Presidential Palates, Part 4

washington

“A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always welcome.”  George Washington

Our first president, George Washington (1789-1797), was a man of simple taste.  His love of nuts is said to have left him with only one natural tooth.  His habit of cracking nuts with his teeth resulted in a mouthful of false teeth made from a variety of materials–animal teeth, ivory and even wood, according to the Smithsonian Institute.

One of George Washington’s favorite regular menus started with cream of peanut soup and ended with Martha’s whiskey cake.  (President Washington was very fond of his mash.  He started a whiskey-distillation business at Mount Vernon after leaving politics.)

mt
The Dining Room at Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s home.

Cream of Peanut Soup

2 tablespoons butter

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1  1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup milk

Snipped chives

Chopped peanuts for garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan.  Cook celery and onion until onion is tender, but not browned.  Stir in flour and cook about one minute.  Whisk in chicken broth, cooking until thickened and bubbly.
  2. Remove from heat.  Puree mixture in batches, in a blender, until smooth.  Return to saucepan.
  3. Add the peanut butter and milk, stirring to blend thoroughly.  Heath through, but do not boil.  Serve hot or cold.  Garnish with snipped chives and chopped peanuts, if desired.

cream-of-peanut-soupThis is a simplified version of the recipe that would have been served to Washington and his guests, but it has the same rich flavor and creamy consistency of the original.  It is also much more classroom-friendly.  Give it a try with your students!

More Presidential Palates tomorrow!  Happy Monday!

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