Monday, February 21, 2011

A Presidential Flair To Dinner Time

In honor of President's Day, I dug up a recipe called Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricasse. Who knows if was really a recipe of our president but it was fun to make.

Thomas Jefferson`s Chicken Fricassee Recipe
As found at www.cdkitchen.com

Servings: 6

Ingredients:



3 pounds chicken pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup dry wine
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh small mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup half and half cream
Hot Cooked Rice

Directions:
Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika.

Brown the chicken in hot oil over high heat in a Dutch oven.



Remove the chicken when well browned. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook the flour until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Whisk in 2 cups of water, 1 cup of wine until smooth.

Return the chicken to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 50 minutes.

Remove chicken, keeping warm, reserve broth in large container. Broth may be strained to remove particles.

Melt butter in Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add onion, cook until lightly browned.



Add mushrooms, sage and parsley.



Add broth, cream, and chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thoroughly heated. Served over rice.



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In light of George Washington and the whole cherry tree fiasco (which some say never really happened), we made Cherry Thumbprint Cookies.

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:



1 tsp vanilla
2 sticks butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
maraschino cherries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

The recipe calls for egg yolks so Stuart took a little extra time to teach Nicholas how to separate an egg. He broke the egg around the middle as gently as possible then showed Nicholas how to carefully move the yolk between the two egg shell halves while letting the egg white drip into the cup below.



Nicholas couldn't wait to give it a try! His first attempt at gently cracking the egg went well. But when it came time to move the yolk, it slipped out of the egg shell and mixed with the egg whites below.



But he was excited to give it another try. And he got it! Egg whites in the cup and egg yolk neatly remained in the egg shell.



Rachel helped me measure some of the other ingredients.



In a large bowl, mix together the vanilla, butter, egg yolks, and brown sugar until creamy. Add the flour and salt. Mix well.

Of course, both kids had to take turns mixing the dough!



Have the children roll the dough into 1" balls and place them on greased cookie sheets. Have them make a thumbprint in each ball.





Place a maraschino cherry in each thumbprint.



Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.



The cookies were nice although Nicholas said that they weren't sweet enough. Stuart and I agreed that they weren't as sweet as cookies that we usually get but we kind of like them because of that.

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I have a book that Stuart's grandmother gave us called, "The Original White House Cook Book, 1887 Edition". It is full of vintage recipes as well as historical information about the White House and etiquette at that time. I didn't find a recipe there that I really wanted to use for dinner tonight.

However, I found some very interesting home remedy recipes in the back of it. Some of them are just amazingly funny as well as a little frightening when you realize that this was what a doctor might recommend for you back them. I'll share a few favorites with you.

To Cure Earache.1.Take a bit of cotton batting, put on it a pinch of black pepper, gather it up and tie it, dip it in sweet oil, and insert it in the ear; put a flannel bandage over the head to keep it warm; it often gives immediate relief.
2. Tobacco smoke, puffed into the ear, has oftentimes been effectual.

To Stop The Flow of Blood.For a slight cut there is nothing better to control the hemorrhage than common unglazed brown wrapping paper, such as is used by marketmen and grocers; a piece to be bound over the wound. A handful of flour bound on the cut. Cobwebs and brown sugar, pressed on like lint.

Sore Throat.Cut slices of salt pork or fat bacon, simmer a few moments in hot vinegar, and apply to throat as hot as possible. When this is taken off, as the throat is relieved, put around a bandage of soft flannel. A gargle of equal parts of borax and alum, dissolved in water, is also excellent.

We've come a long way since the days of our earlier presidents. However, their jobs back then were just as challenging as that of our presidents today and I honor them.

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