cornelius meets hillary: of cookies, chiles, and scrambled eggs

Some of you may know we love talking about Presidential Food here in the Alphabet Soup kitchen.

Whether it’s polishing off a bowl of JFK’s clam chowder, whipping up a batch of George Washington’s hoecakes, or wrapping our lips around Barack Obama’s homemade chili, learning about our leaders’ favorite foods makes them more human and accessible.

I like associating Ronald Reagan with jelly beans, George Bush with pork rinds, Jimmy Carter with peanuts. But what of the first female presidential nominee?

I guess Hillary Rodham Clinton can be summed up this way: she’s a hot pepper and a smart cookie.ūüôā

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celebrating george washington’s birthday with hoecakes and hospitality

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This year, we celebrated President’s Day with a return visit to Mount Vernon and by whipping up a batch of George Washington’s favorite hoecakes.

After reading Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, 2011), I was especially anxious to check out “Hoecakes and Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington,” a special exhibition at the new Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, a truly fabulous place with its many galleries and theatres, interactive displays, fascinating exhibits and 700+ objects illuminating the style, taste, and personalities of the Washingtons, their life at the Estate, the presidency and the Revolutionary War.

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today’s menu: white house kitchens and dining rooms

~ This is the eighth (and final) in a series of posts about Presidential Food


White House State Dinner, 1888.

All this talk of Presidential Food has, of course, made me very hungry — for JFK’s fish chowder, Barack Obama’s chili, Harry S. Truman’s tuna noodle casserole, and Lincoln’s fruit salad.

But it’s also made me curious — what does the White House kitchen actually look like? Is there more than one kitchen for such a large residence? Does the First Family have their own private kitchen, in case they want a midnight snack?

I toured the White House years ago, and I remember standing in a long line at the East Wing entrance, with the tour itself¬†lasting only about five minutes. I was disappointed, because they didn’t show¬†the kitchen or any of the dining rooms, just a handful of public rooms on the first floor.

But recently I discovered the White House Museum! Squee!! I found it more interesting than the official whitehouse.gov virtual tours, because there are photos of how the rooms have evolved during the last 200 years, making it an invaluable resource for those interested in architecture, interior design, and the personal tastes of previous administrations.

Here’s a peek into the tastiest rooms of the White House:

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