They ate WHAT in the White House??

As Friday is Fun With Food Day, I thought an interesting bit of trivia might be in order.

I’ve been cleaning out the basement and rediscovered my mom’s extensive cookbook collection.  The First Ladies Cookbook especially caught my eye.  Detailing the food preferences of the presidential families from The Washingtons to the Carters, this book gives some very interesting info on what the commander-in-chief has been eating through the decades.  And may I say, “No wonder these men all look like they have indigestion.”

The Tylers and the Fillmores had some nice recipes (they liked their sweets), but be thankful you weren’t on Andrew Jackson’s guest list.  Meat Jelly?  No thank you.  There was a lot of roasting of entire animals and fowl back in the day, which aside from making me want to run screaming to PETA, is just not pretty in the photos.  I think that’s a cherry in the pig’s eye.

Personal gross-outs aside, those southern-bred presidents knew their cornbread.  Yummy.  And I wouldn’t mind trying Bess Truman’s Ozark Pudding.   But the recipe I am going to plagiarise for you today comes from the inimitable Betty Ford’s White House kitchen.  I’m going to try it–with chicken for my carnivorous family and tempeh for me.  If you try it, too, tell us how you like it.  Enjoy!

The Fords’ Ruby-Red Grapefruit Chicken

2 Ruby-red grapefruit

1/2 C whole cranberry sauce

1 T honey

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1 fryer chicken, its little limbs ripped to pieces…kidding, the book says “disjointed”  Wendy says try a nice big package of tempeh.

3 T butter or margarine (I’m going to use grapeseed or olive oil)

Peel and section grapefruit, squeezing all juice from membranes into saucepan.  Add cranberry sauce, honey, cloves and salt, mixing well, then bring to a boil.  Stir in grapefruit sections.  Brown chicken (or tempeh) in butter in frypan, then place in shallow baking dish.  Baste with grapefruit sauce.  Bake in 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes, basting frequently.  Serve chicken (or not) with remaining grapefruit sauce.  Serves 4.





Filed under Writing

2 responses to “They ate WHAT in the White House??

  1. Susan

    Can’t I just place the chicken parts (we won’t go into how it got that way) in a cast iron skillet, in the broiler, smothered in light raspberry and walnut dressing, and turn the oven on?

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