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LLCC Community Education presents 'History Cooks' at Lincoln Home

Friday afternoons at 1 p.m. June 3-Aug. 5

Press contact: Lynn Whalen

SPRINGFIELD – Lincoln Land Community College Community Education partners with the Lincoln Home National Historic Site this summer to present “History Cooks: Food of Lincoln’s Springfield,” a series of cooking demonstrations of dishes from President Lincoln’s time. 

The public is invited to the Lincoln Home every Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., June 3-Aug. 5, to learn from LLCC culinary staff and local chefs. Everyone attending will receive a souvenir recipe card so they can re-create the tasty dishes at home. 

Abraham Lincoln cooked! Neighbors relate that Mr. Lincoln often put on his blue apron and helped Mary make dinner for the boys, shopped for groceries and even milked the family cow. 

The schedule of History Cooks presentations is: 

  • June 3 “Mr. Lincoln’s Neighborhood” – Kathryn Harris, retired director of library services at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, will discuss the aromas and flavors of the diverse Lincoln neighborhood, home to lawyers, businessmen and a wide mix of ethnic groups, including an African-American teamster deeply involved in the Underground Railroad. 
  • June 10 “Lincoln Family Garden” – Michael Higgins, owner/executive chef of Maldaner’s restaurant, which dates back to 1884, will demonstrate recipes from the Lincoln family, utilizing ingredients common to gardens of the time.      
  • June 17 “Jacob Bunn Store” – Over 170 years ago, Jacob Bunn opened his grocery store in a developing Springfield, Ill., and the Lincolns were customers. Bob Bunn, the great, great grandson of Jacob, will discuss the store, and Sarah Adams, curator of collections and interpretation for the Springfield Art Association, will provide a cooking demonstration.   
  • June 24 “Mrs. Lincoln’s White Cake” – Jolene Lamb, culinary coordinator, LLCC Community Education, will demonstrate the cake Mary Todd made for Abraham Lincoln when they were courting in Springfield and after she became a wife, mother and first lady.  
  • July 1 “Beer Brewing” – Ian Hunt, acquisitions chief for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and beer aficionado, says beer was very popular during Lincoln’s time with a major reason being, “the water was bad.” Lincoln is quoted as saying, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
  • July 8 “Mr. Lincoln’s Neighborhood” is a repeat of June 3. 
  • July 15  “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball” by Augie Mrozowski – On the evening of March 6, 1865, four thousand revelers at midnight, for a charge of around $3.50, devoured an elaborate buffet that spread across a table 250 feet long. Mrozowski is a famed Springfield restaurateur and most recently operated Augie’s Front Burner.  
  • July 22 “Breads & Grains” – Early 19th century homemakers bought flour or had wheat milled into flour. SIU School of Medicine Registered Dietitian/Educator and expert baker Charlyn Fargo Ware will discuss and demonstrate wheats and grains that Mrs. Lincoln used in her kitchen.  
  • July 29  “Lincoln Family Dinner” – We can imagine with four sons, dinner was lively. Typical dinners would feature corned beef and cabbage, pig feet, venison and apples. Sean Keeley, executive chef and manager of the Sangamo Club, will prepare some of his favorites. 
  • Aug. 5  “Meat” – Kevin Sullivan, former owner of the farm-to-table restaurant The Barn, will demonstrate cooking methods used during Lincoln’s time. Numerous archeological excavations have been conducted over the years at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. A Lincoln Home National Park service ranger will present a short review of what animal remains were found.   

History Cooks is part of the 13th Annual History Comes Alive program.

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