Thursday, June 28, 2012

Zachary Taylor, a Large Bowl of Cherries, and a Pitcher of Iced Milk

After participating in Fourth of July festivities at the Washington Monument on a blistering hot day, Zachary Taylor consumed a large bowl of cherries and pitcher of iced milk and suddenly fell ill with a terrible stomach ache. Within five days, he was dead.

At the time, the United States was embroiled in the bitter conflict over slavery and many people believed that  Taylor had been poisoned. Today, most historians agree that he died from cholera or acute gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.

Whatever the case, if Taylor were here with us today, he'd no doubt steer away from anything prepared with cherries. That's totally understandable, but it's no reason for us to do the same, especially when there are so many fabulous recipes for preparing fresh summer cherries, like this one for Cherry Cobbler from Emeril Lagasse:

Filling:

6 cups tart red cherries, pitted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a saucepan combine filling ingredients and cook, stirring until bubbling and thickened. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Meanwhile, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until it is crumbly. Mix together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork just until combined. Drop topping by tablespoonfuls onto filling. Bake for 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.

A LITTLE HISTORY: Before he became president, Zachary Taylor fought in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the second Seminole War before achieving fame in the Mexican-American War. On February 23, 1847, General Taylor led his troops against General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista. When "the smoke finally cleared," Taylor's force of 6,000 had defeated a Mexican army of 20,000 and "Old Rough and Ready" was a national hero!

Credit: Oil Portrait of Zachary Taylor by Joseph H. Bush, 1849 (White House Historical Assocation)

2 comments:

  1. Its heartbroken,,..soo wonderful story...Guys...must read..Thax Caviar!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very unique blog I've found here!
    What part of So Cal do you live in: OC, SanGabriel Valley, etc?

    ReplyDelete