Who’s Who in the Kitchen (1963 Politician/Celeb Edition)
This is a labor of love that also generates a contribution to Purple Heart in the spirit of the founder of the original edition. Here you’ll take a trip back to1960, in our more innocent days, and visit the time via the unusual lens of personal recipes delivered directly from the families (Quick Link: https://abnicholas.com/whoswho)
This version is an edited and annotated “gift” edition of what was a million seller sold in hotels and tourist sites all over Washington D. C. and up and down the east coast, to tourists visiting Washington in the 1960s.
It was unique because unlike the typical “celebrity cookbook”, this one included anecdotes from family members who contributed their actual, authentic family recipes for the military-support cause that Gold Star represented.
When the politicians and Washington-Hollywood stars realized the cause — support of veterans — previously private recipes came forth. By “private”, we mean favorites cooked for the celebrity or politician and his/her family, often by themselves of at that time a wife, mother or grandmother or delivered from the lady of the house, given that the organization collecting them was the Gold Star Wives.
Authentic recipes with anecdotes is what they requested, and that is what was delivered. As a result, these are not inauthentic recipes printed off en masse or handed out by publicists; rather, these are true family favorites.
Many of the politicians and Washington celebrities also included some “legend” or anecdote behind the recipes.
For example, Mrs. James Roosevelt, wife of Franklin Roosevelt’s son Congressman James Roosevelt of California, provided the exact recipe passed down from within the Roosevelt family, “Kedgeree”, a simple but much-loved fish and rice recipe that was a Roosevelt favorite. In her anecdote section she writes:
“While I don’t know of any anecdote relative to the above recipe, I can say that it was passed on to me by my husband’s mother, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, who said that it was a favorite with her husband and children and was served very often. I trust it will make an interesting addition to your collection.”
There’s Strom Thurmond, U. S. Senator from South Carolina, whose wife Jean provided their own “Barbecued Spareribs” favorite.
There’s Senator James O. Eastland’s “Brunswick Stew”, submitted by his wife Elizabeth O. Eastland (“Wonderful for those unexpected guests”). Chief Justice Earl Warren (of Warren Commission fame) and his wife Nina’s take on the classic Devil’s Food Cake or Mamie Eisenhower’s take on a classic Birthday Cake with a twist the General Eisenhower especially liked.
Many Hollywood stars frequented the Washington Georgetown circuit or were active in politics of the day; many were also active in USO entertainment for the troops. Their recipes are also included, along with all of the U. S. Senators, seven ex or future presidents, the senior staff of the armed forces, and most cabinet positions.
The stars of the day offered their family recipes as well. Hedda Hopper, the original Hollywood columnist, offered her Cheese Pie; Ozzie and Harriet Nelson submitted RIck Nelson’s favorite Kidney Bean Barbecue. Loretta Young provided her Barbecued Chicken sauce recipe. Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s mother, Janet Lee Auchincloss put out one of Jackie’s favorite quickies – Cream Cheese w/ Almonds dessert. Joan Crawford’s take on Kidney Bean Salad is here.
USO favorite Bing Crosby’s Polynesian Chicken A La Mode (“How’s this?”). Steve Allen’s take on the simple Cheeseburger; Douglas Fairbanks Jr.’s Pete’s Spaghetti (“The above recipe was a favorite with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., my Dad, who was known to his family as “Pete”.)
From U. S. Senator Al Gore’s Jam Cake via Pauline Gore to Countess Knuth-Winterfeldt, the Ambassador of Denmark’s wife’s “Old Strasburger Goose Liver Paste” to Senator Edmund Muskie’s Chocolate Roll to Kennedy press secretary Pierre Salinger’s wife Nancy’s Marinated Reds to President Kennedy’s New England Fish Chowder, it’s all here.
Whether you are a cook who’d love to try the exact recipes enjoyed by these politicians and celebrities from history, or someone who just likes to browse the family quirks of the powerful and famous; or a history buff who’d enjoy a slightly different perspective on these many famous personalities, Who’s Who in the Kitchen – 1962 Politician/Celebrity Edition will give you a smile or two – and some tasty food as well.
Choose from the full color, Kindle, or black and white version. Do not expect fancy — but do expect authentic.
A great Christmas/Hannukah or general gift, particularly for baby boomers. Order now while supplies last and deliver a truly original, unique gift AND contribute to Purple Heart in the spirit of the original, as well.
Since members of the Gold Star Wives were well connected socialites and friends with governors, senators, congressmen, generals, and the occasional Hollywood celebrity who liked to flit around the corridors of power, they were given trusted access to the family recipes. They knew the wives, mothers, or sisters of the Washington power elite and in many cases they themselves were part of that elite class. When they were asked to only provide true, personal recipes — the kinds of things their mother, wife or they themselves made on their own as a favorite, they complied. The donation to the Wives’ military support activities was a worthwhile cause and sealed the deal for those releasing these family heirlooms.
Whether you are a baby boomer who remembers Robert McNamera, Dean Rusk, and Hubert Humphrey (all in the book), or a person who enjoys unusual angles on personages from a very important decade in our nation’s life, Who’s Who in the Kitchen will be a pleasure to browse.
Try making some of these personal recipes for your family for friends, and enjoy the history behind it. Or buy it for fun to leaf through and reminisce about the famed names of the day to study their likes and dislikes. Make it a gift for your baby boomer or histories buff! Whatever the case, here’s a fun gift idea that is both entertaining and useful, yet lets you donate to to a good cause as well.