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1943: WI 'get joyful' with gin

After the serious business of their annual general meeting, members of the Cuckfield Women's Institute, at the Queen's Hall last Wednesday, heard a most amusing talk by Mrs Dengate, of Staplefield, on ‘The Folk Lore of Cookery’. As Mrs Dengate remarked, the title sounded dry, but she soon had the mouths of the ladies watering with her description of the recipes of bygone days, when rationing was unknown. For example, a delightful medieval drink called ‘To be joyful’, required, among other things, a dozen oranges, three pounds of sugar, and a gallon of gin. A thimbleful of this potent mixture was guaranteed to make a person joyful for the rest of the day!

The Mid Sussex Times, 15 December 1943

Illustration; George Cruikshank's engraving of The Gin Shop (1829), a satirical sketch on the dangers of drinking alcohol. Wikimedia public domain image.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.


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