Our Inaugural Meal

On January 20, after the newly elected President of the United States has taken the oath of office and delivered his Inaugural address, he is escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
As I am watching this historic event unfold on television, I became more curious about the luncheon (of course). I went online to http://inaugural.senate.gov/luncheon, and lo and behold, not only is the menu posted, but the entire recipes as well! The theme of the luncheon celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809) and the menu reflects his favorite foods. So, after work today, I picked up some duck breasts for dinner, in order to recreate part of the menu and participate in the celebration at home.


Seafood Stew
with puff pastry
paired with
Duckhorn Vineyards
2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

A Brace of American Birds
(pheasant and duck)
with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes
paired with
2005 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake
with Sweet Cream Glacé
paired with
Korbel Natural Special Inaugural Cuvée
California Sparkling

Our Inaugural Meal
Duck Breast with Chutney
Whipped Sweet Potatoes

The floral arrangements, designed by JLB Floral of Alexandria, Virginia, feature Red Charlotte roses, Rouge Basier roses, Hot Lady roses, a floribunda rose called Hot Majolica, hydrangea in shades of blues and purples, and light blue delphinium in a footed brass compote. After the luncheon, the floral arrangements will be given to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Our Inaugural Centerpiece
Olympiad Hybrid Tea Roses picked from my garden. This rose was named in honor of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

At today’s Inaugural Luncheon the first course of seafood stew was served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency, which was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband’s term in office. The china features the American bald eagle standing above the U. S. Coat of Arms, surrounded by a wide purple-red border.
After seeing the gorgeous luncheon table settings on television today I went and ordered the Lincoln dinner plate from The Reagan Library Museum Store to commemorate this event. When it arrives I plan recreate the first course of seafood stew, too. There are other Presidential China patterns available there also, all beautiful and colorful and historic. I might just turn into a collector…
This is a grand day. I am proud to be an American. I am a patriot. I love the formalities, the ceremony, the pomp, and the circumstance. And although I hold  differing political opinions, I am supportive of this new administration. Wishing all the best to our President Barack Obama.

35 thoughts on “Our Inaugural Meal”

  1. i bet all of you guys are so excited with your new president, we are so happy for you guys… can’t wait to change ours… lovely meal you have there… 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing, It’s always very interesting to read about good news from the other part of the world!

  3. Thanks for sharing….yes a new beginning for all of us 😉

    That is very cool they even had the recipes for the luncheon ~ wow you work fast!

    Wishing you fantastic 2009….look forward to more inspiring posts + photos 😉

  4. Do you always eat like this? LOL Tell me you open a can of soup now and then?! (wink) Your site is always filled with the most delicious, exotic food. I love it! 🙂

  5. I confess to not caring for duck, but I will definitely check out that seafood stew and sponge cake .. your place settings are so elegant, my mom always “set the table” like that .. 🙂

  6. Lori Lynn, you do NOT fool around! At first I thought you’d ordered the plate(s) in advance, and had ’em ready to go; it wouldn’t have surprised me! Very impressive, as always…oh, and I’d be happy to take care of OhioMom’s portion of the duck…as well as the Pinot…!

  7. I knew they posted the menu, I had no idea they posted the recipes. Not that I would ever attempt them! I’ll just live vicariously through you.

  8. Well put. I am happy as well.

    I can’t believe you recreated the main course. That’s just awesome. I look forward to the seafood stew.

  9. L-L. it’s a wonderful time to be an American and your homage to the day with your own take on the dinner looks fab…wish I was there.

  10. How great that you recreated this menu. I think food is one of the few things that unites all Americans, and now, hopefully there will be many more things that unite us around a common table.

  11. Your duck looks delicious and so does the sauce. I also love your roses – I can’t wait for mine to start blooking again.

  12. I love that you’re so patriotic. I don’t think Canadians have this strong connection to their country.
    There’s something for you on our blog.

  13. Love the impressive menu you have here. And yes, I am too very proud being an American. I love our new president, glad that I voted for him.

  14. yup, am excited too for the new US administrations, and I bet your dish is better than what they serve at the WH, and I love your centerpiece too 🙂

  15. Lynn,
    I should have known that you will not rest until you have recreated the Inaugural Luncheon! A beautiful way to celebrate.

    I have been so busy lately, I hardly managed to post, visiting my blog friends almost impossible. Now that the flu has caught up with me, my laptop allows me to travel around the world on blogs, from my bedside. I really enjoy this side of being ill. 😉

  16. You are SOOO lucky I just ordered a pizza, or I may have had to sue you for making me eat my monitor.


  17. oh boy. this is wonderful. what a great way to celebrate a new president, new administration, new policy, new EVERYTHING that duck is perfectly cooked.

  18. Your duck is presidential worthy!
    You are such a patriot!
    I love that you ordered the china.
    I almost made the seafood stew w/ the puff pastry on top, but made pasta instead! Got too involved watching the inauguration ceremonies!!!

  19. Your inaugural meal looks like it came out of a magazine, but I’m sure it was real – and really delicious. brava to you for making this and for your patriotic and supportive views of the new administration.

  20. Hi Lori,
    What a beautiful plate. I join you in celebrating our new president. I too found the recipes online and recreated the seafood stew for our dinner-a show stopper of a recipe. I’ve blogged about it on my blog Kitchen Inferno, if you care to see my interpretation of the dish.

  21. I think it’s interesting how many people have posted inagural-themed recipes. It makes sense, though I don’t see Canadians doing anything like that when the prime minister is elected.

    Ha…I just scrolled up in the comments and saw that Giz wrote the same thing.

    Beautiful plating.

  22. We watched the whole inauguration ceremony and I cried through most of it….just because I saw so much hope there for all of us and I am not even an American. I lovely dinner and patriotism is a good thing, Lori!

  23. What a wonderful way to demonstrate your patriotism and support of our country! Thanks for sharing the Inaugural Luncheon menu and historical information. Your site is fun, informative and definitely “tasty to the eyes.” I look forward to looking through all your recipes!

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