I’d noticed when reading historical work–either original or fiction–that recipe and receipt were often used in ways that we today would deem, well, flipped. But I’d never really paused to look it up.
I’m glad I just did, because I learned something!
We’ll start with recipe. Coming from the Latin word of the same spelling, which means “Take!” (a command), it came into English in 1580 as the word for “a medical prescription.” Literally, what the doctor was ordering you to take. (Who knew?!) This is (what I learned today) where the abbreviation Rx comes from. It took on a figurative sense (“recipe for disaster” etc) round about 1640. So when, you may be asking, did it come to mean “instructions for preparing food”? Not until 1743! I had no idea our primary meaning of the word is so relatively new!
So what did people call those instructions for food prep before they called it a recipe? Receipt. This word, borrowed from Old North French, has been in use in this way since the 1300s. It’s literally “a statement of ingredients in a potion or medicine.” As “a written acknowledgment of goods received,” it dates from 1600ish.
Any recipes you’ve been dying to try, or a favorite you’d like to share? I’m going to be hunting up the ingredients to make this chili con carne one of these days… And if you’re in the mood for some utterly scrumptious, light and fluffy and a-mazing homemade dinner rolls, this is the only recipe you’ll ever need…
I remember a reading class in Jr. High where we took turns reading aloud. When it was my turn… receipt was right there staring me in the face and the context was cooking. Why I remember that ? Who knows? The memory crops up from time to time. Don’t even remember what the story was but it must have been historical. My favorite genre!
As far as favorite recipes go. Hubby has taken over that job because he measures everything and puts the data into My Fitness Pal. I don’t cook much anymore.
I have recipe fro for great dinner rolls.You made one batch and divide into four balls. It can then be refrigerated or frozen and used as needed. You also make several different kinds of rolls with the same dough. Makes me hungry to make some!
This is fascinating! And, I love The Stay at Home Chef. I've learned some seriously good recipes from her YouTube channel!
That's so interesting. I'd be also interested in how the word AUTOGRAPH came to be. Seems like an odd word for signing your name 🙂