The Virtue of “Early Rising”

Bran muffin recipeIn keeping with our celebration of Mother’s Day, below is a reflection on First Lady and Mother Martha Washington, followed by recipes for a special Mother’s Day brunch (muffins, grapefruit and avocado salad, curried carrot coconut soup, easy curried chicken and grandma’s southern coconut cake).

“As with the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house”, wrote Isabella Beeton (1836-1865), an English woman concerned with the critical importance of the art of “making” and “keeping” a comfortable home.

In her book The Campaign for Domestic Happiness (1861), she describes all of the virtues, etiquette and duties that are essential formanaging a home with excellence, along with recommendations on everything from a suitable wardrobe to the treatment and pay of “domestic help.”

A particular favorite of mine is the importance of “early rising.” Ms. Beeton writes:

“Early rising is one of the most essential qualities which enter into good Household Management…when a mistress is an early riser, it is almost certain that her house will be orderly and well-managed.” Read more