Posted in The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Historical Menus : How the Politicians Did It Back in the Day & the Recipe of Burgoo

A lot of Political unrest these days. We assumed it would all be over by now, but unlike anything I remember before, it isn’t. A lot of bad people in the world, too. And those people are using this election to justify their unlawful acts, their bad behavior. We should have an issue with that, we should “all” have an issue with that, but strangely, the Mainstream Media would lead us to think we are indeed, divided on that as well.


Regardless, I thought it would be fun, in honor of our next President being elected, Donald Trump, that I post a little historical info on how the Politicians used to win votes way back in the day. Interested?


So, how “did” the Politicians win votes way back in the day? Through the stomach, that’s how. Through the stomach.


Even before 1758, men like George Washington figured out, the best way to catch the faith of a voter, was by giving him a damn good meal. Food and, of course Alcohol, made everything so much better.

Back then, BBQ’s were held and Politicians traveled to each and every one. With them, I really want to emphasize, alcohol. Lots and lots of Spirits. They had such a thing called Voters Run, and if that didn’t do the trick, they’d often carry with them wine, beer cider and well, cake–because everyone loves the guy who brings the alcohol and sweets to the party.


It was an all-out affair with big bands, cannons, and, while Candidates would speak of course, things didn’t shut down at dark. No, these shindigs used to roar right into the night.


According to the book, The American Heritage Cookbook, pages record one rallie making itself into history in 1840 when William Henry Harrison came to town to score some votes. In Albany, NY, they raised a Cabin, literally, and then partied down inside on corn bread, cheese and Hard Cider.

They had ginger cake, hoecake, and  served bacon with their cider in Columbus, Ohio.

Over in Wheeling, West Virginia, Harrisonites blew the numbers off the charts with 30,000 people. It is said they had 360 hams, 26 sheep & 20 calves, 1500 pounds of beef, 8,000 pounds of bread, more than 1,000 pounds of cheese and a hodgepodge of 4,500 pies.

Not to mention alcohol! I mean, I did say alcohol, right?


Now days, illegal voting seems to be one of the big screamers of every government election. Without Legal Identification Cards, Socials and all that, how did they stop illegal voting back in the day?

Back then, Henry Clay was recorded saying this about an election held down South, “I have just witnessed that strange thing, a Kentucky Election…Whisky and Apple Toddy flowed through the cities and villages like Euphrates through Ancient Babylon…drunkenness stalked triumphant…. Runners, each with a whiskey bottle poking its long, jolly neck from his pocket, were employed in bribing voters, and each party kept half-a-dozen bullies…to flog every poor fellow that should attempt to vote illegally; a half-hundredweight of mortar would searee fill up the chinks in the skulls that were broken.”


These affairs became so big that huge trenches, recorded being dug like ditches, two and a half feet deep and wide were built. Inside, those trenches burned to blazes with fire until massive beds of fiery coal replaced the flames. Frames made from green wood was used to roast huge amounts of meat. Texas learned this from Mexican Indians and soon, the word Barbecue was coined from the Spanish word, barbacoa, which meant, frame.


A historical menu taken from a Texas BBQ,…..

  • Barbecued Spareribs
  • Four-Bean Salad
  • Buttermilk Biscuit
  • Individual Pecan Pies
  • Coffee
  • Hard Cider
  • Mint Juleps
  • Burgoo
  • Corn Sticks
  • Coleslaw
  • Apple Pie pr Deep-Dish Blueberry Pie
  • Hickory Nut Cake or Kentucky Bourban Cake




See the word, Burgoo, above? This was a very popular dish that most menus revolved around, if those menus were meant to feed vast amounts of people. This recipe is so massive, I had to share it. But first, a little history about where this dish originated from….


Sometime around the mid-eighteenth century is when Burgoo was born. It’was often seen cooking on Ships. Once you see the recipe below, you’ll be able to see why. Anyway, having been developed in America, and soon a staple of Kentucky, who, in turn, decided to thicken the porridge up even more so by adding every kind of meat imaginable, the dish was made in enormous quantities. So, in short, it’s a monster-batch of porridge made up of everything– chicken, squirrel, pig, beef, lamb and whatever else they had. Not counting the massive amounts of vegetable and seasonings. And for those who don’t know what porridge is, that’s a Soft food made by boiling oatmeal or other meal or legumes in water or milk until thick. (Definition take from WordWeb.)


Potatoes may have replaced the oatmeal and legumes once Kentucky got it’s hands on it. Often times, it could include up to 800 pounds of beef, 240 pounds of chicken and a ton of potatoes. This stuff was whipped up and served at every kind of social from Church Gathering, Horse Sale, Derby Day or Picnic.


Ingredients have also been added to make them optional in case you cant get, well, for example, vegetable oil has been added in case you do not use Lard. Canned Vegetables have been added in case you aren’t cutting up fresh ones.


Now, to the recipe…which serves 20 and not a 1000…which means it has been shrunk down a bit. And you can shrink it more, if need be, by cutting the ingredients in half.


  • 5 tablespoons bacon fat, lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds of lean shin bones of beef with meat
  • 1 pound shoulder of veal
  • 2 medium-sized chickens, quartered
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 clove chopped clove of garlic
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 2 cups diced Carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery, with tops, chopped
  • 1 quart skinned, ripe tomatoes or 2 cans (1 pound, 3 ounces) tomatoes
  • 2 large, chopped green peppers
  • 1 pint of fresh butter beans or 1 package of frozen
  • 1 small pod red pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small onion, stuck with four cloves (This would be a wild onion, no doubt) Substitute: Green Onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups okra, sliced, or 1 package frozen
  • 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob, or 2 packs of frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped




  • Heat 3 tablespoons bacon fat, lard or oil in a kettle.
  • Add beef and veal and brown well.
  • Add chickens, water, and salt, and cook over low heat, covered, until very tender.
  • Remove meat and chicken to a tray and, when cool enough to handle, remove and discard all bones and chicken skin. Cut meat into sizable pieces, then return to broth.
  • Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, lard or oil until they are limp. Add to broth, along with garlic, potatoes, celery,tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, butter beans, red pepper, onion stuck (or green onion), cloves, bay leaf, brown sugar and ground pepper. Cook slowly for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Then, add okra and corn and cook 15 minutes longer.
  • Before serving, in a bowl, combine butter and flour, working the mixture together until well blended. Stir into Burgoo and cook, stirring constantly, until Burgoo has thickened.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with parsley.










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