Presidents Day. It’s nice that we have a day to celebrate all of the men who have led this country since its inception. But you know what? We’re reminded of past presidents every time we reach for our wallet. Or fly through JFK, Ronald Reagan or G W Bush airport. Or drive by any number of monuments, libraries, and elementary schools.
But there are hardly any reminders of previous First Ladies in our culture, with the possible exception of Dolly Madison Raspberry Zingers and The Betty Ford Center. (Neither of which, hopefully, any of you are reminded of on a daily basis.)
So if Monday is Presidents’ Day, we decided to declare Sunday “First Ladies Day.” And to honor these great women by baking their (reportedly) favorite recipes. Yes, we understand that reducing our great and powerful First Ladies’ memories to the kitchen is horribly sexist. But that’s what we like to do on the weekends. (Baking. Not being sexist.)
Ready to bake:
We invited some good friends up to the farm this weekend to help us bake these First Lady favorite recipes with us. These friends also just happen to be two of America’s best bakers - Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, of “Baked,” along with their partners, Bret and Sven. (Okay, perhaps it’s not a total coincidence that we make friends with awesome bakers. In fact, we highly recommend you take up the same habit.)
You definitely want to have house guests who bring you gifts like these.
You’ve probably seen Matt and Renato on Cooking Channel, or Food Network, or Martha Stewart. Or you’ve seen their great products in Williams-Sonoma. Or you have one of their beautiful cookbooks. Or, if you’re really lucky, you’ve visited their Red Hook Bakery in person.
We made three desserts that we’ll share over this coming week – one by Mary Lincoln, one by Mamie Eisenhower, and one by Rosalynn Carter.
Occupational hazard when baking with other food bloggers: lots of pictures of people taking pictures.
We definitely had mixed results…but also had a lot of fun baking together. And if that’s not a great way to remember these fantastic women, we don’t know what is.
It’s certainly better than staring at a monument or driving over a bridge.
Have you ever made a recipe penned by a first lady? Let us know in the comments section.