Bulgarian Manuscript Cookbook (Disbound, pre-1917?) [Digitization in progress--6/24/14]

Provenance and Condition: This MS was purchased in an EBay auction in 2012 from a seller in Israel.  The seller had no information about the provenance of the MS.  The appearance of a Cyrillic MS in an Israeli auction is consistent with the sale of an estate belonging to a Cold-War-era "refusenik" who won the right to emigrate to Israel at some point between 1967-90 or later.  Based on examination of sample images by a member of the Goucher College Russian Department, the language is Bulgarian, written in the same Cyrillic characters as Russian, and the document probably dates from before the Bolshevik Revolution because of the use of a character among those outlawed by the new regime.  In such a MS, though, the writer's orthography might well reflect habits dating from literacy acquisition decades before the document was composed.  The paper's browning and the leaves' brittled outside edges would be consistent with a cheap notebook purchased for the purpose in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.  The paper gatherings, blue-lined and stapled twice, are extremely fragile.  Some bifolia have separated and some of those have become torn. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the pages remain legible and would still have been useful, suggesting the extreme care with which the document was used in the hostile environment of a working kitchen. 

        The hand appears to be consistent throughout.  All the recipes appear to be deserts.  Most pages are stained with dark oils in patterns consistent with heavy use in the kitchen.  This and the document's meager provenance evidence suggest that it may have been a highly personalized wedding or emigration gift for a daughter or granddaughter from a parent or grandparent whose household she was leaving.  The penciled pagination in circles at the tops of pages were made by the current owner of the book corresponding to the numbers given the recipe titles in the table of contents on pages 197-208, and close examination of torn page edges to reconstruct separated bifolia.  At this time, one leaf (NP1r/v) has not been paginated.  See the table of contents pages for the fastest survey of the cookbook's contents.

Unpaginated Leaf: NP1r and NP 1v  (so far, the leaf's proper location in the codex sequence cannot be determined)

Loose Leaves of Gathering 1

Page 1 Pages 2-3
Pages 4-5  

Gathering 2

  Pages 6-7 Pages 8-9 Pages 10-11 Pages 12-13 Pages 14-15 Pages 16-17 Pages 18-19
Page 20-21 Pages 22-23 Pages 24-25 Pages 26-27 Pages 28-29 Pages 30-31 Pages 32-33 Pages 34-35
Pages 36-37 Pages 38-39 Page 40          

Loose Leaves of Gathering 3

Page 42 <missing Page 43-44>  Page 45   
Pages 46-47 Pages 48-49

Gathering 4

  Pages 50-51 Pages 52-53 Pages 54-55 Pages 56-57 Pages 58-59 Pages 60-61 Pages 62-63
Pages 64-65 Pages 66-67 Pages 68-69 Pages 70-71 Pages 72-73 Pages 74-75 Pages 76-77 Pages 78-79
Pages 80-81 Pages 82-83 Pages 84-85 Pages 86-87 Pages 88-89 Pages 90-91 Pages 92-93  

Loose Leaves of Gathering 5

Pages 94-95 Pages 96-97

Gathering 6

  Pages 98-99 Pages 100-101 Pages 102-103 Pages 104-105 Pages 106-107 Pages 108-109 Pages 110-111
Pages 112-113 Pages 114-115 Pages 116-117 Pages 118-119 Pages 120-121 Pages 122-123 Pages 124-125 Pages 126-127
Pages 128-129 Pages 130-131 Pages 132-133 Pages 134-135 Pages 136-137 Pages 138-139 Pages 140-141  

Loose Leaves of Gathering 7

Pages 141-142 Pages 143-144 Pages 145-146 Pages 147-148 <missing Pages 149-154>
Page 155 (torn) Pages 156 (torn)-157 Pages 158-159 Page 160  

Conjoint Leaves of Gathering 7

Page 161? Pages 162-163
Page 164  

Loose Leaves of Gathering 7

Page 165 Page 166 Page 167 Page 168 <missing Pages 169-170>

Conjoint Leaves of Gathering 7

Page 171 Pages 172-173 Pages 174-175 Pages 176-177 Pages 178-179 Pages 180-181 Pages 182-183 Pages 184-185
?Pages 169-170 or Pages 186-187?              

Gathering 8

Page 187 Pages 188-189 Pages 190-191 Pages 192-193 Pages 194-195 Pages 196-197 Pages 198-199 Pages 200-201
Pages 202-203 Pages 204-205 Page 206 Page 207 Page 208