Happy Birthday Eleanor Roosevelt!

In 1957, Eleanor Roosevelt (born 127 years ago today) talked to Mike Wallace about Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Republicans, Democrats, the Soviet Union, race, and garlic pills. The former first lady famously ate three chocolate-covered garlic pills, dipped in chocolate every morning. Here’s the transcript from the interview:

WALLACE: And now the final question, the one that I promised at the beginning that I was going to ask, and that is about garlic pills.


WALLACE: I understand, that you, I don’t know if you do still, but at one time in the not too distant past you ate garlic pills and I’d like to know why and how they worked out.

ROOSEVELT: My doctor told me to take them to help my memory. It doesn’t help my memory much, but nevertheless that is what I was given them for.

WALLACE: And do you still?


I’ve included garlic chocolate recipes before (see Freud from a few weeks ago) and I’m not really in the mood today so I’m going to share Ruth Reichl’s last minute chocolate cake from her memoir, Garlic and Sapphires. It’s less low key than the cake above but perfect for Joan’s birthday … Happy Birthday Joanie!


4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 T. unsalted butter
3/4 c. brewed strong black coffee
2 T. Grand Marnier
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
vanilla ice cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 375F. Butter and flour a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan.

Combine chocolate, butter and coffee in the top of a double boiler until they are melted. (about 4-5 minutes)

Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Then add the egg, Grand Marnier, sugar and vanilla. Stir well.

Sift and mix the flour, baking soda, and salt into the chocolate mixture.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


One response to “Happy Birthday Eleanor Roosevelt!

  1. so, what do you do with all those ingredients for ruth’s last minute chocolate cake? did i miss the directions?

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