A Delicious Way to Acknowledge the Day

By Presidential Proclamation, on March 21, 1938 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed April 13th as a day for our nation to celebrate the birth of Thomas Jefferson. George W. Bush reaffirmed the proclamation with one of his own on April 11, 2007.

I find it interesting that both men, one a Democrat, the other a Republican, chose to honor the third President of the United States with a Presidential Proclamation. Today most Americans are unaware that such a proclamation exists. Maybe that’s a good thing in this Cancel Culture Mop Mentality we find ourselves in today.

Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He served as our minister to France, Secretary of State in President Washington’s Cabinet and ran for President twice. His first bid for the Presidency was in 1796, resulting in Jefferson’s election to vice President under his opponent, John Adams due to a flaw in the Constitution. Originally, the bid for the Presidency was not a two-person team. The winner of the Presidential Race became President, while the runner up became Vice President. The founding fathers failed to anticipate the development of political parties and the firm party lines that would eventually divide our country.

Think about that in modern terms. We could have seen President Trump with Vice President Hilary Clinton, followed by President Biden with Vice President Donald Trump. Talk about a political nightmare! This flaw in the election process was only one of the many that existed early on. Some flaws have been fixed, others still exist. After all these years, we are still learning, still growing, still trying to achieve the perfect form of government and a means to select the best our generation has to offer.

Yes, Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. Yes, owning another human being is wrong. Some say evil. While the act of slavery is evil, not every person who owned a slave was by that act alone evil. Personally, I reserve evil for mass murderers, child molesters and other twisted criminals who carry out heinous acts against humanity. When Thomas Jefferson was born in 1743, slavery had existed in Virginia for nearly 75 years. While that is not an excuse for the fact that Jefferson himself owned nearly 200 slaves as an adult, social attitude does play a role acceptable behavior. Much of the underbelly of society that was once deemed to be acceptable in the past is not tolerated today. The past is not something to be canceled, and pretend it never happened. The past is how we learn. It’s a measuring stick to view not only how far we have come, but how much further we have to go.

We need to find a way to look at a person’s good contributions and weigh those against their mistakes due to erroneous beliefs. No one is perfect – not in thought nor deed. Besides, if it weren’t for Thomas Jefferson, we might not enjoy Macaroni and Cheese in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. It was Jefferson who brought Macaroni and Cheese to American from his time in France. Writing the Declaration of Independence and introducing a newly formed country to the pleasures of Macaroni and Cheese are good contributions.

Oh, and one more thing – today is also National Peach Cobbler Day. Yeah, let’s eat!

Thomas Jefferson Supper
Orange Honey Glazed Ham
Cheesy Onion Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Garlic Green Beans

Pure Peach Cobbler

Orange Honey Glazed Ham
6 lb Spiral-Cut Ham
1/2 cup Water
3/4 cup Honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Oranges, divided
Rosemary Sprigs for garnish

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place ham flat side down on a rack inside a roasting pan. Add water to the bottom of pan. Cover with foil, leaving a small opening to vent. Bake for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, mix honey, mustard together in a small bowl. Zest 1 orange, add to the honey mixture. Squeeze juice from the zested orange into the honey. Stir to blend, set aside.

Increase oven heat to 400-degrees. Remove foil and glaze ham with 1/3 of the honey mixture. Bake 10 minutes uncovered.

Glaze with half of the remaining honey mixture and bake 10-15 more minutes. Until internal temp reaches 140-degrees.

Remove ham from oven. Glaze with the remaining honey mixture being sure to get glaze in between slices. Transfer to serving platter.

Slice remaining orange into rounds. Garnish ham platter with orange slices and rosemary.

Cheesy Onion Macaroni and Cheese
16 oz Elbow Macaroni
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
16 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
12 oz Velveeta Cheese
4 oz Mild Cheddar Cheese
2/3 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 White Onion
6 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Flour
2 cups Milk
1 cup Half and Half
Kosher Salt to taste
Pinch White Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set pasta aside.

Heat oven to 450. Spray a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Shred Mozzarella Cheese and Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Toss together and set aside. Cube Velveeta Cheese, set aside. In a small bowl, shred Mild Cheddar Cheese, mix with breadcrumbs to create a cheese topping. Cut onion in half from root to tip. Reserve half the onion for another purpose. Cut remaining half in half again. Peel each quarter, then finely mince. Add half of the minced onion to the breadcrumb mixture, set remaining half aside.

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and minced onion; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Stir in Mozzarella-Sharp Cheddar Cheese mixture and processed cheese until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour into prepared dish.

Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Cheesy Onion Breadcrumb mixture. Bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes more.

Southern Garlic Green Beans
1 (16 oz) bag frozen Whole Green Beans
6 Garlic Cloves
6 slices Thick Bacon
Kosher Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Butter

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add green beans, return to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let beans cook for 5 minutes. Drain beans, set aside.

Stack slices of bacon, cut lengthwise in thirds, then dice into pieces, set aside. Peel garlic cloves, mince and set aside.

In a large skillet, fry up bacon pieces until nicely browned. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon, place bacon bits on paper towels to drain. Remove all but about a tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Add butter to the drippings, swirl pan to let the oils bend.

Heat butter mixture over medium heat. Add minced garlic. Cook it while stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Add crumbled bacon and green beans. Sauté on medium heat for about 1 minute to combine all ingredients.

Transfer green beans to a serving bowl. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed, toss and serve.

Pure Peach Cobbler
2 lbs fresh Peaches
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
French Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
Mint Leaves for garnish

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil to blanch the peaches. Prepare a large ice bath for the peaches once blanched.

Use a sharp paring knife to make a small “x” through the skin at the base of each peach. Keep the cuts shallow. Put the peaches in the boiling water, making sure they are entirely submerged. Blanch them for 40 seconds. If the peaches are slightly under-ripe, allow them to remain in the hot water a little longer—up to a full minute—it will help loosen the peel a bit more, as well as improve their flavor.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the blanched peaches to the bowl of ice water. Leave them to cool, about 1 minute. Drain the peaches and pat them dry. Beginning at the X, lift peel and pull toward the stem, exposing the flesh of the peach. Slice peaches, removing the stone.

Combine the sliced peaches, 1 cup sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes, then remove from heat. Set filling aside.

Melt the butter and pour into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the milk in slowly to minimize clumping.

Pour the batter into the baking dish with the melted butter, spoon fruit and syrup mixture on top—do not stir! Sprinkle cinnamon on top of fruit and bake for about 40 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream and a garnish of mint leaf.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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