09 March 2010

The White House Family Cookbook

My fried Anne got an e-mail from a friend way across the pond asking about an old White House cookbook they used to cook from. Alas, they had no title,no author, no real remembrance of the cover, but they did remember that it had menus and was early 20th century.

Anne asked me if I had any such White house cookbook, and though I didn't it got me thinking about the ones I did have. I read recently that Henry Haller has updated his White House Family Cookbook to include more current presidential families. I don't mind the old White House families.

Here is a classic from the past. It's not hard to think of poor Pat Nixon being stuck in tricky Dick's kitchen making him a meatloaf.

Pat Nixon's Meat Loaf

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 slices white bead
1 cup milk
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon salt
4 twists freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons bread crumbs


1. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

2. Melt butter in a saute pan, add onions and garlic and saute until just golden. (Do not brown.) Let cool.

3. Dice bread and soak it in milk.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef by hand with sauteed vegetables and bread pieces. Add eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme and marjoram and mix by hand in a circular motion.

5. Turn into the prepared baking pan and pat into a loaf shape, leaving at least one inch of space around the edges to allow fat to run off.

6. Brush the top with the tomato puree and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate and to firm up the loaf.

7. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

8. Bake on lower shelf of preheated oven for 1 hour, or until meat is cooked through. Pour off accumulated fat several times while baking and after meat is fully cooked. Let stand on wire rack for five minutes before slicing.


I don't know about you, but this meatloaf is about the best thing from the Nixon administration!

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