Lunches... din­ners and snacks

Rochdale Observer - - BYGONE DAYS -

re­quests from the pub­lic.

Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Re­gan loved ham­burger soup and also kept jelly beans on his desk in the Oval Of­fice and when he trav­elled on Air Force One. His jelly bean habit started when he be­gan eat­ing them to help quit pipe-smok­ing and three and a half tons were de­liv­ered to the White House for his in­au­gu­ra­tion in 1981.

Mean­while, John F Kennedy in the early 1960s was ap­par­ently fond of New Eng­land fish chow­der and ice cream with hot fudge sauce.

Mar­garet Thatcher did not have a full-time cook at Num­ber 10 and would cooked for her­self and hus­band De­nis.

Chris Collins, his­to­rian of the Mar­garet Thatcher Foun­da­tion, says: “I don’t think she was a ge­nius in the kitchen. But she was game. She ac­tu­ally liked do­ing things like that. She liked any­thing where you had to have a method, and you put ef­fort into it.”

But when it comes to rulers who lived to eat, it is hard to beat Queen Vic­to­ria. She could eat seven cour­ses in just 30 min­utes and 24 chefs were brought in spe­cially to cook a ban­quet for her Di­a­mond Ju­bilee.

The 5ft 1in tall queen’s wed­ding cake weighed nearly 300lb and she had a sweet tooth and in­dulged it with cakes, bis­cuits and sweets. Cran­berry tart with cream was one of her favourite dishes and it was one of her chefs who cre­ated the recipe for the choco­late ganache sponge cake. She also helped to make In­dian curry pop­u­lar when she de­vel­oped a lik­ing for it her­self. It’s no won­der Vic­to­ria aban­doned the fash­ion for corsets later in life and her waist­line even­tu­ally mea­sured 50 inches. The monarch weighed just over seven stone in her youth and had a 22 inch waist, but piled on the weight fol­low­ing the death of her hus­band Prince Al­bert when she be­gan com­fort eat­ing. French food was a favourite and Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s chefs still use cop­per pans that be­longed to Queen Vic­to­ria. For­mer royal chef Charles Elmé Fran­catelli cre­ated many royal desserts in­clud­ing Coburg Pud­ding made with ap­ples and cream. He went on to bring out best­selling recipe books in­clud­ing A Plain Cook­ery Book For The Work­ing Classes in 1852 fea­tur­ing dishes like bub­ble and squeak, pump­kin por­ridge and cow-heel broth. The celebrity chef once claimed that he could “feed ev­ery day a thou­sand fam­i­lies on the food that was wasted in Lon­don.”

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