Saturday, September 3, 2011

Food Friday: The Congressional Club Cook Book 1961

Antique stores hold family history. Yes, much of what you will find is not the record of an individual family's life but more of a documentation of what our collective families used over time, in different time periods. But in some cases antique stores sell items that do name names and document an individual's life. These are items like postcards, photographs and correspondence.

So what does that have to do with community cookbooks? Well the other day as I was perusing some local antique stores I took a moment to go through some shelves of cookbooks. On one of the shelves I found The Congressional Club Cook Book from 1961.  The Congressional Club members include the wives and daughters of members of Congress, of the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court. 1927 marked the first Congressional Club Cook Book and updated editions of the cookbook have been published ever since. In fact, you can purchase the latest Cookbook, the 14th edition, from the Congressional Club's website.

The 6th edition of the cookbook includes recipes from the wife of the President of the United States, the wife of the Vice-President of the United States, the Wives of Past Presidents of the United States, the Wives of the Justices of the Supreme Court, the Wives of Foreign Ambassadors, Wives of the Cabinet, Wives of Governors, Wives of the Senators of the Untied States, Wives of Representatives of the United States, Other Active, Associate and Non-Resident Members of the Club, the White House Kitchen, The Congressional Club Kitchen, and the Husbands (who cook) of the above categories.

Each recipe includes the signature, name and relationship to someone associated with the above groups. There are a few women included who are not associated with a man but are a Representative or hold a similar government position. What's also interesting is that though many of the women signed their names as Mrs. so and so, there are those that didn't, including Jacqueline Kennedy.

As is probably obvious by now, my research specialty is researching women via their material artifacts, the items they participated in and left behind including signature quilts, journal and diaries and community cookbooks. As I thumbed through this edition of the cookbook I found a recipe that was penned by the wife of a Representative from North Carolina, Mrs. Thurmond Chatham. Thurmond Chatham is my  2nd cousin three times removed. Finding that recipe provides an interesting piece of information to add to the Chatham Family History Book.

The recipe submitted by Patricia Firestone Coyner Chatham is shown below