In England, there are celebrations for royal weddings, royal births, coronations and anniversaries of coronations. When the Founding Fathers of the United States created a new government that did not revolve around a ruling family, they also, inadvertently, did away with many of the reasons for national celebrations requiring pomp and circumstance on a grand scale, except for one — the Presidential Inauguration. Every four years, whether it is a newly elected President or a President enjoying a re-election, our country celebrates the constitutionally required swearing-in ceremony with a parade, a luncheon, and balls in the evening. It is a day of non-stop news coverage and fashion critiques, but, more importantly, it is a day we celebrate that our system of government still exists.
I will be the first to admit that inaugurations are always more exciting when it is our candidate taking the oath and it is a bit more dismal when it is not our candidate with his hand on the Bible. However, today we celebrate the hope that our Founding Fathers had for our country, and we celebrate with festivities that come along only once every four years.
There is, however, one festivity that we can enjoy year around in our homes — the Inaugural Luncheon. Whether you recreate one dish or all of them, you can celebrate both the history and the future of our country at your home which is the truly the heart of America.
The menu for this year’s luncheon:
Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Wine: Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards & Newt Red Cellars, Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY
Hickory Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake and Wild Huckleberry Reduction
Wine: Bedell Cellars, 2009 Merlot, North Fork, Long Island The wines that are to be served during the luncheon are from JCCIC Chairman Schumer’s home state of New York.
Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey
Wine: Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, Calif. (the only California libation to be served at the luncheon)
Recipes can be found at www.inaugural.senate.gov