Since 1901, The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol.
I’m delighted to share my re-creation of The Luncheon’s Second Course below.
Stunning inaugural floral design by Toulies en Fleur: Garden roses, regular roses, stock, Spray roses, calla lilies, dusty miller, silver brunia berries, and cloni ranunculus.
Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration
January 21, 2013
This was a grand day. A day for all Americans to come together and celebrate, to acknowledge that we can disagree politically and still have mutual respect. Barack Obama’s Inaugural Luncheon captured the spirit of the day.
Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were seated together at the tables. The legislative branch, judicial branch, and executive branch were enjoying each other’s company. It was all good. I am proud to be an American. I am a patriot. I love the formalities, the ceremony, the protocol, and the tradition.
In that spirit, as we did four years ago, we re-created dishes and the table decor of the Inaugural Luncheon with the help of recipes from the Senate Inaugural website. Coincidentally, I had just purchased a set of Lenox china with a teal rim just two days before, almost exactly the same as the china pattern used at the luncheon!
On January 20, after the newly elected President of the United States has taken the oath of office and delivered his Inaugural address, he is escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
As I am watching this historic event unfold on television, I became more curious about the luncheon (of course). I went online to http://inaugural.senate.gov/luncheon, and lo and behold, not only is the menu posted, but the entire recipes as well! The theme of the luncheon celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809) and the menu reflects his favorite foods. So, after work today, I picked up some duck breasts for dinner, in order to recreate part of the menu and participate in the celebration at home.
INAUGURAL LUNCHEON MENU
with puff pastry
2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
A Brace of American Birds
(pheasant and duck)
with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes
2005 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake
with Sweet Cream Glacé
Korbel Natural Special Inaugural Cuvée
Our Inaugural Meal
Duck Breast with Chutney
Whipped Sweet Potatoes
The floral arrangements, designed by JLB Floral of Alexandria, Virginia, feature Red Charlotte roses, Rouge Basier roses, Hot Lady roses, a floribunda rose called Hot Majolica, hydrangea in shades of blues and purples, and light blue delphinium in a footed brass compote. After the luncheon, the floral arrangements will be given to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Our Inaugural Centerpiece
Olympiad Hybrid Tea Roses picked from my garden. This rose was named in honor of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
At today’s Inaugural Luncheon the first course of seafood stew was served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency, which was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband’s term in office. The china features the American bald eagle standing above the U. S. Coat of Arms, surrounded by a wide purple-red border.
After seeing the gorgeous luncheon table settings on television today I went and ordered the Lincoln dinner plate from The Reagan Library Museum Store to commemorate this event. When it arrives I plan recreate the first course of seafood stew, too. There are other Presidential China patterns available there also, all beautiful and colorful and historic. I might just turn into a collector…
This is a grand day. I am proud to be an American. I am a patriot. I love the formalities, the ceremony, the pomp, and the circumstance. And although I hold differing political opinions, I am supportive of this new administration. Wishing all the best to our President Barack Obama.