Category: cookbooks

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Mary Randolph’s Recipe for Roast Turkey, 1828

Move over, Paula Deen!  Generations before the Food Network, the leading lady of Southern cookery was Mary Randolph.  Her book,  The Virginia Housewife, is considered the first American regional cookbook. The Virginia Housewife was very influential, with multiple editions printed during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Randolph aimed to streamline processes in the kitchen, noting “method is the soul of management.”  For all you busy Thanksgiving cooks out there, here’s her methodical approach to roast turkey:

TO ROAST A TURKEY.
Make the forcemeat thus: take the crumb of a loaf of bread, a quarter of a pound of beef suet shred fine, a little sausage meat or veal scraped and pounded very fine, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to your taste; mix it lightly with three eggs, stuff the craw with it, spit it, and lay it down a good distance from the fire, which should be clear and brisk; dust and baste it several times with cold lard; it makes the froth stronger than basting it with the hot out of the dripping pan, and makes the turkey rise better; when it is enough, froth it up as before, dish it, and pour on the same gravy as for the boiled turkey, or bread sauce; garnish with lemon and pickles, and serve it up; if it be of a middle size, it will require one hour and a quarter to roast.

View the full text at the Hathi Trust or Find the original in Special Collections

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Food Revolutions digital exhibit now online

If you missed Food Revolutions, our exhibition of food- and diet-related publications last spring, you can now view it online!  This exhibition examines our changing notions of healthy eating over two centuries.

The digital version of the exhibit features a video of Dr. Ingolf Gruen’s opening talk, as well as images and links to full text for many of the books we featured in the Ellis Library Colonnade. Food Revolutions was an event affiliated with Food Sense: The 8th Annual Life Sciences and Society Symposium.

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Posted in Digital Collections, Exhibits

Friday Food: Eliza Leslie’s Recipe for Green Corn Pudding, 1837

Don’t miss the Food Sense symposium this weekend! This is our last Friday Food post.  Eliza Leslie (1787–1858) aspired to be a poet or novelist, but she is best remembered today for her cookbooks.  In 1828, Leslie published her first book, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, a collection of recipes she had developed as a cooking school student. Encouraged by its popularity, she went on to publish at least six more titles and established a reputation as the most popular and influential food writer in America.  Directions for Cookery (1837) is considered her most important work.

Leslie was famous for popularizing distinctly American foods, as the following recipe from Directions for Cookery shows.  Her Indian Meal Book (1846) was the first cookbook devoted entirely to corn.

Green Corn Pudding

From Directions for Cookery

Take twelve ears of green corn, as it is called, (that is, Indian corn when full grown, but before it begins to harden and turn yellow,) and grate it. Have ready a quart of rich milk, and stir into it by degrees a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, and a quarter of a pound of sugar. Beat four eggs till quite light; and then stir them into the milk, &c. alternately with the grated corn, a little of each at a time. Put the mixture into a large buttered dish, and bake it four hours. It may be eaten either warm or cold, for sauce, beat together butter and white sugar in equal proportions, mixed with grated nutmeg.

To make this pudding,—you may, if more convenient, boil the corn and cut it from the cob; but let it get quite cold before you stir it into the milk. If the corn has been previously boiled, the pudding will require but two hours to bake.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

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