Foodie Friday: Presidential Food Favorites
Today is George Washington’s birthday. Last week, we shared a little about what on earth Presidents’ Day has to offer a foodie and how it was established to celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln.
Utensils from TheGraphicsFairy.blogspot.com
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” ~ Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 19th century gastronomer
I also loved the next line on the food timeline website: Indeed, there is no better measure of personal taste than the food one eats.
Of course, if this is the case, then I am a giant pile of melty French cheese, bread, excessive hummus (because it’s so “healthy,”) and steaming plates of pasta. However, in my defense, I’m also made from real fruits and vegetables carefully chopped by hand and meals predominantly cooked at home in my cozy kitchen. My kids are made of lunches they pack themselves, and only small portions of each member of our family are made up of carefully-sneaked chocolate.
Vintage 1900s gorgonzola cheese image via TheGraphicsFairy.blogspot.com
So, as we follow up the foodie fun on Presidents Washington and Lincoln, here are some more fun food tidbits.
Please note that all the information below is gleaned and summarized from the interesting research of Lynne Olver and copyrighted by the aforementioned Food Timeline website, which I highly recommend you check out… more on that below!)
Vintage cherries from TheGraphicsFairy.blogspot.com
- Associated with cherries.
- Loved a wide variety of fruits, nut and fish.
- Preferred simple meals over fancy ones.
- Lived in a home (Mount Vernon) that was completely self-sufficient with extensive farms, orchards, meat preservation facilities and animals.
- “Ate heartily, but was not particular in his diet, with the exception of fish, of which he was excessively fond. He partook sparingly of dessert and… drank from four to five glasses of Madeira wine.”
- Often enjoyed a relaxed breakfast prepared by Martha Washington of tea, coffee, small plates of sliced tongues and dry toast, bread and butter.
- Family recipes were recorded in Martha’s Booke of Cookery (reprinted by Columbia University Press).
More cherries from TheGraphicsFairy.blogspot.com
- Was a hearty eater who never lost his taste for things that a growing farmer’s boy would like.
- Had a particular fondness for apples, hot coffee and bacon.
- Was a gentleman at the table and was uncritical: “He ate what was before him, making no complaint.”
- Grew up on the frontier, where he ate very plain food such as corn dodgers (cakes made of coarse cornmeal), wild game, cornbread, eggs, milk and so forth.
- Was partial to honey, a great delicacy for him at the time.
- Breakfast might be a single egg, and lunch might be a biscuit and some fruit or grapes.
- Was often so preoccupied he gave little thought to food, eating irregularly and in small portions and preferring to nibble on fruit.
- Often frustrated Mary by dining in a spartan fashion and left food all but untouched on his plate.
- Told a story of his mother getting sorghum and ginger to make gingerbread, which he took to eat under a hickory tree and shared with a poor neighbor boy, observing that he seemed to like gingerbread. The boy replied “Abe, I don’t s’pose anybody on earth likes gingerbread better’n I do–and gets less’n I do.”
My recommendation would be that you whip up some gingerbread (here’s another blogger’s recount of the story with a recipe
), spread some melty butter on it and find some time this weekend to settle in and read some more of the interesting stories of food and presidents on the Food Timeline website.
Do your eating habits mirror those of a particular president? Are there any recipes you plan to sample?
Where else? TheGraphicsFairy.blogspot.com
Note: The vast majority of the information in this post comes from the Food Timeline website and the research of Lynne Olver, copyright 1999. Our intent in sharing snippets of it is to refer you to the full body of work, not to take credit for it in any way or present it as original. You might be interested to learn that “FoodTimeline library owns 2000+ books, hundreds of 20th century USA food company brochures, & dozens of vintage magazines (Good Housekeeping, American Cookery, Ladies Home Journal) and ready access to historic magazines and newspapers.” They encourage you to inquire into their culinary research and ask questions. Happy reading, food bloggers!~ Beth