Falling where it does, between the vastly more sentimental holidays of Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, we feel like President’s Day doesn’t get its due respect as a holiday.

So we vowed that each year we would celebrate the day by eating as if we were rulers of the free world! This year marks our third attempt at creating a tasty meal from our vintage copies of The White House Cookbook  (read more about the history of this book by clicking here.) We’ve had, let’s just say, “varying degrees of success.” ( It seems that tastes have changed a lot over the years.)

Given the financial woes of the country this President’s Day, the first recipe we tried this year was this:




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The Plain Economical Soup was just that.  Plain and Economical. We substituted the bone from a leg of lamb we cooked earlier in the week.  The soup was actually hearty enough to enjoy, and it will make you thankful for all the things that you did have to grace your table this year as much as it reminds you of what didn’t.  We thought it would be the Even MORE Economical Soup if you didn’t strain the vegetables.  Why throw away perfectly good vegetables!?  Based on this soup, we are optimistic about the economic outlooks for the year to come.

Following in the direction of thrift, we loved that the following recipe suggested using the remnants of what was already a fairly thrifty meal from the day before.


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We were actually very surprised by how tasty this hash turned out, but it may have something to do with the fact that we decided to use a WALNUT sized amount of butter AND crumble bacon left over from breakfast on top of the dish.


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by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Valerie Calderon

So I am reading through you commentaries and laughing out loud (because you tickle my funny bone alot) and my 12 year old son walks by and starts reading over my shoulder and says “wheres the funny??? Just tell me where the funny is and I will skip to that part!” I quickly tell him that since I am a chef I totes know what you mean in most of the recipe translations and that is funny to me. He shakes his head and walks away while saying “I’ll bet its humor that I’ll grow into” haha! anyways, Cheers! You make my day! Heres to a bountiful season!!


u both need to open up a restaurant I think your food looks and tasts delicious and I think you would have a lot of people who would come and enjoy great food

Edsel Wilson

I’d wager that there are a very limited number of modern Americans who know how big a hickory nut is. Your version of the soup looks like just the ticket for a dreary late winter day, but instead of sippets of toast, I’d go with a freshly baked loaf of bread and lots of good butter!

Robin A

I’m sure that eating the soup would make me feel very thrifty, but that last veggie dish (as a person who is fond of vegetables as well as bacon) sounds quite luscious. I haven’t tried the squash as a mash but I think that’s going to be the way I fix them the next time. Maybe sprinkled with bacon. 🙂

Linda Peterson

The last dish displayed does look appetizing. I must say I admire your courage for even trying some of the pale and bland offerings.


I liked the recipes but your pictures do not match what the recipe says especially that of the soup which says “smashed and strained through a colander. You have large pieces.. And the bottom one with all vegetables…..looks like bacon on the top.

Teresa Jones

Thank you and so happening, I am a fan of the simple. I love you boys, you are fabulous 🙂