sliced potatoes while entertaining guests at the President’s
House. He also brought back a recipe for vanilla ice cream
along with a freezer, and regularly served the dessert, along with
Virginia pound cake and brandied peaches, to guests at formal
dinners. Jefferson’s handwritten ice cream recipe resides at the
Library of Congress. He became enamored with macaroni and
hand sketched a pasta maker which he replicated in the U.S.
The noodles which were combined with milk and parmesan
cheese, became macaroni pie which Jefferson first served to
Congress in 1802.
But the biggest celebration of the year in Jefferson’s day was
the Fourth of July. The President's House was opened up to all
people. On the lawn of the White House, patriotic hymns were
played by the Marine band; speeches and cheers were given
in honor of the president and the nation; fine refreshments
were served. In the State Dining Room, tables were pushed
up against the walls, bowls were filled with punch and platters
laden with food.
On the 243 rd birthday of the United States of America we reminisce on the choices
the third president of our young country brought home from France.
cots, teapots, and tablecloths. Back in Virginia, at his Monticello
homestead in Virginia, these foods blended with those arriving on
the slave ships to create a unique Southern cuisine.
While Jefferson loved French cuisine, he also grew a vast vari-ety
of his own food in his Monticello gardens. Along with Irish
wheat, Italian grapes, French tarragon, Mexican chilies, African
okra, and tomatoes, Jefferson also grew 330 different vegetable
varieties and more than 170 fruits (now considered heirloom
Immensely proud of his gardens, he was fond of saying that his
kitchen was “half French, half Virginian.” When the American
South was known only for tobacco, Jefferson pushed crop diver-sity
which is the lasting legacy of him as a gardener and farmer.
While in Washington, he became known for hosting lavish,
fine dinners never seen before at the President’s House.
Food historian Karen Hess says, Jefferson initiated America’s
love affair with pommes de terre frites à cru en petites tranches
— or simply French fries. He reportedly served the deep fried,