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.