Presidential palate: FDRs Corn Chowder

Corn chowder

Everyone assumes that all White House cooks are amazing... after all, they are in charge of keeping POTUS full, happy, and ready to face the day. Well, during the FDR Presidency, Mrs Nesbitt, a neighbor friend of the Roosevelt's in Chicago, was an exception, cooking up some of the most unappetizing bizarre meals the Library of Congress has on record. Her culinary attempts were made in hopes of remaining "economical" in times of little but her lack of imagination and downright depressing combos drove FDR to keep a secret food stash in his office. Despite Mrs Nesbitt's attempts to squash the President'd palate, FDR remained a man who loved his meals and was ultimately, a comfort food aficionado. 

This gorgeous recipe was passed to me by the gorgeous Miss Connie, Head of the Science Reference Section at the Library of Congress. From FDR's favorites file, it celebrates the beautiful sweet summer taste of corn. It is creamy, delicious, and hearty enough to make you feel ready to run the country- or well maybe an office.... or a mile. 


FDR's Corn Chowder with Popcorn 

  • 3 slices Salt Pork ( i used thick cut bacon)
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Potatoes
  • 2 cups Water
  • Soda crackers (old school for "saltines")
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 1/2 fresh Corn
  • Salt & Red Pepper Flakes
  • Handful of Popcorn
  • Chopped Scallions to garnish (my addition)

Cube 3 slices salt pork and sauté them in a skillet until crisp but not too brown. Add 1 large sliced onion and sauté until golden. Add 3 sliced potatoes and 2 cups water and continue cooking over low heat until potatoes become tender. Place 8 soda crackers in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup milk over them to soak. When the crackers have absorbed the milk, add to the skillet. Also add 2 ½ cups fresh corn or thawed frozen corn or whole kernel canned corn. Simmer the mixture over the same low heat for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with popped corn . Serves 4. 

Posted on May 6, 2015 and filed under appetizers, soup, sides, time travel.