April 13 would have been playwright Lanford Wilson's 77th birthday, so we're celebrating him by featuring his work on this week's Manuscript Monday. Wilson passed away in 2011 and left his papers to the University of Missouri Libraries. The collection includes correspondence, working notebooks, drafts and proof copies, and well as work related to Wilson's personal interests, such as gardening and art collecting.
The manuscripts featured here relate to Wilson's plays A Sense of Place and Fifth of July, which was recently produced on campus by the MU Theatre Department. It's fascinating to watch Wilson at work through these pages, as he adds, edits and deletes the texts of his plays.
An unexpected bonus: we also found Wilson's recipe for tomato tart, which sounds delicious. Let us know if you try it!
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!