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Obama to have Lincoln lunch menu
Lalit K Jha in Washington D.C
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January 20, 2009 18:26 IST

Reflecting the immense respect he has for his idol Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama [Images] will replicate on his special luncheon menu the food served to the civil war-era United States president after his inauguration in 1861.

Soon after being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, Obama would have his first lunch hosted by the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies at the historic Statuary Hall at the US Capitol.

Approximately 200 guests including the new president, vice president, members of their families, supreme court judges and cabinet designees, and members of the congressional leadership will attend the luncheon.

The details of the luncheon have been designed to reflect the theme of the 2009 inaugural ceremonies, 'A New Birth of Freedom,' celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the congressional committee said.

The menu, created by Design Cuisine, a catering firm based in Virginia, draws on historic ties to the presidency of Lincoln, who led the nation during the civil war.

Growing up in the frontier regions of Kentucky and Indiana, Lincoln favoured simple food including root vegetables and wild game. With time he became fond of stewed and scalloped oysters. For dessert or a snack, nothing pleased him more than a fresh apple or an apple cake.

The first course -- seafood stew and duck horn vineyards -- will be served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln presidency, which was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's term in office.

The china features the American bald eagle standing above the US Coat of Arms, surrounded by a wide border of 'solferino', a purple-red hue popular among the fashionable hosts of the day.

The main course includes a brace of pheasant and duck, served with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes. Apple cinnamon sponge cake dessert is a nod to Lincoln's love of apples and apple cake.

In the backdrop for the luncheon will be a painting, chosen for the occasion, and borrowed from the New-York historical society. The painting, 'View of the Yosemite Valley', by Thomas Hill, reflects the majestic landscape of the American west and the dawn of a new era.

The subject of the painting, Yosemite Valley, represents an important but often overlooked event from Lincoln's presidency -- his signing of the 1864 Yosemite Grant, which set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as a public reserve, said the congressional committee.

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