February is the month we celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln. My love for history makes them among my favorite holidays and we always celebrate them on the "real" date-Lincoln, February, 12th and Washington's on February, 22nd. However, it is a great thing that we have a national holiday for all presidents.
Thinking of Lincoln and Washington, these two Americans each came from different social and economic backgrounds; yet both rose to the highest office in the land. Washington, born to wealth and prominence, lived a life of ease, during his early years. He was a gentleman, genteel and cultured. Lincoln was the opposite. He was little more than an uncouth country boy who grew up amid the hardships of the frontier. He was rugged and often crude, both in speech and dress. Both men, however, devoted their years to the well-being of America as the best understood it to be at the time.
Washington and Lincoln had a great love for this nation and there's no doubt about their willingness to sacrifice everything they had for it's survival and growth.
These last months with all the politics going on I wish more awareness of all Americans and what we stand for, especially the truth. If we, as Americans, would try to live up to the beliefs of Washington and Lincoln we could better cope with our government today and the political process.
I like to think, Washington in his war days would go to Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, Virginia, just to eat their Sally Lunn Bread. Gadsby's Tavern has been a historic eating place since 1700 and it's still there serving its delicious Sally Lunn Bread. This was one of my favorites of a quick bread; it might not be the same recipe my mom used, but any I have ever tried has always been good.
GADSBY'S SALLY LUNN BREAD
1 cup milk
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/4 cup water
4 cups flour, sifted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
Put milk and shortening and water in a small saucepan. Heat until just warm - shortening does not have to melt completely. Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add warm milk mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping with a spatula several times while mixing. Beat in eggs and another cup of flour. Again beat at high speed for 2 minutes more. Remove from mixer and beat in remaining flour with a heavy spoon.
When all mixed, cover bowl with a clean tea towel and let dough rise until double in bulk. Grease a tube pan or large bundt pan. Stir down dough and turn out into the pan. Cover again, and let rise until increased in bulk about one-half.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown on top and sounds hollow when thumped. Remove from oven and turn out on a cooling rack. Serve either warm or cold.
"Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company."