Today in American history…President Herbert Hoover signed a congressional act making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States of America on March 3, 1931.
Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814 after he personally witnessed the massive overnight British assault of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812 and he observed in awe that Fort McHenry’s flag survived the massive assault by the British.
Today in American history…the beginning of the interrogations which would in turn lead to to the Salem Witch Trials began on March 1, 1692 when Salem authorities interrogated Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and an Indian slave named Tituba, to determine if they were practicing witchcraft.
By the time the trials were concluded in May of 1693, more than two hundred people were accused of practicing witchcraft.
Thirty people were found guilty and nineteen of those were executed by hanging. Giles Corey was pressed to death by boulders for refusing to plead and at least five people died in jail.
In honor of George Washington’s Birthday today we made his favorite breakfast: Hoe Cakes. President Washington loved to have his favorite breakfast topped with a lot of butter and honey along with a cup of hot tea.
Washington Irving once wrote that our founding father’s favorite meal often included “two small cups of tea and three or four cakes of Indian meal (called hoe cakes).”
Here is the recipe we used today:
1 cup flour 1 cup cornmeal 2 eggs 2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup melted butter 1 teaspoons vanilla 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (we used cinnamon) Butter or oil for frying
In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, water, egg, vanilla and melted butter . Through mix until pancake mixture is smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled cast iron or frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop about 2 tablespoons each of the batter onto the cast.
Fry each Hoe Cake until brown and crisp; turn with a spatula, and then brown the other side.
Remove and serve immediately with syrup and/or butter.
I made Barbara Bush’s Chocolate Cookies at home today. It’s a simple and easy recipe that you can make in your own kitchen! Isn’t it wonderful that we can make cookies that a First Lady once made for her family? You can watch the video right here https://youtu.be/WNXtq7C7i8E
Barbara Bush’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
½ cup butter, softened ⅓ cup packed brown sugar ⅓ cup white sugar 1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons hot water
1 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and egg until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in hot water and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour, baking soda, and salt, until well blended and smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough by well-rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 minute, or until golden. Cool cookie sheet on a wire rack for 1 minutes, then remove cookies to a rack to cool completely.
***I baked just a few minutes longer because my husband loves well done/brown bottom cookies 🍪❤️
Today in American history…Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. He is truly my personal favorite in that I’ve always admired his strength and tenacity to succeed. Coming from humble beginnings and born in a log cabin in Kentucky he taught himself at a young age to read and write. He would eventually become a famous lawyer, served a term as a US Representative from Illinois (1847-1849) and then as our 16th US President (1861-1865).
Mary Todd Lincoln made a white cake for Abraham Lincoln while they were courting and it was one of his favorites after they were married. She made it for special holidays and especially his birthday. It was also served on their table at their home in Springfield, Illinois for a reception on the evening he was first elected to the Presidency.
Here is a recipe from the book, Lincoln’s Table, by Donna D. McCreary and was adapted by Janice Cooke Newman. We’ve enjoyed making it several times and it’s something you can even make in your own kitchen. How wonderful for us to be able to enjoy something the same way Abraham Lincoln once did!
Happy Birthday, Mr President 🇺🇸
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake
Ingredients: 1 Cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour 1 Cup butter 2 Cups sugar 3 Cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 Cup milk 6 egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract confectionary sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into prepared pan and and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top.
A basic white frosting sprinkled with almonds was also popular.
Today in American history…President William Henry Harrison was born on the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia on February 9, 1773. He was our 9th US President and served the shortest term (32 days) due to his untimely death on April 4, 1841.
President Harrison is also credited with giving the longest inaugural address in US history: one hour and 45 minutes.