Houston’s Famous Barbecue Sauce

Sam Houston

Sam Houston

Samuel “Sam” Houston was not only the man known for putting Texas on the map but evidentially a connoisseur of barbecue sauce.

This recipe is from The Early American Cookbook by Dr. Kristie Lynn & Robert W. Pelton, published by McCauley Publications.

Ingredients
3 tblspoons cooking oil
¼ cup onion, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup catsup
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tblspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tblspoons sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 tblspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons water
Preparation
Heat the cooking oil in a large heavy cast iron skillet. Add the onion and the garlic. Sauté this lightly. Stir in the catsup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, white vinegar, hot pepper sauce, sugar, paprika, chili powder and salt. Blend together thoroughly the dry mustard and the water until smooth. Then stir this into the sauce. Slowly bring this mixture to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Makes 2 cups. Sam used this spicy concoction both as a marinade and a basting sauce for his barbecued steaks, chops and chicken.(This recipe is from The Early American Cookbook by Dr. Kristie Lynn & Robert W. Pelton, published by McCauley Publications. This book is available in the Sam Houston Memorial Museum gift shop.)
Sam Houston's BBQ sauce

Get more details on the Homesick Texan’s website.            Photo by Lisa Fain.

 

 

 

 

 

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I Have a Dream – Martin Luther King Jr. (circa 1963)

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In 1963, Martin Luther King delivers his “I Have a Dream Speech” in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.[91]

Founding Fathers (and First Lady Dolley Madison) Favorite Dessert

Chef Walter Staib of A Taste of History shares this vanilla ice cream recipe.  According to Chef Staib the founding fathers were critical in bringing the dessert to America, even First Lady Dolley Madison was a fan.  One respected history of ice cream states that, as the wife of U.S. President James Madison she served ice cream at her husband’s Inaugural Ball in 1813.

Vanilla Ice Cream

ice cream with peaches and raspberry sauce

This vanilla ice cream is pictured with sauce and almonds, which you may add or change to include your own toppings.

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed

Directions:

  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water and setting a slightly smaller bowl atop.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pot, bring the cream, half of the sugar, and the vanilla beans and pod to a simmer
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar until light
  4. Slowly add hot cream to egg mixture, ¼ cup at a time, whisking all the while.
  5. Return the pot to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Transfer the custard to the ice bath and cool it, stirring occasionally, until it is cool to the touch. Remove from ice bath, cover, and refrigerate until cold.
  7. Spin in ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

 

DOLLY MADISON’S PEPPERMINT STICK ICE CREAM

Yield: 2 quarts
Ingredients:

Dolly Madison ice cream

20th century advertising co-opted Madison’s reputation for serving ice cream in the United States White House
Photo by Private Collection

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 3/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 c. cream
  • 4 drops natural peppermint extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 3/4 c. peppermint candy, crushed

 

Directions:

  1. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Stir in the milk, syrup and eggs.
  3. Cook over boiling water, stirring all the time for 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Chill.
  4. Stir in cream, extract and coloring.
  5. Freeze in a 2 quart ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. When partially frozen, add crushed peppermint and continue frequently.

 

History of Thanksgiving in America

n 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

THANKSGIVING AT PLYMOUTH
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Did You Know?
Lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims’ menu.

Squanto

Squanto a.k.a. Tisquantum

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

THANKSGIVING BECOMES AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

THANKSGIVING TRADITIONS
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

U.S. President Harry Truman "pardons" a turkey from Thanksgiving dinner

Pictured here on Nov. 16, 1949, President Harry Truman reportedly was the first U.S. President to “pardon” a turkey from Thanksgiving Dinner. (AP Photo)

Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

THANKSGIVING CONTROVERSIES
For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

National Day of Mourning plaque

Since Thanksgiving Day 1970, the town of Plymouth, MA has hosted this event where Native Americans demonstrate the events following the Pilgrim’s arrival.

THANKSGIVING’S ANCIENT ORIGINS
Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

Alexander Hamilton Quiz Answers

Hamilton is a musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  The show, inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow, achieved both critical acclaim and box office success.

Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton in the hit Broadway musical.

Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton in the hit Broadway musical. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

 

1. Where was Alexander Hamilton born?

a. Puerto Rico
b. Nevis Island
c. Philadelphia
d. Florida Keys

Answer: b.  Correct! You really know your history! You can still visit Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace, but you’ll need a boat or a plane to get there. Hamilton was born on Nevis Island in the West Indies. Today, the two-story stone house is the site of the Alexander Hamilton Museum and hosts the Nevis House of Assembly on the second floor.

2. Which of the following versions of U.S. currency has Alexander Hamilton never appeared on?

a. $100 bill
b. $2 bill
c. $20 bill
d. $1,000 bill

Answer: a. That’s right! You should work for the Library of Congress! In addition to the $10 bill, the former Secretary of the Treasury has graced numerous notes over the years, including versions of the $2, $5, $20, $50 and $1,000 bills. However, he never appeared on the $100 bill.

 

3. Which of the following did Alexander Hamilton help create?

a. The United States Revenue Cutter Service
b. The United States Postal Service
c.  The United States Marines
d. The Department of Defense

Answer a. Alexander Hamilton founded the United States Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS), a predecessor to the United States Coast Guard. USRCS ships were charged with patrolling the waters near port cities to ensure that cargo was offloaded legally and not smuggled through customs.

 

4. What was the name of the infamous location where Alexander Hamilton dueled with Aaron Burr?

a. The O.K. Corral
b. Dealey Plaza
c. Weehawken
d. Ford’s Theater

Answer c.  You can visit the Weehawken Dueling Grounds, site of the infamous Hamilton-Burr duel and see a statue of Hamilton and a stone that the mortally wounded Founding Father allegedly rested on.

An inscription on the rock reads:
“UPON THIS STONE RESTED THE HEAD OF THE PATRIOT, SOLDIER, STATESMAN, AND JURIST ALEXANDER HAMILTON AFTER THE DUEL WITH AARON BURR.”

 

5. Where and when did the first recorded duel in America take place?

a. 1608 in Jamestown, Va.
b. 1804 in Weehawken, N.J.
c. 1775 in Philadelphia, Pa.
d. 1621 in Plymouth, Mass.

Answer d.  Edward Doty and Edward Lester, of the Massachusetts colony, fought a duel using swords near Plymouth Rock in 1621, less than a year after the Mayflower arrived in America.

 

6. After Hamilton passed away, did dueling decline or increase in popularity?

a. Increased in popularity
b. Decreased

Answer a. Dueling in the United States increased in popularity in the years following Hamilton’s death. However, by the time the Civil War began, its popularity began to wane as public opinion searched for more effective ways to solve grievances.

 

7. Where are the Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols stored today?

a. The Hamilton Grange National Memorial in New York City
b. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
c. The JP Morgan Chase & Co. archives in New York City
d. Alexander Hamilton Museum on Nevis Island

Answer c. The Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols are housed at the JP Morgan Chase & Co. archives, but they cannot be viewed by the public at this time.

 

8. How did Alexander Hamilton’s son, Philip, pass away?

a. During battle
b. In a duel
c. Drowned at sea
d. Smallpox

Answer b. Sadly, three years before Alexander met his fate, Philip, like his father, was shot at the Weehawken Dueling Grounds.

 

9. Which of Alexander Hamilton’s family members helped raise funds to construct the Washington Monument?

a. His daughter, Angelica
b. His son, Alexander Jr.
c. His wife, Eliza
d. His son, John

Answer c.  Eliza, Alexander’s wife, outlived her husband by 50 years. Ever-devoted to her spouse and his accomplishments, she worked tirelessly to promote his legacy. Later in life, she also helped raise funds to construct the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital. Eliza passed away in 1854 at the age of 97 and is buried alongside her husband at the cemetery behind Trinity Church in New York City.

 

Click here to find out “5 Things You Didn’t Know about Alexander Hamilton” from History Channel’s website from his many accomplishments to being party to one of America’s first highly publicized political sex scandals.

 

National Lost Penny Day and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.

turntoday

Perspective

Today is National Lost Penny Day and Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.

We celebrate two things today – even though they are directly connected.

According to giftypdia.com (all about gifts and celebrations): “The first US penny was minted in 1787 and was made of pure copper and was designed by Benjamin Franklin. On February 12th, 1909, marking the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the first Lincoln penny was issued. It was the first regular issue US coin to honor an actual person. On Lost Penny Day, gather all those pennies you have been collecting and cash them in.”

The creator of Lost Penny Day actually started the day to collect pennies throughout the year and then on this day, we would donate them to a charity.  However, at KooperSmithin’, the founder exclaims, “Today (with Times being as trying, meager and non-supplemental as they are), those Pennies can be carefully saved and…

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White House Trivia

White House

The White House is one of the most famous residence in the world.

  • There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
  • At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
  • The White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d’oeuvres to more than 1,000.
  • The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.
  • In 1825, John Quincy Adams developed the first flower garden on the grounds and planted ornamental trees.
  • George Washington is the only president never to have slept in the White House.
  • Construction began in 1792, and the home first was occupied by John Adams and his wife, Abigail, in 1800.
  • Total cost of the original structure was $232,372.

    JACQUELINE LEE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS

    During the weeks before the inauguration, First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy began her plans to not only redecorate the family quarters of the White House but to historically restore the public rooms.

  • On Aug. 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the White House in retaliation for an earlier burning of Canadian government buildings in York, Ontario, by the United States. James Monroe moved into the rebuilt White House in 1817.
  • The White House was the largest house in the United States until after the Civil War.
  • Running water was piped into the residence in 1833, a central heating system was installed in 1837, and electricity lit up the home beginning in 1891.
  • Today, the home’s square footage is about 55,000. It features six levels, eight staircases, three elevators, 28 fireplaces and 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms.
  • The White House fence encloses 18 acres of land. The grounds and garden crew consist of 13 full-time staff members.
  • The nation’s Executive Mansion officially became known as the White House during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, who directed that all government correspondence use the title.
  • It takes 570 gallons of white paint to cover the exterior.
  • Seventeen White House weddings have been documented. The first, in 1812, was for the sister of first lady Dolley Madison. The most recent, in 1994, was for the brother of first lady Hillary Clinton. Grover Cleveland became the only president married in the White House when he wed Frances Folsom in the Blue Room in 1886.
  • The present Oval Office was built as part of an expansion of executive offices in 1934.
  • A Secret Service report during World War II declared the White House a firetrap, prompting a massive four-year modernization during Harry Truman’s administration.
  • The property features a tennis court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a beauty salon, a physician’s office, a florist’s shop, a swimming pool and a golf putting green. Dwight Eisenhower had the first putting green installed. Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were avid bowlers. A jogging track was added around the driveway of the South grounds during Bill Clinton’s first term.
  • The White House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960.
  • First lady Jacqueline Kennedy led a campaign to revive the historic character of the White House and acquire authentic Early American furnishings. In 1962, she led a tour of the restored White House broadcast by the three major television networks at the time. More than 46 million Americans tuned in, a record TV audience, and Mrs. Kennedy was awarded an honorary Emmy for the broadcast.
  • The White House pays homage to past presidents, and each new one sits for an official portrait that is left to the mansion.
  • The Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, obtained in 1800, is the mansion’s oldest furnishing.

  • In 1988, the American Association of Museums accredited the White House as a museum.
  • To see what the north façade of the White House looks like, look on the back of a $20 bill.

 

Presidential Firsts while in office…

  • President James Polk (1845-49) was the first President to have his photograph taken.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) was not only the first President to ride in an automobile, but also the first President to travel outside the country when he visited Panama
  • President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) was the first President to ride in an airplane.
  • Benjamin Harrison brought the first Christmas tree inside in 1889.

 

For more information, click here.

Source: The White House Historical Association