Try 200-year-old food this weekend at Blount Mansion

Have you ever thought about what food was served to the South’s finest mouths hundreds of years ago? Find the answers at a special dinner at Blount Mansion.

Knoxville, Tenn. — The food we know and love today had to evolve from some person, place, and time in the past, and now you can try some of the predecessors to our dinnertime favorites.

This Friday, May 20 at the Blount Mansion, historian and chef Christopher E. Hendricks and his mom, Susan, will be cooking some of the dishes from a centuries-old cookbook.

It’s a fundraiser for the historic Blount Mansion in Downtown Knoxville.

Hendricks’ book, “Old Sothern Cookery: Mary Randolph’s Recipes from America’s First Regional Cookbook Adapted for Today’s Kitchen” shares recipes from a cookbook originally published in 1824.

It includes everything from appetizers to drinks to main dishes to desserts, some of which you can try at Friday’s dinner

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The evening will start in the Blount Mansion garden with an 18th-century-style rum punch and other drinks and appetizers from the cookbook.

Dinner and dessert will follow, with the Hendricks giving a presentation on the original 1824 cookbook and its author, Mary Randolph.

The new cookbook will be available for purchase.

For dessert, you can expect a rice pudding pie. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, here’s the recipe straight from 1824.

  • Prepare a homemade or storebought pastry shell in a pie pan
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Scald 2 cups of whole milk in a saucepot over medium heat, but do not bring to a boil
  • Add 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of uncooked rice
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender
  • Mash well with a potato masher or whip in a blender or food processor
  • In a bowl, stir together 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 2 ounces of white wine, then add all this to the pot of rice
  • Pour into the pastry shell and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the top is brown

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OK yes, the recipe is modified a little bit since 200 years ago you couldn’t set your oven to a certain temperature with the push of a button.

If you want to try this pie without making it yourself, tickets are still available for Friday’s dinner here.

Tickets are $50 apiece and reservations are recommended.

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