Thursday, February 12, 2009

Log Cabin Fever

~Abraham Lincoln~
Abraham Lincoln's Boyhood Home at Knob Creek

There's a frenzy of cabin fever engulfing our nation on the The National Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. From sea to shining sea, Lincoln family home neighborhoods and historic Lincoln sites have been restored and renovated in hopes of show casing the beloved 16th President's journey from a primitive one room log cabin to the "the President's Palace" in Washington D. C. His birthplace on the site of Sinking Spring Farm is celebrating. The National Park Service will be hosting the Bicentennial Celebration of the life of Abraham Lincoln with the dedication of the restored Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home cabin at Knob Creek. And, the museum of the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Lerna, Illinois will offer an open house and dinner. I'll be serving some recipes below:)

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, preserves the last home of Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. The 86-acre site, which includes the reconstructed Lincoln cabin and a surrounding living history farm, is managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Thomas Lincoln was born in Virginia in 1778 and migrated with his family to Kentucky when he was four years old. In 1806 he married Nancy Hanks, and three years later Abraham was born on the Sinking Springs Farm, near Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Four Coins & A Log Cabin

The Lincoln penny is also getting a new look- actually four new looks! You guessed it, one of those precious slivers of copper coins will hallmark the log cabin of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace. From the United States Mint:

Authorized by Public Law 109-145, the four new designs celebrate the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth, as well as the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent (penny). The new designs will be issued in approximately three-month intervals throughout the year. The first redesigned penny, which will honor Lincoln's birth and early childhood, will be put into circulation on February 12, 2009...The four designs to be featured on the reverse of the Lincoln pennies represent four major aspects of President Lincoln's life: his birth and childhood in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his Presidency in Washington, D.C...

Log Cabin Recipes

I bet you didn't think I would pull it off but, yes indeed, it just so happens I have a beautiful Towle's Log Cabin Syrup recipe book. Not only is this booklet, which was probably published around 1937, in mint condition, it is one of my favorite designs. A die-cut. As I've mentioned before, actually quite a few times before, die-cuts have recently become my cookbook passion. Wait! It gets better! According to Pinnacle Foods,

Log Cabin® has been making authentic, maple tasting syrup for 120 years. Did you know the brand was created in honor of a true American hero? Minnesota grocer Patrick J. Towle introduced the brand in 1887, and named it in honor of his childhood hero and true American icon, President Abraham Lincoln. For all of you history buffs, you know that President Lincoln grew up in a log cabin, deep in the woods of Illinois – hence the brand name LOG CABIN, chosen by Mr. Towle to honor President Lincoln.

In their beautifully pictured, excellent reference book, Vintage Cookbooks & Advertising Leaflets, Sandra J. Norman and Karrie K. Andes devote a commemoration of their own to the creator of the Towle Maple Syrup Company.

The demand for a more economical maple-flavored syrup is what prompted Patrick J. Towle, a Chicago grocer, to create his famous Log Cabin Syrup in the 1880's...Towle experimented until he found the best blend of sugar cane with Vermont and Canadian syrup. He began selling the product in his grocery store. After sales escalated, he moved to St. Paul Minnesota where he established the Towle Maple Syrup Company in 1887...Ten years later, he began selling his syrup in cabin shaped tin containers which became the symbol of his company for many years. The idea was created from his admiration for President Lincoln and his boyhood cabin home. The empty tins were a favorite toy among children and remain highly collectible today. The business later changed its name to The Log Cabin Products Company and was purchased in 1927 by the Postum Company.

Log Cabin Recipes

Honestly, how cool is that? Unlike Thomas Jefferson and Martin Van Buren, who were "gourmets," Abraham Lincoln was a light eater. He did, however, enjoy burnt sugar cakes, corn cakes, gingerbread and Mary Todd's White Cake. Duck Taco and Presidential China is a recent post by Lori Lynn over at Taste With the Eyes. Not only does Lori Lynn share her enthusiasm for her new Presidential China, (and its Lincoln history:) she also shares her Inaugural meal and leftovers! As for me, I didn't find any of Lincoln's favorite recipes in the Log Cabin booklet. Despite the sweet challenge of choosing a recipe from this booklet, I did manage to scan four (small) pages of recipes I thought you might find "Lincoln Like." First we have, Corn Waffles, Dixie Waffles, Dessert Waffles and Apple Fritter recipes.

I couldn't resist including the recipes for Vermont Pecan Layer Cake, Vermont Butter Frosting, Log Cabin Ice Cream and Montpelier Mousse, (a dish I am assuming is named after James Madison and not already on the super highway) just in case you're looking for a new recipe to celebrate Presidents' Day on the 16th or Madison's birthday in March:)

Resources (follow the numbers)
1. The story of young Abraham Lincoln By Wayne Whipple @ google books
2.Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration
3. Abraham Lincoln Online.org (Lincoln News & Information)
4. Abraham Lincoln's Parents
5. Harlan-Lincoln House Museum (Harlan's daughter, Mary, wed Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln in 1868. The museum includes artifacts from both the Harlan & Lincoln families.)
6. Abe Lincoln's Log Cabin (recipe for kids)
7. Lincoln, Homes & Haunts (images)
8. Fascinating Facts About Lincoln Pennies
9. History of Log Cabin Homes (brief news article)
10. The Restoration of America's Log Cabins Program
11. Tastiest Obama-Lincoln Comparison Ever!


  1. I'm not surprised you found an appropriate cookbook for this day. I think there probably is a recipe booklet or cookbook for everything. The fun part is seeking them out!

  2. What a fantastic post to celebrate Lincoln's birthday. I will be making a Lincoln Almond Cake for President's Day. Remember Lincoln Logs? They came in that great tin, and had the green wooden roof? My mom recently mentioned that there were Log Cabin Cakes in the bakeries when she was growing up every year when Lincoln's birthday came around. Well, I'm off in search of those new pennies!

  3. Hi Kathy,
    It sure is fun seeking them out Kathy. To be perfectly honest, I almost missed this one. I was in PA researching Lincoln and brought a ton of books back with me to NY. The die-cut was here and just by chance I remembered it.

    Thank you T.W. I certainly do remember Lincoln Logs. One site said they were also inspired by Lincoln. I can see bakeries revisiting Log Cabin Cakes especially in these times. Too bad I don't bake:)

    I hope you will be sharing your Lincoln Almond Cake Presidents' Day. I'm looking forward to it:)

  4. the new penny release makes me wonder, with inflation and all, is a penny still worth a penny?

  5. Need Coffee: Hi thanks for visiting. Beats the heck out of me. I can tell you, it sure is good to be back home with my old percolator. I couldn't find a good cup of java anywhere in Blackfoot.


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