1797 Diet & Recipes

Below is a typed transcript of the original 'Dietary' of 1797. No quantities of foods are specified.

Watch videos of me cooking and eating as a workhouse inmate on my Living The Workhouse Diet channel on YouTube here.

I have used the Workhouse Cookbook (available here) and below are a few of the recipes I'll be trying:

Pease Pottage (from Henry Howard's 1708 England's Newest Way in All Sorts of Cookery)
Take two Quarts of Pease, put them into three Quarts of water, season it pretty high with Pepper and Salt, boil them until they are enough, mix a spoonful of Flour with Water, and put in a little Mint, a Leek, two Handfuls of Spinage all cut small; put in Half a pound of Butter, boil it and dish it.
Water Gruel (from Hannah Glasse's 1747 Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy
You must take a Pint of Water, and a large Spoonful of Oatmeal, then stir it together, and let it boiled up three or four Times, stirring it often. Don't let it boil over, then strain it through a Sieve, salt it to your palate, put in a good Piece of fresh Butter brie it with a Spoon till the Butter is all melted, then it will be fine and smith, and very good. Some love a little Pepper in it.
Frumenty (from John Nott's 1726 Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary)
Take two Quarts of hull'd boil'd Wheat, a Gallon of Milk, two Quarts of Cream, and boil them till they become pretty thick; then put in Sugar the Yolks of eight or ten Eggs well beaten, three Pound of Currants plump'd by being gently boil'd in Water; put these into the Furmety, give them a few Walms, and it will be done.


  1. Replies
    1. Hello! Thanks for commenting- sorry its taken so long for me to reply- spinage, I assume, is spinach!