Happy National Doughnut Day!
We don’t have much information about this image that was found in a box of miscellaneous photographs, but suffice to say, looks like President Truman would be down with National Doughnut Day.
Caption: President Harry S. Truman, wearing an overcoat, stops to share a cup of coffee and a doughnut with two unidentified men. In the background is a map of the United States. From: Found in a box of miscellaneous photographs in the Audio/Visual area of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.
-from the Truman Library
Have a good Doughnut Day lunch break!
Queen Elizabeth’s Letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower , 01/24/1960
Item from Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum Manuscripts Collection. (04/01/1985)
Enclosed in this letter are Queen Elizabeth’s further instructions for her drop scone recipe. It is written on Buckingham Palace note paper and signed “Yours Sincerely, Elizabeth R.”
Who enjoys fried chicken?
Fun lunchtime fact: before industrialized chicken production became commonplace, people ate fried chicken in the spring, made with young chickens. Older chickens do not get tender enough in the short cooking time and high heat used for frying.
Here’s a photo from the Truman Library’s historic food series of John Steelman, Assistant to the President, eating fried chicken with his wife (center) and another woman.
Have good lunch!
FDR’s Favorite Fruitcake
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cake of choice was none other than the Christmas favorite — fruitcake. The Roosevelt’s cook and housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt, wrote a cookbook filled with recipes the family enjoyed called, The Presidential Cookbook – Feeding the Roosevelts and Their Guests.
Here’s what the President ate:
Henrietta Nesbitt’s Fruitcake
1 ½ pounds brown sugar
1 ½ pounds butter
1 ½ pounds flour (6 cups)
1 ½ cups honey
2 lemon rinds, grated, and juice
1 ½ teaspoons mace
1 nutmeg, grated
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cloves
6 pounds dates
1 ½ pounds almonds cut lengthwise
2 ½ pounds mixed peel (1 ½ citron, ½ lemon, ½ orange)
¾ cup brandy, poured over fruit the night before
¾ cup sherry, poured over fruit the night before
1 cup of above flour sifted over fruit before adding to batter
Cream butter and sugar together. Beat whole eggs light, then add some of the creamed butter and beat very light; next the flour, and so on until all are mixed. Add the fruit last. Set cake forms in pans of water and bake in slow oven for 3 hours. All flour for cakes should be sifted twice before measuring. Bake in bread tins in pans of water in 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Yield, 3 pounds in bread pan. Yield, 8 loaves.
Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt with two of his grandchildren in front of the White House Christmas Tree. 12/25/39.
-from the FDR Library
Ike’s Bourbon Egg Nog
Our Presidents is celebrating the holiday season with First Family foods! We’ll be serving up festive Presidential recipes and White House menus all month long.
To whet your appetite, here’s Dwight D. Eisenhower’s recipe for Egg Nog. The former President and Five Star General made some serious stuff — scaled to serve a small army of revelers. Make sure you’ve got a quart of bourbon and a pound of sugar on hand!
Ike was an avid cook and kept a personal collection of favorite recipes. These were either typed by his staff or clipped from newspapers and magazines. Take a look at more recipes from Ike’s cookbook here.
Betty Ford enlisted the aid of David Jones, a floral designer and interior decorator from Los Angeles, to put together decorations for this dinner honoring the Shahahshah and Empress of Iran. It was a white tie event, and one of the more formal dinners that the Fords would host.
The garden-themed decor featured bronze sculptures on loan from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were designed by American artists Robert Ingersoll Aitken, Abstenia St. Leger Eberle, Janet Scudder, and Bessie Potter Vonnoh. Each sculpture was placed on a low platform surrounded by greenery and candles.
Garlands draped on the back of the chairs and around the room finished the decor. The garden theme carried outside of the State Dining Room as well with the addition of trees and planters in the Cross Hall.
Although the Johnson china with its wildflower pattern was often used at state dinners, for this one the meal was served on the Truman china with its green border. The Kennedy crystal and Monroe vermeil completed the table settings.
"During World War II, of course, I ate my share of SPAM along with millions of other soldiers. I’ll even confess to a few unkind remarks about it — uttered during the strain of battle, you understand."
-Eisenhower’s letter to the President of the Hormel Foods Board regarding SPAM
In 1966, Eisenhower wrote to H.H. “Tim” Corey (President and later Chairman of the Board of Hormel Foods) at the request of a mutual friend to recognize the 75th anniversary of the company. The tongue-in-cheek letter recounts Eisenhower’s remembrances of Spam during WWII.
PHOTO CAPTION: This unsigned file copy of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s letter to H.H. Corey was retained by his staff to document what he wrote.
-From the Eisenhower Library
The tables for the state dinner in honor of President Leone were set with the Johnson china, vermeil flatware, and Morgantown crystal. The flower arrangements included Marguerite daisies, chrysanthemums, snapdragons, miniature carnations, and straw flowers.
Lady Bird Johnson’s wildflower White House china? Souffle au Grand Marnier with Sauce Sabayon? Yes, please.