Dining at the Governor's Mansion
Cooking - Texana
6.125 x 9.25, 328 pp.
52 b&w photos., 225 recipes.
Pub Date: 02/24/2003
Price:        $24.95

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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Dining at the Governor's Mansion

By Carl McQueary

You are invited to dine at the Texas Governor’s Mansion, to be the guest of the first ladies and two women governors of the Lone Star State, as they offer (through author Carl McQueary) some of their finest recipes and favorite stories of life in the heart of Austin.

The ingredients in Dining at the Governor’s Mansion include one part culinary history and one part social history, along with a generous helping of recipes cooked by Texas first ladies, or (in later years) their personal chefs, from the completion of the Austin mansion in 1856 down to the present.

Carl McQueary’s folksy cookbook offers a look at food and its preparation, entertaining at the Mansion, and the challenges the women faced keeping the old home together. It includes brief biographical sketches of the first ladies, who usually orchestrated food service for both family meals and social or political events, and considerable background on the mansion’s infrastructure challenges, interior decoration, landscaping, and restoration. The book also provides an intimate portrait of Texas life during the last century and a half, since the trends in food enjoyed by the governors and their families, especially in their private lives, have been surprisingly similar to those enjoyed by even the humblest of Texas citizens. Most of all, it presents dozens of tasty, appetizing, historic recipes tested by McQueary in his own kitchen and annotated for the contemporary cook.

No matter how you slice it up—as Texas history, food history, women’s hisory, or cookbook—Dining at the Governor’s Mansion offers a palate-pleasing smorgasbord for your reading, dining, or gift-giving pleasure.

Historian Carl R. McQueary serves as a commissioner of the Texas Historical Commission. He is the coauthor of two books about Texas’ first woman governor, Miriam A. Ferguson. He has also written and edited many articles on Texas history for various historical publications.

What Readers Are Saying:

“I found this a fascinating window onto Texas history. I discovered that the Governor’s Mansion has been no rarefied repository of haute cuisine. At any given period, the food served there reflected what ordinary people were eating.” --Texas Monthly

“This book will appeal both to Texas history buffs and to all readers who like to cook and eat Texas food. There’s much to savor in such stories as the one about the levee held to mark completion of the residence in August 1856. Jane Karotkin of Austin, administrator of the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, sums up the double appeal when she describes McQueary’s book as one ‘to savor as a social and cultural history of the Lone Star State, filled with stories as delicious as its recipes.’ ” --Amarillo Globe News

“If you’re looking to prepare a historic meal, then Carl McQueary’s Dining at the Governor’s Mansion will satiate your needs.” --Texas Monthly

“. . . loving the photographs of the mansion in its early days. . . . Carl R. McQueary’s book is great reading.” --Port Arthur News

“. . . included in the text are pictures of each of the state’s first ladies, delightful stories, and useful appendices. McQueary’s knowledge of history and personal insights combine with his 225 First Family recipes to provide an interesting and practical collection.” --Writers at Work

“McQueary has provided tasty recipes, but to some, his greatest contribution would be the pictures and the history of the mansion and the biographies of the first ladies. He is the foremost scholar concerning Miriam (Ma) Ferguson, but the bios of all the ladies make for great reading.” --Mexia Daily News

“...should satisfy both cooks and history buffs, as it recalls dozens of recipes from first ladies and their kitchen staffs...” --Texas Co-op Power

“For lovers of history and those who say they like to ‘read a cookbook like a novel,’ Carl R. McQueary’s Dining at the Governor’s Mansion offers a little bit of everything.” --Breckenridge American

“Excellent Texas recipes, interesting read.” --Fort Worth Gazette

If All flesh is grass and A man is what he eats, then those First Ladies that fed their governor-husbands on ham hock and turnip greens and pork chops and black-eyed peas were writing Texas history on the kitchen stove. They might have done as much in the kitchen for Texas politics as their husbands did in the capitol.” --CF. E. Abernethy, Secretary-Editor, Texas Folklore Society


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