JFK's Waffles, Adlai's Pie, Humphrey's Soup and 13 More Political Recipes

It’s not every rummage sale at which you’ll truly score, but this weekend I picked up a copy of Political Pot Luck: A Collection of Recipes from Men Only, published in 1959 by the Peninsular Publishing Company in Tallahassee. It was edited by Meg Madigan, whose father was a Florida state comptroller and lobbyist. And she went all out for the cookbook, from governors to senators to media barons. Some of them can cook. And others…. are just racists. Heh. Well, let’s start with some good ones. For instance, it should be pointed out that John F. Kennedy’s waffle recipe is pretty right on the money! And Mrs. Hubert Humphrey’s beef soup is also a standout item.

One of the conceits of the book was “cracker cooking” and they sure don’t mean Hubert Humphrey’s beloved Saltines. So Spessard Holland’s use of “cracker” here was not out of thin air; the former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator was a pro-tax Democrat who would have been using the term as an anti-Yankee (and anti-newcomer) badge of original Florida settler family pride.

Marvin Griffin was not only a great cook but also a total crook and an incredible racist and segregationist. Ta da! I’m surprised this recipe doesn’t say “serve black people at a separate table.”

No one talks about Estes Kefauver anymore but he was very nearly president and maybe should have been. Also that is too much sugar for a fruit pie.

Boom. Yes, Governor Collins, that is a perfect spoon bread recipe. (Governor Collins would go on to lose a U.S. Senate election because he was photographed with Martin Luther King Jr.—but he was only working! He wasn’t actually marching in Selma, good heavens no. Still lost the election though.)

This recipe was written a few years before Paul Butler was deposed from the DNC by John Kennedy for not kissing enough Kennedy butt.

Probably we should all go read a history of how the Republican-led legislature of Michigan shut down the government in opposition to Governor Williams in the late 50s. Seems relevant!

Adlai Stevenson III II (WHATEVER, HISTORY IS COMPLICATED) was just the first to oppose the dreadful LaRouchites. Oh Lord, replace the Crisco with butter please.

Lo and behold, former Senator George Smathers knew how to cook a steak!

And State Supreme Court Justice Roberts was a real bragger.

In fancy places, we call the calamondin the calamansi. Nelson Poynter, founder of Congressional Quarterly and funder of the Poynter Institute, well… this one goes out to Jim Romenesko.

Who? Well, Claude Pepper was on the cover of Time… twice, and said crazy leftist things (for decades!) that would get you run out of D.C. on a rail these days.

Robert Meyner beat Malcolm Forbes for reelection in New Jersey. Malcolm Forbes! That would have been amazing. Then we would never have had Jim McGreevey.

We’re just filing this one away for when we’re trapped in the woods. Yow.

And then there always has to be a funny guy. Who… isn’t. (Frank Trippett was however apparently an amazing reporter, so we’ll… try to forgive this lapse.)