Posts by Karmen Hall Beecroft

A Happy 254th Birthday to "Queen Molly"!

Drawing of book with mounts and snake. Open pages read "HAPPY BIRTHDAY."

In 1824, Mary Randolph poured a lifetime's worth of experience as manager of a grand estate into a single unassuming volume of recipes and household hints. Arguably America's first regional cookbook, The Virginia House-wife represents decades of changing fortunes and evolving palates for the Randolphs, and indeed the whole country, in the years immediately proceeding the Revolutionary War.

Happy 172nd Birthday, Miss Parloa!

Based on her experiences as pastry chef for the Appeldore House resort, "Miss Parloa," as she came to be known to her students and readers, published her first work, The Appeldore Cook Book, in 1872. Over the course of her lifetime, Maria Parloa would go on to found a two cooking schools, publish nine more books, and endorse a variety of culinary products. Miss Parloa stood out from her contemporaries both because of her savvy business acumen and her emphasis on home economics.