Thursday, August 05, 2004

With my membership to the Nixon Library, I received a free copy of The White House Family Cookbook, by the chef who served from the Johnson administration to the Reagan administration, and not only do the recipes look really good, it is riveting reading. Did you know the day Nixon announced his resignation, the chef knew something was up because instead of his usual wheat germ and coffee, he ordered hash and poached eggs? Did you know the pastry chef doing Luci Johnson's wedding cake had a heart attack and died three days before the wedding? Did you know when the Fords came in, the whole staff was relieved? Did you know about the Nixons' love for cottage cheese? The book also has tons of historical facts about the White House and First Families in general, and I cannot put it down.

Last night I butterflied a chicken and soaked it overnight in buttermilk, rosemary, garlic, honey etc. per Nigella, and then roasted it. It was delicious and it browned really uniformly, unlike a standard non-butterflied roast chicken. Plus, there is something visceral and satisfying about yanking out the backbone, which is primitive and gross of me, I know, but it was fun.