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As the Los Angeles Times reports, Barack Obama's first meal as president will be inspired by Abraham Lincoln's favorite foods: seafood stew, pheasant and duck with cherry chutney and apple-cinnamon sponge cake. No big shock here, considering Obama also plans to be sworn in on Lincoln's bible, and Tuesday's theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," comes straight from the Gettysburg Address. The more colorful tidbits of the piece, though, come from snapshots of inaugural dinners past. A crib sheet:
Most recurring food: ice cream (Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Lincoln, George W. Bush)
Most austere party: FDR's fourth inaugural meal, with cold chicken salad (spoiled), rolls (no butter), cake (no frosting) and coffee (no sugar).
Most raucous: Jackson's, in which unruly guests were lured from the White House with tubs of whiskey-spiked punch.
Most color-coordinated: Harry Truman's, with green turtle soup, baked asparagus tips, and a mixed green salad.
Most politically incorrect: Eisenhower's "Minority Dinner" of gefilte fish, minestrone and Greek salad.
Most cost-conscious: Jimmy Carter's, with only peanuts and pretzels served.
Most charmingly idiosyncratic: Ronald Reagan's, in which 40 million jelly beans were consumed.