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

Recipe

Tomata Marmalade – The Virginia House-Wife, pg. 203-204 / Mary Randolph

Tomata Marmalade – The Virginia House-Wife, pg. 203-204 / Mary Randolph

  Tomata Marmalade Gather full grown tomatas while quite green, take out the stems and stew them till soft, rub them through a sieve , put the pulp on the fire seasoned highly with pepper, salt, and pounded cloves: add some garlic, and stew all […]

French Beans – The Virginia House-Wife. pg. 126 / Mary Randolph

French Beans – The Virginia House-Wife. pg. 126 / Mary Randolph

French Beans Cut off the stalk end first, and then turn to the point and strip off the strings ; if not quite fresh, have a bowl of spring water, with a little salt dissolved in it, standing before you, as the beans are cleansed […]

Cauliflower – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 123 / Mary Randolph

Cauliflower – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 123 / Mary Randolph

Choose those that are close and white, and of a middle size, trim off the outside leaves, cut off the stalk flat at the bottom, let them lie in salt and water an hour before you boil them.  Put them in boiling water with a […]

Cabbage A-La-Creme – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 105 / Mary Randolph

Cabbage A-La-Creme – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 105 / Mary Randolph

Take two good heads of cabbage, cut out the stalks, boil it tender with a little salt in the water, have ready one large spoonful of butter and a small one of flour rubbed into it, half a pint of milk, with pepper and salt, […]

Asparagus – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 121 / Mary Randolph

Asparagus – The Virginia House-Wife, pg 121 / Mary Randolph

Set a stew pan with plenty of water on the fire, sprinkle a handful of salt in it, let it boil and skim it; then put the asparagus prepared thus: scrape all the stalks till they are perfectly clean, throw them in a pan of […]

Compote of Apples – The Virginia House-Wife, pgs. 154-5 / Mary Randolph

Compote of Apples – The Virginia House-Wife, pgs. 154-5 / Mary Randolph

Pare and core the apples, and if you prefer it, cut them in four, wash them clean, and put them in a pan with water and sugar enough to cover them; add cinnamon, and lemon peal which has been previously soaked, scraped on the inside, […]