Extract from Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge to Henry S. Randall

Then he had lived abroad and he had introduced into his own household many of what were called foreign ways. He ate with a silver fork when other people used steel. He would have his plate changed several times during dinner, a habit not observed, in those days, by country gentlemen generally ... My grandfather had his bed-chambers fitted up with alcoves, a french fashion not often adopted in America. He preferred french wines to Madeira or Sherry. He set up a small Brewery at Monticello and brewed his own ale. He liked boiled Beef, Bouilli, better than roast. He ate a great many vegetables and little meat, contrary to the custom of his countrymen ... I have no doubt that his Bouilli and his vegetables and his silver fork were all looked on with good humoured indulgence by his friends, and perhaps considered by his enemies as so many proofs of his being under french influence & conspiring with Bonaparte.

Tr in Letterbook (ViU: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge Correspondence).

Beef Bouilli is made by cooking beef with vegetables and herbs in a stewpot, rather than on a spit over a fire, and reserving the juices for gravy (Eliza Leslie, Directions for Cookery [Philadelphia, 1837]).

Date Range
February 22, 1856
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