Maritime Recipes and Cure-Alls for the Adventurous Chef
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