Lincoln’s Inuagural Lunch

James A. Garfield’s pickled oysters, 1881 (photo: L.A. Times)

I’m down in D.C. for the next few days for the inauguration. There’s going to be an inaugeral lunch for the Obamas that “recalls Lincoln’s favorite foods.” The lunch will include seafood stew, a brace of American birds, and apple sponge cake.

I had been under the impression that Lincoln wasn’t much of a gastronome. He seemed to be so dis-interested in eating, he occasionally forgot. Lincoln’s 1861 lunch was very simple: Mock-turtle soup (a stew made by boiling a calf’s head), corned beef and cabbage, parsley potatoes, and blackberry pie. His 1865 dinner was a much grander affair, which you can read about in this L.A. Times article, along with the full history of presidential first meals.

Recipe: James A. Garfield’s pickled oysters, 1881

Recipe: William H. Harrison’s poundcake, 1841 Made with mace and nutmeg.

(photo: L.A. Times)