A Brief Introduction
Our newest section, "Favorite Meals of the Presidents" is in honor of an incredible book called "The First Ladies Cookbook". I have had this book now for years and years and I have prepared not all the meals, but most of them. There is a lot of work to these recipes, you have to remember, they go back to George Washington's days. And we all know what all they did not have back then. And what we don't have today, "personal chefs". I have not changed one thing on their recipes and that's the way it should be. The book itself is exciting and fun to read. I thought it would be a nice treat to gradually ad our ex-presidents recipes to this site. If anyone out there can find this book, I suggest you buy it . What an education and a joy to read.

George WashingtonPresident George Washington

What you are about to read and hopefully make, are the recipes that George Washington loved to eat. I will be adding recipes from all our ex-presidents for you to enjoy. What is going to get your attention is a few of them are just desserts and nothing else. Well, you will see.

The Menu


Beefsteak and Kidney Pie
4 small veal or baby beef kidneys (I thought veal was baby beef)
1 1/2 pounds rump or round steak cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup claret or other dry red wine
2 onions 1 sliced and 1 diced (don't ask)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped celery ( include the leafy tops)
1 cup mushrooms
suet or bacon drippings
flour for dredging and thickening
1 pint hot water
salt and 1 tsp. Coarse black pepper
1 tsp. Marjoram
pastry or puff-paste, pie crust, or biscuit dough enough to cover the casserole

Separate the kidneys with a sharp knife, discarding all gristly portions and fat. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with the wine and bay leaves, sliced onion, pepper. Let marinate 2 hours.
Pound the steak with flour, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Brown suet or heat bacon drippings in iron skillet. Then add diced onion and cook until clear, remove onion from skillet.
Over medium heat, brown steak well. Next drain the kidneys, reserving the marinade and dredge with flour and brown, stirring carefully. Add pint or less of hot water and stir well, add chopped celery and parsley and marjoram.
Mix all well, and transfer to the casserole from which you intend to serve the pie. Strain into the marinade, cover with a tight lid and bake at 325 for about an hour.
Remove from oven. Brown the mushrooms in bacon drippings and thicken with flour and water. Keep the lumps out of there, except for the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the casserole mixture, cover with the crust of pastry or whatever you chose, and return to a 400 degree oven and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve it up at once.

Sponge cake, Naples biscuit or jelly roll cut into slices
1/2 cup white wine sherry or Brandy
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tbls. sugar
rich custard recipe follows
candied fruits and angelica for decorations

Line the bottom and sides of a deep dish with slices of sponge cake, or whatever you chose. Wet them with 1/3 cup wine and fill the dish nearly to the top with rich boiled custard. Season 1/2 pint of heavy cream with 1 tbls. wine and 1 tbls sugar; whip to a froth and lay it on the custard. Cover and decorate with remaining cream, fruits and angelica.

1 quart milk scalded
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 whole eggs
1/4 tsp. Vanilla or almond extract
pinch of salt

Scald 1 qt. Milk; add 1/2 cup sugar and a [inch of salt. Beat 6 whole eggs and add cold milk to them. Stir and gradually add to the hot milk mixture. Cook in top of double boiler until custard coats spoon. When cold, add the flavoring.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks, beaten
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tbls lemon juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. Salt
pastry for one 9 inch pie or 12 tarts

Cream butter and beat into it slowly 1/2 cup sugar. Beat eggs yolks with salt until light and lemon colored, then slowly beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with a wisk and then fold in the lemon juice and the rind. Combine the creamed mixture stirring in the wine. Pour into a pie shell or tart shells and bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes until set.

John AdamsPresident John Adams

The Menu

Baked Salmon with sauce
A Pompetone
Oyster Rolls
Beggars Pudding


Ok, before I get going on this one, remember how old this recipe is and how they talked back then. Because I think it is very important to give you the recipe of these ex-presidents word for word. And also, remember this, I have tried almost every recipe in this book. That is not to say that I like everyone of them, but atleast I have tried them, and so have a few people that have come to my home for a dinner party, tried them that is.

skinned eel
1 pint oysters
2 tbls oyster liquid
4 cups bread crumbs
3 tbls melted butter
3 whole eggs, beaten
1 tbls chopped parsley
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Salt
Dash of: pepper, cloves, nutmeg
1 pint of claret wine

Clean the salmon, wash and dry it. Lard it with a skinned eel. Combine a pint of oysters ( make sure you keep the liquid), 4 cups bread crumbs, butter, 3 eggs beaten, shopped parsley, thyme, pepper, salt, cloves, nutmeg an 1 tbls. Oyster liquid. Fill the salmon with the stuffing. Baste well with butter. Lay salmon on a rack in a roasting pan, pour over it a pint of claret wine and cover salmon with buttered paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 550 (yup that's right 550) for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 425 and bake 20 to 35 minutes longer. Allow 10 minutes per pound for the first 4 pounds, and 5 minutes longer for each additional pound.

Baste several times. Ten minutes before the baking is done, uncover and bake until done.


Dripping from the salmon
some bay or small shrimps
Pickled mushrooms
2 anchovies
Butter, rolled in flour
Boil ingredients together for sauce.


Fried oysters
Toast slices
Lemon wedges


2 pounds of veal
2 squabs, boned and sliced thin
1/2 pound beef suet
1 sweetbread
2 eggs well beaten
small can asparagus tips
1 TBS chopped parsley
1/4 pound mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 hard-boiled egg yolks sliced
1/4 tsp. Thyme
2 slices tongue, cut in slivers
1/4 tsp. Pepper
6 thin slices bacon

Take 2 pounds of veal, mince it small with 1/2 pound suet. Beat in 2 well beaten eggs to bind it. Season it with chopped parsley, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Line a large pie plate with half the meat; fill it by laying in the slices of bacon, squab, 1 cooked sliced sweetbread, asparagus tips, cooked mushrooms, sliced yolks of the 3 hard boiled eggs. Over the top of all this spread the remaining minced veal. Bake in a moderate oven (350) for about an hour, until nicely browned. Serve in the pie plate, ungarnished.


6 French rolls
3 or 4 peppercorns
1 pint oysters (save liquid)
2 Tbs butter
dash of mace & nutmeg...parsley sprigs for garnish

Take 6 French rolls, scrape or grate the outside, then cut a piece out of the top and scoop out all the crumbs. Drain the oysters, saving the liquid. Wash the oysters in salt water.(?) Add mace and nutmeg to oyster liquid and a few peppercorns and place in saucepan over low heat. Add oysters and the 2 Tbs. Butter. Stew them until the edges of the oysters start to curl. Pour them into the rolls and set them in a hot oven ( 375 to 400 F) till they are hot enough. Garnish with the parsley.


20 slices stale bread
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Powdered ginger
1/2 cup currants
1/2 tsp. Grated nutmeg
a few pieces of butter
1/4 tsp. Salt
pint of heavy cream whipped 2 tsp. Rose water and candied cherries for garnish

Over the slices of stale bread, pour hot water until they are soaked well. Press out the water and mash the bread. Add ginger, nutmeg, salt, rose water, sugar and the currants. mix these all together good. Lay the mixture in a pan that has been well buttered on the sides. Flatten well with a spoon, then lay some pieces of butter on top. Bake it in an oven of 325F for about 1/2 an hour. Serve hot with the whipped cream and the cherries.

Of all this, I have made the Pompetone for a party and this was very good. So, if it was good enough for our President John Adams, give it a shot!!

Back To cooking with Chauncey

Page last updated June 8, 2002

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