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Friday, December 22, 2006

For Dems Only: A Cake From Hubert H. Humphrey's Cookbook

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Retired Hamilton County Judge Ed Donnellon passed away recently and his son, Steve, was looking through some of the D-to-the-core Democrat's tokens of long-ago election seasons when he ran across a cookbook called "Recipes for a Tasteful Campaign." Former Vice President Hubert Horatio Humphrey gave it to Ed Donnellon as a get-out-the-vote tool for the 1968 presidential race against Richard Nixon. The cookbook has about 100 pages held together by metal loose-leaf rings. Steve Donnellon thinks HHH handed it to his dad in Chicago during the tempestuous convention rocked by anti-Vietnam War protests and police abuses. Ed Donnellon was a delegate pledged to HHH.

The recipes are pretty simple, in keeping with an era when political media buys often meant fingernail files for the ladies, combs for the men and bumper stickers that said a name and the office. HHH wrote in the cookbook's introduction that he favored grass roots-style campaigning. ''No political campaign today is complete without the 'coffee' party, when women campaigners invite neighbors and friends to their homes to drink coffee, nibble on home-made cookies and cakes and talk about the candidate informally. As a standard feature of the modern campaign, however, the 'coffee' is a relatively new device for promoting the candidate's fortunes,'' he said.

Humphrey must have had a sweet tooth because a lot of his recipes involved punch, cookies and cakes. Here's one for a butterscotch bit coffee cake that shows up under a note that says: "Scotch the opposition with this Democratic proposition:"

1/2 lb. butter, 2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, 1 cup sour cream
2 tsp soda, 2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar, add egs. Mix. Add 1/2 dry ingredients and 1/2 cup sour cream and vanilla. Add rest of ingredients. Grease a 9x12 pan. Pour mix into pan. Sprinkle with Topping -- 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 pkg butterscotch bits, 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 40 -45 minutes.

HHH was pretty successful politician, though Nixon beat him in 1968. I have never heard much about his abilities as a cook.


  1. It reminds me of a Texas Republican recipe from years earlier!

  2. Southern style: just add crackers.

  3. Sloat:

    I tried this recipe, because it sounded like such a simple alternative to all the complicated recipes I have read. Much to my delight, it was quite tasty, and I plan to make another tomorrow for Christmas Day. It's so simple to understand, I doubt ANY Republican could comprehend it. Obviously, you won't see it on the menu at the current White House.