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Presidents Day Activity: Make George Washington's Favorite Food

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apple pieDepending on how you look at it, today (February 21) is either Presidents Day (the informal name for the holiday and the formal name for it in several states) or Washington’s Birthday (the official federal holiday). I spent several years working in the Founding Fathers industry, so it will always be Washington’s Birthday to me. So if you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the day with your kids, why not try making some of Washington’s favorite foods?

Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, a lot of Washington’s letters and account ledgers survived (and I should know, as I spent two years of my life sitting at a computer transcribing them. It’s really hard not to correct those colonial spellings and capitalizations when you type!). So we know a great deal about what sort of things George Washington liked to eat. For one thing, when he was home at Mount Vernon, he loved to eat fish, prepared almost any way. He ate it nearly every day and often even ate it with breakfast, something we don’t really do much of anymore except in the case of bagels with lox. He was also especially fond of hoe cakes, a kind of pancake made with corn. His favorite vegetable is reported to be green beans. And like all good Americans he liked pie, especially cherry. Here’s an easy menu that gives a modern twist to these colonial classics.

George Washington Menu

Baked Salmon

baked salmon
Image: Jennifer Lael

Homemade Johnny Cakes

Homemade Johnnycakes
Image: Kelsey Banfield

Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

green beans
Image: Angie McGowan

Cherry-Peach Pie

cherry pie
Image: Elizabeth Stark

For more information on the presidents and what they like to eat, check out The Questing Feast, which is full of fascinating information.

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