Details of Washington’s Dining Habits”
by Guy Coalter,
Special Features Writer
Canton OH, Special
- With hundreds of servants at her command... a person would think our first
First Lady was a woman of leisure.
Not so... according to a new historical discovery. A long
out-of-print volume entitled, “The Martha Washington Cook Book” shows
Mrs. Washington personally supervised her entire household staff... and
especially the kitchen and dining room servants.
Martha made sure every dish served at Mount Vernon... as well
as in the first Presidential “White Houses” in New York and Philadelphia...
was prepared exactly as called for in her personal cookbook.
The family cookbook was given to Martha at the time of her
In 1749, beautiful seventeen-year-old Martha Dandridge
married Daniel Parke Custis. As a wedding gift, the Custis family presented
Martha with a family cookbook entitled Booke of Cookery and Booke of
Handwritten by an unknown hand, there is evidence the recipe
book had been in the Custis family for generations. It is quite likely this was
a family heirloom dating back to the early 1600s. In all, there were over five
hundred classic recipes, dating largely from Elizabethan and Jacobean times, the
golden age of English cookery.
Later, Martha Custis became a widow and in 1759 she
married Col. George Washington. Washington was to become the Father of our
country and its first President. Martha, of course, became our very first, “First
Martha kept and used her family cookbook for over fifty
years. In 1799, she presented the book to her granddaughter, Eleanor Parke
Custis as a wedding gift when she married Lawrence Lewis.
The cookbook was handed down from mother to daughter until
1892 when the Lewis family presented it to The Historical Society of
Pennsylvania where it still resides today.
In 1940, the Society gave permission to historian Marie
Kimball to study the manuscript and prepare a cookbook entitled, “The
Martha Washington Cook Book.” Although now long out-of-print, an Ohio
publisher was recently commissioned to reprint a limited edition of this rare
and amusing piece of Americana.
Accordingly, a limited number of copies are being made
available to the public at this time. Each volume is numbered and when the
present printing is exhausted, there is no contract to print more. These
cookbooks could very easily become valuable collectors items.
“The Martha Washington Cook Book” includes
facsimile copies of several actual pages from the one-of-a-kind original
manuscript. Then, Mrs. Kimball chose over 200 delicious unique recipes from
Martha Washington’s personal cookbook and completely modernized them so you
can easily prepare them in your own kitchen!
The original recipes were written for a huge household
including numerous servants. Many called for dozens of eggs and gallons of one
thing or another. Marie Kimball “trimmed” each recipe to quantities
of ingredients for a family of six.
You’ll get dozens of delicious recipes for Soups, Fish,
Meats, Meat Pies, Poultry and Game, Sauces, Eggs - Mushrooms and Cheese,
Fritters and Pancakes, Pastry - Pies and Tarts, Cakes, Creams and Jellies,
Puddings, Preserves, and Beverages.
Perhaps more interesting for us history buffs is the detailed
description of the kitchen and dining habits in the George Washington household.
Martha sat at the head of the table with her husband at her side to the right.
of servants around the table, either Martha or George always carved the meats to
You’ll absolutely love dozens of other interesting details
of this historical dining room.
“The Martha Washington Cook Book” is a beautiful
perfect bound book you will be proud to display on your coffee table, bookshelf,
or where ever you keep your very best books.
Your friends and neighbors are guaranteed to be envious... and
you are guaranteed to be completely satisfied with your cookbook.
SPECIAL BONUS - Act promptly
and you'll also receive a selection of delightful recipes from
the personal cookbook of President Thomas Jefferson
absolutely FREE . It's yours to keep just for previewing "The Martha
Washington Cook Book."
Supplies are limited. Order today.