Presidential hometown has historic recipes |

Presidential hometown has historic recipes |

    While looking for a totally unrelated topic (Mamie Eishenhower's sugar cookie recipe), I ran  across an article, written in 2002, by Lisa Sandmeyer (The Capital-Journal, Topeka). Click on the link above or peruse the copy I've pasted in below that includes recipes for The Kirby House's signature celery seed dressing + a recipe for scones &  devonshire cream.
Note: Although the restaurant has changed hands, limited copies of the The Kirby House Cookbook are still available; call 785-263-0300 (Daylight Donut Shop).

Presidential hometown has historic recipes

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Not long before Abilene became the home of the 34th president, banker Thomas Kirby built an elaborate 2 1/2-story home on 3rd Street in that city.
Today, the 1885 Italianate structure is the home of the Kirby House restaurant, which has just published a cookbook. It includes not only recipes, but a glimpse into how Victorian wives entertained and how they fed their families. We learn, for instance, that in Victorian times, condiments included mushroom and walnut catsup, flavored mustards and chutneys.
And the well-equipped hostess had an army of implements for the table, from knife rests for each place setting to butter dishes with ice trays underneath to keep the butter cool.
In the front of the book is the history of the home, and in the back is a list of the food products that first hit the store shelves in the 19th century, from carbonated soda to canned milk.
The restaurant is owned today by Vangie Henry, and the cookbook was compiled by Meta Newell West. The first recipe is for the Kirby House's signature salad dressing:
Celery Seed Dressing
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
Scant teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2/3 cup white distilled vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil
Mix sugar, salt, celery seed and onion powder in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, slowly add half of the vinegar, mixing at a low speed until blended. Slowly add the remaining vinegar and then the oil. Blend on medium speed until creamy.
Store at room temperature.
Since January is Hot Tea Month, here's what "The Kirby House Cookbook" author might serve with hers:
Meta's Buttermilk Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup raisins, currants, or dried sweetened cranberries (optional)
3/4-1 cup buttermilk
Extra sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick pan coating.
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and sugar together until well-blended. Using a pastry cutter or electric mixer, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly, then rub mixture with fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in the dried fruit (if desired) and add the buttermilk, stirring just until the mixture is moist enough to cling together. Too much mixing or too much liquid will make the scones tough.
With floured hands, round the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a rectangle about 6 by 8 inches ( 1/2 inch thick). Cut the dough in three lengthwise strips, then cut each strip into six triangles.
Sprinkle the surface of each triangle with sugar and brush with butter, milk or cream, if desired.
Place triangles on parchment, leaving at least 1/2 inch between, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Meta would serve her scones with:
Devonshire-Style Cream
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer in a medium-size bowl on medium-high until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the heavy cream; beat with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters (turned off) are lifted from bowl.
Cover and refrigerate; will keep about a week.

Also try our Cran-Orange Scones

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