The US Capitol and Cake

The United States Capitol

Today in 1793, 224 years ago, US President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Washington became a Freemason at age 20, when he became an Entered Apprentice in the Fredericksburg Lodge. Other notable masons of note during the revolutionary era included Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee, John Hancock, and James Madison.

The Capitol itself is said to have been cursed by John Lenthall, clerk to architect Benjamin Latrobe, and the voice of John Quincy Adams can be heard shouting “No!” near the Speakers Lobby. Learn about these stories and more: Haunted Halls of Congress: 5 Creepy Capitol Legends.

To celebrate the construction of the Capitol, why not enjoy a slice of Great Cake from Martha Washington’s recipe collection?

1 1/2 cups currants
1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel
1/3 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1/3 cup chopped candied citron
3/4 cup Madeira, divided
1/4 cup French brandy
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoons ground mace
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, separated
Sugar Icing (optional)
3 large egg whites at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons rose water or orange-flower water

Martha Washington’s Great Cake.

Looking for something healthier? Try Capitol Hill Cauliflower Puree.


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