Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Eleanor Roosevelt was an outstanding woman who loved the occasion of tea. It is said that she had over 20,000 guests at the White House for tea. Back in 1998, Victoria Magazine did an article on Eleanor called "Your Invitation to Mrs. Roosevelt's Table". I was especially interested in the article because the vintage photo of her showed a watch I thought I recognized.

I was traveling across Kansas around 2002 with my husband and we stopped In Paxico - a small town known for great antiques. I purchased this watch which you see here pinned to a 1950's era necklace. The tag on the watch read that it had belonged to Eleanor Roosevelt and was donated to raise money for Harry Truman's reelection campaign. I REALLY DON'T KNOW FOR SURE if this story is true but just the same the watch sure charmed me!

If you are planning a tea party,  you might enjoy featuring Eleanor's favorite Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake as follows:

You will need: 1 cup/2 sticks soft unsalted butter, 2 cups sugar, 10 large eggs, separated, 2 Tb fresh lemon juice, 2 Tb grated lemon peel (I like to increase this), 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of poppy seeds
Also: 4 cups sifted cake flour, 4 tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter (2) 9 x 5 x 3 pans and dust with flour, shaking out excess

In a bowl, using a mixer, cream the butter, add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, a little at a time and beat the mix until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, the lemon juice, lemon peel, vanilla extract, and poppy seeds. In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, Beat the mix adding butter. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites into soft peaks, add the sugar slowly till all are stiff - stir in 1/4 of this egg white mix into the batter- keep adding till all are used.

Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes - cover the top with foil at the end if it gets brown. Use a toothpick to test at the end until it comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.


Vicki said...

Hello, Bernideen,
That is an amazing story about Eleanor Roosevelt's watch. The watch is just beautiful. Also, thank you for the delicious recipe from Eleanor. Have a happy day. Vicki p.s. Come and visit with me at Bunny Cottage.

blushing rose said...

Oh, yum! That is going into my recipe file for sure. Love the story of Eleanor, she was a woman of many facets ... TTFN ~Marydon

Mrs. E said...

what an amazing story!!! :>)
You must be SO thankful to have it!
Thank you so much for sharing Mrs.Roosevelt's
recipe with us!!

Many Blessings~ Miss Jen

Angela McRae said...

That is a lovely piece and a terrific story as well!

Martha said...

It makes for a great story whether it is true or not.

Teresa's New Life said...

Sorry I just flew past the blog today I just HAD to comment on your new header! It's just too pretty! Is it in your yard? Oh, I just love it!!!!

Unknown said...

Bernideen, what an interesting story! The watch is sure pretty and what a gorgeous way to display it!

Oh, I just love lemon poppyseed cake . . . I'm definitely going to try out this recipe!

Thanks so much for sharing.


Unknown said...

Such an insightful feature. Your site is just lovley. I am so glad to have found it.
Happy Twirls


Hello, just wanted to leave you a commment to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts today. You have great pictures too. I hope you also have cupcakes for tea!!!!

Best wishes

Rooibos said...

Find out about the watch, do some research. Should be very interesting to find out if it was hers or not!

Great blog!

Ftngrngma said...

I make a similar poppy seed cake, but I lightly drizzle a little bit of tart lemon glaze across the top and between the layers. It is divine! I never have anything left when I make this recipe. The last time I made it, I decided to make three of them hoping to have some left. Didn't happen.