Monday, February 20, 2017

White House Kitchen Meals Fit For A President

The White House is the base of many American institutions The West Wing and  the Oval Office represent the  sitting president while the second story represent the presidential family. However, it's the little written about White House kitchen that fuels the powers that be with favorite dishes and desserts.

There has always been a kitchen in the White House. The first cooks were enslaved African-Americans owned by George Washington. They continued on in the kitchen until President William Henry Harrison in the 1890's . As the 20th century progressed the kitchen became fancier and much more sophisticated . Updates such as a stainless steel makeover during FDR's tenure and an entire transformation thanks to Harry S. Truman seeing the room needed to be drastically updated. Gourmet chefs ushered in the 21st Century with the Obamas bringing in Cristata Comerford, a Filipino born to oversee the cooking. The White House kitchen is also responsible for hard boiling and dying the dozens of Easter eggs used for the annual Easter egg hunt and the annual Christmas gingerbread house, a copy of the White House with some personal touches representing the sitting First Families. They also create amazing banquets which reflect the countries of the foreign leaders feted. When former British Prime Minister David Cameron visited , the kitchen whipped up a bison Wellington , an American spin on the classic British dish and lemon sponge cake. another English classic for his state dinner.

What did our presidents like to nosh on? Not surprisingly,  our first president George Washington had a fondness for cherries along with other fruits. John Adams and his wife Abigail preferred simple New England fare such as Indian pudding along with basic ingredients such as butter and molasses. Thomas  Jefferson was the first gourmand president , bringing in ice cream and macaroni along with anchovies, souffle, and Parmesan cheese to the US palate. James Madison had his wife, the famed Dolly, to thank for White House teas. Abe Lincoln was a fan of his wife 's Mary's courting cake, a homemade , frothy meringue of a cake. Teddy Roosevelt loved sugar so much he put seven lumps in his coffee cup, described as a bathtub by one of his sons along with a kind of shortbread cookie called a sandtart., Cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a big fan of any kind of soup and homemade doughnuts.The first president who loved to cook and often made his own meals was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He had a thing for soups and beef stews. Haute cuisine took a holiday when Bill Clinton was elected.. His was a passion for cheeseburgers along with roast beef sandwiches , his mom's sweet potato casserole and carrot cake. President Obama loved scallops along with the healthier fare his wife Michelle recommended.,

The White House has fed and catered to all our presidents. They have nourished our leaders in times of crises and tempted then wth  savory and sweet treats during difficult days. It is not just a kitchen where food is prepared but part of the net work that support all American preidents.

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