On today's date in 1762 - that's 245 years ago - Mary Randolph the first Virginia housewife was born. Technically she wasn't the first Virginia housewife, but she was the first to write about being a proper Virginia housewife. In 1824 she published what some consider to be the first American cookbook, and what all consider to be the first cookbook highlighting Southern cuisine. Appropriately entitled, The Virginia Housewife, Mary subtly discusses the influence of African cooking in the South and started the trend of listing the measurement of each ingredient. She provides information on everything from pickling to making homemade liquors and includes over 20 ice cream recipes! In honor of today being National Rice Pudding day, I've included Mary Randolph's old-school recipe for rice pudding after the break. Get it when you
Boil half a pound of rice in milk, until it is quite tender; beat it well with a wooden spoon to mash the grains; add three quarters of a pound of sugar, and the same of melted butter; half a nutmeg, six eggs, a gill of wine, and some grated lemon peel; put a paste in the dish, and bake it. For change, it may be boiled, and eaten with butter, sugar, and wine.