Recipe for Scrambled Eggs from 1755 Called for Nutmeg of All Things

Look at any old cookbook and you’ll find that in the old days they did things a bit differently. Go back 100 years and you might see recipes which still didn’t call for exact times or temperatures. Go back even further to 18th century and even some basics that we take for granted today might be almost unrecognizable- like this recipe for scrambled eggs.

A 1755 recipe for scrambled eggs calls for salt – and nutmeg of all things. Today, most of us can’t imagine eggs without both salt and pepper, but ground pepper was not always so favored as it is today. There was a belief in the Middle Ages that pepper could bring on fits of melancholy and so many cooks substituted “sweeter” herbs like nutmeg and mace in savory recipes.

The scrambled egg recipe comes from the A New and Easy Method for Cooking by Elizabeth Cleland and also calls for a very generous amount of butter and cream (even for 8 eggs) so we have no doubt about the potential of this recipe.

The serving suggestion is to serve the eggs on toast. We love seeing the old fashioned toasting rack made of iron as well. Hearth toast must have been such a lovely thing in the morning!

The bread is also a great to avoid using utensils, something that many average families of the 1700s did not have much of. Recipes that called for dipping bread into stews or served the main dish on toast were quite common back then.

Have a look at this quirky old recipe (and find out what it actually tastes like) in the video below from Townsends.

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