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  •  Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Chicken Fricasee

    This recipe is from one of my favorite books, “The First Ladies Cookbook,” which is “compiled and edited by outstanding culinary and historical Authorities.”

    It sounds more like fried chicken with gravy but it is called a fricasee in the book. I told you Honest Abe was not a foodie.

    No serving amounts given.

    2 to 3 fryers, cut up
    Salt, pepper
    Flour, for dredging
    1/2 pint cream

  • In honor of Presidents Day weekend, let’s take a culinary trip down memory lane. How our presidents dined and entertained, and how their wives handled White House-housekeeping, is not only historically significant, it is quite revealing.

  • Mary’s Pie Crust

    This is Mary Schoenlein’s most excellent pie crust recipe.

    Makes one double-crust pie, enough for an eight or nine-inch pan.

    2 cups flour
    1 tsp. salt
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    10 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
    5 Tbsp. shortening, also chilled
    4 to 6 Tbsp. ice water

  • I have always wondered why there is the expression “easy as pie.” Pie is not that easy to make! Turns out the expression began as “easy as eating pie.” Now that makes sense. However, I am hoping that this pie column will encourage you to take the leap, perfect a piecrust, make a bunch, and keep them in your freezer so you can whip one up on a whim.

  • Will Rogers called it “a bowl of blessedness.” A bank in McKinney, Tex., was left unscathed during Jesse James’s reign of robberies because the town had his favorite chili parlor. Clark Gable’s last meal was a delivery of Chasen’s chili.

  • Contest-Winning Vegetarian Chili

    Everyone should have a vegetarian chili recipe in his or her repertoire. This recipe is fairly simple and comes from Marilyn Barilleaux of Bothell, Wash., via the Taste of Home website. I think some cooked wheatberries would be good in this.

    Serves 16.

    4 medium zucchini, chopped
    2 medium onions, chopped
    1 medium green pepper, chopped
    1 medium sweet pepper, chopped
    1/4 cup olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced

  • Frito Pie

    Frito pie is common in Texas. It is served inside the small-size Fritos bag, slit open, with chili and condiments dumped on top.

    Serves one guilty person.

    1 single-serving bag of Fritos
    1/2 can Hormel chili (You could make your own chili but why bother? You’re already on the primrose path to culinary doom.)

  • I generally eat a very healthy diet. This past week, for instance, I prepared wheatberries and roasted carrots from Quail Hill Farm, and last night I had scallops. A variety of greens are always at the ready in my fridge for a quick saute or salad. I love brown rice and oatmeal and just about any recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Ottolenghi,” “Jerusalem,” or “Plenty” cookbooks, which are full of yogurt and chili peppers and all manner of eggplant and other vegetables.

  • Split Pea Soup

    This is a version of split pea soup I kind of made up this weekend. I didn’t have a ham hock or chunk of salt pork so I substituted two slices of bacon and some high quality ham bits. If you want to get some smoky flavor without the meat, try some smoked paprika. I also add more vegetables than most recipes because, why not?

    Serves six.

    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 Tbsp. dried oregano or marjoram
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 slices bacon

  • I love bean soups. They are cheap and easy to make, yet require some time and a small bit of attention. This makes me feel like I’m really involved in a cooking project, but, in fact, I’m just making a meal with about 73 cents worth of ingredients. They are healthy and hearty and can be a one-dish meal. You can make them thick and chunky and rustic like a chili, or smooth and silky and sophisticated.

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  • The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide:

    It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.