I bought the 1887 White House Cook Book at a yard sale and enjoy opening it up every Christmas to see how much things have changed through the years.  Here are a few “tidbits” from the 1887 edition:

Cleveland White House Tidbits.pngMedicinal food

Spinach has a direct effect upon complaints of the kidneys; the common dandelion, used as greens, is excellent for the same trouble; asparagus purifies the blood; celery acts admirably upon the nervous system, and is a cure for rheumatism and neuralgia; tomatoes act upon the liver; beets and turnips are excellent appetizers; lettuce and cucumbers are cooling in their effects upon the system; beans are a very nutritious and strengthening vegetable; while onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots, all of which are similar, possess medicinal virtues of a marked character, stimulating the circulatory system, and the consequent increase of the saliva and the gastric juice promoting digestion. Red onions are an excellent diuretic, and the white ones are recommended raw as a remedy for insomnia. They are tonic, nutritious. A soup made from onions is regarded by the French as an excellent restorative in debility of the digestive organs.We might go through the entire list and find each vegetable possessing its especial mission of cure, and it will be plain to every housekeeper that a vegetable diet should be partly adopted, and will prove of great advantage to the health of the family.

White House Cook Book’s
Menus for Christmas day

Boiled rice
Broiled salt mackerel
Poached eggs a la creme
Potato fillets
Feather griddle cakes
Wheat bread

Oysters on half shell
Game soup
Boiled white fish
Sauce maitre d’hotel
Roast goose
Apple Sauce
Boiled potatoes
Mashed turnips
Creamed parsnips
Stewed onions
Boiled rice
Lobster salad
Canvas-back duck
Christmas plum pudding, sauce
Vanilla ice cream
Mince pie
Orange jelly
Delicate cake
Salted almonds

Cold roast goose
Oyster patties
Cold slaw
Charlotte Russe
Peach jelly