weekly blog--one for the ages
From the Washington Post…On the third Thursday of February 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a day of national thanksgiving to thank God “for the Constitutions of Government which unite and by their union establish liberty.” It was Washington’s second such proclamation, and it called for a religious rather than a feasting holiday.
Back then, Thursday nights were reserved for Congress dinners hosted by Washington, and it would have been presided over by the president's cook, Hercules Posey, one of the slaves he brought with him to Philadelphia from Mount Vernon.
Working in the kitchen of a fine household, especially the president's, would not have been easy. Producing these meals meant a 12-to-16-hour workday with a variety of cooks and assistants. Meals were elaborate, multicourse affairs with an astounding variety of local and imported foods.
On that third February Thursday in 1795, it is not known what was on the menu, however, the average Thursday Congress dinner featured “an elegant variety of roast beef, veal, turkeys, ducks, fowls, hams, & puddings, jellies, oranges, apples, nuts, and almonds, figs, raisins, and a variety of wines and punch.”
George Washington’s chef, Hercules Posey, cooked a Thanksgiving feast to celebrate liberty even though he had none - The Washington Post