One of our beefs with Presidents Day is that it obliterates the birthdays of two great presidents, Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and George Washington (February 22nd).
Both birthdays used to be bank, government and school holidays. In 1971, both presidential holidays were shifted to the third Monday in February and combined as the vague Presidents Day, to allow federal employees a three-day weekend. Hmpf.
It’s tough to tie a food story to Lincoln, who ate only “incidentally.” He grew up poor without an excess of food. As an adult, he was so focused on work, it was tough to get him to eat at all. When he did eat, he nibbled simply, on apples, nuts, cheese and crackers.
Although he never chopped down the apocryphal cherry tree, George Washington grew up the son of a wealthy planter, with all the victuals he could desire. While he was no foodie, he did in fact love cherries and other fruits from the groves of Mount Vernon.
So we’re keeping up with the tradition of cherry recipes, starting with an unusual one:
Cherry home fries! These use dried tart cherries, which play off nicely against the potatoes as well as eggs. We particularly like them with scrambled eggs or omelets. For extra fun, we made a jelly omelet with fresh goat cheese (you can use cream cheese) and cherry preserves.
Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
RECIPE: CHERRY HOME FRIES
Ingredients For 2 Cups
1. SAUTÉ the cherries and onions over low to medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the onions become a deep brown. While onions and tart cherries are cooking…
2. BOIL the potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain.
3. ADD the potatoes to the skillet with the cherries and onions. Add extra oil if needed. Sauté for 5 minutes on high until the potatoes are crisp.
4. SEASON with salt, pepper and chiles to taste.
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