By Leslie Bouterie
President Lincoln’s Cottage offers guests a unique opportunity to “dine with the Lincolns.” In my role as manager of events at the site, I have the pleasure of guiding clients with their event plans. Private and corporate clients have found the pastoral venue to be the ideal setting for meetings, receptions, dinners, and family celebrations. Many wish to enhance their “Lincoln experience” with period appropriate decor and food. Some clients have requested dinner menus based on Abraham Lincoln’s favorite foods. These requests have afforded me the opportunity to investigate menus and culinary customs of the Victorian era. I have found a number of reference books to be helpful, including: Lincoln’s Table, A President’s Culinary Journey from Cabin to Cosmopolitan, and The First Ladies Cookbook, Favorite Recipes of All of the Presidents of the United States.
In Lincoln’s Table, author Donna D. McCreary presents the evolution of Lincoln’s diet. As a young man, he and his family enjoyed simple fare: fowl and wild game available to frontier families. Wild berries and woodland fruits and vegetables were supplemented by family farms and gardens. As a rapidly growing boy and adolescent manual laborer, Lincoln was known to have a very hearty appetite. As a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, and as the husband of an aristocratic Kentucky belle, Lincoln was introduced to more refined fare. During the White House years, the presidential culinary team brought new delicacies to the President’s table. Lincoln’s domestic travels also provided him with the opportunity to sample regional fare and visit some of the country’s notable restaurants. New York’s Delmonico Restaurant became one of his favorites. The 16th President’s wide range of eating habits offers site rental clients a plethora of options in planning historically appropriate and Lincoln-themed menus for both casual and formal affairs.
Event guests to President Lincoln’s Cottage can enjoy fare befitting a president in an atmosphere of refinement and pastoral beauty.
Host an Event at President Lincoln’s Cottage:
To learn more about the site rental program at President Lincoln’s Cottage, visit our website or contact Leslie Bouterie by email:Leslie_Bouterie@nthp.org or by phone: 202-829-0436, x. 31232.
Purchase the Book:
The book Lincoln’s Table, A President’s Culinary Journey from Cabin to Cosmopolitan, is filled with recipes and offers a unique glimpse at the personal life of Abraham Lincoln. It is available for purchase in the President Lincoln’s Cottage Museum Store. Call 202-829-0436 x. 31231 for details.