On Inauguration Day, not only will President-elect Obama be sworn in using the Bible that was used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln, he will dine like Lincoln as well.
The luncheon that will be served in Congress’s Statuary Hall to the president-elect and vice president-elect and their families — as well as congressional leaders, justices of the Supreme Court and pending members of the Obama Cabinet — will be modeled after foods that Lincoln ate and enjoyed.
The first course will even be served on replicas of the china picked out by then-first lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband’s term in office.
The luncheon is being put together by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which has chosen as its theme "A New Birth of Freedom," celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12.
Mr. Obama has often invoked Mr. Lincoln on the campaign trail, from his candidacy announcement in Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln once toiled as a state legislator, to the 16th president’s "team of rivals" in his Cabinet, which Mr. Obama has replicated by putting three former Democratic presidential primary opponents in his, to his pick of Bible for the swearing-in.
On the Saturday before his inauguration, Mr. Obama will also travel by train to Washington, D.C., starting in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, where that other lanky Illinoisan spoke while traveling from Springfield, Ill., in 1861. On the Sunday before his swearing-in, Mr. Obama will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
Lincoln-y enough for ya?
The luncheon’s appetizer will be seafood stew in puff pastry — scallops, shrimp, lobster — served as a nod to the 16th president’s love of stewed and scalloped oysters.
The main course — duck breast with sour-cherry chutney and herb-roasted pheasant served with molasses sweet potatoes and winter vegetables — is a nod to the root vegetables and wild game that Mr. Lincoln favored growing up on the frontier in Kentucky and Indiana.
The apple cinnamon sponge cake dessert is a nod to Mr. Lincoln’s love of apples and apple cake.
Design Cuisine, is the Arlington, Va., caterer hired to create the meals for the Inaugural Luncheon.