Both architecture and cookery combine the simple and the sophisticated. Both are grounded in British and European traditions, but the materials are native: red clay, heart pine, and stone for the houses; and for the food, the bounty of farm, garden, orchard, water, and woodland. The architecture is influenced by the vagaries of Virginia’s climate, the food by the varied heritage of its cooks.
Cookbooks came early to Virginia. The first cookbook produced in colonial British North America was published in Williamsburg in 1742: The Compleat Housewife, by Eliza Smith. This book is a less than complete descendant, its recipes, or receipts, chosen to give an idea of typical Virginia cooking, as well as the directions for some of its peculiar specialties.
Published by The James River Garden Club. Softcover, 39 pages.