Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy Presidents' Day!

February is chock-full of special days to celebrate.  Right on the heels of Valentine's Day is Presidents' Day.  The Federal Holiday is celebrated every year on the 3rd Monday in February.  It initially began in 1796 to commemorate George Washington's birthday [Feb. 22, 1732].  It became a federal holiday in 1971.

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was born on Feb. 12, 1809, so his birthday was also celebrated in February.  Today the lives and birthdays of all U.S. Presidents are celebrated on Presidents' Day.

My hubby and I [along with our youngest son and family] visited Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota last July.  I'm happy to report all four of the presidents sculpted on that mountainside were confirmed tea drinkers.

George Washington [and his wife, Martha] were documented tea drinkers.  His first recorded tea order to England was for six lbs. of the finest Hyson Green Tea.  After his swearing in as America's first President, tea became the beverage of choice served during all state occasions.  

In 2018 Tea Time magazine printed a wonderful article written by Bruce Richardson titled Taking Tea with Thomas Jefferson.  In the article Bruce declared, "The author of the Declaration of Independence was a savvy tea drinker."  His Monticello home included a tea room and he owned a lot of tea equipage.

Theodore Roosevelt loved Lapsang Souchong black tea and Caravan tea - both hearty teas for the rugged man that he was.  

Abraham Lincoln was said to have been a devout tea drinker until he tried coffee.  ;-)  

The only replica of a presidential cup and saucer that I own is from Lincoln's presidency which I acquired in 2017.  Mary Todd Lincoln selected the official china pattern when her husband was in office.  Today is a good day to drink some tea from it.

We've all heard the well-known legend of George Washington and the cherry tree, so tonight I'll make a cherry cobbler and drink some Hyson Green Tea in Lincoln's china cup in their honor.  I'll try to add a picture of that later, but for now I'm content to eat a chocolate covered cherry in George's honor.

James Buchanan, our 15th president, was a habitual tea drinker and his tea was poisoned with arsenic at the National Hotel in D.C.  Fortunately he knew the symptoms of arsenic poisoning and was able to get medical help in time to save his life.

Being of Irish descent, John F. Kennedy drank tea too. It's fascinating learning which presidents drank tea.  Tea is known to be calming and soothing, but given the demanding and stressful nature of the job, I'm guessing stronger beverages might have been imbibed by some presidents occasionally.  ;-)

Cherry Cobbler Addendum:

The Cherry Cobbler recipe I used was SO good and would have been even better with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, but I was trying to conserve a few calories.  A crumbly nut topping during baking would be good too.  Here's the recipe:

Easy Cherry Cobbler
1/4 c. butter melted
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1 teasp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 [21 oz.] can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour melted butter in the bottom of a 2 qt. baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and milk until combined.
Pour batter over the butter in baking dish but don't stir.
Pour cherry pie filling over the batter without stirring.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until mixture is set and crust is golden brown.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

The Hyson Green Tea I prepared came from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville, KY.  It's very good and needs no sweetening [according to my taste buds].  Hyson Green Tea was one of George Washington's favorites and is also the tea that was thrown into the Boston Harbor during the American Revolution, hence the picture on the tin.

Adagio Tea had a short [5 question] Presidential quiz on their website about Presidents and tea this year for Presidents' Day.  I thought it would be fun to share it with you.  I knew the answers to questions 1 thru 3 but didn't know 4 & 5.   I blogged about President Barack Obama on Presidents' Day 2013 and stated that he prefers tea over coffee, and organic green tea is his preference.


1]  The first tea Thomas Jefferson was recorded to have ordered in America was Bohea until he switched his favorite to?  Ans. Hyson

2] President Barack Obama is frequently seen holding a cup of what type of tea?  Ans. Green

3] Teddy Roosevelt was known for his love of American food and had little use for exotic treats, except for Hu-Kwa tea, otherwise known as?  Lapsang Souchong 

4] Which President of Dutch descent was known for adding herbs and saffron to his tea?  Ans. Martin Van Buren

5]  Joe Biden has been known to enjoy which brewed beverage best?  Ans.  Coffee  [I'll try not to hold that against him!  ;-)]

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