Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12th and the Lincoln Diamond

Today is the day we used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday~February 12th! Now we celebrate Lincoln and Washington's birthdays together on President's Day. I prefer to keep them separate, especially since this is the day Jim and I were engaged now 39 years ago! He was going to wait until Valentine's Day, but he just couldn't wait. Jim's home is Springfield, Illinois- Land of Lincoln-so we have always called my ring the Lincoln Diamond. His Uncle Victor was a jeweler and Jim bought the ring from him after he sold one of his rifles to pay for it. Uncle Victor shipped it out to Oregon from Providence, Rhode Island in a little box and it wasn't sent insured or registered. Can you believe it sat out in a rural mailbox on a busy street?

Springfield is a wonderful place to visit if you are a fan of Abraham Lincoln. In 2005, a new Presidential
Library and Museum was opened. It is fantastic. I have become so interested in Mary Todd Lincoln and the time period, not all the war things, but the life style, how families lived, and I love the fashion of the day. Lincoln's home is a must see if you are in Springfield.
These are a few Lincoln books I just found. The little round paper weight is something I got on my very first visit to Springfield almost 40 years ago. It has the Gettysburg Address on the backside.

Last week we were in Aurora, Oregon and we found this sweet little plate of Mrs. Lincoln. I just about jumped for JOY! What and interesting find.

This sparked my interest in Mary Todd again. Jim gave me a wonderful 1859 Godey bound book of the twelve months of that year. I was enjoying just looking through it. The Godey magazines were kind of like the Martha Stewart magazines of today. Don't you love the evening gown?

When I was in the Lincoln's Home gift shoppe I found this wonderful book about Mary todd and her dress maker Elizabeth interesting story of friendship indeed. Good reading. If you go to the Lincoln Museum, you will see the display of Mary's gowns and her dress maker in a grand display.

Mary was the first to have a presidential set of dishes. You can actually buy reproductions of the pattern at the museum. I have a little ornament I hang on my tree but would love to own a teacup. Here's the pattern....

The other day, we had a discussion on my Tasha Tudor group about a Washington cake. I decided to look and see if there happened to be a Lincoln cake and there are a couple! There's also a book out with recipes from the Lincoln family and what was served during the Civil War called Lincoln's Table. I hope to get it!

Here's a recipe from the book for the Mary Todd Lincoln Cake from the book. She is sad to have made this for him while the were engaged and through out their lives together. I haven't tried it yet, but the reviews were quite good.

1 cup blanched almonds (chopped until it resembles a course flour)                                
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees....grease and flour a Bundt pan ( I know Mary didn't have one of these!)

Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Stir in vanilla.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.
Turn out on a wire rack and cool.
When cool, sift confectioner's sugar over the top.

A basic white frosting sprinkled with almonds was also popular.'s also my brothe-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday dear Steve...have a good one!


Kathryn Ross said...

Hi Milady! This is so interesting about your connections to the Lincoln mystique. A popular president, he. Our hometown was founded in 1861 at the start of the Civil War so our historical group does a lot about Lincoln and re-enactments. I'll be posting plenty on that in May for our annual Founder's Day event I am VERY involved in. Congrats on your anniversary - and thanks so for visiting Ed's new blog. I'm so thrilled for him!

Linda said...

I'm printing up your post to save. Lincoln has always been my favorite president because my birthday is today also. Surprisingly I haven't read that much about him. I have a children's books and have read others out of the library, but a lot of the book about him are on the dry side. The civil was period is not my favorite. Anyway thanks for sharing this.

Storybook Woods said...

Fun info. You know you would have made a fab homeschool mom!! I will have to see if I can find that book. My mother loves anything about Lincoln or Washington. Plus her birthday is the same an Mr. Lincoln xox Clarice