THOMAS JEFFERSON'S SWEET POTATO BISCUITS

(City Tavern, Philadelphia, PA — Since 1772)

   
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup margarine, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon salt 1 large or 3/4 cup Virginia Sweet
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon   Potatoes, mashed
1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

  

Combine dry ingredients. Add margarine. Combine milk and sweet potatoes; add to flour mixture. Add pecans. Knead dough with your hands until it is a smooth mass. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2" thickness and cut with a 2" biscuit cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet 2" apart. Bake at 450 degrees F. (preheated) for about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Makes 10 to 12 (2-1/4") biscuits. Enjoy!

 

Thomas Jefferson liked to garden and one of the vegetables he grew were sweet potatoes. In a letter he wrote to Nicholas Lewis in Paris, 09/17/1787, he requested “... seeds of the common sweet potato [I mean the real seeds and not the root which cannot be brought here without rotting] ...” His biscuits were served at the first meeting of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and are served today at the famous City Tavern (built in 1773) located in Philadelphia’s historic district at 2nd and Walnut Streets. An 18th century atmosphere with costumed wait staff and authentic colonial menu is maintained. The Constitutional Convention held its final banquet there 13 years after the first meeting.

Thomas Jefferson, an American revolutionary leader, author of the Declaration of Independence, Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and third U.S. President, was born in Shadwell, Virginia. The document listing the colonist's reasons for declaring independence from Britain, was adopted on July 4, 1776 by the Second Continental Congress, with representatives of the 13 British Colonies. A passage which most are familiar is “...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...”  Many of the freedoms Americans enjoy today are a result of Jefferson's devotion to human rights. Ironically, he died on July 4, 1826.

"Our greatest happiness in life does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits." — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Author Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the United States (1801-1809).