Don’t Leave Home Without It!

Martha’s Cherry Bounce

Among the papers of Martha Washington was found a memo written on her husband’s stationary. It was a recipe for Cherry Bounce, a homemade cherry liqueur that was one of George Washington’s favorite drinks.  He liked it so much that he took it along with him on trips and often served it to guests at Mount Vernon. In September, 1784, he packed a”Canteen” of it, along with Madeira and port, to fortify himself on a trip west across the Allegheny Mountains.

In her diary, Martha Washington recorded a recipe for making a large batch of cherry bounce. It called for 20 pounds of cherries, cognac, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg – and, crushed cherry stones! Martha’s own recipe called for brandy, sugar, and tart cherries. She also liked to spice it up with whole spices —cloves, cinnamon ,and nutmeg.


Martha’s Recipe

The Mount Vernon website has posted a number of recipes from Martha Washington, including her recipe for Cherry Bounce.  It calls for 10 to 11 pounds of fresh sour cherries (preferably Morello), sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, nutmeg, and 4 cups of brandy.

The Mount Vernon website is:



The website page for Cherry Bounce is:



The Mount Vernon site explains that you may substitute 3 (1 lb., 9-oz.) jars of preserved Morello cherries for the fresh cherries. (Pit them if they have pits.) See the Internet for  suppliers of preserved Morello cherries. (Trader Joe’s is a retailer that may carry them.)


Alternate Recipe

Here is another recipe for Cherry Bounce that uses bourbon and produces 1½ quarts of the liqueur.

 You will need: a half-gallon lidded glass jar in which to stir and store the ingredients.


1 quart fresh tart cherries, pitted

1½ cups sugar

½ quart bourbon


  1. Combine the cherries and sugar in the glass jar and stir.
  2. Add the bourbon and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Attach the lid, shake the jar, and store in a dark place, such as a cabinet or closet, for three months. Stir daily.
  4. Strain into a clean jar, or jars. Allow the bouce to sit several hours before using. If stored in a moderate, even temperature, it will keep indefinitely.
  5. Use the discarded cherries for tasty topping on ice cream or pound cake.


Cherry Bounce can be made with  a variety of liquor bases and with or without spices. Instead of brandy, some recipes use rum, whiskey, vodka, rye, or bourbon. Vodka is said to keep the cherry flavor true; rum adds sweetness; cognac creates the taste of cherry wine; bourbon or rye creates a smoky and fruity liqueur.

Think Holidays and Gift Giving!

What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Washington’s Cherry Bounce!  And, if you have any left over after the holidays (which is doubtful), what better way to toast Washington on his birthday!

Think and plan ahead, keeping in mind that Cherry Bounce takes about three months to make. You might want to make a large batch to have enough for gift giving. Small, decorative jars or Mason jars of Cherry Bounce make a delightful and well-appreciated gift.






NEW! “The President Did WHAT?” Revised and Updated

Announcing!    The New “The President Did WHAT?”  is now available!  

  • New entries!Go
  • Added illustrations!
  • Completely current and up-to-date.
  • ALL the Presidents are here, from 1-45 ,  George Washington to Donald Trump!

The President  Did WHAT?

  • A challenging & amusing Presidential Trivia Quiz
  • Plus — little-known, intriguing facts about each President
  • Go behind the scenes at the White House!

But instead of continuing to sing its praises, let George do it . . .

Take it from George —


“This book made me chuckle and raise my eyebrows more than once!”
“A great book to take to the beach!”
” A  good bathroom read!”
“Marvelous party book!

“The perfect book to get kids interested in history and the fascinating characters (like yours truly) that made it!”

Check it out!  www.amzn.com/1500810614









No Cherry Pie in Martha’s Cookbook!


Was Cherry Pie a George Washington Favorite?

Cherry pie is a favorite on Presidents’ Day, thanks to what we now know is a myth about George Washington cutting down the cherry tree. We do know that Washington loved cherries, as well as a variety of other fruit, yet Martha Washington did not have a single recipe for cherry pie in her extensive cookbook, Book of Cookery! She did include the recipe for her favorite cherry dessert, “Cherry Bread and Butter Pudding,” however. Chances are, if Washington did eat cherry pie, it wasn’t often.


Peach  and Squash Pies for Abe

What about Abe Lincoln?  No mention of cherry pie by his biographers, either. However, fresh peach pie was a different matter!

On this Presidents’ Day let’s go authentic and serve up two dishes our 1st and 16th Presidents really did love. For George Washington it was “Fried Apples and Bacon,” a recipe Martha had gotten from General Braddock and served often at Mount Vernon.  For Lincoln it was “Squash Pie.”

Here are the recipes.  Bon t.appetit!

George Washington’s Fried Apples and Bacon

4 tart apples

1 pound of bacon

2-3 tsp. sugar


Peel the apples and  cut into 1-inch cubes. Fry the bacon in a large,  heavy skillet. Drain the bacon on paper towels and keep it warm. (E.g., put it in an oven set on very low heat.) Leave 1/4 cup of bacon drippings in the skillet and fill the skillet with apples.  Sprinkle sugar on the apple cubes. Cover and cook on medium heat until tender (about 15 minutes).  Uncover and turn the apples over. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the apples have browned lightly (about another 15 minutes). Place the apples on a warm platter, surround them with bacon, and serve.

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Squash Pie

This recipe was a mainstay of the Rutledge Tavern, in New Salem, Illinois, where Lincoln often  stopped to eat as a young lawyer on the law circuit tour. He was served by Ann Rutledge, daughter of the tavern owner and allegedly Lincoln’s first love.


1 unbaked deep dish pie shell

2 cups cooked mashed or puréed winter squash (e.g., butternut, acorn or Hubbard )

2 eggs plus 1 egg separated into white and yolk

2 cups milk

1 Tbs. melted  butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ginger

heavy cream, if desired, for whipped cream topping


To prepare squash.  Pierce the squash skin in several places with a knife, place in a baking dish, and bake in a 350º oven until squash is easily pierced with a fork (about an hour). LET IT COOL COMPLETELY. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and mash it or purée it with an electric mixer or food processor. Recipe takes about 1 large or 2 small butternut squash.  Or, boil or steam the squash until tender before mashing it.

Heat the oven to 400º.

Beat the egg white lightly and brush it on the pie crust lightly to keep the filling from soaking into the crust.

Beat the 2 eggs and 1 yolk slightly  and mix with the milk and mashed squash. Stir in the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Mix together thoroughly.Taste for sweetness and spiciness and add more sugar or spices, as desired.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell and place the pie pan on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Bake at 400º for 15 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 325º and bake 45 minutes to one hour.  The pie is done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out lean.

Serve with a whipped cream topping, if desired.

(NOTE: If you enjoy eating like a President, check out the previous post, as well: “Lincoln’s Favorite Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake.”

Recipes from The President’s Cookbook  by Poppy Cannon & Patricia Brooks. ©1968.


For more tantalizing details about the Presidents, check out:

The President Did WHAT?

An interactive Presidential trivia quiz that takes you behind the scenes at the White House to reveal intriguing facts that few know (and Presidents might  prefer to keep it that way).

Example: Which President was caught skinny dipping in the Potomac by a female reporter?

Was it: Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams, or Andrew Jackson?

GIVE UP!  Find the answer to this question and lots more.

Go to http://amzn.to/1nQ2QAV

Laugh while you learn with THE PRESIDENT DID WHAT?

Available formats: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook










Yes, sauerkraut is the secret ingredient in this deliciously moist cake popular in the Lincoln era and passed down by descendants.



Give it a try, and if you love it . . . hat’s off to Abe!




½ cup butter

1½ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tbs. vanilla


2 cups flour

¼ tsp. cream of tartar

¼ tsp. salt

1½ tsp. baking soda

½ cup cocoa powder



1 cup water

2 cups sauerkraut, drained, washed, and chopped

  • Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
  • Sift together dry ingredients: flour, cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder.
  • Add dry ingredients and water alterately to butter mixture.  Stir in sauerkraut.

Pour into a greased and floured 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350º  for 35-40 minutes. 



6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. salt

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

  • Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.
  • Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. vanilla, and salt.
  • Stir in powdered sugar and blend until smooth.






For more tantalizing details about the Presidents, check out:

The President Did WHAT?

An interactive Presidential trivia quiz that takes you behind the scenes at the White House to reveal intriguing facts that few know (and Presidents might  prefer to keep it that way).

Example: Which President earned money as a model while in college and received offers from the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions upon Graduation?

Was it: George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, or Gerald Ford?

GIVE UP!  Find the answer to this question and lots more.

Go to http://amzn.to/1nQ2QAV

Laugh while you learn with THE PRESIDENT DID WHAT?

Available formats: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook

Recipe from: A. Lincoln Cookbook: A Cookbook of Epic Portions. Morris Press Cookbooks, Kearney NE, © 2008












Recipe: President Reagan’s Favorite Mac ‘N Cheese

Reagan maccheesePSPM


President Reagan’s 2nd Favorite Food

President Reagan’s passion for jellybeans is legendary.  It began in 1966 when he was running for Reagan CL jelly beansGovernor of California as part of his successful attempt to give up cigarette smoking.  As president, Reagan placed a standing order of 720 bags per month (306,070 beans), to be distributed among the White House, Capitol Hill and other federal buildings. He often presented visitors with a custom-designed jelly bean jar, made for Reagan by “Goelitz  Mini Jelly Beans,” manufacturer of “Jelly Belly,” Reagan’s favorite. He is shown here presenting a jar of red, white, and blue jellybeans to president-elect Bill Clinton.

Reagan’s 2nd favorite food (and undoubtedly favorite entrée) was Macaroni and Cheese.  Here is his favorite Mac ‘N Cheese recipe, contributed by Nancy Regan to : N* COOKBOOK of Sporting Tastes, Second Edition. © 1984 , Naval Academy Memorial Fund.

(This is my favorite cookbook. It is available from the Naval Academy Gift Shop, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD  21401.)

President Reagan’s Favorite Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 lb. macaroni
1 tsp. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
3 cups grated sharp cheese
1 cup milk

Boil macaroni until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1 tbs. hot water and add to milk. Add cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into a buttered casserole, add milk, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is crusty.




Reagans at homePSPM