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At First Lunch, the Wrong Cake?

The menu planned for President Obama's first lunch as "The Chief" certainly looks sumptuous, as it features:

... a first course of seafood stew (with sauvignon blanc from Duckhorn Vineyards), a second course of pheasant and duck with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes (with pinot noir from Goldeneye) and a dessert of apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glacé (with sparkling "Special Inaugural Cuvée" from Korbel).

But did the planners miss a detail? Perhaps.

Writes Mighty Appetite blogger Kim O'Donnell:

Had historian Janis Cooke Newman been consulted on the menu, surely she would have recommended Mary Todd Lincoln’s vanilla-almond cake for dessert.
For three years, Newman, a San Francisco-based writer, spent much of her time “getting into Mary’s head,” for her historic novel, “Mary,” which is based on the letters of Mary Todd Lincoln.
And baking Mary’s cake, says Newman, who spoke to me by phone earlier this week, “was an integral part of making this book.”

The cake, the story goes, "was part of Mary’s seduction tactics while she was courting one Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Ill. in late 1839."

You can read the rest of Kim's post on washingtonpost.com, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the white cake recipe.

If your cake turns out sweet enough to seduce a president, fell free to e-mail The Post with the story.

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 15, 2009; 4:41 PM ET  | Category:  Food & Dining , Inaugural History , Post Coverage
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