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Baked salmon, oyster rolls, codfish cakes, Baptist cakes, cream of corn soup, green turtle soup, scootin-long-the-shore, Plymouth succotash, Indian pudding, beggar’s pudding, flummery, syllabubs...
July 8, 2012 4:55 PM   Subscribe

All the Presidents' menus
posted by gaspode (73 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jimmy Carter: Ham with redeye gravy, baked grits, cornbread, pork chops with cornbread stuffing, fried apples, red beans and rice, ham and cheese sandwiches, spicy spare ribs, collard greens, kale, okra, zucchini, butter beans, fried corn,...

yes, yes, and?

and peanuts.

there we go
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:59 PM on July 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Baptist cakes

Yes but are they made with REAL Baptists?
posted by elizardbits at 5:00 PM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


John F. Kennedy: Broiled bacon, New England chowder, ...
It's chowdah! Say it right!

Come back here! I'm not through demeaning you!
posted by Flunkie at 5:02 PM on July 8, 2012 [17 favorites]


Grover Cleveland thinking about snickerdoodles
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:03 PM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's humanizing to see what they enjoyed eating.
posted by Evernix at 5:03 PM on July 8, 2012


dot tumblr dot com?
posted by elizardbits at 5:03 PM on July 8, 2012


evernix you have roont my magnificent joke

pistols at dawn
posted by elizardbits at 5:04 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Amazing. I love this so much.

James Buchanan: ... Confederate pudding and Jeff Davis pie ...

This should perhaps have been a warning sign.
posted by saturday_morning at 5:12 PM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


I like how Nicorette and Dentyne Ice are menu items.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:16 PM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


George H.W. Bush: Pork rinds, popcorn, beef jerky, hot dogs, Butterfingers, and ice cream.

How did a 12-year-old become president?

William Howard Taft: For breakfast: grapefruit, partridge (both potted and grilled), venison, waffles, hominy, rolls... smelts, lamb chops... baked possum...

Note that they never seem to get beyond breakfast foods for Taft. Ambiguous punctuation or just Taft?
posted by Winnemac at 5:19 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Denny's does a great possum for $4.99
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:20 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hmm, Ike's fluffy turnips look pretty good, I think I will try them this winter.
posted by headnsouth at 5:21 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ambiguous punctuation or just Taft?

I choose to believe that everything listed was Taft's usual 20-course breakfast fare.
posted by elizardbits at 5:24 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


You think these American politicians menus are something you should see the Japanese Diet.
posted by hal9k at 5:31 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


George H.W. Bush: Pork rinds, popcorn, beef jerky, hot dogs, Butterfingers, and ice cream.
How did a 12-year-old become president?
"I do not like broccoli! And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid! And my mother made me eat it! And I'm President of the United States! And I'm not going to eat anymore broccoli!"

- George H.W. Bush
posted by Flunkie at 5:39 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Really, you're the president and you make your grilled cheese with Kraft Singles?

And Nixon sounds like a pretty prudent guy, where food is concerned anyway.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 5:40 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Taft's breakfast reminds me of Hunter Thompson's.
posted by rolandcrosby at 5:43 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


From What's Cooking Uncle Sam?, an exhibit at the National Archives, had Lady Bird's chili recipe and Nixon's last meal at the White House (that's cottage cheese in the middle).
posted by djb at 5:45 PM on July 8, 2012


Really, you're the president and you make your grilled cheese with Kraft Singles?

If I were President, I wouldn't have to eat grilled cheese with Kraft Singles. But I would eat grilled cheese with Kraft Singles. I'd just eat more.
posted by DU at 5:52 PM on July 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


> Really, you're the president and you make your grilled cheese with Kraft Singles?

W asked someone else to make it for them. I can understand making it with kraft singles in the kitchen late at night and you want something simple, but making someone else use them when there were probably ten better options in the White House kitchen at any time?

This also reminds me of the running joke in The Contender, where the President keeps trying to play stump the White House chef.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:53 PM on July 8, 2012


Clinton & Carter have excellent taste.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2012


I was going to come in here and be all snarky about the Kraft singles grilled cheese, too.

But, you know, comfort food is comfort food. If the Leader of the Free World feels a little bit better while eating some objectively horrible cuisine cuz it's just like Mom used to make, who the heck are we to judge?
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:06 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cucumber mousse?

What?
posted by Foosnark at 6:08 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Among the sentences I never thought I'd find myself saying I can now count 'Hmm, I guess I like to eat like Nixon.'
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:09 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


This also reminds me of the running joke in The Contender, where the President keeps trying to play stump the White House chef.

That running bit is basically the only thing I remember about that movie. But I can't remember what super-basic thing he (accidentally) ended up stumping them with.

I'm pretty sure it's wasn't an Elephant-Foot Sandwich.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:12 PM on July 8, 2012


I, too, am disappointed at how sensible I find Richard Nixon's dietary choices to be.
posted by gauche at 6:16 PM on July 8, 2012


Lady Bird's chili recipe

No beans. True Texan.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:17 PM on July 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lyndon Johnson: ... salad chopped fine and eaten with a spoon

Wait. What? Is this a thing? Because I'm imagining a bowl of lawn clippings.
posted by ColdChef at 6:18 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Prune whip. Sounds tantalizing.
posted by contessa at 6:23 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


James Garfield had squirrel soup and William Henry Harrison had squirrel stew. Caught fresh that afternoon right outside the kitchen, I imagine.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:25 PM on July 8, 2012


Baptist cakes

Yes but are they made with REAL Baptists?


I do not recommend using Westboro Baptists as it will give your cakes a rather unpleasant texture and a sour aftertaste.
posted by Mojojojo at 6:34 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


wheat bread (which he liked to roll into balls and shoot at his children, pretending they were ammunition),

Ha! Ulysses S. CoolDad!
posted by headnsouth at 6:36 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see the ones for the Vice Presidents instead.

Joe Biden: Protein shakes, Jameson's Irish Whiskey, Frosted Flakes

Dick Cheney: Calves' blood, IV drip of children's tears, salt.

Al Gore: Seriously guys just whatever the rest of you are ordering I don't want to make this a thing I'm just hungry.

Dan Quayle: PB&J, no crusts.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:40 PM on July 8, 2012 [49 favorites]


Obama's list dates to his preferences while he was campaigning, not necessarily things we know he's got on a menu at the White House.
posted by floam at 7:07 PM on July 8, 2012


"salad chopped fine and eaten with a spoon"

Yes! It used to be a way people ate green salads, and it's kind-of trendy right now, because (in theory) you eat more of the greens when they're chopped fine that way, instead of trying to pick up individual leaves with a fork. It's popular on "be a farmgirl in the city!" type blogs, such as here (scroll down to the tips, it's tip 3). Or if you google it, there's tons of examples.

I've personally never tried it, but it's definitely a thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:27 PM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Taylor was also the only president ever believed to have died in office because of a meal, in his case a large amount of iced milk and cherries on a hot day. He fell ill and died several days later.)

How does ice milk and cherries kill? It sounds mad refreshing.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 7:30 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fun post, gaspode. I love some of the fun old time recipes in the early presidents' lists: leather britches, yard of flannel, scootin' long the shore, and Jezebel sauce.

Perhaps the natural adjunct to this post - Medical histories of American Presidents
posted by madamjujujive at 7:32 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


They sure do eat a lot of turtle at the top. Weird.
posted by RedEmma at 7:37 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


No souls of the damned!?!? Fuck, what's the point of being the leader of the free world?
posted by indubitable at 7:53 PM on July 8, 2012


"Ronald Reagan: ... well-done steak..."

Hmm, Reagan apparently enjoyed ruining a steak as much as the country.
posted by stet at 8:17 PM on July 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


> How does ice milk and cherries kill? It sounds mad refreshing.

In the 1850 they didn't have hygienic refrigeration or sanitation. Louis Pasteur wasn't even publishing his works yet.

So along with the cherries and iced milk there could have easily been cholera or just plain old ecoli from someone not really washing their hands (or even knowing that they should be).

So while iced milk and cherries sound delicious, they are also all raw food items that are handled raw, stored raw, and served raw, and are actually pretty good suspects in a case of food poisoning.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:42 PM on July 8, 2012


This list is kind of context free, though. I mean, it's just a bunch of random items that someone said a president had during some point at his stay in the White House, not their daily must-haves. Well, except for Obama's Nicorette.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 PM on July 8, 2012


Fascinating that Johnson, Nixon and Ford all subsisted on weird gelatinous goo inspired by Weight Watchers recipe cards from the 70s. Was everything that horrible back then?
posted by moammargaret at 9:04 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it would be fun to turn the list into a dinner planning guide - "Tonight is Millard Fillmore night."

It also reminded me how much I loved chipped beef on toast as a kid. Mmm....
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:06 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Prune whip. Sounds tantalizing.

I guess it's my eventual old jewish lady self bursting free prematurely here but srsly, prune goop's not all that awful in stuff like hamentaschen and rugelach, or in danish.

mmm

danish
posted by elizardbits at 9:08 PM on July 8, 2012


Lekvár! I knew it was a tricksy hungarian word.
posted by elizardbits at 9:09 PM on July 8, 2012


People surprised by Nixon's food choices are probably forgetting that he grew up in Southern California. Things like avocados and year 'round availability of fresh fruit were/are common there, even if they'd have been unusual elsewhere until fairly recently. Not to mention that California has always attracted its share of health gurus.
posted by cali at 9:17 PM on July 8, 2012


Tonight is Millard Fillmore night.

"The rest of the book To Serve Presidents, it's... it's a cookbook!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


How does ice milk and cherries kill? It sounds mad refreshing

It's been widely believed in times past that shocking your body with cold food/drink on a hot day, or even just going into a cold room too suddenly after exertion on a hot day, can kill you. For example: Previously on AskMe. I also remember reading, in an old textbook, that Galileo's death was attributed to this at the time.
posted by hattifattener at 9:34 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm hungry.
posted by Splunge at 10:44 PM on July 8, 2012


I went to the Hoover boyhood home in OR on his birthday and they were serving pear cake. I didn't try it because I don't like them.

When I was a kid I had a presidential trvia book that listed recipes of their favorite dishes :spinach timbales for Coolidge, floatng island for Teddy Roosevelt....
posted by brujita at 10:53 PM on July 8, 2012


"Ronald Reagan: ... well-done steak..."

This was also his nuclear weapons policy.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:03 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Flummery!

Mmmmm.

Flummery.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:36 AM on July 9, 2012


... (in theory) you eat more of the greens when they're chopped fine that way, instead of trying to pick up individual leaves with a fork.

Using cutlery for salad is always kind of difficult. I just use my (clean) hands.
posted by Ritchie at 2:17 AM on July 9, 2012


And Nixon sounds like a pretty prudent guy, where food is concerned anyway.

I'm not a crook!
posted by MuffinMan at 3:55 AM on July 9, 2012


Quite noticeably, not one of them dared to eat the rich
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:08 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I were President, I wouldn't have to eat grilled cheese with Kraft Singles. But I would eat grilled cheese with Kraft Singles. I'd just eat more.

With Dijon ketchup.

...Hoover liked Gumbo. I thought there wasn't anything to like about the guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM on July 9, 2012


soup with fairy toast ?

Is this something left behind by the sandman, or something consumed only when teeth fell out?
posted by yoga at 4:45 AM on July 9, 2012


Fairy toast. Well, that's fairy bread, I'm assuming one can extrapolate fairy toast from that page.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:17 AM on July 9, 2012


"salad chopped fine and eaten with a spoon"

Oh dear god. There was a take-out salad place in the financial district of Manhattan -- ostensibly run by some celebrity chef -- where the employees, after asking what ingredients you wanted in the salad, would work it over with some kind of weird semicircular hand-operated chopping device, turning a potentially-edible salad into something closely resembling lawn clippings. Had to have been the most unasked-for innovation in food preparation EVER. I would actually have to ask them NOT to chop up my salad. Seriously, who the hell wants this?
posted by Afroblanco at 6:09 AM on July 9, 2012


The chopped-up salad is a new Thing in takeout -- a few places around my office do that. One chain even has a specially designed Auto-Chop machine.

I'm a voting adult, I know how to cut my own food.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:13 AM on July 9, 2012


I would actually have to ask them NOT to chop up my salad. Seriously, who the hell wants this?

I do! I like a "chopped salad" much more than a big leaf or two of lettuce under other veggies like a separate thing. With a chopped salad, every forkful (not spoonful, that's odd) has a little bit of everything in it. Yum.
posted by headnsouth at 6:18 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


There was a take-out salad place in the financial district of Manhattan -- ostensibly run by some celebrity chef -- where the employees, after asking what ingredients you wanted in the salad, would work it over with some kind of weird semicircular hand-operated chopping device, turning a potentially-edible salad into something closely resembling lawn clippings.

Chop-t! We ate there last week- very interesting operation. They must make a killing.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:30 AM on July 9, 2012


There's a chain too, Salad Creations.
posted by headnsouth at 6:52 AM on July 9, 2012


I thought chopped salad meant cole slaw, but maybe not.

Lettuce tart sounds .interesting.
posted by vewystwange at 7:07 AM on July 9, 2012


My grandmother was a Grant - of the Ulysses S. variety - so it heartens me that my father's play-at-the-table antics (throwing mashed up bread cubes, squirting water through his teeth at us kids) may have actually been genetic.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:12 AM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I grew up only ever eating chopped salad and didn't realise there was any other way to prepare it until an embarrassingly advanced age (sometime in my 20s?)
posted by gaspode at 7:49 AM on July 9, 2012


I didn't realize tongue was such a popular food up till recently.
posted by picklenickle at 9:07 AM on July 9, 2012


I love the comment about Teddy Roosevelt with a bathtub sized cup of coffee. That's how I would rule the world. Hell, that's how I rule *my* world.

Also, Obama could single-handedly erase the budget deficit by accepting and endorsement deal from Nicorette.

"You know, it isn't easy quitting smoking when you're prosecuting 2 wars, dealing with a hostile opposition party controlled congress, killing the worlds most infamous terrorist, having to hit all those three-pointers on the campaign trail, then coming home to two teenage daughters. Nicorette helps take the edge of those cravings so I get down to the business of keeping the country from imploding. Nicorette: protecting the free world. Now available in refreshing cherry flavor."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:14 AM on July 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


I saw that Taft liked persimmon beer, which piqued my curiosity. Here's a contemporary recipe from 1913. It is an extremely curious method of beer production, and I am inclined to make a batch.
posted by jedicus at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama's list is complete bull. I'm pretty sure all that man eats is pie.
posted by phunniemee at 1:16 PM on July 9, 2012


John Quincy Adams shoulda enjoyed his food more.
posted by sweetkid at 2:54 PM on July 9, 2012


Dan Quayle: PB&J, no crusts.

And for dinner: a baked potatoe.
posted by kengraham at 8:59 PM on July 30, 2012


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