Monday, February 20, 2017 is Presidents Day. While plenty of negative talk abounds about what people will not do, the more important question persists: What will you do?
Presidents Day honors all our presidents, a consolidation of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12) with George Washington’s (Feb. 22) into one holiday, then given an inclusive name to cover any other presidents the good people of America feel like celebrating. You know, like anytime you raise a toast to John Quincy Adams.
“Hear! Hear! To JQA!”
I cherish the story of George Washington, his axe, and the cherry tree. More likely myth than biographical fact, it still does two things:
First, it evokes an image of young George Washington, perhaps the most aloof-seeming of all our presidents. Can you picture any other president as a young child? Hint: They all were children once. (What have you got? Nothing? Okay, if you said Teddy Roosevelt, that counts. But come on, his name was Teddy.)
Second, L’il Georgie W. supposedly said, “I cannot tell a lie.” Again, doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t. The story – those words – belong to America. We embrace the story because we value honesty and integrity. We hold those truths to be self-evident.
Therefore, I choose to celebrate George Washington this weekend. While I would love to do so by visiting Mount Vernon, the Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore, instead of hibernating here in rainy California, what I can do to honor GW’s 285th birthday is offer this:
I used the historical recipe called “Mary Ball Washington Gingerbread” from American Cake. (Mary Ball Washington was George’s mother. Another cake recipe in the book comes from Martha Washington, George’s wife.) To learn more about the recipe, go here. The icing you see is the recommended “Vanilla Sauce” from the same book.
So, which president will you celebrate, and how?