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American Presidential Banqueting

., American Presidential Banqueting

. PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON ,

The presidency of George Washington was America’s opportunity to entertain the world stage. The format for meals followed the three-course menu pattern pop- ular at the time in Europe. Figure 1.12 shows the place setting for each of the courses outlined in Figure 1.13. This elaborate setting was repeated for each course.

The menu in Figure 1.13, taken from Martha Washington’s cookbook, illus- trates the first two courses of dinner. The third course, not listed here, was offered after the tablecloth was removed. Decanters of port, cheeses, nuts, and fruit were placed on the table. Menus from the period indicate the diversity and avail- ability of food products in the mid-Atlantic region as well as Washington’s eager- ness to present them to his guests.

The food served at the President’s table from 1789 to the end of Washing- ton’s second term in 1797 indicates the new nation’s dependence on the land. Game fowl, meats, plantation-grown fruits and vegetables, fish from local rivers or the Atlantic reveal the abundance of the land. Spliced through the menus are the remnants of Washington’s English heritage—puddings, cream trifles, a taste for port and wine.9

Key to First Course

17.

Sheeps Rumps & Kidneys in Rice

19.

House Lamb

1.

Transparent Soup—remove for

3.

Pigeons Comfort

5.

French Dip

7.

Sauteed Pheasant

9.

Torrent of Veal

11.

Broccoli

13.

Mock Turtle

15.

Bottled Peas

21.

Sweet Bread à la Royal

23.

Beef Olives

25

.

H

a r e S o u p r e m o v e f o r

    • 2.

      Fish

    • 4.

      Fricassee of Chicken

    • 6.

      Haricot

    • 8.

      Calf’s Sweetbreads

  • 10.

    Kidney Beans

  • 12.

    Boilit Turkey

  • 14.

    Small Ham

  • 16.

    Sallat

  • 18.

    Larded Oysters

  • 20.

    Ox Pallets

  • 22.

    Florentine of Rabbits

  • 24.

    Ducks à la Mode

  • 26.

    Haunch of Venison

. Figure 1.12 , EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY TABLE SETTINGS

15

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