Isle recipe has supreme heritage
CECILIA SUYAT was a Maui girl, a 1945 graduate of Baldwin High School, but she left for the mainland a few years later, studied court stenography and met a man named Thurgood Marshall. He
went on to become a Supreme Court justice, and Cecilia Suyat Marshall went on to make her life in the Washington, D.C., area, specifically Falls Church, Va., 20 minutes away.
Marshall is an active member of the Congressional Club, an organization of first ladies and the spouses of members of Congress, the Supreme Court and the president's Cabinet.
This brings us to today's topic: The club has sustained itself through a cookbook since 1927, when the first edition of "The Congressional Club Cookbook" was published. The 14th edition came out last year (to order call (202) 332-1155; cost is $48, including postage).
The book is a hefty 3- 1/2 pounds, with a faux-leather cover over 775 pages -- not just of recipes, but of historic notes about Washington life and photographs of first ladies in their inaugural moments.
Tucked amid the recipes are nuggets like these: At Andrew Jackson's inaugural luncheon, 20,000 over-enthusiastic supporters mobbed the White House; tubs on the lawn were filled with whiskey to lure them outside. Lyndon Johnson, on the other hand, had the most subdued inaugural meal -- soup and crackers served aboard Air Force One the day of the Kennedy assassination.
"It reads like a storybook," Marshall says.
Included are messages from first ladies, for example, from Lou Henry Hoover: "As truly as food is, first and last, our most important concern in life -- so perhaps governing, in one of its forms or another, is the second in importance."
It's enlightening what you can learn by way of food, and such notes fill this book. President Johnson once received a note from his family cook, Zephry Wright, regarding his need to lose weight: "Eat what I put in front of you and don't ask for any more and don't complain."
BETTY SHIMABUKURO / BSHIMABUKURO@STARBULLETIN.COM
"The Congressional Club Cookbook" recipes are accompanied with interesting asides about politicians, including photos such as this one of former President Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, at an inaugural ball.
Abraham Lincoln loved gingerbread men, Abigail Adams had to chop her own firewood, Dwight Eisenhower was a better cook than Mamie.
As for the recipes, they were collected from club members, so they span the nation's culinary heritage.
Audrey Case, wife of Hawaii congressman-turned-Senate-candidate Ed Case, contributed recipes for Oven-Baked Kalua Pork, Tofu Chicken and Haupia Squares.
Other samples from America's table: Minnesota Wild Rice Casserole, from Vicky Kline, wife of John, Minnesota congressman; Not Yo' Mama's Pimento Cheese, from Gloria Norwood, wife of Charlie, Georgia congressman; Tom's Montana Barbecued Bison, from Olga Esch, wife of Marvin, former Michigan congressman.
International flavor comes in the form of recipes from diplomatic delegations: Mushroom Paprikas, for example, from Nada Simonyi, wife of the Hungarian ambassador; and Spice-Crusted Seared Scallops from Hawaii chef Kusuma Cooray, who also holds the title of honorary consul for Sri Lanka in Hawaii.
Marshall's contributions include Chocolate Rum Cake and Deluxe Mango Bread, the latter adapted from a Hawaii cookbook and which she makes "whenever the family comes over." It's easy now that fresh mangoes are available all year from South America and Florida, she says.
It should well meet the requirements of Therese McElhaney, who e-mailed recently in search of "a really good mango bread recipe."
Marshall, who describes herself as "65 and holding," has two sons, four grandchildren and two great-grands, but very little family left in Hawaii. She's no longer a Maui girl, but maintains the Filipino traditions she learned growing up. "The boys always want adobo."
Deluxe Mango Bread
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1- 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups diced fresh mango
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 2-by-5-inch loaf pans.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sugar and salt.
Whisk together eggs, vanilla and oil. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in fruits and nuts. Divide batter into loaf pans and bake 35 minutes.
Bread may be frozen. Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 520 calories, 29 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 40 g sugar, 5 g protein.
Chocolate Rum Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons rum
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan.
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and nuts. Beat at least 5 minutes. Fold in chips and nuts.
Pour into tube pan and bake 1 hour, or until a pick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pan, then unmold. Powdered sugar may be sifted over cake. Serves 12.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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