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Maritime Recipes and Cure-Alls for the Adventurous Chef

Friday, November 30th, 2012

C.P.R.CO. S.S. Princess May wrecked on Sentinel Is. Alaska; Andrews (Clarence L.) Photographs; Photo by W.H. Case; PH001_1320b

Should you be suffering from a complaint of the liver, please consider the following recipe from the Ships Log/Cookbook of the H. M. Packet Swiftsure, 1820*:

Cure for the Liver Complaint:

Take of the female or red stemed dandelion one quarter of a Peck, three or four large heads of Garlick, one pound of loaf sugar, one gallon of spring water.  The above boiled down to half a gallon, strained off, and then add one pint of strong vinegar-

Take a wine glassful three or four times a day – An effectual cure for the Liver complaint.

Other recipes include Calf’s Foot Jelly (for those with a spare calf’s foot lying around), Indian Pickle, Very Fine Sausages, and Mrs. Green’s Milk Punch (which should probably be called Mrs. Green’s Rum Punch, since it consists of 4 quarts of rum and 3 pints of milk).  For this and 50 other maritime recipes, see the Swiftsure Ship log and recipe book (B 118) in the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

*Warning: Special Collections and University Archives is not an approved medical provider.  Please do not consume this concoction without first consulting a physician and/or salty sailor previously cured of the liver complaint with said concoction.  However, should you know what a complaint of the liver would be in modern parlance, please comment and let us know.

–Austin Munsell, Collections Coordinator