Happy 239th Birthday, United States of America!
How do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence celebrated when they had all signed and were free from Great Britain?
I was curious about what foods they ate when they celebrated and did an online research. One website revealed that booze played a large part of Revolutionary heroes and that Thomas Jefferson had an enormous wine tab when he left the White House.
The life and culinary interests of Thomas Jefferson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, is particularly fascinating to me. Jefferson was very generous in hospitality. When he was President of the United States, he often invited guests for dinner.
A favorite cookbook I have in my library is “The First Ladies Cook Book” which includes favorite recipes and records of guests who recalled their experiences at Thomas Jefferson’s hosted dinners. He held two large receptions yearly, one on New Year’s Day and the other on the Fourth of July. He was experienced in acting as dinner host as Minister to France and liked French cuisine. However, his favorite foods were sweet potatoes, turnip greens, Virginia ham, green peas, sweet corn, salads, and wines. Dinner was remembered as served at round or oval tables where guests could see each other. Fresh vegetables, French cuisine, and desserts such as these were served:
- Parmesan cheese
- pistachio nuts
- wine jelly
Jefferson was an exceptional host of hospitality, providing the best of conveniences at his dinner parties like dumbwaiters and plenty of food.
Potato salad, baked beans, and hot dogs are the typical fun foods for this holiday. The popular hot dog eating contest at Nathans Famous in Coney Island was won this year by Matt Stonie who ate 62 hot dogs and buns.
What is your favorite July 4th food? Do you celebrate with family and friends at home, at the park, at your city’s fireworks event?
Happy July 4th!
I’m going for a visit to Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday.