Time for the November installment of our monthly series in which we post a recipe from The Virginia House-wife, a recipe book published in 1824 by Mary Randolph, kinswoman to Thomas Jefferson. Leni Sorensen, our African American Research Historian and a culinary historian of national repute, has once again made this month's dish and here we include her notes and pictures.

Mary Randolph,The Virginia House-Wife, 1824; facsimile of first edition, Historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess, University of South Carolina Press, 1984, p. 79.

Sauce for a Goose
November 2011

The original recipe from Mary Randolph:

Pare, core, and slice some apples, put them in a sauce pan, with as much water as will keep them from burning, set them over a very slow fire, keep them covered till reduced to a pulp, then put in a lump of butter, and sugar to your taste, beat them well, and send them to the table in a china bowl.

Leni's notes:

Pick the fall apples that suit you; sweet soft or hard tart; each type will render a different texture and final taste.  I used a combination of Gala, Grimes Golden, Rome, and Winesap. 

This is possibly one of Randolph’s simplest recipes but it is a sauce that has many uses.  Quickly made, it is sweet and buttery, it not only would accent the rich flavor of roasted goose but duck as well.  Or turkey or pork chops.  It would even make a lovely side dish to a platter of potato pancakes.

And please note that I did not mention ‘sauce for the gander’ till the very end.☺