Happy Birthday, Mr. President

By on May 26, 2016

File photo dated 27/06/1963 of US President John F. Kennedy acknowledging the cheers of the crowd when he visits New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland as the world marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK.

If not for that fateful day in November, he would be celebrating his 99th birthday this weekend. Perhaps he would have spent his birthday reading one of his favorite books, like James Bond’s “From Russia with Love”. Or, he might have enjoyed watching sports, such as his beloved baseball. And as for his birthday meal, well, we have some ideas on that.


Since his family lived in Boston, JFK loved seafood of all kinds. His mother reportedly made a seafood casserole that was a cult favorite during his short tenure as president. Allegedly, JFK ate clam chowder regularly – some say everyday – and so we visited Bodean’s where their legendary clam chowder is still a Tulsa favorite, much like JFK himself. We think that if JFK visited Tulsa for his birthday, he’d be sure to try this creamy delicious version of his favorite chowder.

Another favorite of JFK: Boston baked beans. Who better to showcase a Midwestern version of this dish than Tulsa’s Burn Co. where their food is almost as popular as JFK himself?

Lamb and pork were also favorites of the 35th U.S. President. Kennedy reportedly enjoyed mashed potatoes with his though we love this version of pork from Tulsa’s Chalkboard Restaurant from chef Josh McClure.

Though the Bloody Mary seems to have been around forever, it is a relatively new fusion, dating back only to 1964 (though some claim it was created earlier.) Still, for JFK, the Bloody Mary was newfangled and trendy and it was one of his favorite drinks. If you find yourself feeling presidential this weekend, check out Fur Shop‘s Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday morning. It’s hefty and robust, enough for a small meal and elegant as Kennedy himself. His presidency lasted a mere 1,036 days though his legacy lives on. This Memorial Day Weekend, remember him – and all those that have led our country — with a toast and appreciation.

The Novel Gardener

About The Novel Gardener

"The Novel Gardener", Maurie Traylor, lives, creates, writes, paints, gardens and cooks in Mid-Town Tulsa. Her work has appeared in Oklahoma Gardener, Edible Tulsa Magazine and The Tulsa Literary Review. When not writing or painting, Maurie works with clients in creating meaningful spaces for home and garden. Her inspiration for her creative life stems from her family, namely her grandmother, whose garden and kitchen fed migrant workers and a large family during The Great Depression. Following that example, Maurie begins each day with the question, "What can we create today?"