glasse, 1747)

RAPE, Brassica napus and B. campestris, one of the most ancient and coarse members of the cabbage family. (Glasse, 1747)

RAPE VINEGAR: vinegar made from the stalks of grape clusters, or refuse of grapes from which wine has been expressed (OED). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RAPE VINEGAR: Rapes were the husks of grapes pressed for wine. See V 53. (John Nott, 1726)

RASP: to scrape or rub in a rough manner. Hence raspings of bread are large breadcrumbs. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

RASPAS, 254, 279: raspberry. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

RASPP’D BREAD, RASPINGS OF BREAD: breadcrumbs.(Glasse, 1747)

RATAFIA: A cordial or liqueur. The word, of uncertain origin, came to denote almost any alcoholic and aromatic ‘water’. Flavourings varied widely, from the original ratafia of morello cherry kernels to such herbs as angelica. Some ratafias were distilled, others, as in Nott’s receipts, were made by infusion of spices, herbs and fruits in brandy or eau de vie. For cherry ratafia see C 105. Ratafia biscuits are tiny almond or apricot kernel macaroons. (John Nott, 1726)

RATAFIA: a cordial or liqueur flavoured with the kernels of peaches, apricots, or cherries. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

RATAFIA. As used by Hannah Glasse, 111, the word indicates a flavour of almonds. Its meaning can be more general embracing the flavours imparted by the kernels of peaches, apricots and cherries. The cordial or liqueur called ratafia may be flavoured with any of these. Ratafia cakes and biscuits may be similarly flavoured; or they may be so called because they are intended to be eaten with the liqueur.(Glasse, 1747)

RAVENS: John Evelyn writes of Lady Huet’s cheese that the best time to make it is when the ‘cows go in Ravens.’ This term is a variant of the word rowan or rewain and refers to the second crop of grass after the hay has been cut. Cheese made from this late crop seems to have been softer than many. Notes from Karen Hess, Malcolm Thick and C. Anne Wilson in PPC nos 56 et seqq. elucidate the matter. (John Evelyn, Cook, 17th century)

RED DOCK: Rumex. In Acetaria, Evelyn recommends using the roots of the sharp-pointed dock for brewing. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RED HERRINGS. A famous speciality of Great Yarmouth, since the 16th century (when Thomas Nashe extolled its merits in his poem Lenten Stuffe, or the Praise of the Red Herring) or earlier. The story is that a Yarmouth fisherman who, having caught so many herrings that ‘tree wist not what to do with all’, hung them from the rafters of his hut over a smoky fire and noticed a few days later that they had turned red and were tasty. The process developed into a threefold procedure. The herrings, ungutted and unsplit, were first soaked in brine and saltpetre added; then hung up to dry; and finally smoked for 24 to 48 hours over oak, beech and turf. Red herrings keep for a while, but not long.(Glasse, 1747)

RED-NETTLES: red dead-nettle, Lamium purpureum. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RED SAUNDERS (red sanders): red sandalwood or rubywood, from the tree Pterocarpus santalinus. This belongs to the Madras region of India, and is used in dyeing, for making a cosmetic powder, and as an astringent end tonic in medicine. It is not to be confused with Santalum album, the true sandalwood. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

REDDISH PODS, the seed-pods of the radish plant. Eliza Smith (1741) had used the modern spelling in her ‘Radish pods pickled’, a different recipe. So had Evelyn (1699) in commenting that ‘the Seed-Pods’ of the radish ‘are a pretty Sallet’.(Glasse, 1747)

REDONY. The recipe ‘To Make Hysterical Water’, 158, has two misprints in the first line. Instead of: ‘Take Redony, Roots of Sovage, . . .’, it should read: ‘Take Zedoary, Roots of Lovage, . . .’, as in Eliza Smith’s (1727) recipe for ‘Hysterical Water’, which Hannah Glasse otherwise copies (save for another misprint near the end and the addition of the final instruction to ‘bottle it up’). Zedoary, Curcuma zedoaria, is a perennial herb of eastern India, Sri Lanka and South-East Asia, whose rhizomes are dried like those of ginger and used for flavouring purposes. It is sometimes confused with turmeric and with plants of Kaempferia spp. It has a pungent, bitter taste.(Glasse, 1747)

REDSHANKS: A kind of snipe

REED TRIPE, see TRIPE.(Glasse, 1747)

REIFS, 49, not a reference to the birds of prey of that name, but a way of spelling reeves, copied by Hannah Glasse from The Whole Duty of a Woman (1741), which copied it from Carter (1732). See RUFFS.(Glasse, 1747)

RENNET-WORT is probably lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum), used to curdle milk in the absence of calf’s rennet. OED, following Richard Bradley (a regular source for Ellis too), suggests it is Galium aparine, goosegrass or clivers: unlikely here. (William Ellis, 1750)

RESTY: reasty, rancid. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RHENISH, 143: Rhenish wine, i.e. Rhine wine, imported into England even in Roman times. Its popularity fluctuated during the 15th to the 18th centuries, as trade tariffs were changed and wars took place, but it remained familiar. Anne Wilson (1973) remarks that it was customary to sugar it before consumption and that: ‘As late as 1762 the wine list at Vauxhall Gardens included “old hock with or without sugar” . . . and “rhenish and sugar”.’(Glasse, 1747)

RIBWORT: Plantago lanceolata. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RICE, FLORENDINE: R 42. The decoration of this dish is another of the typically Stuart fancies recorded by Nott. (John Nott, 1726)

RIDDER SIEVE is the largest sort of wheat sieve. (William Ellis, 1750)

ROACH: A freshwater fish of the carp tribe

ROCOMBOLES: See Nott’s definition in R 47. Allium Scorodoprasum. For salads John Evelyn advised ‘the gentler rocombole’ instead of garlic. (John Nott, 1726)

ROCAMBOLE: a species of leek (Allium scorodoprasum) indigenous to northern Europe, used as an alternative to garlic or shallot in the early 18th century. In his New Improvements of Planting and Gardening (part III, 1718, p. 237), Bradley lamented that: ‘The Rocambole, for its high Relish in Sauces, has been greatly esteem’d formerly, but now a-days is hardly to be met with’, adding that ‘considering how small a Quantity of it is sufficient to give us that Relish which many onions can hardly give, it ought to be prefered’. According to his Dictionarium Botanicum (1728), only the head or little bulbs growing on the head were used in sauces. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

ROCAMBOLE. Best described as a form of garlic, Allium sativum, since it is used in the same way, although milder. Evelyn (1699) preferred ‘the gentler rocambole’ to ordinary garlic in salads. However, many authorities classify it as Allium scorodoprasum, a separate species often referred to as the ‘sand leek’.(Glasse, 1747)

ROCAMBOLE is Allium scorodoprasum or sand leek, a milder form of garlic. (William Ellis, 1750)

ROCCOMBO: rocambole (Allium scorodoprasum). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

ROCH, roach, the fish.(Glasse, 1747)

ROCHET, 324: the red gurnard, Aspitrigla cuculus (the NSOED, apparently in error, identifies this common European species as Chelidonichthys kumu.) (Robert May, 1660/1685)

ROCK ALLUM, 85. The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (vol 1, 1769) describes alum as ‘a peculiar kind of salt’, sometimes found pure but often having to be separated from the stone or earth in which it occurs. A description is given of how, at Whitby in Yorkshire, stones from quarries were processed. After the alum had been extracted and crystallized, ‘it is thrown into a pan, called the roching pan, and there melted’, then condensed and cut into chips. ‘This is what we commonly call roche or rock alum, as being prepared from stones cut from the rocks of the quarry; and stands contradistinguished from the common alum, or that prepared from earths.’(Glasse, 1747)

ROCK-WATER, see WATER.(Glasse, 1747)

ROLE TRIPE, see TRIPE.(Glasse, 1747)

ROLL BRIMSTONE is presumably a piece of brimstone formed into a ball or roll. (William Ellis, 1750)

ROLLS, FRENCH: See French. (John Nott, 1726)

ROMAN VITRIOL is sulphate of copper. It is also called blue vitriol. (William Ellis, 1750)

ROMAN WORM-WOOD: Artemisia arborescens. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

ROS SOLIS or ROSA SOLIS: the plant sundew, Drosera rotundifolia. Ros means dew. See Geoffrey Grigson for an interesting account of its history since the 16th century and of its use in making a once celebrated liqueur. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

ROSA, AROMATIC: This seems to mean rose sugar. See Roses, sugar of.:

ROSA SOLIS: The herb sundew. Drosera rotundifolia. Originally the Italian cordial rosolio was prepared wholly from the juice of the plant. As in the case of ratafia, rosolio came to denote a whole class of cordials and liqueurs. There are many variations in the spelling. Potter says that sundew is so called because of the numerous red hairs on the leaves upon which the moisture settles and does not disperse even on the hottest day. The sun shining on the hairs produces a dew-like effect. (John Nott, 1726)

ROSA SOLIS OF MARROW: M 21. The name appears to be an error for raviolis. See Spinnage Rosa solis. Sweet raviolis were once quite common, and raviolis were not and are not necessarily encased in paste. (John Nott, 1726)

ROSES, SUGAR OF: The receipt is self-explanatory. Many such perfumed sugars were popular in Stuart days. (John Nott, 1726)

ROSIN. The solid residue after distillation of spirits of turpentine from its crude state, used for sealing bungs and corks etc.(Glasse, 1747)

ROUELLE: a rolled piece of veal. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

ROWEL is a circular piece of leather or other material, with a hole in the centre, placed between an animal’s flesh and its skin to provoke and permit the discharge of humours or pus. (William Ellis, 1750)

ROWS, roes (of carp, 86).(Glasse, 1747)

RUFFS. Birds of the species Philomachus pugnax. The female is known as a reeve. The ruff has a long- feathered ruff, erected when he is displaying to the reeve, but there seems to be no etymological connection between ruff, the name of the bird, and ruff, the article of clothing. Only a few ruffs and reeves survive in Britain now, in conservation areas on the Ouse Washes. ‘This is a far cry from the Lincolnshire of the eighteenth century when a single fowler could net no less than seventy-two Ruffs in a single morning, and a man might expect to take at least forty to fifty dozen between April and Michaelmas which, after being fattened, would fetch two shillings or half-a- crown as table birds.’ (Greenoak, 1979) Hannah Glasse’s display of regional knowledge in describing ruffs and reeves as Lincolnshire birds is at second-hand, since her recipe, 49, is copied from earlier books. See REIFS.(Glasse, 1747)

RUNDLET, rundlett: runlet. A cask or barrel – small runlets contained between a ‘pint and a quart and 3 or 4 gallons’ (SOED). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

RUNLET: a small barrel. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RUNDLET: Variant of runlet. A cask of no fixed capacity. (John Nott, 1726)

RUNNET: rennet. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

RUNNET, rennet.(Glasse, 1747)

RUSSEL, OIL OF: it is not clear what this is. It is possibly a variant spelling of rosil which is rosin, solid resin after the distillation of turpentine. (William Ellis, 1750)

RUST, TO, is the verb that describes turning rusty or resty, i.e. rancid. (William Ellis, 1750)

RUSTY: Rancid. (John Nott, 1726)

RYE MEAL: Used for the pastry crust for venison pies, and other large pies, especially those made for keeping and to be taken on journeys. The crust was made very thick—at least two inches according to some 17th century receipts — and was intended more as container and packaging material than for consumption, although sometimes the crust was put into pottages and soups instead of bread. (John Nott, 1726)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z