Eldest daughter and I went on a long journey recently – no, not metaphorically… we were looking at universities – and happened to watch the recent movie Julie/Julia about a present day blogger’s attempt to recreate every single recipe in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, as written in the late 50s. Most amusing it was and it helped while-away some incredibly tedious travelling. It got me thinking…
From the 15th Century English Leechbook
1. make lye of wild nept and therewith wash your head
2. take quicklime or piment and make powder of them & mix with vinegar & anoint the head with it
3. take seawater or else also brine & wash your head and it shall destroy them
4. take juice of a herb that is called blight & anoint your head with it, both lice & nits shall fall away
5. take a broad list (a ribbon of fabric) and anoint one side with fresh grease mingled with quicksilver (mercury) & spread on it a powder of lichen, and wear it henceforth
… good job I’ve got an unsuspecting partner and some handy children to experiment on. So, where do I buy mercury? Reckon Wilkos will have it?