Dorothy Parsons's Book of Choice Recipes

Dorothy Parsons wrote down her choice recipes and cures at Birr Castle in 1668. [Rosse Mss.]

To roast a hare with a pudding in the belly

  1. Take a large hare, clean and wash it very clean and then set it [by] a little. Then let it drain until 'tis dry.

  2. Then make your pudding as follows. Take a quarter of a pound of good beef suet finely shred, a penny white loaf grated and sifted, half a nutmeg grated, a little thyme and sweet marjoram finely shred, a little salt, 3 eggs beaten, 6 spoonfuls of cream or more as you think needful to have the pudding pretty stiff.

  3. So sew it up in the hare's belly and roast it gently, basting it with cream very often.

  4. For your sauce then take half a good anchovy, lay it in water 2 hours before. Then dissolve it in 3 or 4 spoonfuls of claret wine.

  5. It being roasted, [add] half a pound of butter, so draw it up thick and serve it.

A poultice for a giant pimple on the nose

Take rotten apples and boil them in buttermilk till it be pretty thick. Then put in as much flour of barley meal as will make it a thick poultice. Boil it a good while after the meal is in, stirring all the while. Lay it at night to the swelling as warm as you can suffer it and in the day time put on a plaster of the brown salve which you will find in page the 29th of this book.
Rosse Mss.


  1. Make a list of all the food products mentioned by Dorothy Parsons in the above document.
  2. Did it surprise you that some of the food products mentioned above were available in the midlands of Ireland in 1668? Give reasons for your answer.
  3. Comment on the cure for a 'giant pimple on the nose.'


Research the history of cookery in Ireland.

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