Friday, February 13, 2009

my search for president's day food

i love holiday themed food. so, i try to do it up for most holidays. however, i hate cherries. cherries seem to be a huge party of any president's day food ideas. makes sense since every child here's the fable about not telling a lie and dear president george washington chopping down a cherry tree.
one of my brightest memories of president's day as a child involved me arguing with my mom. i know how sad. we were at another family's house that we were friends with when i was in sixth grade for a special president's day breakfast. we were supposed to be having waffles topped with cherries. i wanted the waffles but begged and pleaded to have them without cherries. my mother was furious at me for making a scene. she threatened to not let me to go to school if i didn't eat the cherries. unlike many children, i was devastated at the idea of not being able to go to school. my mom relented a bit and let me go by just eating a cherry. i remember acting like it was absolute torture.
so, for me cherry ideas for president's day is out. i went looking online for other food ideas for president's day. several places recommended fricassed chicken as it was supposedly one of lincoln's favorite foods. i'm a vegetarian, so that's out. other places noted that chess cake also known as chess pie was a favorite of george washington and traditional for president's day.
now, being from the south and having read some wonderful books on the south such as the grits(girls raised in the south) guide to life by deborah ford, any of the sweet potato queens books by jill connor browne, and new times in the old south or why scarlett's in therapy and tara's gong condo by marlyn schwartz. i loved all these books. all generally humorous and quick reads. the topic of chess pie comes up in most of this, but i hate to admit i believe i have neither seen nor eaten a chess pie. intrigued, i decided to look it up. i started by looking up chess cake. every recipe seemed to be based on using a box cake mix as a base. this may be easy and what i end up doing since they seem to make excellent bars when cut up and freeze well. and, there are still several boxes of cake mix i want to use up. i swear every time i got a box of cake mix another coupon for free cake mix came out. so, i kept getting boxes of cake mix. for the nickel i spent on taxes on my free cake mix for each box, i figured it was worth it. i think i ended up though with at least 20 boxes of "free" cake mix in a variety of flavors.
the recipes, though, feel less than authentic. so, i thought i would do a little digging. i began by looking it up on my favorite online version of an encyclopedia wikipedia. no luck looking under chess cake. chess pie got me the following it seemed lackluster as an explanation. so, i did a search for the history of chess pie on google. of all the listings, this one seems the simplest basically, i garner chess pie was originally a cheeseless cheesecake, but, now is sometimes made with cream cheese. i am culling through my options to find one that suits me. no promises i will make it unless all these cupcakes manage to dissappear by monday.
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