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Holiday Cooking with George Washington and Robert E. Lee

Looking for a way to bring a taste of Washington and Lee—that would be George and Robert E.—into your holiday cuisine? You can do just that with the help of a 2011 book published under the aegis of Mount Vernon, and the current issue of Southern Living magazine.

“Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon” is your source for information on “the daily lives of George and Martha Washington, on their ceaseless stream of household guests and those who served them, and on the ways food and drink reflected the culture of 18th century America,” says the Mount Vernon website. One of the contributors to the book, culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump, gave a lecture on campus in October titled “ ‘An Elegant Variety’: At Dinner with the Washingtons.” She adapted the 90-plus historic recipes in the book.

The November issue of Southern Living offers up a recipe for Robert E. Lee Bundt. The editor, M. Lindsay Bierman, writes that “it has its origins in an 1879 cookbook titled ‘Housekeeping in Old Virginia’.” Loaded with orange and lemon zest, lemon and orange juice and six eggs, it no doubt lives up to Bierman’s description of the dessert as “moist and lemony.” Fire up the mixer and see if it lives up to those adjectives; here’s the recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving.