Cook Along With the Inauguration! Recipes from the Official Inaugural Luncheon

How does Seafood Stew sound? Or a "Brace of American Birds" with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes? Well, if they sound good to you, you can cook right along with the chefs at the Senate's traditional Inaugural Luncheon, since these dishes are on the menu and the Senate is sharing the recipes with us.

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Not only are the recipes available, but they even gave us sneak peeks of the flowers and china. The china is especially interesting, as it's a replica of china used during Lincoln's presidency.

The food, of course, has our attention even more than the table settings, and we have to say that the menu sounds deliciously seasonal and unpretentious. It's dignified enough to serve to a new president, but also warming after a morning standing in the cold. The Duck Breast with Cherry Chutney sounds very good, and the Molasses Whipped Sweet Potatoes sound downright tasty. Plus there's Cinnamon Apple Sponge Cake for dessert.

• Get the recipes here: 2009 Inaugural Luncheon Menu

You can also browse through photos and menus from past inaugural luncheons. The image at the top of this post is from Ronald Reagan's inaugural luncheon in 1985.

(All images: U.S. Senate Collection)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.