Dwight D. Eisenhower, FACSessorize, Family and Consumer Science Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Day, FCS, Food and Culinary Arts, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Home economics, Lyndon Johnson, Presidential palates

Presidential Palates, Part 11

This blog post was originally published on November 1, 2016 as the first in a fifteen-part series related to the 2016 Presidential election. Beginning today we will be sharing these posts again in hopes that our readers will find some historical info regarding past presidents and their food preferences for use in the FACS classroom. A new Presidential Palates post will be shared each weekday between now and Election Day on November 3. Please note that the concluding post of this series is a quiz based on the Presidential Palates series of posts.

johnson-and-humphrey

President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963 – 1969) is famous for what became known as “Barbecue Diplomacy” for his habit of hosting outdoor gatherings for politicians, constituents, and donors at his ranch near Johnson City, Texas.  Johnson was the first president to host a cookout on the West Terrace of the White House.

The food for most of LBJ’s barbecues was prepared by Walter Jetton.  Jetton ran a popular catering company out of Ft. Worth, just a few hours from the LBJ Ranch.  Jetton usually dressed in a Stetson hat, creased white shirt, and string tie, and he billed himself as the “Barbecue King.”  He often had a while headless cow rotating on a spit beside a smoldering log fire.  That must have been quite a sight on the manicured lawn of the White House.

A native Texan, LBJ insisted that the portions served at his Texas-style barbecues be big!  In addition to barbecued beef dripping with Jetton’s special barbecue sauce, the menu at these events often included huge heaps of black-eyed peas and tapioca pudding.

Walter Jetton’s Barbecue Sauce

1 cup tomato ketchup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1  1/2 cups water

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 bay leaves

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons chopped onion

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and strain.

Yield:  About 2  1/2 cups sauce.

Of this recipe, Jetton wrote, “This is the secret of the ages I am giving you here, and I would not be surprised if wars have been fought over less.  Use this as a plate or table sauce with beef, chicken, pork, or almost anything else.  Don’t cook things in it.”

mamie-and-ike

President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 – 1961) not only loved eating Beef Stew, he loved preparing it as well.  “Beef soup was one of his specialties, and he would leave the soup simmering on the stove in the kitchen for hours, causing much mouth-watering among the (White House) kitchen staff.”  In 1955, the Associated Press printed the recipe for Ike’s favorite beef stew, which his wife, Mamie, originally shared with the North Dakota Cow-Belles, an auxiliary of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.  “The Cow-Belles were a bit taken aback at first because the recipe was for 60 portions,” the AP reported.

This recipe for Beef Stew is a little more classroom-friendly than Ike’s version.

Quick and Easy Beef Stew

2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 package McCormick’s Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

3 cups water

5 cups frozen vegetables for stew

Directions:

  1. Dredge beef with flour.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.  Add 1/2 of the beef; brown on all sides.
  3. Repeat with remaining beef, adding remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Return all beef to skillet.
  4. Stir in seasoning mix and water.
  5. Add vegetables; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Yield:  8 (1-cup) servings

 

Abraham Lincoln, FACS on the Road, FACSessorize, Family and Consumer Science Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Day, FCS, Food and Culinary Arts, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Home economics, Presidential palates

Presidential Palates, Part 9

This blog post was originally published on October 25, 2016 as the first in a fifteen-part series related to the 2016 Presidential election. Beginning today we will be sharing these posts again in hopes that our readers will find some historical info regarding past presidents and their food preferences for use in the FACS classroom. A new Presidential Palates post will be shared each weekday between now and Election Day on November 3. Please note that the concluding post of this series is a quiz based on the Presidential Palates series of posts.

abraham-lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln (1861 – 1865) is one of the most studied and analyzed figures in all of American history, so it’s not surprising that we know quite a lot about his food preferences and habits.  Several books have been written about Mr. Lincoln’s culinary tastes (I myself own two of them!) so it’s something of a challenge to synthesize a few interesting facts and recipes from all of this published information, but I’m going to give it a shot.

It’s said that Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln had a hard time getting him to remember to eat at all.  When she did discover foods that he truly enjoyed, she made sure that they were available whenever he wanted them.  For the most part, his food tastes were simple.  He loved fresh fruit, particularly apples.  One of his favorite meals was simply fresh fruit and nuts, cheese and crackers.

While debating Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln amused the audience with a childhood story about his mother’s gingerbread men.  Gingerbread men remained one of Lincoln’s favorite treats throughout his life.

“Once in a while my mother used to get some sorghum and ginger and make some gingerbread.  It wasn’t often, and it was our biggest treat.”  Abraham Lincoln

gingerbread-men

Gingerbread Men Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
  4. Press dough into a thick flat disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate four hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface.  Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown.  Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove to wire racks; cool completely.  Decorate cooled cookies as desired.  Store cookies in airtight container up to 5 days.

Yield:  24 gingerbread men

President Lincoln had a particular passion for oysters just about any way they were served.  Oysters were served at Lincoln’s second inaugural dinner along with poultry, tarts, jellies, and terrapin stew (stew made from turtles).  An interesting footnote to that dinner is that it hilariously evolved into a food fight because there wasn’t enough food to go around!  The Washington Evening Star reported, “The floor of the supper room was soon sticky, pasty and oily with wasted confections, mashed cake, and debris of foul and meat.”  What a sight that must have been!

Other foods that Mr. Lincoln particularly enjoyed were bacon, corn cakes, and chicken fricassee with herbed biscuits.

Family and Consumer Science Education, FCS, Food and Culinary Arts, For the Love of FACS, Historical FACS, Home economics, Jimmy Carter, Presidential palates

Presidential Palates, Part 8

This blog post was originally published on October 21, 2016 as the first in a fifteen-part series related to the 2016 Presidential election. Beginning today we will be sharing these posts again in hopes that our readers will find some historical info regarding past presidents and their food preferences for use in the FACS classroom. A new Presidential Palates post will be shared each weekday between now and Election Day on November 3. Please note that the concluding post of this series is a quiz based on the Presidential Palates series of posts.

President Jimmy Carter (1977 – 1981) brought southern hospitality into the White House along with his taste for simple, country food.  In an interview with Oprah, President Carter describes the transition this way. “The favorite meal is country food. When we got ready to move into the White House, Rosalynn went in—one of our staff members did—and asked the cooks and so forth at the White House, ‘Do you think you can make the kind of meals that the Carters are going to enjoy?’” President Carter tells Oprah. “And their response was, ‘Yeah, we’ve been cooking that kind of meal for the servants for the last 20 years.’”

Whether a visitor hailed from south Alabama or the South of France, they were often treated to a heaping bowl of grits, baked with cheese, during visits to Carter’s White House during the breakfast hour.  Other favorites of the 39th President are cornbread and sirloin steak.

Cheese Grits Casserole

2 1/4 cups whole milk

2 1/4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup quick-cooking grits

1 (8 ounce) package processed cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed

1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed

1/4 cup butter

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter a 9 x 12-inch baking dish.
  2. Bring milk, water, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; gradually sprinkle grits into the boiling liquid, stirring to combine.
  3. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir processed cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese, butter, and garlic powder into grits, stirring until cheese has melted.
  5. Let the mixture stand until cooled, about 15 minutes.  Stir beaten eggs into grits; transfer to prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the top is lightly golden brown and the grits are set, about 45 minutes.

Yield:  10 servings

I will wrap up this blog series next Friday!  Have a great weekend!