The Washington Post

Tom Sietsema picks his favorite Romney family recipe

Tom Sietsema took his palate through of tour of the Romney family cookbook and determined a winner. Sort of. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

That is, until now. Loop reader Jen Cox was recently thumbing through an old cookbook belonging to her grandmother in search of a favorite frosting recipe, when she made a pretty sweet discovery. The collection of recipes, published as a fundraiser by the Riverside Lutheran Church of Detroit sometime, Cox guesses, in the mid-1960s, included a contribution from one “Mrs. George Romney.”

The book is one of those spiral-bound volumes found on most every cook’s shelf, printed by Junior Leagues or PTAs — the ones whose recipes call for enough cans of condensed soup to fill a kiddie pool.

Lenore Romney, mother of Mitt, was then Michigan’s first lady, and the recipe was identified as heralding from the “Executive Residence,” the governor’s mansion in Lansing. Though the Romneys were Mormon, it’s likely that as part of her FLOM (that’s First Lady of Michigan) duties, she contributed to many such cookbooks from organizations across the state.

Cox sent us the page, which gave instructions for concocting a hearty-sounding “Hamburger Stroganoff,” a dish, that although it doesn’t contain a can of soup, is very much of its era.

But this wasn’t the first hamburger recipe from a Romney woman we’ve seen recently. It was big news when Mitt’s wife, Ann Romney, recently joined Pinterest, something of a digital version of those old-fashioned community cookbooks. Ann Romney pinned a recipe for turkey burgers to her page.

And so we decided to conduct a taste test pitting the Romney recipes against one another in culinary battle royale through the generations. Lenore and Ann, mano a mano. Or, in this case burger vs. burger.

We invited our esteemed colleague Tom Sietsema, the Post’s food critic, to analyze the dishes and pick a winner.

Read the rest of the blog item over at In the Loop.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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