Known as “Queen Molly” the woman who set the finest table in early 19th century Richmond, Mary Randolph and the unnamed enslaved cooks in her kitchens produced food that set the standard for excellence in Southern cookery. Cook and explore along with me through the wonderful recipes in her classic book The Virginia House-Wife, first published in 1826. – – An Indigo House Digital project

Author: Leni Ashmore Sorensen

ONE DELICIOUS RECIPE AT A TIME

ONE DELICIOUS RECIPE AT A TIME

  I’m slowly working my savory way through my Mary Randolph project. So far, with the exception of souse with its gristly-bits which I just can’t learn to enjoy, all the dishes have been delicious. What is the most exciting part is getting a feel […]

I Served an Historic Farmstead Dinner at Indigo House

I Served an Historic Farmstead Dinner at Indigo House

On Saturday evening one hundred and ninety-one years after the first publication of Mary Randolph’s The Virginia House-Wife my eight dinner guests partook of a menu directly taken from its pages. Our opening course was her wonderful ‘gaspacha’!     John volunteered to work the […]

Would you like to have dinner with me at Indigo House?

Would you like to have dinner with me at Indigo House?

On Saturday, Sept 16 I will be creating an historic Mary Randolph themed dinner party to be presented at my house. It is going to be a food adventure for me. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and the time […]

Through the Seasons: A free gift to all my wonderful cooking friends – Enjoy!!

Through the Seasons: A free gift to all my wonderful cooking friends – Enjoy!!

This year is the beginning of a new journey for me. I’m setting out by offering a gift to all of you who have supported my work over the years. Thank you. To download a PDF of Through the Seasons with the Virginia House-Wife vol […]

To Dress Salad – The Virginia House-Wife /  pg. 115 / Mary Randolph

To Dress Salad – The Virginia House-Wife / pg. 115 / Mary Randolph

To Dress Salad To have this delicate dish in perfection, the lettuce, pepper grass, chervil, cress, &c. should be gathered early in the morning, nicely picked, washed, and laid in cold water, which will be improved by adding ice ; just before dinner is ready […]

Raspberry Vinegar – The Virginia House-Wife / p. 215 / Mary Randolph

Raspberry Vinegar – The Virginia House-Wife / p. 215 / Mary Randolph

  Put a quart of ripe red raspberries in a bowl ; pour on them a quart of strong well-flavoured vinegar, let them stand 24 hours, strain them through a bag, put this liquid on another quart of fresh raspberries, which strain in the same […]

To Fry Sliced Potatoes – The Virginia House-Wife | p.118 | Mary Randolph

To Fry Sliced Potatoes – The Virginia House-Wife | p.118 | Mary Randolph

  Peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peal a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping. Take care that your […]

Winter Squash – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 135 | Mary Randolph

Winter Squash – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 135 | Mary Randolph

The crooked neck of this squash is the best part. Cut it in slices an inch thick, take off the rind and boil them with salt in the water; drain them well before they are dished, and pour melted butter over – serve them up […]

Okra and Tomatoes – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 95. | Mary Randolph

Okra and Tomatoes – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 95. | Mary Randolph

Take an equal quantity of each, let the okra be young, slice it, and skin the tomatas, put them in a pan without water, add a lump of butter, and onion chopped fine, some pepper and salt, and stew them one hour.   Gumbs – […]

Eggplant – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 131-132 | Mary Randolph

Eggplant – The Virginia House-Wife | pg. 131-132 | Mary Randolph

The purple ones are best, get them young and fresh, pull out the stem, and parboil them to take off the bitter taste; cut them in slices an inch thick, but do not peel them, dip them in the yelk of an egg and cover […]