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Elizabeth Jones Beard

Elizabeth’s main claim to fame is that she gave birth to one of the greatest American culinarians – James Beard  (food writer & critic, cookbook author, culinary educator and authority on food). She was born Elizabeth Jones in the countryside of Wiltshire around 1868, and was adopted by a childless aunt and uncle who lived in London.  At sixteen she was eager to see the world, jumping at the opportunity to tour the U.S. as a governess for a Canadian family. At the end of two years, they happened to be in Portland, Oregon when the family was suddenly called back to Toronto. Elizabeth decided to remain in Portland, found a job, saved her money and went to live in New York where she made lifelong friends.  She moved back to Portland and continued to travel now and then.  She was married twice – her first husband died after only a year of marriage, and her second marriage to John Beard (James’ father) was in 1899.  According to Beard, she was a great businesswoman, gourmand and connoisseur. She owned and successfully ran a hotel called the “Gladstone” in downtown Portland, overseeing the food served to her guests made by her loyal Chinese chef, Let. She painstakingly made sure that only the freshest, highest quality and seasonal foods were served to her guests, shopping for the best hams, beef and produce.

James Beard said of his mother, “Mother had an uncanny sense of food and the talent to show others how to prepare it.  She loved to cook, eat and talk food more than almost anyone else I have known.  At the turn of the century she had an international approach to food that would have been considered revolutionary in the last ten years.  When women were still subordinate and modest, Mother was forceful and fearless.  She swept through a room or down a street with an air of determination and authority, and she met men on their own terms.”

Lunch

Beef Brisket Sandwich

on grilled country bread, topped with melted cheddar cheese with caramelized onions, lettuce & horseradish mayonnaise, served with pasta salad

Dinner

“Our Beach Fricassee of Chicken”

chicken slow-cooked with carrots, celery, leeks & onion in a creamy sauce, served with rice pilaf

Mother’s Ginger Cod Cakes

served with made-from-scratch french fries, lime-ginger tartar sauce & cole slaw

Braised Lamb Provencal

lamb shoulder braised with onions, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant & nicoise olives, served with creamy polenta

Dessert

Coconut Cream Cake

coconut was James Beard’s favorite birthday cake & his mom made it for him his first 12 years…here we do it with a buttery cake, filled with coconut cream, topped with a coconut rum buttercream, served with a pineapple caramel sauce