The New and Revised Edition (1962)

Books 13 in the records of the Queen’s College is the same as the New Revised Edition from 1951, and Book 14 is the Third Revised Edition, which was published in 1958 and was the same as the 1951 version. The 15th Book, however, is also called the New Revised Edition, but this version was published in 1962 and differs from the previous copies. Also published by John Smith, this version of the GCB is particularly interesting as, just like the 1951 edition, it shows a more thorough treatment of Invalid Cookery. 

This is a lengthy section, but reading through it and looking at the visualiser images taken in the GCU archive shows interesting developments in the nature of Invalid Cookery within the Glasgow Cookery Book.

Firstly, the chapter on Invalid Cookery comes later in the cookbook in this edition, spanning pages 410-422. This is because this edition includes an increase of information at the front of the cookbook. The 1951 edition opened with short sections on ‘Approximate Quantities’ and ‘Handy Measures’, before the recipes began with a chapters on ‘Soups’. In the 1962 edition, as you can see in the below picture, there is more introductory material in the form of the following sections: ‘Glossary of Cooking Terms,’ ‘Approximate Quantities to Serve,’ ‘Temperature Chart,’ ‘Weighing and Measuring,’ ‘Vegetable Oils and Fats’.

The expanded contents page of the 1962 edition of the GCB.

These explanatory chapters provide the cookbook’s reader with far more information about the fundamental rules of cookery, once more corresponding with the cookbook’s increased popularity as a commercial text. Readers who did not have a culinary education from the GWSCDS could instead peruse the pages of this cookbook, which explained things that pupils would be taught: how to weigh and measure, serve, and the language of cookery.

The recipe chapters are also more detailed and specific in the 1962 New and Revised edition. The first chapter is titled ‘Hors d’ouvres, Appetisers, and Cocktail Savouries,’ which suggests that the readers of the GCB had an increased interest in entertaining and the small, delicate foods that accompanied it. The chapter which was previously just called ‘Meat’ was given the longer title of ‘Meat: Cuts of Meat and Methods of Cooking, Mutton and Lamb, Veal, Pork and Offal’ in this edition. While these changes to the paratextual structure of the cookbook may seem unimportant, they all represent shifting attitudes not just to the GCB, but to what readers needed from cookbooks in general. As the contents page of the GCB became more detailed it became easier to use and incorporated more recipes and instructions, giving readers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of cookery that corresponded with the changing fashions of the time. 

In terms of the Invalid Recipes chapter, there is an also an expanse of material and this chapter takes an almost entirely different structure because of that. Like the 1951 edition, this one starts with an introduction, but it is an expansion of the previous one: 

Invalid diets should not lack any of the nutrients – unless on medical instruction. The diet should therefore be a normal, mixed, well-balanced one, adapted as necessary, with regard to consistency and digestibility of the food. It is especially important that meals be attractively served. 
    Normally, the sequence of diets is: 
        1. Fluid.
      2. Soft.
                      3. Light or Convalescent. (GCB 1962: 410)

Rather than suggesting that home cooks strictly follow a restricted diet for invalids, here the GCB suggests that variety is best so that invalids have a well-rounded diet that does not lack nutrients. This shows a change in attitude from the early editions of the GCB where very few vegetables, items of solid meat, or fruits were included in the recipes, and they were predominantly based upon eggs or dairy. The ordering of the recipes then follows this pattern, and each section – Fluid, Soft, and Light or Convalescent – contains additional information to guide the reader through the recipes. 

The Fluid Diets section opens the chapter. It begins with the general instruction that ‘These can easily be made the equal in nutritional value of a normal, full diet. Feeds are usually given two hourly, or as necessary’ (GCB 1962: 410). Even though the chapter opened with a note about flexibility, the prescriptive tone behind ‘Feeds are usually given’ gives the impression that readers were still meant to be treating invalids as patients and sticking to a routine feeding schedule. The fluids are then split into three distinct categories: 

‘It is advisable that the three types of drinks be represented: – 

  1. Refreshing. – These are especially important in feverish states, and where the patient suffers from a dry mouth condition.
  2. Stimulating. – These are given for the stimulating effect on the appetite.
  3. Nourishing. – These are the most important, as they will provide a high proportion of the nutritive value of the liquid diet.’ (GCB 1962: 410)
Different kinds of drinks in the invalid recipe chapter of the 1962 edition of the GCB.

Even more than splitting the Invalid Recipes into three categories, this edition of the GCB goes further and separates the beverages of the chapter into three kinds, based on their effect on the body. The recipes then follow this order, which is different from in previous editions. Recipes for ‘Lemonade,’ ‘Barley Water,’ ‘Tomato Juice,’ ‘Invalid Tomato Jelly,’ ‘Blackcurrant Drink,’ ‘Fresh Fruit Jellies,’ and ‘Russian Tea’ come under ‘Refreshing Drinks’, and so cold fruit-based beverages dominate in this section. ‘Stimulating Drinks’ include ‘Beef Tea’ (just one recipe, compared to the three which could be found in previous GCB editions), ‘Calf’s Foot Jelly’, ‘Coffee’ and ‘Tea’. These were drinks that would warm and give energy to the body, via protein or caffeine. Finally, ‘Gruel,’ ‘Egg Flip,’ ‘Soups,’ ‘Milk Shakes,’ ‘Fortified Milk Mixture,’ ‘Irish Moss Jelly,’ ‘Milk Jelly’ and ‘Ice-Cream’ make up the section on ‘Nourishing Drinks’, with an emphasis on the fats and nutrients in dairy products, before this section ends with an ‘Example of a Fluid Diet for One Day’:   

8 a.m. Fruit Juice.
           Gruel or thin-strained Porridge and Milk.
10 a.m. Coffee or Cocoa made with fortified Milk Mixture.

Noon. Beef Tea or Broth or Bovril or Egg Flip.
2 p.m. Fruit Juice; Lemon Barley.

4 p.m. Milky Tea.

6 p.m. Creamy Soup.
           Fresh Fruit Jelly; Cream. 

8 p.m. Horlick’s; Benger’s etc., made with Milk or fortified Milk Mixture. 
At bedside for during the night: fruit juice sweetened with sugar or glucose.

Note: All the “milky” feeds may be made with fortified fruit mixture. (GCB 1962: 415)

This timetable gives readers a structured plan to follow so they know exactly when to give their invalids the drinks they have prepared from the recipes, and in what order. The cookbook’s structure is therefore far more didactic than previous versions, deliberately guiding the reader through a daily menu which they can then customise by swapping the 2 p.m. Lemon Barley for a Blackcurrant Drink, as both are ‘Refreshing’, and so on. This section also contains several references to branded products: Bovril, Horlick’s, and Benger’s. These mentions may send readers out into the world to buy these products if they do not have time to make something like Beef Tea themselves.

Not only does this timetable give the readers specific guidance, then, but it also gives them some room for flexibility by advocating the use of timesaving, commercialised food products that were tied to health, and you can read more on Benger’s Food in this section on Margaret Black’s Superior Cookery. Indeed, later on in the ‘Light or Convalescent Diets’ section, the section on ‘Baked Goods’ reads: ‘Bread: white, brown, Hovis, etc. (Avoid new bread.)’ (GCB 1962: 421). This preference for a branded bread – Hovis – rather than ‘new’ and therefore freshly made (and perhaps homemade) bread shows a shift away from laborious cooking processes and towards the convenience that came from mass-produced, commercial products. In a post-war economy, these foods would have had increased appeal as food was more readily available, cheaper, with less labour and time needed. This would have freed up time, so readers (who would have been predominantly housewives) could spend less time in the kitchen if they had other pursuits, occupations or hobbies.

The next section in the ‘Invalid Recipes’ chapter is for ‘Soft Diets’, which contains the subtitle that ‘All foods must be easily digested, plain and simple and easy to follow’ (GCB 1962: 416).  Like the ‘Liquid Diet’ section, this part of the chapter is broken down into clear, numbered parts which come under various ‘Suitable Foods’ that are roughly ordered by their position in a meal, starting with soups and ending with ‘Puddings, Fruits, Cereals’. These sections both contain recipes and direct the reader around the cookbook to other recipes that work within the diet. The ‘2. Fish’ section, for example, reads: 

2. Fish. – All white fish may be given: 
                Scalloped fish (page 64).
                Fish Custard (page 62).
                Fish Cream (page 61).
                Fish Moulds (page 62). 
                Fish Soufflé (page 341).

4 oz. cooked White Fish.
 1 gill White Sauce. 

              Flake the fish and mix with white sauce. Season to taste. Garnish with parsley, slice tomato or lemon. 
(GCB 1962: 416).  

This is the only recipe in the ‘Fish’ section before the chapter moves on to ‘3. Meat’ which follows the same pattern: a list of recipes from the wider cookbook with corresponding page numbers, and one or two recipes within the chapter before the next section on ‘Eggs’, and so on. While the chapter in this edition contains a surplus of information when compared to previous editions, it only contains 27 entire recipes compared to 31 in the 1951 edition. Throughout the chapter, however, the reader is directed to 37 recipes in other sections of the cookbooks, so they know where to turn to find the relevant recipe and then could return to the invalid recipe chapter to double check where it fitted in to the invalid’s diet and daily meal structure.

Some of the sections do not contain or direct readers to recipes, but simply provide broad statements which seemingly tell readers everything they need to know: 

5. Vegetables. – Unless these are young and tender, they should be served mashed or puréed. It will be found that carrots, tomatoes, turnips, peas and spinach can be successfully puréed. Potatoes should be creamed or mashed. (GCB 1962: 417).  

The structure of the cookbook has therefore been adapted so that the ‘Invalid Recipes’ chapter can be used as a comprehensive guide, and a directory to the rest of the cookbook. While there are fewer complete recipes readers have more options if they use the GCB in this way. These changes in the cookbook’s layout were therefore more economic in terms of the number of recipes that needed printed, and more detailed in terms of other kinds of recipes and when they were appropriate.  

Both the ‘Soft Diet’ and ‘Light or Convalescent Diet’ sections end with a daily plan, and putting them, side-by-side demonstrates their similarities and differences. 

Comparing and contrasting the ‘Soft Diet’ versus the ‘Light or Convalescent Diet’

As you can see, the amount of food and drink an invalid could consume increased as they moved from a ‘Soft Diet’ to a ‘Light or Convalescent Diet’, in keeping with the foods their system could handle. Indeed, at the start of the ‘Light or Convalescent Diet’ section the subtitle reads ‘This type of diet is almost a normal one’, and so this final diet was far more lenient than the other examples. ‘Soups’ and ‘Fish’ are the same ‘As for Soft Diet’, and there is an expansion on the rules surrounding vegetables: ‘Any tender vegetable, including heart of lettuce and tomato’ (GCB 1962: 419).

There is still a sense that cooks should avoid anything that was too texturally hard, or too intensely spiced, as noted in the sentence about drinks: ‘No restrictions usually made except to avoid very strong tea, coffee or highly spiced, greasy beverages’ (GCB 1962: 420). Generally, however, the types of ingredients and dishes had dramatically increased in the Invalid Recipes of this edition when compared with the first. While recipes for ‘Arrowroot’ and ‘Beef Tea’ were still to be found in the New Revised edition, readers had many more options. 

Diabetic Recipes 

At the very end of the New Revised Edition is a completely new section that is interesting, it contains four recipes under the title ‘Diabetic Recipes’, with the subtitle ‘These preserves should be made in small quantities only as their keeping qualities are limited. Small jars should be used’ (GCB 1962: 421). The recipes are all for preserves or jams: ‘Diabetic Lemon Curd’, ‘Plum Jam’, ‘Quick Marmalade’ and ‘Marrow Jam’. What makes these recipes suitable for diabetics seems to be their lack of sugar. Indeed, it would be the lack of sugar that altered the preservation of the fruit – hence the note about their limited ‘keeping qualities’. Instead of sugar, the recipes call for ‘Sorbitol Syrup’, ‘Sorbitol Powder’ or ‘Saxin or Saccharin Tablets’ instead of sugar. These were all sweeteners with very little (if any) calorific value, and low glucose content. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol which does have a low energy value, whilst saccharine is a chemical compound which lacks any value whatsoever, giving a sweet taste for those who wished to avoid the calorie value of sugar, or for diabetics for whom sugar was dangerous. Saxin was a brand of saccharine tablets, and notably the use of all these sweetener products increased during the 1950s, in tandem with diet culture. 

‘Diabetic Recipes’

Saccharine was initially developed in the USA in the 1870s, and in the context of the food restrictions of the World Wars it was increasingly authorised and used in both Britain and the USA (Guillem-Llobat 2012: 906). Historians of health and science have shown, however, that while initially ‘its consumption was limited to diabetics who eschewed for medical reasons’ (de la Peña 2010: 159), it was soon adopted by non-diabetics, specifically in the 1950s. Writing about the Northern American context, Carolyn de la Peña writes that ‘Nondiabetic American women appear to have first begun to use saccharin and cyclamates between 1945 and the early 1950s’ (2010: 160). She puts this down to two changes: diet culture and ‘the imperative for thinness’ which peaked in the 1950s, but also ‘cultural desires’ which ‘enabled women to challenge “expert” knowledge outside their homes while increasing their control over family members within’ (de la Peña 2010: 161).

Peña writes that some cookbooks specifically advised women to ignore the advice around these sweeteners, as ‘mandatory warning labels explaining that sweeteners were for “diabetic use only”’ (Peña 2010: 161). This section is therefore interesting both because it points readers towards recipes for a specific medical condition, and because it uses commercialised, processed food products to get there. The recipes in the GCB specifically included Saccharine, Saxin and Sorbitol as ingredients for jams and preserves suitable for diabetics. Their presence in the cookbook during a time when the use of artificial sweeteners corresponded to increasing commercialisation and a rise of diet culture, however, shows how the GCB was evolving to keep up with commercial trends and changing attitudes to food and health. 

This New Revised edition from 1962 contains by far the most structured, extensive selection of Invalid Recipes. While there was still a staple catalogue of dishes and ingredients that remained from the first edition – Irish moss jelly, sago, beef tea, barley water, lemonade, etc – the gradual pattern of invalid recipes in the GCB until this point was expansion: more recipes, more ingredients, and more instructions with each passing edition. As the cookbook transfigured from a textbook-like learning resource to a highly successful commercial venture that was aimed at instructing the public rather than the college’s pupils how to cook, the contents expanded and changed to reflect those needs. Changing ingredients and an increased reliance on mass-produced foods speaks to the changing food culture of the time.

You can compare and contrast this edition of the Glasgow Cookery Book by looking through the others linked on this page, and read Lindsay’s conclusions about the changes over time here.


de la Peña, Carolyn. 2010. Empty Pleasures: The Story of Artificial Sweeteners from Saccharine to Splenda (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)

Guillem-Llobat, Ximo. 2012. ‘Defining, Regulating and Using Saccharin at the Outset of the Industrial Food Era (1888-1914)’, Appetite, 59.3: 905-11.

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