Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #49 - The Thalhimers Richmond Room (Richmond, Virginia)

At this time of year I'm all about cooking comfort foods. Something rich, creamy and hot sounded good for a sweet treat one day, so I decided to make a Rice Pudding recipe I came across in a book about one of the old department stores I so love to research!

"Our Snow Bear Scrapbook: Memories and Recipes from Thalhimers" was written by Elizabeth Thalhimer (now Elizabeth Thalhimer Smartt) and illustrated by her mother, Sallie Thalhimer. Smartt is also the author of the fine book "Finding Thalhimers" (2010). Ever since I started researching department store tea rooms a few years ago, I've developed a great interest in the history of the founders of this country's fine old (and largely gone) department stores. Only a handful of them ever actually had a book devoted to their history, and I must say that "Finding Thalhimers" was a delight to read. Smartt, the great-great-great-granddaughter of the founder, felt compelled to explore her family history through the history of the store, which was in business from 1842 to 1992. After I read her book, I was thrilled to come across this earlier book, published in 2000, of recipes from Thalhimers! The book's title refers to Snow Bear, the popular Christmas character at Thalhimers, and features a number of recipes once served in the store's tea room, the Richmond Room.

The book has plenty of recipes I plan to try, but this delicious Rice Pudding was so fast and easy, with ingredients likely to always be on hand, that I'm sure I'll be making it again and again!

Rice Pudding

1/2 cup uncooked regular rice
3 eggs, well-beaten
1-1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions, then combine with remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a 9 x 9-inch pan prepared with cooking spray and bake for 40-45 minutes. According to the book, this dish was "a delight for kids and grown-ups alike in the Richmond Room."


  1. How fun that you found another department store tea room cookbook, and the recipe for rice pudding looks delicious!

  2. That looks delicious! That is definitely a perfect cookbook for you!

  3. That rice pudding looks yummy. I've always liked rice pudding, as well as old fashioned bread pudding. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I was researching vintage napkins on eBay, and found this:

    Vintage Poughkeepsie Inn Dutchess Room Large Napkin.

    I don't think you collect napkins, but maybe?

  5. Your rice pudding made me think of my dad, it was a favourite of his.

  6. How wonderful you came across this cookbook from my hometown! Thalhimers was a wonderful place to shop. My sisters and I would ride the bus downtown for a visit. At Christmas they had the most amazing decorated windows and Snow Bear was always featured. ♥

  7. I'm making for our breakfast right now!

  8. This recipe sounds fast and easy, my kind of recipe, thank you!

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  10. I loved shopping at Thalhimers growing up. I don't recall our local store having a tea room. This recipe looks great!

  11. The rice pudding looks totally delicious. I haven't had rice pudding in such a long time.


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