Congressional Cookbook: The Junior League and the Congress
This is a close-up of my daughter’s cookbook collection. Her collection lines the walls of our kitchen. She inherited the cookbooks from her paternal grandmother. To the right, in this picture, is the Congressional Club Cookbook. Martha Cooper, a dear friend, fellow mother, ornithologist, and the wife of Congressmen Jim Cooper, gave me the cookbook for my birthday this year. I gave it to Caroline. If you give me a cookbook you must expect, particularly if I love it, it will end up, quickly, in my daughter’s collection.
Fortunately for me the collection is currently housed in my home. When it moves out, The Congressional Club Cookbook will be one of the cookbooks, along with the Joy of Cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volume I and II, and a Craig Claiborne or two, that I will be sure to replace.
The Congressional Club is an association of Congressmen’s wives that once a year holds an immense luncheon for the First Lady (this year they enthusiastically hosted Michelle Obama) and something like once a decade produces a cookbook. For the most part the recipes are simple, cheap, festive, and somehow elementally elegant. My friend Martha provided two recipes for this edition. The one I adore is a spaghetti recipe from Mississippi created by Martha’s mother, a pediatrician on the gulf coast who had three children, was widowed, married a doctor with many children, was widowed again, then had her home and a lifetime of photographs, books, and mementos, washed away by Katrina. She salvaged the recipe because she had given it away. Dr.Taylor’s recipe, like so many in The Congressional Club Cookbook, is perfect for an immense group, and for women who dust themselves off and get on with it.
The other books in this photograph are community cookbooks most of them Junior League. Junior League cookbooks are another great source for recipes thatget the job done. I am a fan of getting important jobs done.