The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook
BY MRS. MARY RANDOLPH.
METHOD IS THE SOUL OF MANAGEMENT.
WITH AMENDMENTS AND ADDITIONS.
PUBLISHED BY JOHN PLASKITT,
218 Market Street.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO WIT:
Be it remembered, That on the twenty-ninth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Seal.twenty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the fifty-second, William B. Randolph, of the said district, has deposited in the office of the Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
“The Virginia Housewife; or, Methodical Cook. By Mrs. Mary Randolph. Method is the soul of management.”
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned”—and also to the act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled, ‘An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,’ and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the public seal of my office, the day and year aforesaid.
EDM. I. LEE,
Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
The difficulties I encountered when I first entered on the duties of a housekeeping life, from the want of books sufficiently clear and concise to impart knowledge to a Tyro, compelled me to study the subject, and by actual experiment to reduce every thing in the culinary line, to proper weights and measures. This method I found not only to diminish the necessary attention and labour, but to be also economical: for, when the ingredients employed were given in just proportions, the article made was always equally good. The government of a family, bears a Lilliputian resemblance to the government of a nation. The contents of the Treasury must be known, and great care taken to keep the expenditures from being equal to the receipts. A regular system must be introduced into each department, which may be modified until matured, and should then pass into an inviolable law. The grand arcanum of management lies in three simple rules:—“Let every thing be done at a proper time, keep every thing in its proper place, and put every thing to its proper use.” If the mistress of a family, will every morning examine minutely the different departments of her household, she must detect errors in their infant state, when they can be corrected with ease; but a few days' growth gives them gigantic strength: and disorder, with all her attendant evils, are introduced. Early rising is also essential to the good government of a family. A late breakfast deranges the whole business of the day, and throws a portion of it on the next, which opens the door for confusion to enter. The greater part of the following receipts have been written from memory, where they were impressed by long continued practice. Should they prove serviceable to the young inexperienced housekeeper, it will add greatly to that gratification which an extensive circulation of the work will be likely to confer.
Washington, January, 1831.
The prosperity and happiness of a family depend greatly on the order and regularity established in it. The husband, who can ask a friend to partake of his dinner in full confidence of finding his wife unruffled by the petty vexations attendant on the neglect of household duties—who can usher his guest into the dining-room assured of seeing that methodical nicety which is the essence of true elegance,—will feel pride and exultationin the possession of a companion, who gives to his home charms that gratify every wish of his soul, and render the haunts of dissipation hateful to him. The sons bred in such a family will be moral men, of steady habits; and the daughters, if the mother shall have performed the duties of a parent in the superintendence of their education, as faithfully as she has done those of a wife, will each be a treasure to her husband; and being formed on the model of an exemplary mother, will use the same means for securing the happiness of her own family, which she has seen successfully practised under the paternal roof.