Courtesy of Art Lien

"Table for 9: Supreme Court Food Traditions & Recipes"  features quirky justice food facts, as well as more than 40 recipes and 100 photos.

Abbey White
December 18, 2017

You’ll get to be the (taste) judge and jury when it comes to the recipes from a cookbook inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Both a history and a cookbook, Table for 9: Supreme Court Food Traditions & Recipes is not the first collection of court-inspired recipes, but it is the first to feature 43 associated with various justices and their families. A peek into the culinary lives of some of the government’s most powerful decision makers, home cooks, and chefs can now dine like a justice while learning more about the court’s longstanding food traditions.

Clare Cushman, a writer who has covered the Supreme Court through illustrated biographies and published eyewitness accounts, authored the cookbook, drawing upon the traditions of 35 justices and their families. According to the Associated Press, with the help of Supreme Court curator Catherine Fitts, Cushman received recipes and family food stories to help fill Table for 9’s pages, which include a forward by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Among the featured recipes is Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s court Christmastime specialty of home jerky, with instructions compliments of O’Connor’s brother, as well as a pasta sauce recipe from Maureen Scalia, wife of the first Italian-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme court, the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

While recipes are their own form of food history, the book offers far more than simple court and case cuisine. Readers will discover the justices’ quirky food habits, from what they liked to eat to what they brought it in. The book reveals that one justice liked his PB&J with the crust cut off while another brought his lunch in a tin ammunition box. Readers will also uncover some of the court’s dining traditions, including welcome and retirement dinners, unscheduled lunch breaks behind the bench and an old rule of only drinking wine when it’s raining.

If that wasn’t enough, the book contains letters, artifacts and a series of more than 100 published and previously unpublished photos featuring the justices eating together, serving homemade dishes and receiving their birthday cakes.

“Food in good company has sustained Supreme Court Justices through the ages,” Justice Ginsburg writes in Table for 9’s forward. You can now enjoy the same meals eaten by the highest court in the land in your own good company with Cushman’s new cookbook. Sold through The Supreme Court Historical Society Gift Shop (1 First St NE, Washington, DC), you can purchase for $22.95 either online or by stopping into the store.