We are always mindful that Venoge has a French-Swiss heritage. Charlotte Golay was the first housewife to use the hearth at Venoge and she was born in Switzerland. She left Switzerland at the age of fourteen and presumably by then she would have been familiar with Swiss cooking traditions. Three years later at the age of seventeen, she married Jacob Weaver in New York State. They came to New Switzerland in 1813 and as a new wife and mother she would have been learning the American way of cooking.
When we think about what to prepare in Charlotte’s kitchen at Venoge, we like to include some Swiss recipes, especially at Christmas. We have served a fondue cooked on the hearth and traditional Swiss cookies during our Christmas celebration. The ones we like best are Mailanderli, the delicate butter cookies made with lemon. We also draw on the common recipes of the day as put into print by Hannah Glasse in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy (1747), Amelia Simmons in American Cookery (1796), and Mary Randolph in The Virginia Housewife (1824).
We hope you enjoy the recipes and the history behind them as we do.